Thursday the 28th of June.
James and I left the little beach Playa Requeson a beach at 6:30am and counted down the kilometer at the “mile”markers starting at 95 .
Though feeling pretty grungy, when the cool early wind sweeps through the clothes and pets the skin like a soft hand – it’s all OK!
We were told that Loreto is not the town to stop and we were counting to keep going to Porto Escondido about 22 km further south from Loreto and the last stop before climbing back over the Mt range back to the Pacific side, not all the way to the coast, but close. The ride was HOT, the road long and our expectations for Loreto very low, but we needed water and some food, so we made the town our main stop before moving on. We were “greeted” by industrial sights, dust, garbage and the usual, but decided to find the center and were pleasantly surprised to find a charming plaza with the oldest mission on Baja and besides an ice cream shop in the pedestrian zone, that would put each one I have seen in Europe to shame, a campground neat the center with clean bathrooms, wi-fi and a sweet place to set up the tent and park our bikes.
So much for listening to what other peoples experience is….we loved this place and stayed two nights. Most of the businesses in town where owned by locals. At night we watched a kid performance of dancing and music from Haiti. The kids came in all sizes and shapes and seem to have equal fun while highly professional. I was just stunned…..My favorite town in Baja so far..
We entered a little book store and didn’t leave for 2 hours, having ice water and cake and great conversations with the couple that owned the store (ok, they were not locals….but almost looked like it after 8 years of calling this town their home)
Hard to leave, but we did, only 22km to go, but after this fun place we didn’t expect much of Porto Escondido (hidden Port)- especially after checking it out on google street view and watching another one of those “ghostly” places that were half constructed and then abandoned. …
So, we took our time and pedaled along this beautiful Bahia of Concepcion, looking at all the beaches – each one as beautiful as the next between cliffs and valleys, greenery and desert, cacti and palm trees. We climbed on of the last climbs before P. E. and found a coconut truck parked on the top……PERFECT!!
The decent was refreshing – wind at 38 degrees C ( 100 F) is always welcome.
As expected, the place was a ghost Port, but a few boats – some sailboats where anchored and the water was blue and refreshing looking…the little store had ice cream and the few people were friendly. All the people on the boats were seemingly from the States or Germany for that matter and then there was a little pool and some lounging chairs and some shady trees to put our tent later when it get’s dark …..the intention was to leave early for the climb back over the Mt range to the other side AGAIN.
As we got hungry and scoped out our tree, we talked to a friendly boat couple with a little cute dog, when another couple approached with the words: You guys want to spend the night on our boat tonight?
I really did think they were kidding……
Not only were they not kidding, but it was the MOST AMAZING SAILBOAT I had ever been on. A 78 foot long, build around 1970 (see picture). We just couldn’t leave and spend another day and two nights with Kathy and Dan on Lungta (see their website at http://www.lungtalife.com). We almost forgot about cycling, eating, talking, swimming, exploring and meeting more of the sailing community. It sure was hard to leave, but ever so grateful, we did, this morning at 6am, our bikes had been stored in the bathroom of the harbor dry dock and watched by the guards of the hidden port.
As we learned, before the economy crashed in 2007, the peninsula of Baja had planned to build a canal around the northern parts from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez at Bahia de Los Angeles, so the ships could travel down the eat coast of Baja and stop at various harbors along the beautiful coast. So, private and government money was spent to start getting ready for the tourists who would be stopping and spending their time and money, but the money ran out quick, the canal was not even started and some of the harbors are only half finished. Porto Escondido is one of them.
It’s Monday the 2. of July, we said good bye, climbed over to the other side and our now in the flats of a boring desert, but in a sweet little camping place of Ciudad Constitution.
Important to mention: So far, we had ONE flat tire in northernBaja and ONE broken spoke in southern Baja.
We are 200 km from La Paz, our last destination in Baja – about 1500 miles from San Rafael, CA – I am sure we cycled a little more than that, just a little….
Thursday the 28th of June.