Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jan 9--They Said the Route Was Just a Suggestion

Sunrise in Colonet

We opted for a different route today. We would follow the Coast to Vincente Guerrero, instead of going back into the mountains. Tricky part was that we were relying solely on the National Geographic paper map to find our way. None of us had a detailed map loaded on our GPS devices. First we had problems figuring out what road to take out of Colonet. We asked a guy at the Pemex station. He told us to go back to the light and go left (yes, there was one traffic light in Colonet). So, we did that. Then it seemed like we were not really going the right direction. Lucky us, we saw a police vehicle. We flagged it down and asked the officers (showing them the map) how to get to the road we needed to be on. First they told us, then they just said to follow them. They led us out of town to the turn off to head back out to the Coast. Muchos gracias Officers!

Basically, we headed straight out to the water, and took a left to head South. It was about 9 or 10 miles out to the ocean. Once we were riding along the Coast, we saw some other riders camped out on a point. We waved as we rode by. Later we found out it was Adam, Tim, Brendan, Sherry, and one other.
Punta Colonet

Just after passing them we were not sure which way to go. The first road we went on led to a river, and we couldn't cross. We could see vehicles out on the beach. We went back, then worked our way out to the beach. Actually, it was more of a sea wall built with big rocks (think cantaloupe size). There were big bags of these rocks sitting around. It was very tricky to ride on, and soon we were walking (also not an easy task). We had to walk about an eighth of a mile before we were able to drop back down to the sand/dirt.

Just a bit of rockiness

We just kept following whichever road kept us close to the ocean. It was mostly flat, and we had a tailwind, so we were making pretty good time. At about 10:30, we came upon a surf/fish camp at Punta San Jacinto. It would have been a great camp spot except it was, well...10:30. There was even an old shipwreck just off the beach. We took a break and watched the pelicans fly by skimming the surface of the water.

The guys looking at the map

While we were at Punta San Jacinto, Adam, Tim, Brendan, and Sherry rolled up. Adam was talking about a way to get all the way to Vincente Guerrero without going on Mex 1. I had no objections to that, especially since Adam did have a digital map.

As we were rolling out, we saw three other guys. They were also doing the Baja Divide, but had started two days before us. We all took off together. It was pretty funny that there were so many of us, and we weren't even on the route!
That's Tim in the orange

As we were coming into Camalú, the four of us (me, Brent, Harry, and Herb), and Adam and Tim turned to continue along the Coast instead of hitting Mex 1. The others must have gone on into Camalú.

It was somewhat interesting riding. At one point, we rode through what appeared to be a dump. It's hard to say, though, because there is just so much trash everywhere. This area maybe had a bit more. We also had to hike-a-bike a couple of times to get up out of these drainages. But, there was more riding than not, and it was way better than being on the highway.

Eventually, we came to a place where we knew we needed to turn inland, but there was a fence--a big fence. At the end of it, there was another fence going down to the beach. Adam and Tim went ahead to see if there was a way through the fence that ran down to the beach. The barbed wire was just loose enough to go under with the bikes. The guys had to help me with MC as I couldn't get her up the sand to go under the fence. Once we were all through the fence, we headed inland toward town. We came to some strawberry fields where they were picking the berries (when you buy strawberries in winter, they come from Mexico). One of the workers came out and said the way ahead was a dead end. We needed to go back to the edge of the field and go right. We did that, then came to a gate. There was a lady there, and she kindly opened the gate and let us out. Yes, we had gone through the fence onto private property...oops!

Another half mile, and we were to Mex 1 in Vincente Guerrero. Well, the outskirts anyway. We rode along the highway until we saw a Fish Taco stand. We immediately pulled over and had some tacos. I had a fish taco, and a shrimp taco. Both were delicious, but I had put what looked like runny guacamole on mine, and it turned out to be something very spicy (for me). Holy Hot Lips Batman, my mouth and lips were on fire!!! After I finished the tacos, I put a bunch of lip balm on my lips in an effort to put out the fire. It didn't really help that much. I ate a bunch of jelly beans (the not spicy food I could get to first). That helped a little. I could have used some horchata!
Notice the Joy Ride bottle!

A couple of blocks down the road was FASS Bikes, the only decent bike shop on the bulk of the route. Salvatore, the owner, is a big supporter of the Baja Divide. He has a big map of the Peninsula in his store, and we all got to sign it. There were tons of people needing work on their bikes. MC (and Brent's bike too) are doing fine. All I wanted was a sticker, which I got.

Harry had asked someone about camping, and found out there was a campground just a kilometer down the road, and 2 km out toward the beach. I think it's called The Posada. Anyway, we are here for the next two nights as we are taking a day off tomorrow. It cost 150 pesos for two nights. That's about $8.00. There are hot showers (that at first looked a little...iffy, but turned out to be the best shower I've had so far), and a restaurant. The prices are high by Mexico standards, but I had three big smoked shrimp quesadillas, with beans, rice, guac, and a salad for 150 pesos (about $8.00). I couldn't even eat it all!
Home sweet home for two nights

Today was an adventure, but it was really fun, and we rode 45 miles--the most miles since we started. The tailwind certainly helped.

One bit of bad news turned better news, one of the guys, Ryan, got his bike stolen in either Erendíra or Colonet. He was eating at a taco stand, but his bike was out of his sight. Someone took off with it. It was eventually recovered when a guy who knows Nicholas and Lael saw some drug dealers trying to sell the bike. He bought it for 200 pesos, then, I'm assuming, called the police. Ryan got his bike back, but all his bags were gone. He's going back to San Diego to replace his gear, then rejoining the route. Harry, Herb, Brent, and I are pretty cautious with our bikes. We always leave one person with the bikes, unless we can see them at all times.

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