I wasn’t sure how riding down Baja’s Route 1 would feel on a bike with only spring and no rebound dapening. Sitting at the tire repair place and cafe at the junction of the dirt road we just championed, I thought perhaps I should convince a truck driver to take my bike to La Paz or Cabo.
But after a test ride to the turn off to Bahia de Los Angeles, I figured I could ride 45-50 mph and control the bounce through focus, attention and control of speed. We pressed on to Guerro Negro where I learned that FedEx and DHL only will deliver to La Paz or Cabo, not Muleje or Loreto – two towns I looked forward to spending some time.
I contacted Pierre at Works Performance and they’d had a shock ready to be shipped by tomorrow – Tuesday September 27th. I instruced him to send it to La Paz via DHL since they were the only US-based carrier with an office there and instruct them to hold it at that office for pick up. I also learned that it would take three days to get to La Paz. This meant a slow ride down and time to spend in Santa Rosalia, Mulaje and Loreto.
So rather than do the tour of the legendary salt flats of Guerro Negro, we decided to make it by sunset to Santa Rosalia. Then the next day camp along the Bay of Conception under another Palapa.
We arrived in Santa Rosalia just in time for sunset. About 10,000 people call Santa Rosalia home, a former copper mining settlment built by the French in the late 1800’s. Evidence of the French’s influence is found in a prefab Church designed by Gustave Eiffel and a french baker still running for more than 100 years.
It doesn’t take long to tour the town the next morning and we’re off making our slow ride to La Paz.
Stopping in Muleje for fish tacos and a a couple beers at the infamous cafe on the sand at the end of the dirt road tha parallels the river.
Leaving the cafe Sacha and I agreed we’d ride south about 12km and find a palapa and make camp, then head to Loreto the next morning. As usual, I had to crawl down the dirt road to keep myself from getting thrown off my bike — oh, rather my pogo. Sacha sped up.
By the time I hit the road there was no sign of Sacha. I figured he bolted down the road and I’d meet him at the turn off to a nice beach campo. So I rode on. And on. And on. I was passing beutiful beach after beautiful beach on one of the most scenic bays in Baja. Still no sign of Sacha. More beautiful beaches. By now I’m cursing the dude. After just three or four days of riding, but certainly some serioius bonding as a result of our mutual misfortunes and night with Coco, he’s gone and flaked. I didn’t necessarily blame him. I was a slow poke. But what did he expect. I’ve got no suspension. Good god.
I rode on and passed more beaches and more campsites. Passing through a construction zone where crews had laid out about a mile of thick rocky gravel. Nervous moments and a close call, I didn’t fall. But by now I was thinking, could he be behind me? Nah. I was so slow. I pulled over and waited 15 minutes just to see if a headlight rounded the corner over the hill. Nothing.
Where the hell is he? I rode on. Soon I was halfway to Loreto and campsites on the beach were past history. I was kicking myself. I’d been dreaming about those Muleje beaches ever since I crossed the border in Tecate. There’s no way I was going back.
At dusk I rolled into Loreto. With no orientation whatsoever I just turned down a street I thought would take me toward the water. I comabatted dusty byways and noisy barking dogs nipping at my ankles. It grew darker. I knew this town had appeal. But I couldn’t see it nor find it. Finally after weaving through streets I found the Malecon, a short road the runs along the Sea of Cortex. But it was very dark and there were no lights nor lighted signs. Then I spotted a colorful A-from sign on the sidewalk pointing to Cabanas down a dusty dirt road. I made the turn.
When I shut the engine off a woman appeared in the archway of the wall the nestled a small tropical oasis – Las Cabanas de Loreto. Even better, as hot and sweaty and frustrated I was, she spoke English. Jill is from Sonoma and she and her husband and parents bought this cozy getaway almost two years ago. Her husband is a wildlife photographer and a large photo of jumping dolphins graced the Cabana that I would call home for the next three days.
Las Cabanas de Loreto has four cabanas complete with kitchenettes, cozy beds, beautiful tiled showers and air conditioning. Jill shared her plans for a rooftop garden and patio above the owners residence and a pool that will be built in time for a wedding this winter. Even better, wireless internet. Plus walking distance to the best restaurnats, the mission and cool little bars and cafes. Loreto is my friend.