Rained Out

Greetings from green and lush Baja California. Yup, green and lush. It's been raining on and off since I arrived. The universe probably arranged it so I wouldn't hop on the bike while nursing a nasty cold.

The twin prop Bombardier Q400 took off from Reno and within minutes we had popped out above the clouds. A beautiful sight greeted us with three layers of colours. White clouds, orange glow of the rising sun and slowly fading blue sky. I anxiously craned my neck towards the window waiting for the sunrise, which was perfectly placed directly outside my window. Like yet another masterpiece of mother nature, the life giving sun popped out from the layer of clouds below.

On The Way to Los Angeles From Reno.

Before too long, on the way to Loreto, we were flying above a dense cover of clouds. I was starting to feel excited about this trip. As we dropped down below the clouds, a strange sight met my eyes. Everything was green. Isn't this supposed to be a desert? As we alit from the plane, a few small raindrops started falling. I joked with the ground personnel about "lluvia" in Baja.

I was very pleasantly surprised by the lack of aggressive porters, guides, taxi drivers, etc. The Mexican men lolling about the terminal just quietly watched me assemble the bike outside. As I rode the 7km's to the campsite, more rain drops started falling.

Once I had finished setting up the campsite, I came to realize that I now had a full blown cold, and the rain started coming down even harder. Not a problem, I don't want to ride in the rain while recovering from a cold anyway ...how's that for logic?

I'm now into day 2 of rain, and the tent has started leaking. So off it is to a "ferreteria" to buy a tarp. The campsite is now very quiet, since the noisy American tour group has left. Only a bunch of turtle huggers and the more subdued hippy types around. Much more my kind of people. As it turns out, there is a turtle conference in town, and a bunch of conservationists, scientists and students, presenting their research, and hugging lots of turtles in the process. I was partly amused and partly apalled when the Mexican campground caretaker suggested I take turtle oil as a cold remedy. He wasn't too impressed when I explained that I was vegetarian. I'm quickly learning to say "no manteca de cerdo" ..."no lard".

Cemetary in Loreto.
They build little houses for their dead.

At least yesterday we did see a bit of sun, and I took the bike out for a little local jaunt around town. The Mexican drivers are mostly fabulous towards cyclists. None of that hostility we encounter all too frequently back home. I've even had one driver on the highway patiently follow me (there are no shoulders) with his 4 way flashers going, until it was safe to pass.

A visit to the Malecon was in order since the sun was finally out. The cold still maintained its' firm grip on me, but I managed to spend a short time watching the pelicans dive bomb for fish by the port of Loreto. The jagged shoreline and steep mountains rising beyond the coast are simply stupendous.

Pelicans taking over a local panga.

They may not look like it, but hey! they can glide quite gracefully.

Well folks, the tent is now leaking even more, I'm getting bored and can't really cycle yet. So the Scrabblebiker is turning into a Scrabbledriver. I've rented a carasaurus for 4 days. I'm hoping to head up north towards Mulege, then head back south and drop the car off in La Paz. According the the forecast, the weather should improve by then. By then the cold should also be gone, with the help of Mexican medications and dirt cheap tequila. I'll be able to cycle from La Paz to San Jose Del Cabo, via the East Cape ...better than nothing.

Loreto Malecon.


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