Woke up at sunrise in the land of boojums. Cows mooed somewhere in the distance. This is one of my favorite parts of Baja, the cirrios and cardon. It wasn’t nearly as cold as the night before. During the night the clouds had rolled in. I walked up a little hill to watch the sunrise color the sky.
Looking at my guide and maps, I realized that I’d missed a town. How did that happen? Maybe it was when I was riding on the beach? Or maybe it was that store and two restaurants, and I didn’t realize that was Nueva Odisea. No wonder I almost ran out of water. But I was only a few miles from the highway. I could have kept going by headlamp and made it before too late.
This part of Baja is such a garden of odd delights. A little creepy, the boojums do look like tentacles and they’re huge. If they suddenly came to life, I wouldn’t last two seconds of that movie. It was so quiet. Occasionally a bird tweet in the distance. Twice a hummingbird buzzed by my head, too close. Do hummingbirds ever accidentally impale things with those stabby beaks?
I came to a ranch and there was an old vaquero on a brown horse. He had two dogs. The small one wanted to follow me. The cowboy called good morning and then asked how many people were following. He said I’d ridden 100 kilometers across the desert. Could that be right?
Soon I could hear the trucks on the highway. I passed an RV parked on a hill and then a small pack of kids of bicycles, yelling and riding hard. I pulled into the little restaurant called El Sacrificio. I ordered breakfast and checked the weather. Those clouds in the sky weren’t kidding, it was going to rain on me.
I decided to take the highway and ride on to Catavina.
I got on the highway. It was mostly okay. The truckers were extra polite, pulling over at least three meters. The fat RV with the Arizona plates, not so much. The traffic wasn’t bad, wide stretches with no cars at all. But eventually comes the time when there were cars in both directions and no shoulder at all.
To remind drivers of the dangers, the roadside was full of crosses and memorials.
Tiny balls of hail started coming down, not hard but then it turned to rain. I held on for another hour until I was too cold. I pulled into another restaurant. I wasn’t hungry but I drank coffee and juice until I was warmer. The family at the restaurant had a big cast iron stove in the kitchen with a little calico cat curled up in front. I asked how much for the cat and the lady said I could have it for free.
I got good and chilled to the bone by the time I made it to Catavina. I’d read that there was only one hotel in town and it cost US$70. I was cold enough to pay any price. I pulled into the first hotel and there was another mountain bike parked outside a door. I met JD, the French guy, who told me that his hotel was cheap but the water wasn’t hot. Thank you, next. I checked into the fancy place and cranked up the heater. I met JD and some motorcycle tourers at a cafe for dinner. They had pie there. Also those round Rosca de Reyes cakes. I’d like to buy one. I could wear it around my neck like a horse with a wreath.
I’m going to team up with JD for the next part. It looks a long way with no water.