Prickles and Punctures

Let me introduce you to Flavien,P1210780He is from France but lives on Haida Gwaii.

Where I spent a few months last year.

He happened to be cycling down the Baja California at exactly the same time as I was.

So we ended up riding together for two weeks.

That was lovely, as apart from a serious amount of prickles,P1210860there isn’t much else out here.

These cacti are beautiful to look at, and make great places to camp. If you don’t mind fixing three punctures daily. I guess it was about time as I haven’t had a puncture between Tuktoyaktuk and here. (or I might’ve forgotten about them)

There are some great open views,roadbut not much else for quite some distance.

The good thing about that is, that every little thing that is different becomes really exciting.

Like this pretty awesome structure made out of pebbles from the beach.P1210962

A little cactus-man on the side of the road,cactus manwho’s now travelling with Flavien,

or an oddly placed enormous sign.odd

That was along a brand new road, with shoulders and absolutely no traffic.

easy ridingRather pleasant, if not a little too easy, cycling.

The tailwinds were a plus as well.

Except when you’re trying to find a place to pitch a tent.Camp(Not my tent, my tent is storm proof 😉 )stormproof tent

Along this part of the coast you find a lot of fallen down and abandoned resorts.

Here we camped in the pool.Pool-campingThey make for good shelter and sometimes you even get a new friend as a bonus.cute dogWe did find some great places to pitch our tentsCamp

There is lots of space.A bit dry

And, as I mentioned, lots of prickles.
Pushing from the campNot always too practical.Keep on smilingThe reason this road is so quiet is that it’s not finished.Work traffic

They’re working on it and this stretch of dirt road takes you back to the main highway.Flavien and the cactus

But not before passing by Coco’s corner!Coco's Corner

We had heard about Coco and his unusual little spot here in the desert.Coco's

And we planned to maybe stop, have a cold drink, and continue on to camp further down the way.Coco

But if Coco wants you to stay. You stay.

He has a couple of old trailers and told us we could camp for free, use his bucket-shower (hot water!) and he cooked up a storm. Meal!Which cannot be too easy for this 78-year old legend.Coco

We had a blast, he has a peculiar sense of humour and loves female company.

But he tolerated Flavien as well 😉 Flavian

I’ve not been keen to cycle on the main road. Imagine my surprise when all the trucks and drivers there were extremely courteous and pleasant towards their fellow road users, especially us cycling folk!

Nothing but friendly smiles and waves. No dangerous overtaking manoeuvres and very patient. They don’t mind slowing down behind you without getting angry or beeping their horns and would patiently wait until it’s safe to pass or we could move to the side.

Their Northern neighbours can definitely learn a thing or two from the drivers here….the scenery

And we never had any issues finding perfect places to camp in this cactus-wonderland.
CactusIt looked more like a beautiful garden then wilderness half the time.
IMG_3853But we were clearly not the first ones to ‘camp’ out here…messP1220087Luckily we didn’t need to spent all our time on the main road, if you manage to find a good map (which I did thanks to Randy in San Felipe!)

you’ll see there are lots of back roads all down the peninsula.

And we tried to make good use of those.Open view

There are some really nice trails.Along the coast

And even nicer camping spots.Camping on the beach

Lack of water is the main issue here, Flavien swimmingDrinking water, that is.

But we both have the capacity to carry 13 litres so we didn’t run into any trouble there.beach sunsetI was lucky that Flavien is an awesome camp cook. Flavien cooking

And we managed to eat a great variety of meals along the way.

It must have smelled good as we had a visitor checking out our camp.VisitorIMG_3818Leaving our pretty place by the ocean we headed back inland and to highway nr 1.IMG_3822bye sea!pebblesP1210965Where almost immediately we ran into another couple of cyclists,
P1220002Eduardo and Rosina just got married last week.

They got bicycle-rings,
Bike wedding bandsand were honeymoon-ing on their bicycles.
IMG_3831So we rode with them for a few days. accidentally catching up in different small towns.

Like San Ignacio.

A small oasis in this dry land.
San IgnacioAfter having a great little break here at the ‘Casa Del Ciclista’IMG_3784Fighting the wind for another couple of days we were happy to reach the Sea of Cortez once again and cruised down the pretty Baja the Conception where we found Steve,P1220167
P1220165Steve loves to ride his bicycle.
P1220195He also lives in a beautiful house on a hill. We stayed with him and he let me camp on top of the bus.
IMG_3872Only 109 km to go to Loretto.
IMG_3867From where I’ll be doing some paddling.

But more about that next time.

35 thoughts on “Prickles and Punctures

  1. Nice! Brings back memories! I’ve cycled Baja and other parts of Mexico – lots of punctures, lots of beauty. That looks like a Bike Friday your friend was riding – also my usual ride (Pocket Llama – about 20 years and 25,000 miles so far).

  2. Weer heel mooie foto´s van bijzondere plekken! Heb je geen lekke band gehad, zoals Flavien? Je hebt toch banden van Schwalbe die zijn erg goed. Apart om op zo´n oude roestige camperbus te slapen, het uitzicht was wel fantastisch! Weer heel veel plezier toegewenst, en een goede tocht & groetjes.

  3. Hi Mirjam, Well that really brought back happy memories of Baja for me…I too was required to stay at Coco’s corner. One of the scariest things happened when in the middle of the night a cat jumped on top of me when I was asleep, I think my scream was as loud as the poor cat’s!. I seem to remember he had a very fine collection of ladies knickers on the wall, which he was very proud of. I won’t ask if you added to them on a public blog, however he did insist it was a great honour for ladies to be asked to join the collection!
    Love Harry

  4. Welcome to Baja, home of some of the kindest people on earth! I loved my 2 weeks there in 2014.

  5. Wow, Coco got really old. But he’s still alive! Great and funny man… I cycled the Baja in 2011 on the way north, interestingly not one puncture and the truck drivers were horribly disrespectful on the Highway 1. And not only one of them spanking the monkey just when I got to overtake the truck. Maybe the male company helped to avoid that view 😉 Keep on enjoying the Baja. A great and prickly place!

  6. You make me want to do what you are doing.
    Only my parents would flip and its a bit dangerous out here.
    But live through it with you. Thanks

  7. Wow, wow, wow!! Stunning pics, looks like great riding. Certainly looks as if you are achieving what you set out to do.. Have fun…
    Nice one!! 😊😊 xxx

  8. Wat een prachtige foto’s! Ik hoop met onze 2 kinderen ook een keer een lange fietstocht te gaan maken, wellicht hier door Australië. Ze zijn alleen nog wat jong, dus doen we het nu nog met wandeltochten door de bergen.

  9. Wow! Thank you sharing this with us! I really impressed by your pictures.
    The swimming pool full a sand is a thing…

  10. You are incredible and we love following your blog. We feel like we are there with you with your amazing photos. Keep pedaling.

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey and the great photos. Since I can’t do what you are doing, I will do it through your writing and photos.

  12. Beautiful pictures… Cactie are so beautiful. It should be seen when flowering maybe, whole another level. I am glad to have found your blog, it’s inspiring and lovely… Read many comments and must say you all are amazing, having fun exploring. Keep it up 🙂 See you.

  13. Yay…it has bee quite a while since Nathrop and sub freezing temps. Your trip looks amazing, thanks fro brining us along the way! Cheers and Happy Trails!

  14. Like others, my heart swells when I see the pictures and the beauty and recall the feelings of adventure on the bike. It is the memory and reminder that keeps me riding, if only during my lunch break from work or a late afternoon on the weekend. Thanks DutchGirl, for sharing.

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