Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010: Loreto- La Paz, 220 miles, 5 hours.

Go over to the shop in the morning and of course Fernando is late in starting to work on my bike. This means I will have to stay in Loreto another day, as I can really only keep my stuff in the motel room till noon and its 11 now. I quickly realize that Im totally cool with the extra day here. Fernando shows up and puts the carb back on the bike and its running well. I decide to use the extra day to do visit Mission San Javier, about 20 miles down a dirt road up in he mountains. I know, I said I was sick of dirt but there is a big difference between a fully loaded bike and one completely free of any cumbersome luggage. I figure I can get there with relatively no problems. Then Gerardo sweetens the deal and insists I take his little Yamaha TTR 250. Im happy to oblige. The first few miles are sweet paved asphalt, then dirt and gravel hairpins climbing up into the mountains. Stop a couple of times to take pictures and the bike wont start at first, but I manage to get it going. The dirt roads straighten out and Im flying along in 5th gear, blazing by other 4 wheeled vehicles making the same trek. Get to the little town of San Javier, population 150 and recipients of electricity only 3 months prior. Check out the main square and the Jesuit mission and head back to the shop. I make good time, but the shop is locked up. No big deal, Ill go by in the morning and swap bikes and be on my way. Its Sunday and the whole town is dead and I spend the rest of the evening reading by the sea on the malecon, sampling the local fare, and finally finding a spot who will serve me a cup of coffee.

First thing next morning I go to pick up the bike. Goodbyes all around and then I'm off to Fandango, the coffee shop with wifi I discovered the other day and spend an hour or so hanging with Carlos the owner (cool guy, same age as me) and his girlfriend. Carlos and his girl speak great English and he also did a similar bike trip across Mexico an a Royal Enfield. We exchange info and promise to stay in touch and soon I'm on the road to La Paz. I see Brandon once again, the bicyclist Ive been running into from time to time on the road. We stop and chat for a while and I keep on going. Heading inland, the sea disappears from my left and the stark desert landscape with mountains and cacti everywhere engulf me. Stop for some roast chicken at Ciudad Construction and actually do something smart when I return to the town to gas up after seeing a small sign saying "next gas, 190km). Had I not done this, I would have run out and 2.5 hours later I see water again and I'm in the capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz.

La Paz is a big place, and its nice to be in the first real city Ive seen since San Diego. I pull into a coffee shop on the malecon with the waves lapping on the sea wall right out front and try to get in touch with Roni, my Israeli connect who is supposed to give me the key to the apt. of Kevin, a fellow Advrder who is generously letting me stay in his place even though he is in the States until Wednesday. The next couple of hours is a little stressful, as Roni's phone is busy and Ive been having to ask for help from the coffee shop chick to try to make a call down here on their phone. In the meantime I meet Fred, a retired Dutch/Canadian whom I help with setting up his Ipad. He insists I come over sometime for a beer, while insisting even more adamantly that he is not a homosexual and not trying to hit on me. Cool Fred, Ill take that beer and thanks for not trying to bang me bro. I also manage to lose my keys for 45 minutes before finding them in my pocket buried in the lining. I get on Skype and call Roni, who shows up and I follow him to Kevins spacious apartment where I get settled in and once again, hit a coffee shop on the main square. I'm looking forward to chilling here for a few days and taking care of errands that Ive been unable to do until reaching a city with the resources to do so. Also, a quick visit to Cabo to hang with Alex and enjoy the nightlife is in order.

First thing I do when I get up today is get the bike washed. I see that the horn that was just installed has rattled off and melted to the exhaust pipe. Ive never had so many fucking problems trying to get a horn permamnently attached and working, I swear. I vow not to wait another 5000 miles to replace it. Next, laundry. I also see a gym which I buy a week pass for and work out in a gym for the frst time in a while, trying to put back on some of the weight Ive been losing. Rest of the day taking it easy, walking around and planning the next few days. I figure Ill take the ferry to the mainland on Monday and in the meantime do some bike tweaking, get some supplies, get tourist visa and vehincle import documents straight, go to Cabo, and even chill at the beach one day. Oh yeah, I should be enjoying myself and as well right, not just running around like a man on a mission.

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