I heard some noises in the night. Footfalls and the crunch of breaking sticks. I turned on my headlamp, saw some animal eyes out in the brush. A little scary but probably a cow.
On the road I saw the kayak guys again, they said I was close to Rancho Escondido. Today’s desert looked greener than before but all the plants were still pokey. Pokey grass, bushes full of thorns. The road started bumpy. Then I climbed a great big hill. After that the road got smooth and flat. For the first time in days I could work up some speed.
I came to an intersection with multiple options. Playa San Francisquito had a nice ring, but it was 15 km to the beach. I rode to Rancho Escondido. It was empty except for the caretaker and 2 dogs and 2 cats. He said there was no food but did I want coffee? How about some meat? We sat in the garden eating hunks of meat off a wood stove. I’d recovered my Spanish ability enough to have actual conversations now.
The owner Oscar drove up and cooked me some fish and rice. It was awesome. Then he filled up all my water bottles. I signed the guest book. Saw a few more Baja Divide riders. I love that we all draw pictures. It would’ve been a fun place to stay. There were little cabins. I wanted to get in more miles.
So I headed out, first onto a deep sand road, then a big ass hill. Good thing I ate a healthy lunch! Once my bike fell and the seat nailed my calf. It made this big horrifying dent in my calf muscle. It hurt like a bruise and nothing worse, but that dent looked freaky. Towards evening, it was a really pretty desert, nice wildflowers, probably have some hidden thorns. I mooed at the wandering cows. I pitched my tent in soft sand under a shaggy yucca.