The wild roads of the Sierra San Pedro Martir

The forecast was for some rain, so despite the shorter 40km day planned from Erendira we left early. With high tide and a good swell there were water spouts ejecting out of the rocky platformed coastal edge.

The route climbed inland before traversing a large plateau incised by some deep and steep sided arroyos (gullies) that we had to cross, quite often needing to push out of them. The Baja 1000 motorised race comes through this section every November and in places created pump track like features which were fun to ride especially when combined with a downhill gradient. Being lightly laden meant that we could really enjoy the terrain features.

We arrived at Punta Colonet, a town bisected by the ever busy Mex1 highway, by midday buzzing from the ride and just as the drizzle was setting in. We had to run the gauntlet of bike chasing dogs all the way up the climb to Motel Escondida tucked far enough away from the highway to lose the road noise.

Next morning we tucked into breakfast burritos and champurada (a sweet chocolate/cinnamon/milky brew) at a roadside stall before heading hillwards for a tough 2 day stretch into the mountains. As it turned out conditions were pretty good under wheel for the ride up a long valley and the steepening climb up to a marble mine high on a ridge top.

The men there offered us water and said many a rider has come past some dragging their bike sideways because of the mud. Some even returning back down when they learn that it gets a whole lot worse going forward. Some bikers doss down in the accommodation hut. The owner told us that post COVID container transportation to China had risen 650% so he was having to explore other options for the marble product.

Views from the mine and along the ridges that followed, over the Sierra San Pedro Martir mountains were big.

The track on to Rancho Coyote WAS a lot rougher but in the dry it was mostly rideable. Nearing the ranch, as the sun was dropping fast, we struck the worst of the washed out track as it passed thru a wonderfull granite boulder landscape.

We camped under a full moon at Rancho Coyote, not cheap but gave us access to a hot shower, hot burritos and nice grass and is partly appreciation for being allowed access thru the private ranch land. Other recreational interests on the ranch land include quail hunting.

At 900m and with a clear night it was a frosty early start for the east ride to Rancho Meling, run for many years by a Miss Meling of Norwegian origin who until she died ran the ranch and started up a tourist hospitality business. The hour long wait for a cooked breakfast made us a bit twitchy as we knew it could be another long day. 60km doesn’t sound far for a day on the bike but the Baja Divide distance/time scale certainly lowers expectations somewhat.

The 16km beyond the breakfast ranch was challenging both on the ups and downs but had memorable roller coaster sections.

We dropped eventually to a short section of fast highway before a final grunt over a low range to the Mex1 highway and a night at Hotel California (one of the many) in Camalu. It was a short hop the next morning along the coast to Vicente Guerrero and a well earned day and a half off the saddle. Through lack of options we ended up at the Posada San Martin hotel $1130 a night – pesos that is ($97NZD). Very flash Spanish colonial, infinity pool and his/hers sinks in our room. There is going to be a lot more camping going forward so we lapped it up.

It was also a chance to eat well and to sort brake pads and other minor bike issues at the Fass bike shop. Salvador, the shop owner, is a bike saviour for many who roll in with broken bits. It will be a long while to the next bike shop.