Now That Was Easy!
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
163Trip End May 10, 2011
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Where I stayed
San Victor Motel
574 km / 356.3 mi :)
Having decided on taking the bus through the desert, we set the alarm for 5am and were peddling the 2.5k to the station by 5:40. We arrived at the station 10 to 6… "No hurry", the young ticket lady implied with hand signals. The bus is not here yet. It will arrive sometime between 6 and 7 – OH! There was an afternoon bus, but we wanted to ride in daylight for the full 8 hours.
At exactly 7AM, the bus departed with our bikes and all panniers safely stowed in spacious bottom compartment. Only 3 other passengers on board. Michelle was thrilled with our coveted seats up behind the driver with an unobstructed view of the passing scenery.
We expected the area around Catavina, with its giant granite boulders, huge Gardon and contorted Cirio or Boojum Cacti to be the highlight of the trip. However, catching up with Jason was a great surprise. 50 hours and 180 km after he departed El Rosario, we caught up with him at about 9:30. Michelle jumped up when we saw Jason and said to the bus driver “Mi Amigo!” “Mi Amigo!”, “Mi Amigo!” The bus driver picked up on the not so subtle cue and slowed the bus to a stop on the narrow shoulderless 2 lane road and let us out to greet Jason for a moment. We did not really have anything to say except to tell him he's doing great! The temperature was steadily rising but not as hot yet as we expected (mid 90’s with low humidity). Jason was overjoyed to see us and our brief reunion. I’m sure it lifted his spirits during his arduous desert trek as much it did ours.
We were happy to have bypassed many of the ups and downs of the mountains and some long boring stretches of barren, dusty desert, with nothing but unexciting weeds and brush. We stopped for a bus driver change when a little old lady came on board (straight from heaven in my opinion) selling kilos of my favorite fruit…figs. Happy birthday Michelle…. I was tempted to buy 2 bags but since I am the only one eating them, I figured 1 kilo could do more than enough harm!! The first half of the bag was gone before we left the station!! What a treat! Soon, we saw thousands of date palms out the window and we arrived at the little dusty oasis of San Ignacio where we stopped briefly to take on few more passengers.
Finally, as we crested a particularly steep section, we were treated to the long anticipated view of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) and a small strip of pebbled coastline. Not as turquoise as we had hoped and no luxurious sandy beaches either. Fifteen minutes later, when we stepped off the bus in Santa Rosalia, it was as if we got slapped in the face by an invisible hot wet towel. The choking humid heat took our breath away. Everyone had warned us about it but it still caught us off guard. Rivers of perspiration poured off of us instantaneously....yuk.
After Dave fixed yet another flat (same tire) we went in search of hotel. At first sight, Santa Roselia has more charm than most places we’ve seen so far in Baja. The main street through town heads west, off HW 1 and is lined with wooden houses dating back to 1880's and made of imported timber.
We decide on the cheaper of the 2 hotels we looked at. Motel San Victor with ceiling fan and standing fan and coldwater only shower. That sounded just fine to us. Besides it was an LP recommendation. Victor recommended small restaurant " Nettos" for grilled fish which turned out to be disappointing. Far from fresh and overcooked and served with an old limp salad. We stopped for dessert at "Thrifty" Ice cream parlor - no complaints there!!
The temperature didn't cool off when the sun went down and the 2 fans in our room didn't help to make us comfortable. Even Michelle's trick to wet and wring-out her sarong and sleep under that didn't cool us down. Consequently neither one of us had a sound sleep.