Our New Year's Eve is pretty quiet, but we meet two fabulous travelers: John and Claudia. These two have been traveling in a Land Rover, driving off road as much as possible and going on exciting side trips (biking, hiking, packrafting, etc.) They say that they're headed to Argentina as well but that they'll probably take 6 years.
Jan 1st 2015
After sleeping in we spend the morning with John who has graciously offered to help us with some bike maintenance. After re-greasing my bottom bracket, removing Danny's cassette with our handy tool, and doing various other small tune-ups, our bikes are ready to enter the new year in style!
Thank you John for spending so much time helping and teaching us about bikes.
After a few errands in town it's almost 2:00pm by the time we leave. However, thanks to a flat road and tailwind, by 4:30 we've already completed 40 miles and decide to stop early. The sun set is beautiful over the desert mountains and the moon is so bright we don't need flashlights.
So many good moments in the past year to treasure, and so many more good ones to come. :-)
Neither of us is excited to ride through more desert today. Luckily, 20 miles in our day is made by the appearance of a small town with a Tortilleria. Here we buy huge amounts of fresh, homemade tortillas and locally made cheese. La señora who sells us these items also gives us 6 liters of water for free- a rare find in the desert.
All afternoon the biking is tough. The road is hilly, the traffic is terrible because we are approaching La Paz, and we have a headwind. Even though there is still light to bike, we pull over in the desert to camp. I decide that today is the day we will eat the Snickers bar I have carried from Tok, Alaska. I was saving it for a special day, but really everyday on our trip is special. Plus, I just really feel like a Snickers.
Early in the morning we already have a strong cross/headwind. Thankfully the traffic has died down a bit, perhaps because it is Saturday. About 25 miles into our ride we hit construction.
The whole road has been torn apart and we are left with several long stretches of sandy, dusty and wash boarded gravel. After gritting our teeth through some nasty riding, we find that part of the new road has been finished and is still closed to cars. Those little barriers can't stop bikes! Now we're riding on wide, long stretches of fresh pavement with no cars or dust. Hooray!
Instead of biking into La Paz, we turn left on a different road and head to the ranch where Danny will be working for the next two weeks. The scenery is spectacular; giant cacti and sparkling ocean on the right, colorful striated mountains on the left. At the ranch we are greeted by a wonderful crew of people: Miguel, the owner, Clement, a WWOOFer from France, and Lorenzo, a WWOOFer from Mexico. The ranch was hit hard by the recent hurricane, but is still beautiful and completely sustainable. All of the animals appear happy and well fed, and the many varieties of cow and goat cheese look delicious. We spend a lovely evening learning a bit about the ranch and baking bread in a wood fired oven.
Danny will of course have more stories to post after his stay.
We wake up early to a cacophony of roosters, long before sunrise. Such is life in rural Mexico.
Miguel and crew are driving into La Paz today so they give me a lift. Outside of Walmart we part ways and I bike off to find my homestay. It's not long before I'm meeting Alicia and Vicente at their beautiful home in La Paz. They have a whole separate studio apartment for me to stay in complete with bed, bathroom, and kitchen! After traveling by bike and camping, such luxury is rather overwhelming. I hang up my two shirts in the closet.
In the afternoon we go shopping for some food and school supplies. Alicia patiently listens to me struggle to tell her about myself in Spanish and makes some delicious food. What a wonderful place I have found!
It's crazy to think that I'm going to school tomorrow. What a change from the usual.