I woke up to a gorgeous morning. Just enough wind to keep the dew off my tent.
Not so warm at first, but soon the morning clouds burned off. It got hotter. I decided to trust that someone was going to show up and bring me water. Baja’s not so empty. Anyway, I had enough to get me through the day.
The route followed the coast and it was beautiful. The water actually sparkled. The rocks were twisted and beaten into all kinds of spectacular shapes. Even the cacti were cute.
I ate my last tuna packet. The corn tortillas were starting to crumble. I’d be down to the leftover pct food by the end of the day. Just knowing that soon I’ll be eating couscous and oatmeal started the food obsession. Maybe tomorrow I’d get to a restaurant and then I would eat all the food.
The going got harder. I went through a low boggy bit and got mud all over my bike, great big sticky globs like peanut butter, all up in the parts. I scraped off most with a tool I’d found on the road yesterday. I thought I’d give it to someone in exchange for water. Not sure what kind of tool, but it looked high quality. Also handy for scraping mud off bikes.
Afternoon and my water was getting lower. Three liters left. My solution, just don’t drink any water. Think about something else. Churro ice cream sandwich. Both my thumbs were cracking. The night before, I put glue from my patch kit on them. Iced horchata latte. No clouds in the sky and another sand hill to push my bike up.
The road turned away from the coast line. The desert got long. At least the dirt road flattened out. The miles started to add up. And then, late in the afternoon, there it was. A Toyota drove towards me. Surfboards strapped to the roof. I stopped, pulled off an empty water bottle to wave around.
My water angels were three dudes from California, one from pretty close to where I grew up. Faith restored, I rode on the next few miles. I did some slow math in my head, trying to add up the mileage for the last couple days. I was sure the surf camp was coming up, any minute, just around the next bend in the road. And finally, there it was.
A cluster of Toyotas and vans were dry-camped around the cove. A line-up of surfers bobbed in the waves, ready for sunset. I found a post to lean my bike against and then ran up a dune. The sand dunes stretched out unbroken as far as I could see. There was a spit of land over the ocean, above the surf. I ran across the dunes, towards the setting sun, the whole sky blazing with color.
Later I met the neighbors, a crew of guys from North Carolina who make a yearly Baja surf pilgrimage. “Just a heads up, there’s a bug going around, people getting kinda sick out here.” I kept my hands in my pockets. No thanks, rotavirus.