Little Road Trip vacation with Jeff

This is vastly different from Westphalia and the Baron’s castle. Had our friend Pangloss seen El Dorado he would no longer have said that the castle of Thunder-ten-Tronckh was the finest upon earth. It is evident that one must travel.”
Candide – written by Voltaire

My friend Jeff arrives to town while we are drinking fine beer at a closed bar session at Old Mission Brewery, next day we cruise to hot springs where he lets me drive back to Ensenada in his toyota FJ Cruiser, of course we hit insane speeds on ragged dirt roads whilst blasting rad music [Royksopp – What Else is There] after midnight with a crescent moon to light the way, as to my state of mind while driving on the back roads=]

Day 1 of our mini road trip found us at la Gringa beach in Bahia de Los Angeles… beautiful, woke up and jeff was sitting in chair, saw coyotes when I hiked a small peak, did a downhill run on my bike, and my lips swelled up again and started the whole agony over again, now one month of scabbie lips cycle!

Day 2  found us in Mulege which was wiped out from flood, but seriously wiped out, houses down, the rstaurant we had the best rice and beans ever was washed away… Pam, of Pam and John whom we met when riding our bikes through the area, her shoulder is all good due to my acupuncture.  That was a wild one, one of the few people to pass out from my needles, but, all good in the end, looks like I hit the root of it! Mosquitos, mosquitos, mosquitos…. scabbing of my lips has begun…. again, third time now, just kill me.

Day3 La Paz we stayed with coushsurfers Frank and Susy, I stayed in for the first night as my lips were giving proper pain and I cant open my mouth ergo not drinking, actully, even if this clears up i will not be drinking for some time…. at any rate, Frank and his roommate are doctors, very interested in my condition, may have a plan. They went karaoking, I saw Juan of the Dead,  It may be one of the smartest, funnest zombie movies i have seen to date.  I just remembered a book you may dig –  Zombie Haiku, oh, id you know that the CDC has a zombie preparedness plan?  My lips are fully scabbed over.

Day 4 cannot open mouth anymore, amazing how much this has changed me and my outward mood.  I have often heard that all you have to do is smile and eventually your day will turn around.  The opposite appears to be true as well, I feel more somber than ever, I havent really laughed or smiled in a month as everytime I do my lips would crack and it would hurt, so here I am, a month later all serious….
Got a message from Diana that a raccoon came in her window and took the raw chcolate….  Woulda loved to have been there for that!  Lulus Raw Chocolate!

New music…. for me:
Knife- Heartbeats, Pass this on
Royskopp- What Else is There, Alpha Male, Go with the Flow[remake of Queens of the Stoneage]
Pink floyd – High Hopes
Sasha y Digweed – Northern Exposure, Airdrawndagger

Day 5 – Todos santos is ridiculous sick cool, went for a run on the beach, out ran and out manuevered puppy dog, didnt surf, lips are healing, now taking Prednisone and cortico steroids for lips… scabs slowly falling off…
Matthew 12.25: Every Kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, every city or household divided against itself will not stand.
Ask yourself on this day, what is the aim of our nation and our nationalism if not formthe betterment of all mankind as it was stated in the beginning, ask yourself what is the aim of my life as a man or a woman if not to better the life of our progeny and that of our neighbors. Once you have asked and answered these questions in silence and a most profound observance of solemnity, one must come to the idea that action is the only recourse left to us in these times, our world is on the brink as it has been many times, we shall wage peace or we shall continue to wage war, not only against our brothers and sisters of different race and creeds, but, regrettably, on our very dinner tables and sadly.
I whole heartedly entreat you to meditate today, not only on the state of our world and the planet which is founded UPON, but also upon your own small slice of “happiness” and to what extent you will go to protect it from the misguided machinations of those who would continue the long standing tradition of SLAVERY for wealth.
There are sheep who are led to slaughter, and there are sheep that climb the highest mountain tops, ask yourself what you wish for your life and then realize that it is wholly within your power to make it happen. One need only act accordingly to what one wishes to see in the world and so shall it be.

It isnt whether or not man is deluded, it is more a question of what man is deluded by.  A man can be of the persuasion that all is as it is and he can do nothing, or, that he can do anything.  For our times it is an apt observation that man is deluded by the sinking feeling that war and slavery are cornerstones in our civilization or, that peace is just around the corner.  As a mans mood may change from moment to moment, so may a nation.

Day 6 – Cabo Pulmo, beautiful, got a big handful of wacky tabacky from Dive guide, yay bonfires on deserted beaches!  Bummer was searching the beach for wood, finding a good piece and then getting stung by a Yellow Jacket, or a Wasp, or a Hornet, whatever they are, i always have trouble telling them apart since they all look like overloaded military heavy vehicles… That fly and cause extreme pain to the point that they draw blood and make you feel like you got plugged into a million volts…  But then I was thinking, when bitten, do they mark you with a chemical scent [pheromones]? I ask as i was at this point numbly stumbling around looking for wood and I found myself getting close to the same area where I was stung and lo, two of them slowly rose in the air and started coming my way…. hmmmmmmmmmmm, no se.
Did some Tai chi on beach barefoot, difficult as it was on river stones…
If you are an eco tourist you simply MUST com here, but I am appealing to the real deal eco tourists, the ones that actually want to save the areas and not stay in 5 star hotels that destroy the area.

Interesting, you can almost see what kind of person you are by what, where and how you choose to vacation….

Guy pouring liquid fire drink for table on veranda totally enthralls me.

The cook makes me a vegan meal of Beans, guacamole, fries and salsa….

Bon fire and pot tea – wow

A sky like no other, mind boggling how beautiful nature is, should be mandatory for people to look at it, daily.

Flying down deserted beach in Jeffs FJ, middle of No where southern Baja, music is screaming Pink Floyd.

Regretting lack of surfboard just prior San Jose del Cabo, deserted beach with incredibly long breaks…. sigh….

So many butterflies
So many mosquitos… Why did you leave the tent door open?

Day 7, missioning back to Ensenada, checked on our bikes in San Jose del Cabo at Raices y Brazos, YAY!  Untouched by the tropical storm, who is the ninja tarp setter upper!!! =]

A sad note… had to toss wacky tabacky lest the military check points find reason to treat me unfavorably, I hadnt been searched once, but I had this feeling come over me, tossed everything to the land that produced it, and lo, the next checkpoint was there in 10 minutes and this time they did a very thorough search=]   NINJA!

Day 8 – Camped at Playa Coyote, got literally destroyed by mosquitos and two other biting insects I could not identify.  Am now semi addicted to Skeptics Guide to Universe podcast.  Barely made it back to Ensenada as no one would accept Jeffs credit card, he now hates his bank and thanks god for good gas mileage, well, he thanks Toyota, I thank God…

Day 9 – typing stuff to you and doing laundry, back on our bikes in a week and some change=]

No pictures were taken on this trip cause I couldn’t be bothered=]

Vayamanos a Limpiar La Lagunita! October 20th 2012!

La Lagunita!

Join us for a truly rad day! Start with a beach bootcamp work out which Chris promises to shake your shaker OR yoga, or both! Then we Clean, we clean for our souls, for the 17 species of endangered birds, CLEAN WE MUST! While cleaning, do feel free to fill your personal re-usable bottle with homemade Sangria!
La Lagunita!

Blueberrie-Avocado smoothie..

blueberrie-avocado smoothie

Back in Ensenada for a little bit and we’re already making the most of it!!

For the past couple of months riding through Baja we really missed having access to fresh, organic fruits and veggies, remember the Mulegé smoothie? that was definitely an exception=]

So now, time to blend some stuff!! Just finished running 5 miles, taking it easy getting back and I’m feeling hungry. Also I’ve been writing a lot about running and eating and how nutrition can help you perform better on the road. The last article written was about pre- and post-workout food. Here’s a smoothie that by slightly changing a couple of ingredients can be adapted for before or after running or training..

Blueberrie-Avocado smoothie:

1/2 avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tsp. maca root
4 dates pitted
2 cups of cold brew yerba mate

With 417 calories, boosting with lots of Vitamin B6, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and E, plus maca root for endurance and yerba mate for stamina and energy, this is a great pre-workout option. The avocado is filled with good healthy fats that will give you long term energy and both the avocado and the blueberries are natural effective antioxidants that protect the body from the damages caused by free radicals.

Banana-Blueberrie smoothie:

1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 peeled orange
1 cup coconut water
1 teaspoon spirulina

300 calories, filled with vitamin C, B6, manganese, magnesium, copper and potassium, great after-workout hydrating and refreshing smoothie. With spirulina to add protein, antioxidants and minerals to help the recovery process of the body. And you can do what we’re doing right now, after working out we drank this smoothie and that will gives us time before feeling hungry to make a healthy lunch, today’s menu: spicy beans!!

International Beginners Guide! Baja Specific Bicycle Touring… for the Ninja at Heart=]

super ninja map of baja california mexico

Welcome to the very first “International” section of our Bicycle Touring for Beginning Ninja guide… wow, thats a long title… The reason I reckon it is one of the most important additions to the International Sections to come is due to a few factors.

A. This is the only country you can get into without showing an ID,  until you try to come back of course thats a whole different story…

B.  It is one of the most misrepresented countries in our U.S. culture, and therefore, it should be personally visited by us if we are to ever grow as humans.

C.  It is rad and has some of the most amazing sites, tastes and feels of anywhere I have travelled in my life.  Mega Chef Anthony Bourdaine says, “…Ensenada is the next Tuscanny…”, Sammy Hagar of Van Halen has made this his home, Al Capone hung out with many a former president and dignitary here, it has a richness and magic like no other place.  The natural beauty is beyond imagining, the people are so friendly, warm and welcoming….  Do yourself a favor, come south of the border and see whats really going on.

D.  It happened to be the next stop for me outside the U.S.=]

IMPORTANT NOTE!  We are riding bikes that are not your 4×4 style, they are very strong bikes, yet they would not be the best for off-roading for extended periods.  We have been following Route 1, this is the South of the Border section of the Pacific Coast Highway you may have been cruising in California.  Some of the best attractions here in the Baja are off the beaten trail so to speak.  You will not find them on Route one, nor close to it.  Please do your homework, send us an email, do whatever it is you need to do to ensure you have the best trip possible based on what love in addition to bicycle touring… because it truly is all here!

There is a reason why this is first, it needs to be dispelled as it is the foremost thing people were warning me about….

super ninja map of baja california mexico

Policia – Police

– Prior to my departure across the border, re-phrase, whenever I would tell people of my plan to travel the world, everyone was most concerned about what fate I might encounter upon arrival in Mexico.  Full on war happening in other places, but, watch out for Mexico… HA!

Most people were very quick to assure me that my fate was sealed as a future drug mule, hostage victim, sex slave and most definitely I would have to watch for the police as they would take great pains to extract money from me and beat me every chance they got.

To date, a year of having been in Mexico, I have had the following encounters with police…

1. I have been offered a place to stay twice on police property so that I can have no worries.

2. Have been given a ride with my bike in the back of a police truck to a school to speak.

3. Given a ride to a restaurant in the back of a police truck.

4.  As part of a critical mass ride, was blown away that 26 riders would get a truck and two motorcycle police whose job it was to leap frog and stop all cross traffic for us.  Later I would find that this is common practice all over the country.  Depending on the city, the request must be dropped off anywhere from 2 weeks to the very day of the event.  How does that work exactly in the States?

What I am writing holds to the Baja Peninsula, I have yet to step foot on the mainland of Mexico, so I will not speak to it, until of course we travel through it and then I will speak a lot about it.

Whenever you are talking about police and dealing with them, it is always good to remember this one, very simply maxim… If you are doing “bad things”, be prepared for bad things to happen if the police find you – in any country. If you get caught speeding and the cop tells you that you can avoid the ticket if you give them 50 bucks, would you, A. Tell your friends how corrupt the local police are, or B. Tell your friends how stoked you are that you didn’t have to go to court and pay a 200 dollar fine… Thats one of the problems with stories and the people that tell them, most people would rather bitch than praise. They wont take a moment to reflect on the fact that speeding is speeding all over the world if there is a sign on the side of the road with a number on it that says this is the limit for the vehicle you are driving in. Further, most would rather blame the police for busting them, than accept that they were going fast?!?! Now you’ve got a bitchy gringo spinning yarns about corrupt police when really they should be stoked!  Know your source for the travel you are asking questions about!

Restaurants and Food

They are a bit different here in the way you may be used to…

The classic restaurant will have a menu, fixed prices and usually A/C if the surrounding area warrants it.  That being said, most of the places we ate at on the ride would be more open air, and the price you pay for your food depends on whos working and what they think of you, it is still cheaper than a restaurant, and I’ve found you can ask for seconds! It’s more of a temporary “Your Mom’s Kitchen” type deal if that makes sense.
The ice and water is safe contrary to gossip, it is made from purified water and you can drink water from a bottle or from a glass as the glass will be filled with purified water as NO ONE drinks anything but!
The entire country [very slight exaggeration] drinks bottled water in two forms, with or without sugar, either way you will be paying Coke or Nestle. Mexico represents ten percent of Cokes’ earnings globally…. They sell in 190 countries, so that means, GOOD GOD!

If you like meat, you are set.  If you are vegan, a little more care will have to be exercised, especially when it comes to the beans.  At times they will be cooked with lard.  Even if you ask for vegetarian, lard will not be factored in, many times fish will not be either.  This is a heads up, don’t judge too harshly as how many wars has Mexico started in the last one hundred years, not to mention, this is what the cosmopolitan Europeans were buying and selling in relation to lard at one point and I would say its a far cry healthier than what is being pawned off on the general population these days! I digress…
lard ad by the european lard commision
Being Vegan, veggie, or some derivative thereof… If you are vegan or vegetarian and are very strict, this could be a difficult ride for you for many reasons if you do not plan well ahead.  If vegan, you will be relegated to beans, rice and salad.  Salad will be iceberg lettuce and will then have one or more of the following – olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and avocado.  If you are very stict, you may not be able to eat the beans OR the rice depending on how they are prepared.  I have decided to not ask how they are made.  This is a choice each person must make.  Should you not want to risk prepared food, it will be imperitive that you set aside room in your gear for cooking and carrying food.

Important Note regarding your beans! If you are cooking them from the dried state i.e., you got a bag of beans from the store [mercado], be sure to go through them on a flat surface to look for stones.  You will find many.  You’ve been warned=]

Ensenada will be one of the best places for food and spirits [wine/beer/margaritas] on the Penninsula.  The Guadalupe Wine Valley is by far one of the best places, are you ready for this… In The World… for wine.  It is also one of the hottest and fastest growing areas for international cuisine.

wine-baja-map guadalupe valley

There is currently a rennaisance in artisenal beer [microbrews] happening.  There are many artisan beer makers appearing and the results are FANTASTIC.  The main 4 in town are Old Mission Brewery, this is for us, hands down the best.  Not only does he, the Brewmaster is Paul from Boston, have a Smoked Maple Porter that for me is one of the best beers I ever tasted, but, the hops are then used to make bread and pizza crusts!  Then we have Distrito Barro, Pelicanos and Wendtland.  To give you an idea of Old Mission Breweries prowess, whenever the other artisan pubs don’t have their brew, they always have OMB!

Points of Interest/Things to do

hmmmmm, well, the ocean is a great place to start as is the food and wine ideas put forth above…

Cave Paintings – the really old rad kind that make you think about life beyond paying bills and what the neighbors are doing…

Old Churches and Missions – To this day I have no idea why these buildings have such a hold on me.  In Santa Rosalia you can see the church by Mssr. Eiffel, the same guy that made the tower in Paris that always gets blown up in the movies by the aliens.  Lots of very cool historic religious buildings which are rad even if you arent religious!

Whales, Dolphins, Whale Sharks, coral reefs, lagoons, endangered and soon to be extinct birds and animals, deserts, tropical forests etc. – This is a great place to see them before they are all gone!

Great Food – we already covered this a few times, but just so we are clear, great food here.

Baja 1000 – This is the yearly race, usually at the end of November so the participants dont die from heat exhaustion.  Below is a video when My good friend jeff came to visit from the start in Ensenada.

Outdoor Sports – rock climbing, swimming, snorkeling, SCUBA diving [both from shore and charter], trail running, cycling.

Live music is abundant – from Punk Rock, Banda, Nortec, Strolling minstrels to string quartets.

CICESE, drawing students from around the world for some of the most in depth and rigorous scientific training to include an observatory.  Very cool people, global mega intelligent community!

Local history abounds, the main hotel turned convention center in Ensenada was formerly owned by Al Capone.  Numerous Presidents, Heads of State and other important figures from all fields, Political, Scientific, Industrial, Athletic etc., have made the Baja Peninsula a place to get away from it all.

SURFERS!

If you’re looking for surf, You’ve found the spot!  From the moment you get into the Baja you can start finding surf, as with anywhere, season and skill make the ride.  There is a lot here, quite literally too much to mention, so I wont, there are spots upon spots upon spots to surf. San Miguel just outside of Ensenada, Todos Santos [50 foot waves!!], Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, many places to rock out on huge waves and plenty of nice small ones.  Do your research and have a blast!  Some waves will require you to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, actually, a lot of them will, so keep this in mind while doing your surf homework.  If you plan on surfing just south of the border, San Miguel is a great spot, BUT, bring booties as I shredded my feet here, you’ll also need a wetsuit for a lot of the places until you get down south…

Sleeping – Camping, Hotels, Side of the Road….

Where to sleep is always a question to be sure. There are hotels but these will more often than not get you a pricey accomodation with not a lot of amenities as you may be used to.  You can also follow our path, camp at the restaurant you ate at!  What ever path you follow, when it comes to the quiet hours, always try to be somewhere close to others, there is a safety factor that is wise to try to follow, but dont let yourself get worked up, the USA has equally high, if not higher crime rates, and if you aren’t involved in the illegal transport of narcotics, you really don’t have much to worry about.  Again, if you do bad things, you get in trouble, not rocket science!

Hydration

Water to carry…  lots of water.  In fact we have a rule, if we ask one another one bottle or two, we get three.  As you get to the very southern portion of your ride, the frequency of places to get water will increase and you wont have to haul as much.  Change out your bike waterholders to simple Cage style [pic] if you dont already have them.  These will more easily fit the long

basic water bottle holderwater bottles, the 1.5 liter kind that work out a whole lot better as, A.  No cleaning as with your typical bike bottle.  It wont be so easy to find places and situations to clean your bottles unless you get a hotel every time, even then, there are many times where there will be no hotel.  B.  You need such epic amounts of water that the typical bike bottle is not enough.

When to Ride

To ride or not to ride, that is the question, well, not really, of course you’re going to ride, its just a matter of when.  We decided to ride at the height of Summer – July/August, I do not recommend this to anyone unless you are ninja training and are prepared for extreme heat conditions 24 hours a day.

The heat is often times beyond belief and very dangerous if you are not aware of your body, the signs it sends you and how well you work in hard core weather.  There were times where when breathing in, it felt like I was breathing in fire.  A breeze would be nothing more than hot water mixing with hotter water…

We ended up with a fairly serious case of heat exhaustion which had us bedridden for three days.  Heat exhaustion as with nuclear radiation, affects you at the cellular level and in studies done with professional athletes signs of damage were detected from liver biopsies over four months after the initial instance!  If you get it, you will want to be careful for at least a year following the incident as you will be predisposed to it!

Heat Sickness Symptoms to watch for – 

Profuse sweating, rapid and yet light pulse, confusion/disorientation [very bad while riding obviously], general weakness, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, low grade fever.

Signs that things are getting very serious would be – NO sweating, extreme confusion/lack of orientation, seizure, high fever [very bad], inability to move much…  these are obvious signs, yet, given the amount of people who die per year from heat related illness, we must state them to you. As you are riding and being strong, you may want to overlook things as a weakness and decide to power through, that works for math problems and relationship issues, not this, not ever.  Always stop, you are made of water, if that balance is far out of whack, bad news is quick to arrive to YOUR doorstep.

If you have one or more of these symptoms pull off the road and seek shelter, if you are in the middle of no where, set up your tent BESIDE the road so that you can flag down assistance if you do not begin to get better.  Know that the tent will be hot, but hey, you need to get out of direct sun, do not set up under large Cacti.

This is serious and kills people every year, don’t be fooled or take it lightly.  You need to replenish your fluids immediately, and keep in mind, this damages the kidneys, so you may find it takes a day or three of drinking A LOT of WATER before you really start to keep the water in your system!  You will also want to mechanically cool your body during this time either through cold water and ice bath, air conditioning, whatever you can do with where you are at, and if it gets bad, if you dont see improvement and feel scared, see a doctor.  It took me three days of cold water bathing, A/C, Emergen-C packets, True Blood episodes [when conscious] and so much water it was insane!  I almost went to the hospital which for me is huge.  Dont play with your life.  You are riding a bike, not saving the world!

Temperature Extremes! – Can wreak havoc on you!  be ready for them, you are riding in a desert, so while it may be super hot by day, it will be just as cold at night.  Once you have it figured out, you move 400 miles and now its just hot all the time.  So be ready and really take time to rest.  You may have hard nights sleeping, so have easy days riding.  Lack of sleep is the beginning of bad times.  Everything is affected by it from immune function to concentration.  Do not underestimate sleep.  I emphasize as I had no major problems prior to this portion of the trip.  Take some melotonin with you but use it sparingly as it is strong and can be habit forming!

Now we know what to watch for if we ride in the summer.  Please do be very careful and aware if you ride at this time!  Now, in the Fall, late August through October, you can, not always, C A N, get very high winds.  That these winds cause cars to pull to the side of the road, you can imagine what it does for you, especially considering how people drive in Mexico, if it stops them, it is serious indeed!

October through May is a potluck of goodness.  Generally we are led to understand the late October through December is the time to ride.  There can be rain during these times, you’re lucky if you find it, know that the main season for rain is January, February and March.  This is a general rule which is being disproved as I write this due to changes globally in weather patterns.  I am not trying to be coy or lazy in research, it simply is a fact.  Blame it on who or what you will, it makes no difference and isnt really a huge deal.  In some countries when the rainy season hits, it never seems to end, not so here, so no worries.

Recapping, the best time to ride is early winter and spring, summer is simply mind numbngly hot and autumn you may get the sciroccos [desert winds].

The Roads…

One of the first things beyond the seemingly confused and hectic way of driving, lots of quick speeding to red lights with hard braking, is the lack of shoulders on the roads.

I was told that in a money saving mission, the primary road, Route 1, was made with the minimum possible extra paving on the shoulders to save x millions of dollars.  What that means for you is that you will have some ninja times ahead of you.  There will be many places where you can visibly see how the road was literally scraped from the land to the right and left.  You are now being an Extreme Athlete, anyone that tells you otherwise has never ridden here.  When your choice going down hill at 30mph is the speeding truck beside you, the 2 inch white line below or the sheer 400 ft drop to the right or left of you, at this point you are now born again ninja, or dead.  Yes, it is like that, so be aware and do be ready to dismount and walk.  No fool has ever told a story of high adventure and wonder…

Many times when on a basic roadway section, the road has been scraped from the laft and the right o a 3 foot height above the surrounding area.  The shoulder is inches wide, if you go off the side it will be large, sharp rocks and cactus.

Many times you will need to make the decision of taking the lane of getting off the road all together.  Do not be scared to take the lane until you feel safe.  No one here will try to kill you purposefully, this only seems to happen in Europe and the United States, so take the lane and then get off the road when you can.  You may get beeped at, no big deal, half the beeps we get that we think are upset people turn out to be the ones that wave and smile the most.  So focus on keeping you safe, its really all that matters.

If you find that you have to get off the road quick, get up in your saddle to help absorb shocks and get ready for a ride!

There are a lot of blind corners, hills etc.  If you learn to factor in other vehicles and truckers, giving them hand signals to pass you etc., you will get some good street credibility, truckers have CB radios and everyone seems to know each other on the peninsula, so don’t be an ass at the very least.  if you can actually help out other vehicles, it will pay off.

Foot Gear and Pedal Setup:

Many people do this ride in all sorts of set ups, so DO NOT take my word for anything.  My feeling about this section is simply to go with the basic pedal set up as you may want to get off the road AND your bike quickly. For us nothing to lock us into the pedals at all.

First aid

I carry the same as with the kit described in the First Aid section of this guide.  I looked into rattlesnake and other anti venoms but they require refrigeration making them pointless to carry.

Part of your first aid kit will turn out to be toilet paper.  Always carry a roll as many places will not have paper.

Dinero – Cash

Expect to spend near what you would in the states, you get the gringo menu, even if you speak fluent spanish and are from another part of mexico, you get a different price then the locals, it works this way the world wide…  Dont be upset, be happy you have the opportunity you do have!

You can expect to pay the following as of 2012.  1-2 dollars for a beer, plate of beans/rice/ensenalada – 3 – 8 dollars.  Water is from 1 to 5 depending on the size.

Power, in the literal sense…

Electricity is not a guarantee here, charge ’em whenever you have access and be sure to ask before you plug in.  Money is tight for some people, electricity is not free.  Be an ambassador, not a leech.

Places that we feel you would do well to know of…

Ideas on – Places where you can stay depending on how you roll and a little about each place that was for us memorable, and some stuff to look out for… These are suggestions based on our trip.  Use them as guides only and feel free to send us any suggestions you have so that we can make this as nice a guide as possible for people!

1.  Tijuana – Be prepared to ride like a ninja.  You will be getting your first taste of road driving and it can be intense.  More than likely you will want to check out the town, you do this by crossing the main road towards the Bus Station, going through the mall at the plaza and then over the walking bridge to the Tijuana Arch.  TJ is a big city, so we recommend you check in with the TJ Couchsurfing crew or warmshowers.org hosts to get your bearings.

2.  Rosarito – I didn’t stay here so have no recommendations of where to stay, BUT, they do have a nice little bike shop=]

3.  Ensenada – This is the promised land for great food, wine, surfing, hiking, and very cool people.  If you are new to the area, chat with the Ensenada Couchsurfing crew as they are active and ready to help, there is also a warmshowers.org house specifically for bikers!

4.  Roadside camping coming out of Ensenada, 1st night, felt sketchy….  new rule, try to always find some place that has other people to camp at…

5.  Mi Ranchito restaurant –  Camped in the back of the restaurant and had a great time.

6.  Camalu – We stayed in a police impound lot.  Also had first Bike Shop we found on since leaving Ensenada!

7.  San Quintin – Hotel Uruapan, 200 pesos for travelig cyclists, A MUST, well, it was a lifesaver for us=]

8.  El Rosario – Mama Espinoza, best salsa so far and if you are nice, they will let you camp in the back.

9.  El Sacificio –  is the name of a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, if you find yourself wondering where everything is and then you come upon a restaurant, you’ve found it!  24 hours open, camp in back or to side, we were in front, bad move, lots of light, drunken people talking to us through the tent and being, in general, asses…  There will be two more places f

10.  Cataviña – police warehouse, crazy night, I ended up looking for ghosts naked with a bottle of water as my weapon…  very cool people in the town, very helpful.

From here we were stranded in Chapala, you SHOULD be able to stay at the restaurant if you speak to Youghyes, not sure if that is how it is spelled, but it sounds like YOU YES, if not, I dont know what to tell you but ride on, we got lucky and got a ride to Bahia de Los Angeles, where we stayed at Garretts, which is a oceanside camp spot and then got a ride with the same rad Germans in their Renault Prössl (pfhgrooosssille) to….

11. Guerrero Negro, here we stayed at Malarrimo Hotel in their Red Cross Station [we’ll try to get the owner, Antonio, to make it an official room for Bicycle tourists!]

12.  Vizcaino was cool especially when we found the pizza place at end of town,  and they let us camp in the back.  Ride all the way through town and it will be on your left hand side, it was orange when we ate there.

13.  San Ignacio, this is the oasis, and you will be so happy to have found it!  We stayed at and recommend – Patates, campground on the lagoon, showers, free canoe/paddle boat, rad owner…  Using it as your base, you can cruise up to Rice and Beans Restaurant for a big old plate of the name sake and use the wifi if you’re so inclined…  Your things will most likely be safe at the campground un-attended.  When making fires here, be very aware and diligent as every so often all the palm trees catch at the same time!

14.  Santa Rosalia is RAD, stayed with a freind of a friend, kick ass town…lots of places to stay, bigger town, used to be a copper mining/smelting community owned by a French outfit called something or other, anyway, you can pretend you snuck in to the old facility and see what ghost you can scare up, there is actually no fence, hence pretending to sneak in, which is surprising as it is a serious abandoned factory with many places for things to go awry… Compangie du Boleo was the mining firm…

15.  Mulege, what a super sweet spot!  The restaurant you want to find yourself at is Casa de Pancho Villa, best rice and beans, from there, let the magic take its course….  If you are lucky you can hang out with ex CIA agents at the former presidential retreat, guys who race trucks and mysterious French men from Belgium who speak Spanish=]

Playa Row [beach row] starts with Santispac a.k.a. Concepcion and goes south with many many beaches to Punta Tasajera, take your pick, Santispac has a restaurant, closed on wednesday (of course subject to change with zero notice from us:)

16.  Playa Burro – Restaurant open daily, rad people…

17.  Playa Buenaventura –  decent place to recharge you stuff and get food, just watch out for the Greedy Gringo!…

From here we kept at it and ended up with a sweet case of Heat exhaustion in Loreto…  Cool little town, very hot when the Baja is in hot mode…

Ciudad Constitucion – restaurant from hell and the first time we saw a Pepsi advertisment, until then it was 100 percent Coke… they own Mexico.

Aqua, not beer or coffee, I say this as I contemplate getting another cup of coffee…..  STAY HYDRATED!

We are now back in Ensenada making some dinero to move forward, our bikes are in San Jose del Cabo and will finish out this section upon our return, in the interim, email with any questions should you be coming this way!

Bike blog by Chris, the anti-imperialist biker who hopes the world figures shit out so he doesnt have to stop buying tofu from the store.

Yes, thats me, the anti-imperialist biker who doesnt want to stop buying his tofu from a store….  Ahh, so funny guy.

Stoked, in our room, yes, we sprung for a room, its been a fwapdoozy getting back into ninja biking shape, tingling arms/fingers/hands, sore back, ass, legs, completely changed diet, now I seem to eat only nopales, frijoles, rice, tomatoe, onion and thats it, no wait, corn tortillas, which isnt bad, trust me, no complaints, throw some hot saue on there and Im stoked, just a bit put off by the sudden lack of fresh veggies is all, but hey, ninja for life.

Downloading, gasp, a movie, Battleship with Rhianna.  Cant go too far wrong, aliens, RHIANNA (Fuck you chris brown, douche bag woman beater), and epic sound effects and explosions, perfect to heal by, especially when coupled with Vega and Healthforce nutritional supplements, the ones we haveleft, ofcourse, they must be carefully worked in with doses of magic cookies and apparently my new favorite beer, Dos Equis.

i dont usually drink mass produced commercial shitty beer, but when I do….

The ride has been excellent, saw a lot of major farms which I wrote a bit about in another post, kinda sad to see see howmthings are going in the world, but, as I said, its another post, read it:)

Movie isnt downloading, beers downloading great….  Having fun trolling people complaining on Facebook, all you have to do is take a trip to another country and camp, not stay in swanky hotels, hell, be brave and make it a “third world” country by bike!  Everything changes…..  Seriously, you do yourself a diservice by not recognizing this simple advice given tomus by everyone from Jesus, to Jack Kerouac to Henry Rollins of the Rollins Band.  GO FORTH and as a dude once told me, do some AMAZING things….

Falling more in love with Diana daily, not that I wasnt before, but just, hmmmmm, the roots are getting deeper and stronger if that makes any sense….

Wanna find the right woman to be your bride, or the right guy to be your beau, go TOURING ON BIKES!

Making super beer by adding “magic” tincture to mi cerveca, mi wasnt a misspell, it means my…  Spanish is obviously coming right along for me….

Just added and W O W…  No pain for this little ninja:)

Last night was spent in the police impound lot, or maybe Im just calling it that, of the Camalu Ensenada, Baja California Police.  So sweet, I of course had another day of no sleep?… Sigh, not sleeping sucks, thats kind of a duh statement.

Im drinking Dos Equis today… Ordinarily I would never drink it, as life is too short to drink anything but the best beer, and I realized, well, shit, thats a very relative statement!

Cheers!

Ensenada to La Paz, Day 3… No zombies….

 

We have a shady little spot in the back back of mi ranchero restaurant, the end of our 20k day.  A tiny day to be sure, and yet not to be dismissed as it was frought with all the agony and drama of a full length epic…
We were given a very cool send off by dianas parents, brother, yoga students and new teacher Oscar.
I was hung over as you may well imagine based on the preceeding entry and we went as far as Cafe Thomas to saddle up to our last soy milk latte in what I can only imagine may be quite some time.
Its been so long, the ten months literally fled by, and now here I am, completely out of shape, with added pounds in regard to my bust and waistline, dehydrated to the max and… Lovin it!

Is it legal?  We didnt know.  Is the area safe.  As a whole yes, if by safe enoughto be stark naked in the middle of the pre desert on the side of the primary road, again, we didnt know.  A tent, while cozy  is merely a taco, or a sandwhich as Gary Larson pointed out with his beloved talking bears… Oh look, little sandwhiches!

.We did end up rationing our water supply as, shocker, we ran very low, i have an ipad, but not enough water in the desert…. Sigh, one little bottle, and we had no where to stay, we decided against staying at the pay for night camping spot as they charged for the day and for the night and per person, pride drove us ever onward and we realized that choices would be few and far between.  Commando camping is always an option, but one must understand certain things.
Is it legal?  Who knows?  Is it a safe area, even bigger unknown…
Given that two of the road kill I had seen were BOBCATS, I was further disheartened, that 2-5 foot flattened rattle snakes were beyond common a little more serious, topped off by roadkill of a very serious looking Big Ass Dog, made my stomach sink a little further, but not so far that I still didnt have the courage to suggest we keep on riding, even better was when I said that the road probably just climber around the corner and then stopped and we would have somewhere good to camp….
It rose and rose, and once you were on it long enough to realize that it was still rising, based on the day, a person just got the feeling that itnhad to be done.  I say that cause i really hope thats what diana wasmthinking…

Though i neglected to take pictures this morning ofmsaidcampingnsite,mit was quite sweet, camoflauge wise, as for actuall sleeping, shit, no shade, so nuclear hot while the sun was even remotely in the sky, then freezing, i have a cazy heavy down sleeping bag which only just finished drying from the sweat, this had me super uncomfortable, any noise would freak me out, i thought we were being attacked by bobcats once and a giant dog when I mistakenly took the “motor braking” of a truck in the distance for deep growling….  In the distance, when I looked this morning we were a literal stones throw from the highway.

We finally found a spot, very sketchy at a recently installed drainage runoff concrete things, leaving the ground trampled enough that I felt confident hiding two bikes, a ton of stuff and a blue tent behind scrub brush and a tarp.
Point is, we made it, and it was rad:). We rode off this morning feeling very ill having not had water beyond carefully measured sips and the occasional gulp.
The little we did ride today was fought for, though as I told Diana what I fight for now is only because I was so indulgent when in Ensenada, the fine dining, great wine, superb beer, what could I do, musnt punish myself too much, just seems like when I slip a little, I usually end up slipping a whole lot further:)
We met friends from costasalvajae, they passed us and gave us thier info as they are doing anproject in Guerro Negro for  10 days, not sure if we will make it, BUT, we’ll see!
Very happy to be resting, healing, heat stroke is no joke.. Ha!  

The other was the fact that we are ninja.

Time to keep pedaling, this covers two days, we are on our third, saw two coyotes today cruising in the fields beside us, had a morning fire, got waaay overcharged for roadside coconuts and feel on top of the world:)

Aloha!

Ensenada to La Paz, Day 3… No zombies….

 

We have a shady little spot in the back back of mi ranchero restaurant, the end of our 20k day.  A tiny day to be sure, and yet not to be dismissed as it was frought with all the agony and drama of a full length epic…
We were given a very cool send off by dianas parents, brother, yoga students and new teacher Oscar.
I was hung over as you may well imagine based on the preceeding entry and we went as far as Cafe Thomas to saddle up to our last soy milk latte in what I can only imagine may be quite some time.
Its been so long, the ten months literally fled by, and now here I am, completely out of shape, with added pounds in regard to my bust and waistline, dehydrated to the max and… Lovin it!

Is it legal?  We didnt know.  Is the area safe.  As a whole yes, if by safe enoughto be stark naked in the middle of the pre desert on the side of the primary road, again, we didnt know.  A tent, while cozy  is merely a taco, or a sandwhich as Gary Larson pointed out with his beloved talking bears… Oh look, little sandwhiches!

.We did end up rationing our water supply as, shocker, we ran very low, i have an ipad, but not enough water in the desert…. Sigh, one little bottle, and we had no where to stay, we decided against staying at the pay for night camping spot as they charged for the day and for the night and per person, pride drove us ever onward and we realized that choices would be few and far between.  Commando camping is always an option, but one must understand certain things.
Is it legal?  Who knows?  Is it a safe area, even bigger unknown…
Given that two of the road kill I had seen were BOBCATS, I was further disheartened, that 2-5 foot flattened rattle snakes were beyond common a little more serious, topped off by roadkill of a very serious looking Big Ass Dog, made my stomach sink a little further, but not so far that I still didnt have the courage to suggest we keep on riding, even better was when I said that the road probably just climber around the corner and then stopped and we would have somewhere good to camp….
It rose and rose, and once you were on it long enough to realize that it was still rising, based on the day, a person just got the feeling that itnhad to be done.  I say that cause i really hope thats what diana wasmthinking…

Though i neglected to take pictures this morning ofmsaidcampingnsite,mit was quite sweet, camoflauge wise, as for actuall sleeping, shit, no shade, so nuclear hot while the sun was even remotely in the sky, then freezing, i have a cazy heavy down sleeping bag which only just finished drying from the sweat, this had me super uncomfortable, any noise would freak me out, i thought we were being attacked by bobcats once and a giant dog when I mistakenly took the “motor braking” of a truck in the distance for deep growling….  In the distance, when I looked this morning we were a literal stones throw from the highway.

We finally found a spot, very sketchy at a recently installed drainage runoff concrete things, leaving the ground trampled enough that I felt confident hiding two bikes, a ton of stuff and a blue tent behind scrub brush and a tarp.
Point is, we made it, and it was rad:). We rode off this morning feeling very ill having not had water beyond carefully measured sips and the occasional gulp.
The little we did ride today was fought for, though as I told Diana what I fight for now is only because I was so indulgent when in Ensenada, the fine dining, great wine, superb beer, what could I do, musnt punish myself too much, just seems like when I slip a little, I usually end up slipping a whole lot further:)
We met friends from costasalvajae, they passed us and gave us thier info as they are doing anproject in Guerro Negro for  10 days, not sure if we will make it, BUT, we’ll see!
Very happy to be resting, healing, heat stroke is no joke.. Ha!  

The other was the fact that we are ninja.

Time to keep pedaling, this covers two days, we are on our third, saw two coyotes today cruising in the fields beside us, had a morning fire, got waaay overcharged for roadside coconuts and feel on top of the world:)

Aloha!