Currently sitting in a cheap hotel sharing a room with two other cyclists halfway down Baja California (Mexico), I finally have a moment to relax. Lots has happened since my last post but it’s been hard to keep up to date as I’ve had to rush to the next stage of my trip.
The final two weeks from Cuba (NM) of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route were very dry and mostly desert with phenomenal rock outcrops and formations; terrain I’d been dreaming of before starting this trip up in Alaska. To be finally riding through it was an immensely enjoyable experience and I tried to savour each moment before the inevitable ending at the Mexico border.
I also had a week off the bike in Silver City (NM) at Jamie’s ‘bike house’ and I took time to consider the next stage of my trip. I really enjoyed the break from the bike after pushing myself so hard for so long to get through the higher mountain sections and onset of winter. A very warm and friendly community, it was great to have the opportunity to make some new friends after such long periods of solitude.
Monica saved me when I left my phone in a roadside burrito shack 20 miles back in town
Once I’d reached the Mexican border town of Columbus (NM) I decided that I wanted a break from the cold desert and mountain nights so headed west to San Diego where I joined two other cycle tourists who had come down the Pacific Coast. Since they were waiting for me I decided to take the bus instead of cycling, I’ll have to visit Arizona another time. (The greyhound bus turned into a bit of an ordeal and I was glad to finally arrive with my bike intact; not a mode of transport I’d recommend).
After a couple of nights of rejuvenation with my wonderful cousins in San Diego, we set off across the Mexican border. Having all been cycling solo up until then it was refreshing to have company. The roads in Tjuana and the first few hundred kilometres were some of the most treacherous I’d cycled in my whole trip; cycling as a team seemed to mitigate this risk somewhat. As we’ve headed south the traffic has thinned out a lot, much to our relief, and we’ve been rewarded with some phenomenal desert country with huge variation in cacti and other plantlife. The road continues south…
First Mexico night camp view in Rosario
Setting up camp
Billy (Ireland) – a reminder for caution in the desert!
10 thoughts on “Mexico border and beyond”
I’m happy to hear that you were not disappointed by the other worldly volcanic landscape south of Cuba, New Mexico. Judging from your SPOT tracks it looks like you made it through briskly and without incident. It is too bad that more people never have the opportunity to appreciate this especially interesting geology. At different times of the year the biology is equally fascinating. Have a continued safe trip. Vaya con Dios.
Thanks Bob! Your tips were very helpful. I ended up camping near the wildlife reserve. The map indicated an informal campsite but I couldn’t find it and it was too late to go anywhere else. The coyotes were particularly noisy that night…
Everyone is attracted to a waterhole at night. There really isn’t a campsite there, because technically you are not suppose disturb the wildlife. However, in your case it was the other way around. I always carry earplugs in my sleep kit for just such an occasion. Although I have threatened to make some coyote stew too. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed your passage through the Land of Enchantment.
Thanks for the update, Nick. Riding through Tijuana must have been an experience! More posts, please.
Hi Gary, yes it was! A bus wouldn’t be a bad idea from Tjuana to at least Rosario for anyone considering the same route although the traffic doesn’t thin out until quite a bit further south. Speak soon, N
Glad you are enjoying the warmth of Baja. I’m weighing up options of heading to the Sierra Madre for a couple of weeks, after xmas. Baja is probably a touch too far – but I hear the mountain biking is good…
Hi Cass, good to hear from you. I’m trying to work out my route after Baja. Which sierra madre were you thinking? Hope life as a father is treating you well! N
Baja California is one of my most favourite landscapes in North America. It is truly spectacular! I recommend the ferry across the Gulf of California from La Paz to Mazatlan – a fun crossing. Be safe if you travel through Sinaloa!
Hi Samantha, it’s phenomenal isn’t it? Loved camping out in the desert. Just working out how to get to the mainland now. Ferries are booked out till the 8th so may try to get a ride on a private boat… N