I left San Ignacio relatively early on whatever day that was due to waking up early and another night lacking sleep. Going into town I could really see the destruction the flooding caused. Sidewalks were basically washed away from everything else, garbage in trees, people still obviously cleaning up. The town itself was beautiful and probably the closest thing to “quaint” that Ive seen so far. Riding on to Mulege it was obvious it had also sustained a lot of damage. Nice hotels with little cabanas were destroyed and things looked like a garbage dump, way more so then can be usual here. From there I had an easy ride on to Loreto.
By easy I mean a short day mileage wise. In the scheme of things it wasnt that easy. Lots of twisty roads, a few I was able to capture on film, most not as there are basically no shoulders on the roads here ever, and few places to turn off, most of which can be either deep sand or loose gravel but either way a good 6 inch or more drop off onto a tiny area to pull off. So what do cars and trucks do when they break down? They stop in the middle of the road, something I witnessed a few times on this stretch of road. Big semi trucks just stopped on a twisty road through the mountains.
I pulled into Loreto early and grabbed some lunch. I would love to tell you that Im eating all sorts of great tacos and such but being allergic to peppers makes this difficult. After filling up on a delicious salad that did not make me sick I went in search of a hotel or motel or something. All the places Id been referred to looked either closed or full and after being chased by a dog I wound up at what looked like an overpriced and nice hotel. Overpriced it was but nice was nowhere to be found inside the rooms. I couldnt believe Id paid so much for nothing.
Eventually after a quick shower I walked into town to see what was going on and search for computers, books, etc. As I walked the main drag there seemed to be more commotion then usual. Sure cars were driving around, windows open bumping everything from Mexican polka to Michael Jackson’s “Bad” but there were people yelling out of the cars, people driving around with their car alarms going off, people waving flags. My first though of course went to soccer. Did they, or Mexico or someone win a game? But then it was made clear to me:
Yup, I managed to be in Loreto on its birthday! Now, suddenly the craptacular hotel seemed a little less stupid. Walking around I found what has to be the best part of Baja thus far. Freshly made sorbet, made from real fruit even. Delicious.
While there was a concert with some big band from the North (Tijuana maybe?) I decided to get to bed relatively early and hit the road early too. I actually managed to leave town by 8am, no small feat considering finding breakfast was difficult. If I wanted glass for a picture frame I’d have been set, but apparently restaurants open later than glass shops.
The ride today was mostly completely straight. And that brings us to a funny part of Baja… The signs. On these perfectly straight highway stretches the speed limit is usually 60. That’s 60 km per hour, not miles, which even then is still too slow. I’m easily doing 70mph on these roads. And when the roads get curvy and crazy? Speed limit goes up to 80km per hour. OK. Sort of like the curves. Today I saw barely curving roads marked clearly. Honestly I don’t know that I would have known the road curved were it not for the arrows! And then of course there are really hard corners and switchbacks with no markings whatsoever. And of course signs for gas or food that either has never been there or hasn’t been there in years and years. Mainly I just spend time laughing at the signs and being surprised when they are actually true.
So now I’m in La Paz and thinking I’ll hit the loop around the bottom of the peninsula tomorrow. Then maybe back to La Paz and a day off from the bike, the first since I left Seattle. I need it, my body is screaming at me. And I’ll especially need it since I’m thinking of beating feet back to Seattle fairly quickly after the rest. I’d like to have a few days of rain and cool in my home before returning to the basement.