Friday, 4 January 2013

Chingonas and the final stretch of Baja to La Paz

More beautiful scenery as we make our way along the coast before turning inland again.
As myself and Nick were finally pulling out of Loreto we bumped into 3 Alaskan Pan American cyclists. I had heard about the guys from different people but this was the first time that I actually met these bearded folk. We exchanged details, had a quick comparing of notes and said that we would keep in touch.

No camping past this stone wall, so we found out!

Our first night camping outside of Loreto didn't go particularly smoothly. We had decided to camp in dunes by a lovely beach that had a large luxury hotel at one end. As it turned out we were too close to the hotel for the security guards liking and just after dark he came to move us. After a bit of toing and froing with the guy which involved 3 visits to our camp between asking his supervisor and then the supervisor asking his boss we were told to move. Even though this was quite the pain in the neck having to pack up our tent after dark the guy couldn't have been nicer about it. "Bill, malas noticias" were the words I didn't want to hear on his third visit to our camp - Bill, bad news! We only had to walk our bikes less than 200 metres past a certain wall where it was then okay to camp. The friendly guy had also explained to me about the local wild life in the dunes. He had arrived with a stick in hand which he reassured me was for "Los serpientes" When I inquired with my pigeon Spanish that these serpientes (snakes) weren't dangerous were they, he responded in no uncertain terms... "Si, muy, muy perlgroso" - Yes very, very, dangerous! So bears were not the only wild life with which I need to concern myself on the trip.

Some decent climbing to make our way away from the coast.

Beautiful mountain landscape

The next few days brought us away from coast and into the desert centre of the Baja peninsula again with some more beautiful landscape and some incredible sunsets.

Cooking up a storm before the sun goes down.

New Years Eve in the exotic Ciudad Constitucion was an interesting one. Being on a tight budget and still a few days cycle from La Paz (one of the few big towns in Baja), myself and Nick had discussed the merits of bringing the New Year in at some random wild camping spot in the middle of the desert or to stop at whatever nearest town we got to on the day. So Ciudad Constitucion had the privilege of being the location to bring in the New Year for 2013 and one of my more unusual New Years Eves too. We hit the town at about 10pm ready for a rare night out but slightly concerned by the lack of revellers to be seen out and about. Having quizzed various passers by who all told us that things wouldn't start until much later we were still surprised to hear that some places would not even be opening until midnight or after?! We spent over an hour in a bar that was fully decorated with balloons, with most of the tables reserved but where myself and Nick were literally the only people in the place apart form the bar man. Having spent too long staring at the door hoping and praying for people to walk in we decided to call it quits as we needed to cycle the next day. We brought the New Year in on the deserted streets on our way back to our not so fancy hotel with our tail between our legs!
On our way back a car drove by with some blaring music which is the norm in these parts. It pulled up and some girls shouted out the window at us! I shouted shouted back "Feliz Año Nuevo" and a minute later the girls DEMANDED that we get into the car with them so being polite gentlemen we obliged. My mammy had told me not to get into cars with strangers but despite being pretty excitable the girls did not seem overly threatening. As we had learnt to our peril in Loreto on Christmas Eve, when trying to locate the source of blaring music in the hope that it would be a busy bar, it is not uncommon for people to drive around towns with blaring music and essentially have the party in their car. Myself and Nick had finally made it to the big time as we cruised the streets of Ciudad Constitucion in a party car ....Aaaaoooouu!! Among other things the girls gave us a crash course in Mexican slang. The catch phrase for the night was "Chingonas" which roughly translates to Bad Asses! After cruising the streets in the party car and learning the essentials of Mexican slang we eventually went to a night club which quickly filled up, when I say quickly, it was probably about 2am by this stage. Anyway despite the very quiet start we had a great New Years Eve, Constitucion-style with some Mexican bad asses!

Almost the end of the road for me in Baja. 
Nick fixing one of many punctures.

A few days later we made it into La Paz, our last stop in the spectacular first chapter of Mexico coming down Baja California. On our day into La Paz poor Nick suffered the full wrath of the Baja cacti getting about 5 punctures.

Kanaan, one of the Alaskan cyclists testing out an alternative to the bike.

La Paz seemed to be quite the magnet for travelers and among others we ran into the Korean and Alaskan cyclists again, numerous motor bikers and a US/Brazilian couple who were driving from Chicago to Brazil.

Shark on the Malecon made out of old plastic bottle to raise awareness about pollution in the sea

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