My travels continue south on the Baja Peninsula, to sandy beaches and other, unwanted sort of sand…

I am headed towards Bahia de los Angeles, a small beach town 70 Km off the main road. On my daylong ride it is mostly cloudy and even raining much of the time, which is not a bad thing considering the temperatures are usually very hot out there in the desert.

I stop at a place in the middle of nowhere, a RV park in the desert and a little restaurant called San Ignacito. While I order some food I talk to the owner who is preparing my Machacas, but he seems kind of shy and only gives very short answers. I keep talking to him anyway and after I finished my meal and offered him a cigarette he seems to open up. He proudly presents me the Cirios tree trunks he placed beside the entrance. He then gives me a “backstage” tour of his property where he proudly presents a car shelter made by him using more cirios trees. Back in the restaurant he starts showing me different skulls of Rams and deer-like animals, something I just ate in my Machacca.

After another few hours through the rain (no raingear necessary, it’s not raining much and it’s to warm to wear raingear anyway) I arrive at Bahia de los Angeles. For the night I stayed in the beach campground “Archelon” which used to be a scientific site to explore sealife in the region. For instance they found out, that one of the big turtles they found there and marked, was showing up in Japan months later, what a journey! I stay in one of the open beach huts, it’s only 130 Pesos a night and even though the temperatures in the evening were still showing around 28°C it was nice to sleep in the light breeze and only with the sleeping bag liner.

On the first night there I meet Jay, an american ecologist, who introduced me to what they call tide pooling. Stamping carefully around in the little pools of water left by low tide. It’s truly amazing how much life is going on there and all the different and interesting animals you can find.

The next day I meet Greta, she has just arrived in Bahia and she’s been travelling from Los Cabos, the very south end of Baja California, to here, in her Kayak! Unfortunately she has to stop her journey here and can’t make it up the very north of the Gulf since there are sections that have just to dangerous currents.

Heading out of “town” I decide not to take the same street back to the mainroad but rather a 180 Km long dirt road heading south and then west, through remote deserts along some lonely beaches. My tank is filled up, I have enough water with me and off I go. The first 90 Km are just a very nice dirt road with fantastic views of the deserts filled with uncountable cacti. There are some lonely beaches along the way too which would be perfect to camp for a night but my plan is to get to San Ignacio today. After 90 Km my OSM map shows a three way intersection where I am supposed to turn right to get back to the main road. However it is a 4 way intersection and the only nice roads of them are the one I just came from and the one turning left headed east. The map shows this road to head down to the Gulf again and then dead end there. The road I am supposed to take looks like a lot of work, it’s a narrow road with quite deep sand!

Well, ok, I just have to since I don’t feel like riding 90 Km back to Bahia. I literally “throw” myself into the road, only after a short distance I go down for the first time. The sun is burning down from above and I sweat like no other while picking up my bike and trying to attache the detached pannier again. Again I consider turning around to Bahia to avoid any more of this damn sand work out. But no, it can’t be too bad, right? I will just keep my feet down and the DR will push trhough the sand. But even this is so very exhausting, the road has lower “tracks” from cars that probably used to pass through. Riding in the middle of the road is almost impossible because the tyres just get sucked into these tracks again. Those tracks are at the very outside of the narrow road flanked by all sorts of bushed and cacti that even reach into the road, making it energy consuming to go around in the middle of the road. I try several times to go faster, but being sucked into the tracks where i have to stop again for the bushes make it impossible for me to keep up a good pace.  Slowly, still sweating non-stop like waterfalls, I progress through the sand, not knowing how long it will take. The only indication of an end is the mountain range I can see, which seems to be several kilometeres away. Advancing only a few meters per second this might take quite a while! Turning back is less of an option than before. It’s not just physically exhausting. Being out there alone, not knowing how much more I have to go through, the sun burning down and the cacti waiting for me to fall into them make the task mentally draining for me. Every single rock in the sand I celebrate to bring just a tiny bit of traction to my seemingly uncontrollable wheels. At some point the road actually becomes quite rocky again and I can only hope it stays like this, which of course it doesn’t. But after about maybe two and a half hours I finally meet another sandy but “normal” type of road again. I exhale and hope that it won’t be like that again.

Note: Later I was told if you take the left turn on the intersection there is that “normal” sand road that bypasses this deep sandy track! So next time before plunging into something like this I will always check out the easier options first, even if I might not find another way and lose some time. And many times there are other options, you can’t trust the maps :)