Crossing Baja

I woke up early. For a second I forget that I slept on the beach so when I saw the beautiful ocean just few meters outside of my tent, jogging people and seagulls flying above I could only smile. I had a long few days ahead – I had to cross the entire peninsula and get to La Paz. Most of it is a desert – uninhabited, with very few gas stations and even less traffic. In the case something will happen, I’ll be on my own. I had to start moving without any delay, so I got some cash, put a full tank of gas, bought some food, a lot of water and started my way south.

4 days later I arrived to La Paz exhausted, soaking wet, smelling like gas and oil but still happy. For the first time in my trip I had such an amazing riding experience. Riding all day long through the heat of the desert that changes every few hours to a heavy rain that stops as quickly as it starts leaving me completely wet was challenging. One time the clouds ahead of me were so dark and lighting so pretty that I had to stop and take few pictures. And it’s great that I did it, because those storm clouds were moving very fast to my directions and without even noticing I’ve found myself in the middle of the storm, picking up the bike that was knocked down by a powerful gust, chasing after the blown away helmet and hiding under the bike cover for half an hours first from the sand and later from the rain, just hoping that it will not wash me away. Sometimes I had to cross newborn rivers that decided to flow over the road, one time it made me nervous because the water almost reached my knees, means the water any moment could go through the air system and choke the engine, but the only thing to do was keep going and that’s what I did.

Beside the streams of water running across, the road had many other unpredictable things – sometimes the paved road ended without any sign and constriction area continued for the next 10 km, and by that I mean just a lot of mud and gravel. Livestock in the middle of the road is another very common thing to see, that’s why it’s not recommended to drive here at night. But overall the driving was very smooth and the view is beautiful, giant cacti and other unique flora didn’t stop to amaze me. Usually I stopped for a lunch in some small town and enjoyed the most famous Baja food – fish tacos, they are cheap and delicious, I never paid more than 15 peso each and they always were made at the same moment. Amazing.

My days ended with off road rides, because I needed to get to find a place to camp and further I went the better places I found. Those rides were hard but fun, and the new more off-road oriented tires helped me a lot. My favorite part was after that – there is nothing like sitting by the fire and making a dinner while watching a beautiful sunset over the ocean. And the best – nobody would think to bother me because of the place I choose to camp or any other reason, nobody was around for many many kilometers.

I’ve found my host Alek pretty fast because his directions were very detailed and I didn’t need to go through Ensenada experience again. Alek is a Russian born guy from the states that also arrived here on his bike after traveling all across the country, but decided to stay in La Paz for a while just to enjoy the life here and earn money by playing online poker, which apparently is a pretty big thing here. So I spend the weekend hanging out with him and another couchsurfer from San Diego that came here to do some diving during the weekend. Had many skype conversations with friends and family and mentally prepared myself for the next chapter of my journey – living an volunteering for a month on organic farm, or simply WWOOFing.

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