Get up early and see a note under my door that Alex has left with his info. If I end up going to Cabo, I’ll definitely look him up to hang out. In the meantime, I decide to skip the whole whale watching thing and make the short ride to the coastal town of Mulege. As I head towards the coast, the views of the sea appearing after riding in the desert once again impresses the hell outta me. Before Mulege, I make a quick stop at Santa Rosalia to see the church made completely of stainless steel and designed by Gustav Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame. The town was built by a French mining company in the 1800's and remnants and architectural design all point to this, a little like the French Quarter in New Orleans but here in the middle of Baja. I leave after an hour or so and get to Mulege. Mulege is a laid back, ex-pat hangout/vacation spot and it seems like a nice place. I settle in my room and run into a trio of bicyclists I ran into on the road earlier getting a room. These long distance bicycle guys are pretty hardcore, many of them working their way from Alaska to the bottom of South America. Intense enough on a motorcycle, can't imagine doing in on a bicycle. I take a walk to the old mission, grab a light dinner of soup again and hop on the computer at the internet café to catch up on the blog and retire early. From here it’s a relatively quick push to LaPaz, with a night at Loreto tomorrow in between.
The next day I grab some coffee and pastry in the morning at a local coffee shop/real estate office (you read that right) and meet the owner Robin and a cool AdvRider named Randy who is trying to move down here and start a dirt bike rental and tour business (there’s a thought…). I go back to the room and plan on taking a quick ride to the beach before packing up. A bunch of other long-distance bicyclists have arrived and everyone is hanging out on the patio. One of them then reminds me that I lost an hour crossing into Baja California Sur and that I have to stay another day or be out of there in 20 minutes. Fuck, I didn’t realize that. Its tempting to stay another day, but I’m itching to get on and I pack up the bike, say goodbye, ride out to the beach fully loaded to take a look around and some pics, and then it’s a short 86 mile ride to Loreto. On the way there, I see the most stunning views of the sea on the trip, a lot like the California 101 but with turquoise water that you can see right through, with desert mountains to my right. About 15 miles from Loreto, the bike starts hesitating in 4th and 5th gear when travelling at higher speeds. This is unsettling and I realize I’ll have to get it sorted out in Loreto before I leave for La Paz. I figure it is not too serious, a problem with the fuel delivery is what it feels like. I roll into town, get a room for about 16 bucks and go to the only moto mechanic in town. His shop is the front yard of his house on a dirt road, but he is out of town. After a while and some more searching, I find an auto shop and there are a couple of guys there who know a lot about bikes. We eventually discover that the carb seal is cracked and the air being sucked into the carb at speed is interfering with the correct fuel delivery, causing the hesitation, I opt for a carb cleaning and get my horn finally installed as well. The owner of the shop comes over and he speaks great English. Gerardo is in a wheel chair and has recently lost BOTH legs in a car accident. He is in awesome spirits though and says that when you are a speed demon, you cant whine about it when if you have to pay a big price someday. Damn. Makes my problems seem like no problems. He has a Yamaha TTR 250, a smaller, lighter version of my bike which I take out for a spin and thoroughly enjoy. His wife, from San Diego, comes by and picks us up before dropping me off near my motel. I take an evening stroll, have a super light dinner and wind up in this coffee house drinking great java and taking advantage of the free wifi. The plan is to hopefully pick up the bike in the morning and head to La Paz, 220 miles away and settle in for a few days to take care of paperwork, errands, and secure my ferry ride to the mainland.