So my last blog had me surfing. Since then (5 days) I have covered over 225km and now find myself in a lovely little campground in Vincente Guerrero.
In that time I have started to fall in love with Baja. I don’t want to speak to soon and find myself in trouble but everything you hear in the US about Mexico is so so wrong. People here are kind and really want to help. Nearly ever car that passes honks and waves and people come up and take photos with this weird runner.
The first day saw me following the road south to San Miguel, just north of Ensenada. The road was closed but the general consensus was that if I just went for it I would find a way and despite some initial resistance it all worked out. I have to admit that the stroller had to be lifted into a pick-up to get over the road works but I think we can make exceptions for natural obstacles like landslides. It was nearly a no go and I had to adopt a petulant child attitude to get the workers to help but persistence paid off. San Miguel was where my new friend Justin was staying and him and his friends made sure I had an awesome time! (what goes on tour etc)
The next day I hit the road nice and early, eager to get some proper miles under the belt. On the way through Ensenada managed to bought a new SIM card and sorted out a bit of admin like refilling the larder! Today was the first day that Mexico felt like what I had hoped Mexico would be like. Up to now it had been very much a Mexico/US blend with taco shops and Walmart mixed together. Once out of Ensenada it was becoming more rural and villages where replaced with rolling hills and a surprising amount of dead dogs!! Yikes!! At km 40 I managed to find a campsite and set up for the night, excited to be cooking on my Trangia again.
Since the clock change the days have got shorter which adds a further challenge to my day. But on the positive side it means I am tucked up in bed by 7!!!
The next day I set my sights on San Vincente which was about 60km away. It was an ambitious target considering the rolling hills and the heat but one I felt comfortable with achieving.
The countryside here is amazing with an awesome blend of reds and browns dotted with cacti and trees. It is sad to see so much rubbish at the side of the road. Conservation and recycling are two things that don’t seem to have been adopted by the Mexican people.
Just before I hit my target I came across a small farm shop at the side of the road and popped in and asked if I could camp. The lovely lady waved to a flat bit of ground next to the shop and close to the loos and refused to take any money. After 54km I would have been happy with anything so this was paradise. The problems arose later when the generator started. This was to be the intro to the nights soundtrack. At about 12 the generator stopped and the dog began barking. I have no idea how but he managed to go for it solidly until 4am. At this point he handed over to the cockerel who sung till about 6 when the generator started again. I did manage to get some sleep but the ear plugs I lost would have been awesome!
Next morning I was up and out and had my target set on Colonet about 42km south. After a small banking problem (thanks Mel and Shep) I got properly underway. The run way pretty easy going but the scenery was changing and becoming even more dramatic. Long stretches of road with vineyards (surprised me a little too) on either side would end with a climb over the hills. When you stopped and looked back the views were truly amazing.
I finally arrived in Colonet and found a hotel for the night. I thought I was splashing out but it turned out that there were a few of us traveler types staying there and it was nice to swap stories and plans with them.
Today has to win the prize for beautiful scenery! The roads were, for the most part, long with red sand stretching back to the rolling hills. Mini sand twirls danced across the desert and tumbleweed actually rolled across the road in front of me. What excites more is that everyone says that the next stage is going to be even more impressive. I can’t wait to experience that.
With a daily average of about 45km a day at the moment people maybe wondering what the rush is. Well I have found myself in Baja at the same time as the Baja 1000 race and if I can get to El Rosario by Thursday lunch then I can watch the bikes and off road trucks racing…. Definitely something to aim for. I am also lucky to have some accommodation sorted there so that could mean a nice little day off before I head into the real gnarly desert with huge cacti, spiders and maybe even a few rattle snakes!! Very exciting!!!
***sorry for any typos – quickly typed in my tent****
Written on my Nokia Lumia 1020