Jurassic Park, Sailing, and the King of Tacos

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We got Mulege’ed. What was supposed to be a day or two chillin in town ended up being a week. We spent 4 days in Mulege, hangin out at Don Chanos camp among the citrus trees; spending our days kayaking, fishing, and chillin with some crazy cats.

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Hangin at our killer camp spot in Mulege’

Our team then proceeded to pedal the 20km south to El Coyote. El Coyote is a beautiful bay within the bay of Concepcion. The cactus covered desert hills roll into pristine blue water in this horseshoe shaped beach.

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Cool sustainable shred van beached at el coyote. Had built in kitchen as well as solar panels making it completely self sustained when chillin on the beach.

Camp was made at a palapa on the beach belonging to our friend Paul who we met in Mulege’. Paul is an old hippie glassblower who lives in a purple house on the hill in Coyote. Unfortunately he was ill while we were there and we didn’t get to hang out with him much.

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Paul’s Palapa, El Coyote

We also met a young couple from California named Mark and Jen who were house sitting a cool house on the bay for an old couple before they journeyed off to Hawaii for the winter! We were planning on leaving the next day but ended up staying an extra day. This turned out to be great as we accomplished a bunch of cool stuff. We visited our new buddy Steve who lives on the mountain overlooking the whole bay. He inherited this radical house from his goodbuddy Jake who passed away a few years back. Steve is an oldschool cyclist from Nevada who grew up riding with Greg LeMond. He was telling us about the race he did last year in Hawaii where you climb from sea level to 10,000 ft up a volcano. Thats a serious climb ladies and gentlemen. Needless to say this guy is no joke. He has done the Baja 1000 off road race on a dirt bike in 13 hours. Finishing in 3rd place. Steve told us he was sick of motorcycle touring because of the speeding tickets and just wanted to do bike tours. His first bike tour was from Las Vegas NV to Missoula MT. Naturally he fell in love with it. Steve was stoked on our tour and wished he could join us.

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the view of El Coyote from Jake’s Place

After visiting Steve our other friend Shaun the sailor came and found us on the beach! He had been looking for us for a few days trying to take us sailing. We had just missed him that morning and it was great that he found us. Shaun said “You guys wanna go sailing?” To which we replied “YEA!” Shaun said “WELL LETS GO SAILING!!” We swam out to his 26 ft Catamaran and proceeded to rig the ship for an afternoon cruise out on the bay. Henry and Ike both have previous sailing experience whereas Bkoz and Tommy hadn’t spent much time out on the water. Once the cat was rigged we were ready to sail. Southerly winds prevailed as Hen steered the boat out of the bay while Shaun hoisted the jib sail. The cool thing about a catamaran is that it has two hulls and a trampoline connecting them so it doesnt need a centerboard for balance. A mellow cruise out on the bay, it was very enjoyable to do stuff other than biking. Sailing is an excellent means of sustainable transportation due the fact that is doesn’t use any fuel. Harnessing the wind as we zoom around the bay. The sailors we have met who live on their boats say, “Its a small house, with a big back yard!”

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Shaun explaining the sailor lifestyle

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B- Koz riding in front of the 26 ft catty

After this awesome sailing expedition we had to keep on truckin south! Finally back on the bikes we cruzed in and out of the mountains and the coast. On our way to Loreto we ran into a friend that we had just previously met in Mulege, Rick, who was picking up his family at the airport. He ended up being so excited on our tour that he wanted to buy us lunch. Gave us enough pesos for an awesome lunch of fish, carne and cabeza (head of cow) tacos with a salsa bar!!! We tried to see how many tacos we could eat. We ordered a grand total of 32 tacos and Tommy managed to out taco us by one taco with a grand total of 9 tacos. He is the current king of tacos.

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at the king of tacos ! Thanks Rick for lunch!!

It was here, at “El Rey Del Tacos” (The King of Tacos), that we met a very inspirational guy who also goes by Steve. He was a bike tour master, doing trips down through Mexico and into Central and South America. He did one trip that consisted of 14 days from Flagstaff, AZ to La Paz, Baja Sur! He said he was by himself doing 100-160 mile days! He ended up getting into a bike/car accident when he was riding his bike in his hometown of Flagstaff AZ. Now being in a wheel chair, he is still as stoked as ever but instead of riding the pavement, he now owns the water in the sea kayak. He said, “You make the choice if you want the day suck or not.” Leaving the taco shop with motivation and a super positive feeling of encouragement, we prepped ourselves for the large mountain pass that we had to ascend the following day.

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Woke up to the sea in the east and jagged mountains to the west. We started the climb in a place that had a very jurassic park feel and wouldn’t have been surprised if a Tyrannosaurus Rex was roaming around in the mountainous jungle or a pterodactyl was flying through the mountain peaks!

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Summiting the epic uphill felt great, everyone was glad to make it to Ciudad Insurgents where we met a nice family who owned the local water purification store. Ike asked them where to camp and they brought him to a spot behind the local veterinary tech school. We all biked there and had a nice safe spot to hang out. Even made our own chairs out of some old fuel filters which was a nice change up from the every day dirt seat. That night we decided that we wanted to try for the 100 mile (160 km) day in the morning.

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Leaving the beach for a mountain push!

After a good team meeting we all agreed that we should go for it as it was the flattest section and would be the best time to go for the century ride! Woke up before the sun to a bunch of semi saturated tents and a chilled feeling in the air. Needless to say we were all ready to hit the road. We did 100 km  before lunch and were feeling good. As is tradition, we took a nice siesta in the shade at Pancho’s cafe. The remaining 60km were rolling hills that burned with every pedal stroke! Eventually we managed the 160 kilometers which translates to 100 miles! An awesome accomplishment for our crew! Everyone was pretty knackered and there was still 78km to get to La Paz the next day to complete our Baja 1000.

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el cien – meaning 100. big day on the bike

We made an agreement before the tour that the sustainably south crew would pick up at least one bag of trash every week. Below is over 20 coca cola bottles that were all collected within 100 yards from this trash can in this amazing mountain range! Littering has been a big problem in Mexico and will get worse as we go to mainland.  There is no recycling that we have seen but we did run into a man that started the first composting business in Loreto called “earthcomp organic compost.” The creator of this company, Tim, has started to pick up compost from restaurants and markets around town and adds it to his garden where he grows fruits and vegetables. He gave us a mango and jalapeño jam that he made with all of his own mangoes and peppers.

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Coke bottles all gathered within 100 ft of this trashcan. Conserva limpia la carretera translates to “Keep the roads clean”

Everyone was exhausted as we made the final push to La Paz! The capital city of Baja California Sur. La Paz sits on a big bay on the Sea of Cortez. The beachside Malecon, harbors, and a mixture of funky shops make for an entertaining stroll, or in our case bike ride. We have been hangin out in La Paz the last day or so taking care of errands. We mailed a package full of Clif Bars to La Paz about a month ago and  after all the stories we heard about the Mexican postal system, we were surprised to find that they were waiting for us at the post office. La Paz has been super chill. We hang out at the Shack for happy hour beers and chill at the Hostel Pension California where we are staying. They have a sweet courtyard common area and a rooftop chill zone! We will be getting on the ferry to the mainland in a few days to start the next leg of the voyage!

sunset on the malecon , La Paz

sunset on the malecon , La Paz

 

You can ride without rhythm but always cruz with styleeeë

-Ike & Hen

O_o

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Salt mines, churches, oasis, and some fishin!

Guerrero Negro was a pretty sweet experience for the crew! We spent a few days resting and chillin at the Motel Ballena. We picked up supplies, and wrenched on our bikes. While we were workin on our bikes, we met this couple from Australia Bert & Jill who were biking south as well. They had some bike issues and were stranded in G Neg for a few weeks. We exchanged tips and tricks for life on the road. G Neg is a town on the west coast of the Baja. It lies just below the border between the states of Baja and Baja California Sur. The town  is known for its proximity to whale watching during the whale season. Unfortunately whale season isn’t till December so might not catch them. Also G Neg has the worlds biggest Salt Mine. We wanted to take a tour of the mine but thought it was going to be out of the budget. Henry’s friend of a friend, Roberto, ended up working at the mine so he gave us a free private tour of the never ending salt ponds. We interviewed Roberto asking how the environment is affected by these mining practices and he said the mine itself does not affect the environment as there is quite a bit of salt to go around.  The sea water is channelled into the flats and left to evaporate. The sun and the wind help the progress. Once the salt crystalizes it can be harvested. The salt is used for industrial purposes as well as for on the table consumption!

Salt truck waiting to collect salt
Salt truck waiting to collect salt
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chillin at the foot of salt mountain

We stayed at Roberto’s familys house in G Neg and they were very hospitable. The next day it was time to head east into the Desierto de Vizcaino. We covered a bunch of ground as it was pretty flat. In the town of Vizcaino the weirdest thing happened. This guy pulled over just outside of town to give us water and snacks. He ended up being a computer salesman on his way to La Paz for the mexican equivalent of Black Friday. Tommy, who was in the market for a lightweight travel computer ended up buying one from Edgar, the salesman. Crazy to be buying a computer on the side of the road in the mexican desert. Our team made camp in a really special section of the desert. Cactus with prickly pear fruits ripe for the eating and a crazy sunset to boot!

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Desierto de Vizcaino

The next mornings sunrise was equally awesome. We wanted to get to San Ignacio to watch the Mexico vs. New Zealand World Cup Playoff match. We ended up watching the game at Rice & Beans bar on the outskirts of town. The first leg of the playoff is in Mexico City at the Estadio Azteca. The Azteca with a 104,000 seating capacity and an elevation of  around 7000ft it is a notorious and  extremely hostile place for away teams to come and get a result. For New Zealand who have only qualified for the World Cup twice, it was the game of their lives! Mexico dominated the game at home and came out with a 5-1 victory. This was a huge result for them as if they lost it would be deemed a national failure! With the return leg of the playoff in New Zealand in a few days the Kiwi’s will need to score at least 4 goals to overturn the deficit! Since we will be living in Mexico for the next month and a half we are psyched that the mexicans are psyched!

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the azteca

After the game We rode through the desert till we came to an abundance of palm trees in a lush forest looking setting that is referred to as the “Oasis.” There are natural cold water springs that come up from underground and creates this amazing lush atmosphere in the middle of the desert.  After the pool we rode off the town street into a forest of date palms. We camped out and harvested some dates the next morning. These dates are a nice prune like fruit, good for snacks, and make it very possible to become outdated.

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foraging low hangin branches of a date palm

Going into to town we checked out the old town church, “Mision San Ignacio de Kadakaaman,” built in 1786. This striking church overlooks an extremely chill town square. After czechin out the church we boogied over to the spring fed lagoon and went for a well earned swim! It was nice to jump in the saltless water as most of our swims are located in the ocean. Leaving the Oasis was tough but the trip must go on! Back in the desert we rode another +100 km day and found a cool spot that yet again was covered in cactus and sand.

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Mision de San Ignacio de Kadakaaman, one of the most beautiful churches in Baja

Leaving the oasis of San Ignacio we cruised through the desert with the massive Volcan de las tres Virgenes towering on the horizon. this volcano is about 2ooom tall! Quite the elevation change from bottom to top. As we journeyed through the valley past the volcano, we got to the most incredible downhill that we have done yet! Hitting 50+, brakes out, whipping around corners and careening our way through the canyon to the coast!! Huge smiles on our faces we completed the steep asphalt descent and reached Santa Rosalia.

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in the valley with Volcan de las tres Virgenes in the background

Once in town we checked out the  Pre Fabricated Church in Santa Rosalia. It was designed by Gustav Eiffel, you know the dude who designed that big tower in Paris! The church was built for the 1889 for the World Fair in Paris. It was then disassembled and sent to Belgium for storage. The church was supposed to be shipped to Santa Rosalia in West Africa but was mistakenly shipped to Santa Rosalia Mexico! They were going to take it down once they realized the error but the locals were like “Yo thats our church!” So the local mining company Boleo signed the paperwork for it. In reality the church isn’t that aesthetically pleasing but more of a showcase of prefabricated architecture!

Gustav Eiffel's pre fab church

Eiffels prefabricated church!

With no where to camp that evening except the rocky beach next to the road, we went into town and asked the man who was working at the church as we felt like that was the safest bet. He told us to go to the police department and ask around.  After speaking with the police we stumbled upon the volunteer fire department headquarters who kindly allowed us to sleep in their fire station! It was great, cold showers, water, wifi, and a safe roof over our heads. They had a junior firefighter program that was going on and it was cool seeing the  little bomberos being taught CPR and what to do in different situations.

After this short stop we had a nice day in the mountains and punched out in the beautiful laid back town of Mulege! Lots of old hippies from Canada and the Western America states who are escaping winter. Hen being from Florida thought this was crazy as he has dealt with the snowbirds from up north before. But all the old people down here are so psyched on life. Everyone has been super friendly to us and hooked us up left and right! We were only supposed to be here for a few days but this could be postponed as we are becoming “muleged” (the new phrase that we have heard about from the locals).  This happens to people when they come to Mulege and can’t leave because of the super chill vibes everywhere. There are many ex pats and other travalers here that have been very inviting to all of us; giving us fish, letting us use kayaks/fishing gear, bringing us to the local shows and helping out in many other ways.

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We met this dude on the beach Aubrey. He has a sick homemade house boat made with 2 hulls and is a very sustainable choice when living right on the beach.  With the increase in crazy weather patterns, this rig is ready for any big storm that comes its way, They have gravity fed water and also solar panels that lights the small quaint home ship. This setup has littte impact on the Earth, and is a safe way to live in an amazing spot on the beach!

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Ike wrapping up a mans hand on beach who took a digger into some rocks. Ended up going to town with him and getting stitches in his hand

We have been sea kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and chillin hard in Mulege’. We have met a bunch of cool folks who have helped us out tremendously! We went out to sea this band play with all the old locals. It was a good old fashion party as everyone was getting down! After the party at Sr. Gecko; we piled in Pete & Sonyas van and cruised back into town. Town was poppin off with a fiesta in the square celebrating Expo Mulege’. A mexican band was ripping it up on stage with salsa/ maririachiesque music! It was fun to see some live music !!

We also met Sean the other night who seems like an old adrenaline junkie who has sailed all over the place. We told him we wanted to sail and he got all psyched up on the idea. Hoping in the next couple of days to do a trip of sailing as he said he can pick us up where ever we will be.

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Our buddy Rick  hooked it up with Kayaks to go fishin and explore the bay! Ike caught a Corvina and Hen a Grouper! Fish tacos for dinner YEA!

Were gettin Mulege’ed as we stay here another night. But its not hard to get when you live in an orchard full of citrus trees, friendly folk, and get to go fishin!

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To all our homies up north enjoying winter, catch a fish! not a cold!~

Ike & Hen

O_o

Expats, Crosswinds, Dr Seuss, and some boulders..

As we were posting our last blog at the interweb caf in Rosario Baja, B Koz talked to an old Ex Pat named Duffy. He said he used to be a part of Warm Showers which is a social networking site for bicycle travelers similar to couchsurfing, but he hasn’t been down south as much and has been off the web. Irregardless, good old Duffy invited us to stay at his ranch down the road for the evening. Naturally we were psyched for this opportunity as we had no clue where we would have ended up kipping for the evening. Duf said to come by Rancho viente tres (23). After the interweb update our team cruzed eastbound through the strip searching for the elusive Rancho 23. The beta from Duffy was about a mile down the street on the right. It felt like longer due to the fact our bikes were heavily loaded but eventually we found it. A glowing orange stucco wall with the sign Rancho 23, the place to be! We rolled in and Duffy was chillin there waitin for us. His dogs Xena and Toby were barking like wild as we approached. We set up camp at the back of the property and Duf invited us in for some dinner. Excellent. We planned on cooking but we are always psyched for a freebie! He hooked it up with cowboy beans, franks, and some slaw. You see theres Newtons Law, Murphy’s Law, and Cole’s Law; and coleslaw is definitely the best!!! The beans and franks were a nice change up from the mexican beans we had made our every day diet. After dinner we had a great conversation with Duffy. He’s an old Vietnam War Vet just loving life down in the Baja. We treated ourselves to the “Best Bathroom in Baja” which might just live up to its namesake!

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Duffy the Expat at Rancho 23!

In the morning we enjoyed coffee, cereal, and our fair share Fox News with Duffy! Rancho 23 is a chill place with sheep, goats, chickens, fruits trees, and peppers. Naturally we picked our fair share of fruits for the road.  Time to head out. The Mexico Routa 1 busts east towards the rolling hills as you climb out of the valley. Enjoyable climbing with a slight tail wind we rode until the mid day heat got to us. To beat the heat we set up a shade shed out of Hen’s tent and grubbed on some burritos. Passerby’s were psyched giving us honks as they enjoyed their air conditioned vehicles, not absorbing the elements of the desert. Eventually the day turned into the early evening and we searched for a place to rest our weary souls. We found an abandoned homestead that gave us the heebie jeebies and decided to trek down another long dirt road until we found a nice secluded spot that could handle our RB’s (Recreational Bicycle’s) (like RV but RB, due to the fact we had met so many Canadian’s with RV’s escaping winter) We digress, camp was great.

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post camp in the desert!

 

This was the day, THE DAY OF THE HEINOUS CROSSWINDS! Oh man what a day. The morning started out chill, but as we headed onward the wind picked up. This wasn’t your everyday pass your gas crosswind, this my friends was the crosswind that your mid-life crisis cyclist has nightmares about. I’m talking full desert exposure where the wind has so much power that it turns tumble weeds into bullet weeds! Could we give up with our tail between our legs and suck on our thumbs!? OF COURSE NOT! We dropped our noggins pushed through this billowing desert battlefield! This was probably the hardest day of our tour so far with the 40+ mph cross winds tearing directly into our souls questioning our motives with every pedal stroke. When semi trucks would pass there was a vortex created by the wind that would shake our very bones!! To combat the vortex we would just stop and pull off the road when big trucks would come by. Playin it safe, gotta live to pedal another day folks! Eventually we escaped this valley of the gnar wind and ended up in the Valle de los Cirios. The Cirios tree is something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, which looks like a giant inverted parsnip with a bit of a yellow fluff at the top! Wicked!~ As we meandered into this alien world big boulders appeared on either side of the valley. A nice relief from the heinous winds as it had subsided with the new topography. We made camp at  Rancho San Ines just past the town of Cataviña. At camp we met all the RVers that had blown by us in the desert! Some old timers  from BC, Al and Jackie were just looking for the elusive buzz that only comes from the good old ganja plant. Unfortunately we couldn’t help them but enjoyed their company.

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managing the psyche, battling the heinous crosswinds ~ attitude is everything !

Knackered from the heady crosswind day we were psyched as the road bent south again and we could harness a southbound tail wind. Sailing south the team flowed with high energy. A complete 180 from the terror that was the day before. Today the wind was at our back and we enjoyed it thoroughly! As we bellowed south our team encountered a massive boulder field similar to that of J- Tree or Hueco Tanks. We stopped and scaled some boulder only scratching the surface of what the mountain of boulders had to offer.  Climbing was a nice escape from the saddle of the bicicleta and it enabled us to exercise muscles that we hadnt tapped into in a while.

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Bouldering in the middle of nowhere! Hen working the proj! ~

The day of the heady tailwinds we covered 130 km. A new high for the team to cover so much ground. Along the route we met up with Al and Jackie, from Canada, they hooked us up with an ice cold gallon of water, which proved critical. They were still searching for the elusive high and once more we couldn’t help them as we were just simple bicycle travelers.  The next day we ended camp at the beach. Punta Santo Domingo. A small fishing camp 10 km west of the Baja Routa 1 but it was worth it to make it to the beach. Sleeping under the stars, waking up to the waves crashing on the shore, the next morning our the team made the last push after 5 days of desert cycling to the town of Guerro Negro, Baja Sur; where we copped a motel room to rest, relax, and enjoy not sleeping in the dirt for a few days. We are stoked to bring you this update and hope to have a video up soon !!

 

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Valle de los Cirios ~

 

Until then, may the pepper be the spice of your choice and the wind blow you in the direction that your going ~

Hen & Ike ~

O_o

Deserts, Beaches, and Swimming Pools…

We are just adjusting to life on the road. Our last couple days were spend riding about 50 miles a day and camping in some crazy spots. We rolled into Ensenada and hit up the port authority to get our passport stamped and grab a Mexican Tourist Visa. This was a good call incase we get asked for our documentos. Naturally in Ensenada the crew was psyched on some fish tacos! We camped on the beach which was pretty chill except Hen woke up to find his bike shoes were missing. Bummer.

camping under palapas on the beach in Ensenada

Cruisin Ensenada we got supplies at the mercado and Hen hitched a ride to the bike shop with some older surfer hippies in their van to the bike shop and scored some new bicycling boots! These would prove critical for Baja’s relentless hills; also it is nice to be connected to the bike!  Leaving Ensenada was pretty crazy. Most of the Mexican drivers are extremely respectful of cyclists! Once we got into the desert it was much nicer as there was less traffic. As the day drew closer to an end we were looking for somewhere to camp. At first we headed down this dirt road but this mexican dude told us not to camp there. The crew made the decision to push up the hill out of the valley. It was getting dark and we needed somewhere to camp. Ike and Hen went to Rancho Principe de Paz and asked Pancho if we could camp there. Without hesitation he allowed us to camp on the ranch. Apparently he has hosted many bicycle tourists from all over the world on his ranch over the years!

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Chillin at Pancho’s

The next day was a good day of riding out of the desert back to the coast!  To beat the mid day heat a siesta in the shade is critical. Finding a north facing aspect to chill under we read books and eat burritos at the heat of the day. We ended our day in Diaz Ordaz and once again were looking for a place to camp. Ike was talking to some of the locals and Antonio had the perfect camp for our team! The local swimming pool on the edge of town! It didnt have any water in it because it was closed for the season. What a sweet spot! Showers, bathrooms and picnic tables! Radical! We all just slept in our hammocks and listened to the sounds of partying in the village as it was Dias de los Muertos holiday!

Camp at an empty swimming pool ~ view from the slide! “Theres a pool, but no water!!!” says Antonio!

We were back on flat ground and made the 45 mile ride to San Quintin where we stopped at the tourist building and located a place to camp on the beach for a rest day. It was nice to take a day off from cycling and sit on the beach. Ike tried fishing but no luck. B-koz managed to steal a clam from a bird which we cooked on the fire. We hung out on the beach with a local mexican family and ate some sandwiches that they offered. We have also met a bunch of Canadians and West Coasters who are coming down for surf trips or escaping the winter.. just like us! Just a few minutes ago we met these crazy surfer dudes Christian and Chad who were touring on 29ers with trailers full of stuff!! They had everything including the kitchen sink! We thought our bikes were heavy but these guys had surf boards, fishing poles, etc. They reckoned they had 200 pounds of gear in their trailers! Its cool to meet people who are psyched on the same things we are!!

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mid day siesta is critical

Stoke is high as we will load up on supplies and make a long desert push hoping to get to Guerro Negro in the next couple of days and enter Baja Sur.. Until then stay frosty!  and keep your shorts free of sand O_o!