That mountain made it a hard 30 miles!

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Rancho 23

Flag of Mexico  , Baja California,
Saturday, July 24, 2010

7/24 Saturday

From: Nuevo Odisea to El Rosario de Arriba  30 mi/48.75 km  15 % max climb./ 3% Ave Climb. Ave Temp 24 / Cool Ocean Breeze

Trip Altitude 275m

Total Distance (cumulative) 787 kilometers

Up at 6:30 and quickly packed. The clear, almost full moon, night sky was replaced by a thick chilly marine layer shrouding the coast. And the wind had died. As promised, Glenn had a pot of coffee ready for us. As the last bungee was strapped down, Dave noticed his flat tire. Without success he went over and over the tire, inside and out, looking for the cause of the puncture. An hour later, the tube was patched and the bike put back together. We said goodbye to Glenn (Joan was still asleep) and made our way up the 1.5 mile dirt road to the pavement and restaurant #12 for a fantastic breakfast near bus depot. We can choose 3 dishes of the seven big pots on the stove with Frijoles (refried beans), Rice Americana (w/ vegetable), Machacca (shredded beef), zucchini w/ onions & tomato, Chicharones Mexicana (deep-fried pork-rinds in dish) scrambled eggs with all sorts of veggies. I rounded mine off with my favorite drink in Baja so far, fresh lemonade.

Our good intentions of an early start fizzled out and it was 10:30 by the time we hopped our bikes. The marine layer hadn't lifted and we got a nice fresh breeze in the back to help push us over the hilly terrain.

Our goal is El Rosario. Our Warmshowers host, "Duffy", hadn’t replied to our requests so we’ll play it by ear.  

It was hilly, but doable, for the 1st 20 miles along a road that paralleled the coastline. The sun came through after a while but the cool wind kept it comfortable. Then, the road turned inland. The 1st few hills were followed by brief drops. Still manageable and we were doing fine. Then the monster reared its ugly head, a long, long uphill. Around every curve of the steady uphill climb, seemed to promise the end of the climb. But as we got there, we saw yet another steep climb. We ended up pushing our bike the last km, as our legs had turned to rubber. Now stretching our calf muscles nicely for a change. Luckily traffic was light and there was some resemblance of shoulder. We realized that things could be a lot worse; we still had the nice cool coastal breeze.

Finally, we arrived at the summit and passed the heavily manned army check-point. Then a 5 km steep downhill began which lasted until we reached our destination; the town of El Rosario. We kept our speed to below 40km because we were not feeling secure about how our loaded bikes would handle at higher speeds. It was 3 pm now and we were thrilled to be almost done for the day. We went on our quest to find Duffy’s Ranch but stopped first at bus terminal to check bus schedules out of town when we happened upon the terminal. The real hot weather starts 10 km from here. That’s also when real mountains begin.

And the ride over the pass in the desert is not anything we are looking forward to. Water stops are iffy. Temps will be off the chart and there are some gnarly climbs.

We have pretty much decided to take the bus for a stretch.

Christopher, a recently minted Doctor came out of the pharmacy to help with the translation. It turns out he lives near Duffy and Ed. Only 3 more miles up the road on the right. So we continued on. Both Jason, our cycling friend we met in Santo Tomas and Duffy, a portly jovial chap, were standing in the yard when we arrived and gave us a warm welcome.

Jason had arrived yesterday and decided to relax for a few days before continuing south. He’s braving the terrain and elements. He’s hard core.

Duffy, another character, built himself a simple little one room hacienda, just the way he likes it. The one small room house contains his heavy duty 6 burner gas stove, a metal shelving unit stocked with kitchen supplies, a fridge, a TV and a Lazy-boy lounger couch where he sleeps. Soon we we’re sitting on the small shady patio with large glass orange juice in hand. We got the run-down on the shower do’s and don’ts. The on-demand hot water works when there is enough water pressure from the town water system, early morning and eve. The shower off the shaded patio is made of beautiful natural stone but without door, so when the toilet door swings open across the opening means someone is using shower. The open toilet stall is not an eyesore one might expect but a colorfully painted palm scene inside. A “wild flower” friend (Duffy affectionately calls his gay friends) of Duffy had come down and painted it. Duffy has an impressive garden started as well, with artichokes, asparagus, melons, Thomson seedless grapes, tomatoes, onion and elephant garlic even a few fruit trees. He has plans to keep expanding. Duffy has a home (and wife) in Oxnard as well. He divides his time between here and there, two weeks here and 2 weeks in Oxnard. He said if we need anything brought back to Oxnard he would be happy to take it for us. He is such a generous man, he’s all about giving. In addition to his own dog he has 4 homeless dogs and 2 kittens that came and never left. A young couple that lives in camper on his property take care of things when he’s gone.

While I showered Dave set up the tent on grassy field next to the chicken coup. Then Duffy took the 3 of us for the best (and only) hot dogs in town. 
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Bonnie on

How far ahead do you have your overnight stops planned? Seems like you know every one of them.

Ali and Son on

787 kilometres already? More great scenery to come soon. Enjoy the cacti, but beware of your tyres...
Keep enjoying those travels. We'll be following you two.
Ciao from the Netherlands,
Ali and Son

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