Saturday, January 14, 2017

Jan 10--A Day Off & Jan 11--All Good Until the Mud

Today was our first day off. We did ride into town to take care of some errands. We needed to get more pesos from the ATM for the next section, and get just a few food items at Calimex. I also got stuff for lunch for today. Vincente Guerrero was very busy. I decided the danger was not from the cars on the highway, but from the cars turning off the highway. Picture this--you've got a two, to sort of four lane paved highway. On both sides of the highway there are wide (and I mean very wide, as wide as the highway itself) dirt "shoulders" (although I'm not sure that's the right word, as it is used for parking too). Cars are heading out to the highway and coming off the highway all over the place. You really have to be on your toes at all times. There are traffic lights, and that helps if you have to get to the other side (there's a median, so you can't just cross wherever). Anyway, we survived. I also stopped at a farmaceria (pharmacy) to see if I could get some fiber supplement. That was an interesting experience trying to ask for "fiber". Finally, the guy asked me to write the name. I wrote "psyllium", then he knew right away what I wanted. Mission accomplished!

Back to the campground, we all worked on, and cleaned our bikes. I was going to walk out to the beach, but it turns out it was a two mile walk. I'll have plenty of time to walk on the beach later on. I Facetimed with My Sweet Baboo, took a shower, and ate some dinner. We ate at the restaurant again. It was good. Brent and I split a plate of Tacos de Carne Asada.

Jan 11--All Good Until the Mud

Today was another one of those days where we deviated from the suggested route. When we looked at the map, we realized Vincente Guerrero was off the route a bit. We were under the impression that San Quintín was just 7 or 8 miles south on Mex 1 versus 22 miles on the route (which included some singletrack--not my favorite). Well, it was a little bit more than that, more like about 10 or 11. However, one thing we decided was that riding along Mex 1 is not pleasant, at least between VG and SQ. We could ride in the dirt on the shoulder, but it is rather bumpy, and doesn't work when there is a bridge. Anyway, we made it to San Quintín without any catastrophe.

The route guide says to resupply enough to get to Cataviña which is about 115 miles away. There are some minor resupply options between (actually Nueva Odisea had an abbarotes) the two, but to get things like tuna and beans in smaller packages, you have to get them in the major towns. There was a Calimex in Lazarus Cardenas, 2 miles past San Quintín. We got food, then got water at the Pemex station. We didn't need to carry a ton of water, just enough to get to Nueva Odisea.

Fortunately, I had turned on my Garmin in SQ. Where we got water was where we needed to turn off Mex 1. Now we were back on the route, and headed out to the salt marsh and the volcano area (the mountains we have been seeing from when we got out to the Coast after Colonet). It was tricky to stay on the route. I'd holler to Harry, "We're not on the route!" We'd turn around and figure out where we missed the turn, and get back on. We did a lot of riding in sand. It was actually really fun! It was a little slippy at times, but really fun.

It was around noon when we came to an abandoned, maybe never finished, hacienda.  Since the wind was blowing quite mightily, thankfully a tailwind, we used the building to get out of the wind to eat our lunch. There were some pretty succulent plants with orange and red flowers. There was also a great view of the volcanos.

After lunch, we had some more creative route finding. When we were finally on the route, we got into the mud. OH MY GOD! It was not good, not good at all!!! The wheels became so caked with mud that they wouldn't turn anymore. I got off, and got out my mud stick. I'd scrape off as much mud as possible, then push for about 10 feet, and have to do it all over again. The really really bad stuff was about 1/8th of a mile. Push, scrape, push, scrape.
Finally I got to where the guys were (they had problems too, but Herb and Harry's didn't seem to get so clogged up. There were some puddles at the end. Harry said to just walk the bike through the puddles to clean the wheels off. That worked pretty good. Of course, my shoes were also completely caked with mud on the bottom. It would be awhile before I could clip back in. The route continued through the mud. We said, no thank you, and headed inland to Mex 1.

We came out about 3 miles or so from Nueva Odisea. We stopped at the Pemex and got something to drink and a candy bar. Once we got to NO, we had to fill up all our water containers for the 2 days to Cataviña (well, there is one water source at 60 some miles). That means I'm carrying about 12 liters of water. Yikes, that's heavy!

We asked the guy in the Pemex about campemento (camping). He said, "La Playa" (the beach). But, as we started to head down the road, we saw a sign that said camping. It's a church camp of sorts. We saw a guy outside working on a car. We asked him if we could camp here. He said yes, and showed us around. There's no potable water, but there are flush toilets (you have to fill the toilet tank with water from a bucket to flush it). The guy's name is Juan, and he is awesome! We had a great time talking (as best we could), and his brother even stopped by. The brother came with a big dog and a little puppy. The big dog was very protective of the puppy, even though the big dog was male. The puppy looked to be part pit bull, and pretty young--a little female. While the big guy was around, he wouldn't let me pick up the puppy. Then he left with Juan's brother, but the puppy hung around. I picked up the pup and took her back over toward Juan's house. I saw the big dog, and called for him to come get his baby. He came running like, oh, there you are!

Later, Jon (from South Africa--I met him first at Barrett Junction) rolled in. So, five of us are camping under cover in the "church". It might rain tonight, so we are greatful to have the cover.

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