Morning finally, mercilessly, came after enduring a few hours of thumping bass, and we headed back to basecamp for breakfast with the whole crew. We’d been told about “Gary’s homemade sausage” and the great breakfast they cook up. Well, the eggs were eggs, and you could have them any way as long as they were scrambled. And I did manage to put down quite a lot of fruit. But the bowl, nay, not a bowl, the tub, the giant tub of sausage and other pork fat that was served still gives me the quivers. I made the foolish mistake of grabbing a few links of “sausage,” and once on my plate, I felt compelled to eat it all since it was family style and all. My new nickname is Bad Move Wags. I can seriously still feel pig gonads bouncing about my teeth. I’m still pulling them out. We didn’t eat for the rest of the day since any thought of food brought back those sausages. Still hurts.
But, breakfast was mostly enjoyable, and we got great recommendations on where to stay on our way up. We were about to enter the longest stretch in Baja with no hotels and no good places to stop.
With the sun blocked by a deep layer of clouds, we knew it was going to be chilly, but we got extra lucky, and it was really windy too. Ugh. We made it to Guerrero Negro after about and hour and a half, and that place did nothing to lift our spirits. It’s mostly a HUGE salt mining (manufacturing? Harvesting?) plant, and the workers that surround it. It’s not like walking into anywhere I can think of in the United States. The closest thing to it would be walking into an Indian reservation in the western states. It’s hard even to describe. We ate at what was actually a really nice restaurant attached to the hotel in town. Great service, food looked really great (we only had coffee), and the inside was nice. Contradictions like this one abound in Mexico. Never a dull moment.
Some of our riding scenery:
After more desert riding, wind, and cold, we finally stopped in El Rosario. We were exhausted from this tough ride made worse by the dull scenery, and we were absolutely ready to stop and be done for the day. The thing is though, while traveling, especially by motorcycle, there is a definite mojo-quality about places. It’s a combination of the town and the actual hotel. Call it chi, call it feng shui, call it energy or life, I have no clue what it is, but it’s there. A place can be a complete dump and can have awesome mojo. Or, it can be super nice and suck your soul out through your sphincter (yes, that hurts). It doesn’t take but a second to feel it and make the decision. And the essence is magnified when you show up after 300 miles of wind, cold, sweat, sand, and exhaustion.
As we pulled into the town of El Rosario, I was hit by the negative mojo right in the face like hot, wet underwear. Yuck. I’d decided in that moment that we’d have to move on before even seeing the hotel. And then we saw the hotel, and more importantly, our room, and the decision was made – move on. Our room was in the old part of the hotel (the new part actually has some flowing mojo, and may be ok, but I’d still move on like we did – more on that in a bit), and it was dumpy and right on the road where insanely loud trucks were engine breaking down and spanking their engines up the hill. The place was so empty of life, I could feel my soul deflating and leaking out through my sweaty, stinky boots. Outta here.
(Note to reader: the new part of the hotel – can’t remember the name – was actually sort of interesting looking. The old part looked like it was ripped out of a trailer park horror movie.)
Luckily, the place did have some wifi, so we jumped on my computer and found Hotel Jardines (also recommended by the people at dinner the night before, but then so was El Rosario, so who knows) outside of San Quintin. What a place! We got so lucky that we decided to move on from El Rosario – because believe me, it was still a tough decision as tired as we were. And this last place had been recommended to us, so we were really doubting it. It was a pretty big risk to keep going, but I just had to.
But the road after El Rosario improved a bit for scenery, and it lifted our spirits.
After the improved scenery, we felt great as we pulled into Jardines, and wow, were we rewarded for making the decision to continue on after El Rosario. Talk about another oasis – Jardijnes is really hard to describe, and what it’s doing out there in the middle of nowhere, I’ll never know. It’s down a series of dirt roads and then in the middle of farms. But, it’s immediately surrounded by lime, orange, and grapefruit trees, exotic flowers, bushes, and plants beyond count, and birds upon birds upon birds keeping a constant soundtrack alive without being annoying. It was another incredible oasis in the desert. When life does emerge from the sand, it’s often very intense.
At dinner, we had too much to eat, and too much to drink, and we deserved every minute of it. The food was surprisingly good, and we ran into a group of riders riding dirt bikes down to Cabo and back up. There were about 10-14 of them traveling from Southern California. Sounds like they do the trip every year and have been for a long time. Bob, their apparent leader, stayed for a while after his group had left and told stories about much of his world travel. It was great. And the calling card of bikers that allows us all into some club. His crew was all saying, “If you’re ever in town, call us up – we have plenty of bikes for us all to ride.” We’d knowing each other for about half an hour. Awesome.
Funny thing in this small traveling world. I’d mentioned running into the guy at Playa Requison who told us that Mark and Anita had left. Well, my housemate the night I stayed in Mulege had met Mark and Anita while she was in La Paz or somewhere south before I had! And now, at the Jardines, we run into Judy and (can’t remember his name), who are the next door neighbors from Cliff’s Place in Mulege. Unreal. It’s like we’re locals.
Our route (now at “M”):