Thursday, February 2, 2017

Feb 1--The Ever Present Vultures, and Entertaining the Local Niños

We left our little casa at 7:30 this morning. Because we were down in the canyon, it was colder than the past couple of days. Plus, we didn't have to climb a stinkin' hill first thing! We thought we would have pavement for the first 10 miles. No, no we did not. I commented to Brent that the dirt road we were on was the worst pavement I'd ever ridden! In fact, we had zero pavement all day.

Overall, there weren't many climbs. At least nothing like we've had for the last two days. There were a couple that we walked up, but that was mostly due to the looseness of the road surface. There was one rather nasty one, but still nothing like the others.

Not long into today's ride we saw several vultures sunning themselves on top of the cactus. They made the cactus look like a totem pole. We have seen vultures every single day of this ride, but never sunning themselves. It was pretty cool.

We had another day of river crossings. We rode most of them. There was a definite pattern. We'd be riding along, then the track would start to get very sandy. It would drop down a hill (sometimes big, sometimes small), then get very rocky as we either crossed water or didn't, then get very sandy again as we climbed away from the river bed. Sometimes the sand was too deep to ride. Brent seemed to have more problems than I did, until...I crashed. But, it was the softest crash ever!!! It didn't hurt at all. Just got a bunch of sand in my shoes and gloves.

There were no towns with any services the entire day. We passed a number of ranchos, and met up with many herds of goats. There was a cute donkey, and a couple of foxes too. Although it was cooler in the morning, it got plenty warm in the afternoon. It pretty much felt like I had a mouth full of cotton no matter how much water I drank.

We had 56 miles to Ley Federal de Agua Numero Uno. Yes, that is the name of the town, and yes, there is a Ley Federal de Agua Numero Dos. We finally rolled into town close to 4:00. More than anything, we wanted something cold to drink. After riding around a bit, we finally found the tienda. We each bought sodas, and I also bought orange juice. I was sitting out on the front step of the tienda drinking my Coke when the clerk in the tienda brought me out three warm burritos wrapped in foil. They were a bit spicy, but I didn't care. They were delicious! At first Brent didn't think he wanted one. I told him he had to eat the last one. Besides, we weren't having much luck finding a restaurant. We also bought agua, and I resupplied my candy bar selection. Now we probably have more water than we need for tomorrow, but tomorrow's ride is not supposed to be challenging.

I asked the tienda guy where we could camp. He said El centro. We rode back to the plaza (a publico parque). I told Brent I thought the gazebo would make a fine camp spot. There were a number of kids around. One kid (I have no idea how to spell his name), hung out with us while we did some much needed maintenance on our chains. He was on a BMX bike. After we lubed our chains, I cleaned and lubed his chain. It was missing a few plates, but it still worked. I hope it wasn't all the grime holding the chain together!
Our little amigo

Pretty soon we had quite the cadre of kids, mostly boys, hanging out with us. They ranged from 10 to 13. They had a soccer ball that they threw up into the basketball hoop. The only problem was there was a string tied to the bottom of the net, so the ball couldn't come out. Brent put one of the taller boys on his shoulders and the kid got the ball out.
Brent helping out

Tug O' War

Finally, we decided to go ahead and set up our tents in the gazebo. The boys were quite entertained with that. We brought our bikes up into the gazebo too. The bigger boys helped me get MC up the stairs. It's been fun watching these kids play. It's interesting, there are about 14 kids, all boys. Where are all the girls? Now it's dark (but only 7:30), and they are playing soccer on the basketball court. The court is lit with big lights. No idea how long those lights will stay on. Could be a bright night. Oh, and now there is an exercise class going on in the building next to the basketball court. The music is very loud from where we are. I think it must be deafening inside! It looks something like Zumba.

One downside to our "campsite" is that there are no baños. problemo yet (dehydration has its positives). Last night, in San Javier, things quieted down around 8:00. May be a little later here...
Vultures settling in for the night on the cell tower

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