I had myself another break in Mulegé. Hotel Hacienda had a swimming pool. I went in with my sleeping pad and squished it down into the water to find the leak. Which sounds a lot easier than it was. I met some other Baja Divide riders but they were the serious speedy sort of riders that start at 5am.
I met all sorts of interesting people at Hotel Hacienda. It’s not the sort of place that gets pissed at guests being loud in the courtyard late at night. A herd of motorcycle riders pulled in one night. They were all slightly deaf and yelly. I also met some refugees from the Paradise fire. A couple who said their house had burned flat. They still had a camper van. They had plans to move to Colorado.
(How long before there are refugees from climate change events all over? City killer fires in the west, Antarctic freezing in the north, mass flooding on all coasts? Does anyone else think about things like that?)
Eventually I made it down to the end of the river where the fishermen put in their boats. After some negotiations, I found a guy named Jorge willing to take me across to the peninsula. He brought his son Jorge. Getting my heavy bike onboard was no easy feat. We managed it without dropping it into the water. The ride across took about half an hour. It seemed choppy to me. But I hadn’t been in a little panga like that in ages. Probably it was completely normal. My hat tried to blow off into the water. Jorge caught it, like a boss. They dropped me off on a beach. Both Jorges looked a little worried about leaving me on a deserted peninsula. I tried to convey confidence. “Esta bien! Gracias!”
After they left, I realized that I wasn’t really in the right place according to the GPS. I was one beach over, just around the bend really. No big, I’d just walk over there. Which turned into an ordeal of bushwhacking through tall pokey bushes. But soon enough I came to a scattering of fishermen shacks. And some tourists? Walking around with parasols, exclaiming over my bravery and sweatiness. I guess there are day trip boats that come over.
The next couple miles of trail were deep sand and treachery. I managed to ride maybe one-third of it. I fell a bunch of times, mostly in the sand. Once on rocks and I gouged up my knee pretty good. Also I fell into a bush and a stick went up my nose. On the beach, I found a dolphin skeleton. The backbone was still connected. The teeth in the skull were fascinating. I took one break to go splash around in the water. I met a lazy pufferfish. It swam with its top fin flopping out of the water and didn’t bother trying to swim away when I stood near it. Not that I was going to touch it.
After a few hours of heaving and cursing and drinking far too much water, I came to something that resembled a rideable track. There were tire tracks, maybe from motorcycles or fat tire bikes. I only had to push occasionally. The track meandered around the flats between the mountains to the east and the bay. By the time the sun was setting, I was exhausted and a little bloody. I found a camp on water’s edge. There was tons of drift wood for a campfire. I found someone’s coffee sock, still full of grounds, hanging in a bush. Everyone enjoys a nice cup in the morning.