Sunday, January 8, 2017

Jan 7--To the Sea!

We finally made it out to the Pacific! It was a long day to get here, but we made it.

This morning our tents were soaking wet. I swear it added about 10 pounds to my bike (okay, probably more like 1 or 2). I thought it was making the bike pull to one side, but really it was that I needed to add more air to my tires. Once I did that in Uruapan, it was fine.

Speaking of Uruapan, we stopped at an abarrotes there. I got a pan dulce, and some jugo (juice). We just had 5 more miles to get to Santo Tomás. Out of Uruapan, we got on Mex 1 for most of those 5 miles. There was a wide shoulder, but it was weird being on a highway. As we were coming into Santo Tomás, there was road construction. They were paving (maybe repaving, but I doubt it) the road. The flaggers would whistle back and forth to let each other know when to stop traffic. We figured the ability to whistle loudly must be a prerequisite to getting the job.

We rode through the construction, and stopped at the first abarottes we came to. I didn't really need much food, but I wanted another liter of water. The shop had a purificada machine. One liter cost 2 pesos. You just fill up your container, and pay for it.

From Santo Tomás, we had to climb up a steep switchback. It was definitely a heart thumper, but Herb and I managed to ride the whole thing without walking. It was cool to look back down on the town from above. Once we were out of the valley, it was supposed to be a relatively flat ride out to the Coast. I would say it was more like a rollercoaster. The road was mostly gravel and in good condition (mostly). This was, once again, the Baja 1000 route. I let some air out of my tires, and had no problem. Coming down one hill, my liter of water (in a Platypus) fell off. Apparently, strapping it to the top of my seat bag was not going to work. I secured it on top of the rack instead, and that did the trick.

At about 11:30, we decided to stop for some lunch and dry out our tents.
It was nice to not have to carry the extra weight. Several people passed us. A bunch of them had camped at the hot springs in Uruapan. Apparently, it was awesome. We had gotten some info from another rider who said the hot springs wasn't all that great, so we didn't bother to go. Oh well, it was much quieter where we camped.

We continued our up and down riding, working our way out to the Coast. Finally, we saw it! The weather changed to a little coastal breezy, and we saw more cactus varieties.

The downhill down to sea level was rather treacherous. It wasn't as bad as yesterday, but still pretty scary. It was a long drop down to the ocean!

We made it down in one piece, only to have to climb back up. At least it wasn't as steep! Before too long, we came to a cluster of nice houses. We thought it might be Erendira (our destination for the night), but it wasn't. We continued on. We were beginning to wonder where the town was, when we came around a corner, and could see what must be Erendira. First we went to a place called Cal Coyote. It was a hostel/ camping area. It was $20 (US) per person to sleep in the hostel, and $10 to camp in our tents. We've gotten pretty spoiled, and decided that was too much. Instead, we rode on into town. Mostly, we needed water. The first grocery store was closed. The second one had a very long line. We finally found a purificada at the liquor store. 4 pesos of water later (about 5 liters), we rolled down to the nearest taco stand, and ate an early dinner of queso tacos and guava nectar.

It was delicious. We keep saying we need to branch out from the tacos carne asada, but they are so good. We would have had tacos pescado, but all the taco places were out of fish. We also had fresh churros that Herb bought.

After we were all fed, we headed out of town to find a place to camp. We wanted to be by the ocean. We turned down a sandy track that was clearly leading to the beach. Then we went up above, and rode out to a spot just above the water. It's also next to a field of Brussels sprouts. Jan has joined us tonight. Amy and Ryan stopped by, but decided they were going to go try to find their friends.

It's awesome to be camping with the sound of the waves crashing. It's also a lot warmer than it was in the mountains.

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