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Cabo San Lucas

posted Dec 13, 2009, 8:30 AM by Paul Gareau   [ updated Dec 16, 2009, 1:51 PM ]
Hola! I got into Cabo San Loco (as the locals call it) yesterday night. It's a real tourist trap so I'll just be doing some grocery shopping this morning, then I'll get out of town ASAP. Since Loreto quite a bit has happened. I left town with the group I had been riding with after our day of snorkeling. We did a pretty long day, and there was quite a bit of climbing early on. I had a flat toward the end of the day and since the group was waiting I rushed to patch it, then we rode a few more miles down the road to get some water and we found a good wild campsite just a little farther on. In the morning I had another flat, so the group headed off to the next town where we planned on meeting after I had fixed it. I got my tire off and tube out, then realized that my pump was nowhere to be found. I thought maybe it had fallen off my bike at the store where we got water the night before, so I walked back there, but there was no sign of it. There were some locals hanging around, so I got a ride from one of them up the road to where my flat was the night before. Sure enough, there was my pump laying on the side of the road. Argh! The person who gave me a ride (Ronaldo) dropped me off back at my bike and waited while I patched the FOUR punctures in the tube. I gave him 100 pesos for the lift (about $8 USD), then I headed off to town. By the time I got there the group was gone, which I kind of expected, so I rode solo for the day down the flat road, with a great tailwind. I thought the group would try to do the ~140 remaining miles to La Paz in two days, so I decided to do the same as long as the conditions were OK. Toward the end of the day, I had ANOTHER flat and decided that even though I wanted to get 10 more miles in, I'd just camp there for the night in the desert. The next day I woke up sore, which was very surprising because I can't remember ever waking up sore on this entire trip. I decided it must have been delayed onset soreness from the long, hilly day out of Loreto. Not long into the day, my left knee started feeling sore too. Sore muscles are one thing, but when my knees start talking to me, I listen. I stopped at a bus stop near the town of El Cien where there was some shade and a place for me to put my leg up. I took a few ibuprofen, ate my lunch and studied spanish for a while, then I headed down the road for 10k where I found an old dirt mining road through an area that was very dense with cacti. I found a great spot to spend the night, and made my dinner while the sun was setting and all kinds of crazy bugs started appearing. When I saw a scorpion walking by a few feet from my tent, I knew it was time to zip up my doors and call it a night. In the morning there was one of the best sunrises I've seen on this entire trip. There is a picture in this album. The next day my muscles and knees felt much better and I rode the rest of the way into La Paz. There are supposed to be about half a dozen campgrounds in town and I spent what felt like hours searching around for them. After it started getting dark I decided to give up and just stay at the next hotel I found. At 400 pesos (~$32) it was a little more expensive than I would have liked, but there was a pool and cable TV so I got to go for a swim and watch some of the new Simpsons movie. La Paz is a great town with a boardwalk for what seemed like miles along the Sea of Cortez, and since I got into town on a Saturday there were festivals happening during the day, and lots of people walking around at night. Many Americans have this false impression of Mexico being an unsafe place to travel or live. This bothers Mexicans, and it honestly bothers me because I'm here and I'm not witnessing or experiencing anything that would be cause for concern. While I was riding on the boardwalk at night in La Paz, I noticed groups of young kids, and some young men and women walking alone. There are places in the US where a young woman wouldn't want to walk around alone at night, so seeing it here really shows how far out of line the American impression of safety in Mexico is. I decided that I would keep riding to the next town (Todos Santos) on Sunday, and then spend a day or two in La Paz when I loop back up to catch the ferry to the mainland. The ride to Todos Santos was pretty easy, and a little on the boring side, but there were some great mountain views (some mountains near there are around 6000'!) and since they were working on the highway and one side was closed, I had a whole half of a highway to myself. For the Seinfeld fans out there, they were definitely "luxury lanes". :) I really liked Todos Santos, and because I wanted to spend some time studying Spanish and hanging out in a nice Mexican town I decided to stay an extra day there. On my second day I met a Canadian couple (Scott and Karen) that I had been seeing since Guerrero Negro and they said they'd be heading down to Los Cerritos beach the next day. I decided I'd make it a short day and ride down there too, since I wanted to do some swimming and couldn't at Todos Santos because of the undertoe. I got there pretty early and did some swimming and body surfing in the afternoon, and I camped right at the beach for free that night. I liked it there so much I decided to stay another day and spend some more time in the water. A couple who was living in their RV there until about March lent me their body board and flippers, so I was in the water for hours using that. A local said the waves were bigger than he had seen in years, and the "wave forecast" predicted they would be peaking in the next couple days. One of the big waves caught me the wrong way and tore a flipper off my foot and I never saw it again. This meant I had to replace the lent flipper by buying a new set, which a surf hut on the beach sells for $20. That's also the price it would have cost me to rent a board for the day, so I guess it evened out in the end. In the afternoon I met three "Canadian surfer babes" who were spending some time down here in and on the water. They twisted my arm and made me stay another day, and I got to use their body boards and I even tried a little surfing - it's harder than it looks! We walked out to a rocky point on the beach the last night to watch the sun set while the waves crashed against the rocks, it was pretty amazing. Yesterday I finally had to get back on the road since my single day off turned into five somehow, so I rode down to Cabo and found a campground just as the sun was setting. It was a surprisingly hilly day and even though the temperature was only in the mid-80s, it felt much hotter. I'll take three more days to get back to La Paz, where I'll meet the Canadian girls after they get back from their kayaking trip.

OK! There's my stream of conciousness post for that section. :) Gotta get on the road!