Fish Tacos

It looks like the cold that Tanya had has been passed onto me. It is mostly just a head cold. As a result we decided to take today off. Another nice day in La Paz. I think we saw everything yesterday, today should be pretty laid back.

 

The taco shop

Fish Tacos are a great treat, and a great meal. But if you have never had a fish taco, you don’t really know what you are missing out on. When I first head of a fish taco I imagined a can of tuna placed in a taco shell, with some lettuce and tomatoes, not too interesting, nor does it sound too tasty. There is more to it, they are inspired byJapanese cooking, they take a piece of fish and coat in a batter of tempura. Then they deep fry it. This is the meat part of the taco, an already nice piece of meat, then you place whatever you want in it. I like to put cabbage and mayo with somechilies.

 

Pick your salsa, so many to choose from.

Another option is to put on some of the tomato, cilantro and onion mixture. The nicer the taco stand, the more options you have. And the final thing is to take a lime and put some lime juice on the taco. Fish tacos are specific to the Baja and you may be able to find them somewhere else, you can find them everywhere here.

Yesterday we went to the museum. It was free, and there wasn’t really much to see, and less to read (unless you can read and understand Spanish). We walked around a lot yesterday and saw a lot of La Paz (well the downtown area of La Paz). There are a lot of shops and none of them are aimed at tourists. Its great, a little bit more of the real Mexico that I like.

Posted from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Money Talks

“Dos tickets to La Paz por favor””No biciclettes””What? are you sure? I could do it on the other bus company ABC””Un momento…” The teller goes to the bus driver’s quarters and asks if we can take our bikes on the bus. We can, it is against the policy of the bus company, but at 100pesos a bike the bus driver will let us take them on. Total price for the bus for two people to go 400km is 870pesos. It blew me away, I had no idea it was going to be that expensive. Such is life.

The first hour of the bus ride was incredible, the view was amazing and I would have loved to ride on the bike (although the hills were long and steep). I could spend weeks there in nice weather taking pictures of the sun rising on the jagged unfamiliar cliffs. I wanted to stop right there and just look at them. The weather was still overcast though, so it would not be as nice as it could have been. After the massive climb, the vistas quickly disappeared and we continued on a road that went straight for 60km. It got boring fast and I was glad I didn’t ride my bike through the boring, flat plain.

That last hour of the trip was tough. Both Tanya and I didn’t feel very well. We both got car sick. You don’t notice it on a bike, but the roads are really bumpy here, like frost heave bumpy. Sitting on the bus for 4 hours moving about 110km/hr (the speed limit is 80) on this road was a recipe for disaster.

Chris and Chris digging for clams.

The ride ended though, Tanya and I were in the big city, feeling woozy, hungry, and tired. We headed for the ocean, sat down, ate an orange and drank some water. Took out the guide book and found out where we were. We started walking down the malecon and we saw a couple of people walking on a slack line. It was Chris. We talked to him for a while, found out he was at a hostel, and where it was. Got a room and went right back outside and got some amazing fish tacos (best yet).

We ate them quickly and went back to the malecon and hung out with Chris, and a couple other friends he had made in the last few days. Tried to do some slack lining (Tanya is pretty good at it) and then Chris and his buddy (also named Chris went digging for clams). A fun day on the beach.

These hostel’s are tight, you have to be creative to find a place to park your bike, like on top of the shelf.

We all decided that we should drink some tequila tonight. So we went the super mercado and got to the tequila isle. Wow, there is a lot of tequila in Mexico. It is a good thing I asked which was good tequila. Dropped 200 pesos on a bottle and went back to the hostel. We hooked up out iPods to the radio through our transmitters and socialized. We finished the bottle tequila. It was damn good tequila, not shooting tequila, sipping tequila. It was like drink a ice scotch, just a couple sips at a time.

Posted from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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A cool little bay

Day fourteen 43km
I wish we had more time. We have arrived at Bahia Concepcion (Concepcion Bay). This place is pretty cool. We got a little shelter and the ocean. We just don’t have any sun. The weather is supposed to get better tomorrow. Within a couple days it is supposed to be really nice. Tanya and I do not know what to do. We don’t want to hang out here if the weather isn’t great (it is like 18 degrees and overcast). Our latest plan is to bike to the next town and take a bus to the next city and the next set of beaches. Hopefully the weather will be better and we can do some snorkeling. Today’s ride was a good ride, filled with some unexpected hill climbs. We didn’t have very far to go so we took it pretty easy. Conception bay is very cool. I would recommend it to anyone that likes beaches. It is not a resort, so if you are into that sort of thing you may not like it. But if you have a RV or a car and a tent, hit it up. With the sun shinning this place would be amazing, and there are not that many people (it is not crowded). The only thing that may make you unhappy is the noise of the RV’s generators. The water is this nice turquoise colour. If we had more time we would hang out here for a couple of days (we are not really beach people). I think most of the RVers here spend a couple of months in Baja, and some must spend most of their time here in this little bay. Oh ya, the beer is cheap as well.

Looking into the bay

Yesterday, in an Internet cafe we witnessed something that was pretty funny. Tanya and I made fun of the situation many times afterwards. There was this guy from Vernon and his satellite dish wouldn’t work. Canadian dish, doesn’t work in Mexico. So he thought we would buy a new dish in Mexico. This internet cafe was also a place to buy satellite dishes. So this tall loud white guy comes in and asks the girl at the counter, “do you speak English? Does he?” pointing at a young guy behind the counter. Both the Mexicans shake their head no. So he proceeds in his loud voice to talk in English about his problem, “I need a dish that is compatible with my receiver.” The two Mexicans can still not understand the guy, the girl takes the computer and loads google translate (a very handy tool). He pecks at the keyboard for a while and you can hear that this is a good way to communicate. But every so often he blurts out something in English, realizing that he is not back home and that needs to type it to get his point across. Seriously, if you are in a country where they don’t speak you language, just don’t try to yell it louder and hope to get your point across, it is not going to work. It completely amazes Tanya and I how many people come done here, try to avoid contact with Mexicans at all cost, and get really upset when they cannot watch their NFL games.

Sometimes I am envious of the people in their big comfortable RVs, with a fridge and a stove, more room then may apartment and a big bed and a nice duvet. But then I think of my gas price, my freedom and my willingness to interact with the Mexicans. There are a million different ways to travel, I really enjoy my bicycle. Cycle touring so far has been more then I could have dreamed it would be. We are having a great time (even with the not so great weather). The only issue we have is the lack of time (and money). This is something that both of us enjoy to the fullest and cannot wait for our next trip (and we are not even done this one).

Posted from San Ignacio, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Another day, another peso

Day fourteen 60km

Tanya is starting to feel better and there is sun shining at the moment. It looks likes there is was this low pressure system that came in and soaked most of Baja California Sur (our friend the Pineapple Express). Shitty, should get better by next week. But I am hoping it will be nice where we are now. This morning when we left there was a good area of the sky that had no clouds in it, so I am thinking that we may just get lucky. Maybe not, but it is worth trying.

The ride today went really good, it was 60km and we did it by noon. Tanya said it was the easiest day yet. Mostly flat with one up hill followed by a nice downhill right at the end. I am really starting to feel fit. Today I pounded up the hill, making great time. It was nice, my legs and lungs all feel like they are in tip top shape. It’s a good feeling.

We are in a town called Mulege. It’s the first touristy place we have seen since Ensenada. There are blankets and hats in every shop. We ate some fish tacos for lunch, they were very tasty. We just love the food here.

Here’s hoping for some nice weather.

Posted from Heroica Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Random Thoughts

To survive in the desert there are a few things that you need to know. First of all, what are you going to eat. If you are carrying all your gear, you want something that is quick and easy, and that tastes good as well. Here is a good example of good food, that is good for you, does not take too long and is easy to pack. PBH and Banana (if you can find them) tortilla. Yes that is right, Peanut butter and Honey with Banana tortilla. It tastes great and is easy. You can also squish tortillas as much as you want and they stay the same. Tanya demonstrates how to make them.

Fresh tortillas, peanut butter and banana

Roll like you would any tortilla

And eat, delicious

Now we are at the Sea of Cortez, only 60km from some of the nicest beaches in Mexico and they are calling for rain and clouds for the next week. It is frustrating, I think the whole peninsula is covered in cloud. Riding in the rain is not that much fun. Oh well, such is life, we will play it by ear and see if we can find some sun.

Right now we are in this small little town call Santa Rosilia. It is pretty cool, there is this small valley that the town is built into. Did some walking around the today and it has a different fell then the other Mexican towns. This place was a French town. Eiffel (who designed the Eiffel tower) designed the church here and the church was built in France and transported here by boat. The idea never took off, but Eiffel wanted to sell these to the Catholic church to help spread Christianity quickly. There is also a French bakery, so we will be checking that out.

Posted from Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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The Sea of Cortez

Day thirteen 74km

After leaving the oasis we were off to the Sea of Cortez and the town of Santa Rosila. The first half of the day was a steady and easy climb. It was however raining all night and the roads were wet. It was also 99% humidy outside. Riding today seemed very difficult. We could not put our finger on it. Tanya thought it may be our tire pressure, so we pumped them up, that didn’t help much. The air was still and fairly humid, so I think the humid air just made it difficult to ride, more air resistance. I don’t know, it was just harder to make you bike move.

Around noon some of the clouds broke up, the road dried and the wind picked up and riding was easier.We were warned by the RV’ers that the last hill to Santa Rosila was a steep one. We had no idea that it would be as steep as it was. Usually on downhills I like to go about 40km/hr (that is as fast as my trailer can go before it gets unsafe). This hill was crazy steep though, and we didn’t go any faster then 20km/hr. By far the steepest road I have ever been on. The grade must have been 15%, it was crazy steep. It was great though, we didn’t have to pedal our bikes for a really long time (the hill was probably 10km long).

Shortly after the big down hill we had some uphill and then we saw the Sea of Cortez. The Cortez is known for its nice light blue colour, but due to the overcast sky, the sea looked like any other body of water. We were a little bummed. First rain last night and no more cloudless sky’s. It’s ironic, the time that we make it to the nicest beaches, it rains and is overcast.

General maintenance on the bikes, in a hotel room

The last 10km were hard for Tanya, it seems like she is coming down with a cold. So we decided to take the next day off, booked into a hotel and hoped that there will be a nice blue sky tomorrow.

Posted from Santa Rosalía, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Clouds

Day ten rest Day
Day eleven + day twelve = 144km

Day ten was a rest day, and a much needed one at that. It was nice, did some laundry, uploaded my journals onto the web, ate some really good seafood but most importantly, got some rest. Guerro Negro is not the best place to have a rest day, but it is not the worst. With enough to keep you busy for most of the day, not enough to keep you busy any longer.

The next day we were off. There was some thing rather odd. There were clouds. For the first time we have been here there were clouds. It was overcast when we awoke and stayed that way for most of the day. The temperature was also a little bit cooler then we expected. As the day went on the clouds broke up and the temperature increased. The day was easy, flat and there was a slight tailwind in the afternoon. It was also a boring ride, there wasn’t anything to see, kind of what I would imagine Saskatchewan would look like.

We stayed in this little place called Vizcaino. Not much to this town, it did have a super mercado (super market). The RV park that we stayed at had 30 citrus trees in the yard. Normal oranges, mandarin orange, tangerine orange, lemons, and other lemony looking things. Cooked some dinner after going to the super mercado. Talked to an older couple that was on there way to Cabo. They were from the Fraser valley. It is amazing how many people are from BC. It seems we get into a conversation with at least one person from BC a day. Chris decided that he would continue on today and meet up with us later. Tanya and I made tacos and went to bed.

The next morning we awoke to the warmest temperatures yet. I wore shorts right from the moment I got out of the tent (first time for that). We got moving and had a tail wind for most of the day. We made pretty good time. By 1:30 we had arrived at our destination (San Ignacio). The day started off pretty boring, but in the distance we could see some mountains. As the day went on we got closer and close to them. The flat road that we started off the day with started to changed into rolling foothills. It was pretty neat, San Ignacio is a date palm spring. When we came around the final corner, we saw this oasis, surrounded by desert. It was really weird, but very cool. The whole town had this humid, cool feel. Everything is so green and full of life (there are many different birds in the lagoon) and then you look at the desert which is dry, yellow and fairly void of life. It is a pretty amazing contrast.

Found a campsite on the lagoon and set up our tent. Went into town to get some beer. Checked out the old church in the middle of town, met up with Chris and then went back to the campsite.

Posted from Baja California Sur, Mexico
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Downhill and Tailwinds

Day eight 123km
Day nine 80km
Day eight started off like most days. Wake up early,pack up our stuff and hit the road. The scenery was pretty amazing, it was like we were in a huge alpine meadow, but there was nothing there except rock and a few cacti. The wind was at our back, so we had a great pace. With a few hill climbs ahead, most of the ground was flat or downhill.

Once we left the high desert we dropped in elevation (probably ~500m) and the wind was blowing about 25km/hr right at our back. I could hock a luggie in front of me, going 25km/hr and it would fly forward and not hit me in the face. Amazing. I was able to maintain 40km/hr for about one hour. There was no traffic, it was like a dream. By noon we had gone 70km. The high desert had so little vegetation, it was more of a barren landscape. As we dropped in elevation the vegetation increased considerably. It was like we entered a mixed wood forest of cactus. There were probably 7 or 8 different types of cacti. The tallest was about 8 meters high. It was so green, and it was so nice to see the green after the colour void high desert.

 

Nothing but rocks, wind and sunsets.

All good things must come to an end and the wind stopped blowing in our direction. Back to the old routine of going about 17km/hr. We wanted to make it to this town to spend the night. There were no campgrounds around and there was no indication of hotel in this town (not in the guide book or the map). Chris got a flat tire about 15km before the town, he told us to continue on ahead and he catch up with us later. The last 10km ended up being the hardest. Two big hills to climb and a slow decline into the town. It was hard since we had already gone 110km. Luckily we coasted after the climb into the town.

Pulled into the first restaurant to ask about a hotel for the night. As it turns out they had a hotel in the restaurant, brand new, at that. So we took it. Bought a 6 pack of Sol and drank it while the sun was going down. I don’t like Sol as much as Tecate, but it was still delicious. We went to get some food and then fell asleep on a nice comfortable bed after 3 nights sleeping in the windy cold desert.

Day nine we slept in a little, ate breakfast at the restaurant and hit the road. The pavement deteriorated considerably. After a 123km day, an 80km day goes by very fast. The road was flat, and as we headed south vegetation started to disappear and the Pacific ocean came into view. The temperature increased steadily. Our slightly browned skin started to turn red.

We passed the 28th Parallel and went into Baja California Sur. Pulled into a campground paid for the night. Before I pulled my tent out of the trailer we had been offered a beer from a guy from Washington. Before we knew it we had a crowd of people around us (all from California or BC) talking to us about biking, where the best place to camp is, the great little towns a head and so on. It was great, it is a very friendly place and everyone was very talkative. We walked around the town a little, found a nice place to eat dinner and went back to the campsite. Started to drink our big Tecates and Chris and I stayed up talking philosophy while Tanya went to bed.

Tomorrow will be a day off. We need it, after nine days of cycling our legs do need a bit of break.

Posted from Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico
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A change in winds

Day seven 68km
The alarm went off at 4:30. I had been up since four. We were asleep by 7 last night. A good night sleep, even though we were right next to the highway and there was a huge windstorm in the middle of the night.
We all got ready to get going. We now have a pretty good routine down. The first thing that happens is that I go to the washroom and then I make breakfast for our crew. Today Chris was awake before me and he started breakfast. Oatmeal, peaches and cream. After that Tanya goes back into the tent and packs the sleeping bags and thermarests up. I start packing other things up. Once Tanya gets out of the tent I pull the stakes and take down the tent. Then we organize everything in the our trailer and panniers, put them on the bike and head on out. We start the day heading east, so we see the sun rising. This is the earliest we have gotten out (6:30). It was great.

It was great until we started biking on the road. There was that head wind again. Slowing us down and making very cold. I was wearing my toque, sweater and gor-tex jacket long jons and gloves (Tanya and Chris had a few more layers on). I know what you are thinking, “Who goes to Mexico in the Wintertime and wears long jons, a toque, gloves and top it all off, goes biking?” We do, I had no idea it was going to be like this, but I think once we get out of the desert it will be a different story.

After about an hour the headwinds stop, or more correctly, we change directions and the headwinds become a tail wind (the wind was a SW wind, we were heading east, and the we started to head SE and S). It was great, the sun was shinning and the wind was at our back, and all of a sudden we started to make really good time. Our speed increased by about 7km/hr and our effort was decreased. The most important thing was that our moods were now elevated. We stopped in Catavina for our second breakfast, got some more water and stocked up on the good things in life (M&M, Reece peanut butter cups, Habanaro and lime potato chips).

The rest of the day was great. Rolling hills and a tail wind, we made great time and since we left early in the morning we were able to find a nice campsite about 3pm. Made some pasta for dinner, did the dishes, ate some M&Ms and crawled into our tents at 5:45 (earliest so far). As I am sure we will fall asleep soon (the sleeping bag is really comfortable and we were up early) we will get another long night of sleep and maybe get a chance to get our of the desert tomorrow (it is a long distance, if the conditions are right, we will be able to do it).

Posted from Santa Ana, Baja California, Mexico
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Headwinds

Day six 54km
Headwinds. Headwinds. Headwinds. Most of the day we were in the most wonderful cycling terrain. Rolling hills, mostly downhill with some uphill. We were stoked when we saw it but this idea was quickly extinguished when we realized that there was a headwind. For most of the day we did not go any faster then 15km/hr, however it felt like we were moving between 30 and 40km/hr. It was something else. At the end of the day we were all mentally exhausted, trying to push through those winds all day takes a lot out of you. The day is done, we went 54km, and tomorrow is a new day.

Today started out slow. My alarm was set for 4:30 in the morning. I awoke to a thick blanket of fog. Everything was covered in dew. The tents were the wettest they have been all trip, and the cactus’ were covered in water as well. I can now finally see why it is so green in this desert. They may not get much rain here, but they do get a lot of condensation. We actually had to wait for the fog to burn, we didn’t want to ride in the fog.

About 10:30 we saw a little place to eat, so we went in for lunch (remember we eat breakfast at 5 so if we waited until noon to eat lunch we would be much too hungry). We got burritos, and they were very tasty, very good, almost as good as the food the night before.

After the epic battle with the headwinds we decided to stay at a RV park, but really it wasn’t much o an RV park. It is a parking lot with a bunch of half buried tires around it. It cost us 30peso and we camped outside the parking lot where there was some protection from the cold wind. We ate dinner (leftovers) and we were inside our tents ready for bed by 6:30. With the alarm set at 4:30 and the hopes of no headwind tomorrow we all prepare to fall asleep.

Posted from Baja California, Mexico
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