So we get out of Mulege pretty early, having learned our lessons. We rode up and down till we finally see the beautiful Sea of Cortez and a small community at Coyote Bay below us. We decide to stop and get water (a typical thing at any roadside spot) and end up talking with an Americano. He got us plenty of water and sent us in the direction of Lucy, who runs a hostal. We’d decided to call it quits for the day as it was so damn hot.
We sat around for about an hour and about then a group of three enduro riders pulled up. All three are Australians (two had been working in BC and the third joined them there). They were on their way to Chile and anyplace in between which caught their eye. A darn good group of adventurers. They knew they were crazy for motorcycling the way down and were pretty sure we were even more daft than they were. They were kind enough to tell us they would place a gallon of water 20k down the road for us.
They took off after a couple hours and we decided that we’d leave after we ate some dinner (hey who knows when we might find another place?). Dom is pretty good at putting down the chow, so I ordered up some fish, chile rellenos and a pork torta (mexican sandwich). It wasn’t the best but was certainly filling! Oh how I regretted that! As we pedaled up the hills I realized that eating a big meal (even if it might be your last) isn’t conducive to hard pedalling! Ah well.
As we came down a hill my bike started to handle kind of odd and it wasn’t long before I realized I had a rear flat tire….WTF…I’m riding Schwalbe’s damnit! We pulled off and Dom is pretty certain that it’s the way Raphael installed the tire liner as the cause. Regardless we put in a new tube, patched the old tube and were off…but not before something stung/bit my rather large right butt cheek as I was bent over with the tire issue. Damn!
Anyway as it was getting dark Dom and I realized we needed to push it to get to our night time stop area. I’ve got a great headlight and Dom a great taillight…unfortunately the way we bike wasn’t conducive to utilizing either at their best…ah well!
We got to our destination and at first thought it was a deserted hotel….well it was …kind of? As we began walking by the front of it I was surprised to see a young man sitting on the veranda (turns out he is a worker for the hotel trying to get it back into shape). However, a short distance away we can see a dim light on and hear the sounds of a TV. There is the problem of getting there. It’s so damn dark out we didn’t see a driveway to the other place, but we did spot a rather broken down foot bridge crossing to it. I shined my light on Dom and he went across.
I was going across when I heard someone shout to turn the light off. A short time later we met with Mark, the owner of Playa Buenaventura, a combination of homes and restaurant. It’s a wonderful oasis and just what the doctor ordered. They enjoyed kidding me the following morning for ordering four beers, handing one to Dom and downing the rest! Hey it was cold…and wet…and I was thirsty!
One of the crew there was Peter. It turns out that Peter is a cycle tourist as well. He was going to leave the following morning and we decided to cycle together. A few beers later we crashed on the patio.
Next morning Dom and I were up early. Peter heard us and eventually rolled out of his tent. He told us he was going to have coffee and breakfast and would catch up with us a we rode. So without further adieu off we went.
As usual Dom was out of sight in no time leaving me to myself…but it wasn’t long before I had company…not Peter, but a skip…in my chain! Somehow, for some reason my chain was skipping as I pedaled along. This may not seem like much but it’s a real issue when you’re climbing and a semi is going past and it skips. It tends to unbalance you a bit.
Peter caught up with me and I told him the problem. It took a while but finally I caught up to them at a little roadside spot. We found there was a kink in the chain, but none of us really knew what to do about it. I hate to say it, but I was pretty friggin’ demoralized. As we pondered the issue, Mark from Playa Buenaventura pulled up in his truck. He comes to this spot with his water trailer to fill it up and take back. I decided to hitch back to his place in hopes of catching a ride into Loreto where I’d meet the guys.
I ended up staying a full day with them. They are awfully good people and I appreciated the assistance they gave me. Mark’s wife Olivia made some outstanding soup that went a long way to my mental and physical recovery. Mark and his son Nathan talked me into going swimming in that beautiful blue water and it too helped my spirit.
They told me that a friend would be swinging by later to join us for spaghetti dinner. Well it turns out that Steve, a Reno guy, is a bicyclist as well and he agreed to giving me a ride the following morning into Loreto. Life is good.
Steve and I had a good ride into Loreto. He’s a kindred spirit and I look forward to having the opportunity to return the favor to him in the future. He’s 61 (doesn’t seem it) and is currently training to do a race in Maui up the volcano on his bike in August. I’ll look forward to hearing about it.
I had read about a bike shop in Loreto and that’s where we went…Manny’s.
It wasn’t long before Dom and Peter joined us and not long before Manny had my bike up and running…as well as Peter’s. Manny is a remarkable craftsman and anyone in the area would be well to stop by his shop.
After the bike shop we had lunch with Steve before he headed off to home. He’s got to finish packing as he will be in Reno for the next few months waiting for things to cool off down here. I had some running around to do in Loreto and they guys were good enough to make sure I didn’t get too lost along the way.
They stayed with an Americano living here in Loreto while I chose the San Martin Hotel (on Benito Juarez Blvd.)…I enjoy A/C!
We’re going to meet tonight for a few beers and we’ll be leaving early in the morning for Ciudad Insurgentes (it will take at least two days so won’t have internet). Stay tuned!