Rain, sand, mud and sun

We were joined at the Mission Hotel in Catavina by Bec (Utah) and Roel (Netherlands) who are both riding the route independently. Wet weather held us up an extra day and we all decided to leave Catavina after lunch on a clearing forecast to start the journey back out to the Pacific coast.

Not long after we biked out of town the persistent rain started and we endured a wet few hours of riding to an ecotourism lodge which was 30km from town (and 8km off the route). Luckily the track surface was granite sand and so there was no major mud problems. There was a final short steep climb to our nights accommodation. The lodge was built out of local rock, cactus and wood.

Salvador and his sons greeted us and we had a warm and entertaining stay in the rustic building. The roaring fire melted both Becs gloves and the backside of my old bike shorts. Fortunately for anyone who had to bike behind me I had bought a skort (skirt-shorts) back in the Fass bike shop so had another backside option.

The sun returned the next day and loaded up with 9 litres of water and 3 days food we carried on westwards. This is the longest stretch with no resupply options for food and water. We struck some pretty muddy sections in the morning and progress was slow but fortunately the track got drier as the day progressed and Alan and I eventually made it to San Jose del Faro on the coast by 4pm. The others were slowed up more from the mud because of their lack of wheel clearance and because they are hauling much bigger loads on their bikes so we didn’t see them again for a couple of days.

With an hours light left we decided to push through to the next beach. Whilst it was only 11km away, these are Baja kms so can easily be multiplied by a factor of 1.5. There was a strong westerly at the coast which pushed us up the first steep climb. With light fading we raced down the final hill to Playa Cuchillo hoping to find a campsite out of the bitter wind.

The gods of accommodation were generous and the deserted northern end of the beach yielded a very basic hut with floor space for 2, and best of all a large rusty gas bottle and burner, heaven after a tough day. We slept well, the mouse got some fresh snacks and the sunrise next morning was sublime.

From the Playa Cochilla the route follows the Seven Sisters surf coast to south of Santa Rosalita. The Seven Sisters are 7 surf breaks off points and we had to share the rough tracks with a few, predominantly Californian, surfers. 

‘Are those bikes e-powered?’ and ‘Are you guys out on a day ride from a basecamp?’ were 2 particularly intelligent questions we got asked by one chap but we forgave the ignorance when offered water (we still had plenty) and given a fat juicy orange.

The tracks were a lot faster travel down the coast but it would have been a different story 2 days ago after the rain. It was nice getting elevated views of the sea as we climbed over the succession of headlands that produce the famous waves.

Our second night on the coast was at a small beach south of El Cardon (a popular surf and camping spot) before the route headed inland for the reputedly worst washboard of the route. Our expectations were low so we were pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t too bad and much could be avoided following little locals tracks that paralleled the road.

We arrived at the sweet little beachside town of San Rosalita around the middle of the day which gave us time to chip and wash the solid mud off our bikes and visit El Cactus cafe for fish tacos and a margarita! Heaven.