It only takes so much cold and wet English winter weather to dream of warm sunny days and new places to explore. So here we are in San Diego, California, preparing to cycle the Baja Peninsula on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
The Baja Peninsula is in Northwestern Mexico, directly below the US state of California. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of California. As the crow flies, the peninsula extends 775 miles from Mexicali in the north to Cabo San Lucas in the south. It ranges from 25 miles at its narrowest to 200 miles at its widest point, has approximately 1,900 miles of coastline and around 65 islands. The total area of the Baja California Peninsula is 55,360 sq miles. (England = 50,337 sq. miles). Mexico in total has a population of 112 million people spread across its 1,964,375 square miles.
The Baja California Peninsula was once a part of the North American Plate, the tectonic plate of which mainland Mexico remains a part. About 12 to 15 million years ago the East Pacific Rise initiated the separation of the peninsula from mainland Mexico. The Baja Peninsula is now part of the Pacific Plate and is moving with it, in a north northwestward direction.
The peninsula is separated from mainland Mexico by the Gulf of California and the Colorado River. There are four main desert areas on the peninsula: the San Felipe Desert, the Central Coast Desert, the Vizcanino Desert and the Magdalena Plain Desert.
We plan to leave San Diego for the Mexican border at Tijuana later today (Wednesday); having somewhat recovered from the very straightforward journey up to Heathrow, endless waiting around and the ten hour flight to California’s southern most city. As always, getting the bikes out of their packaging and roadworthy, once at San Diego airport, caused many curious looks and some friendly banter.