Land of the giants ….

Leaving San Quintin on Highway 1, we passed more strawberry farms and other horticultural crops including cabbages and carrots; a few small sheep and goat enterprises and even a dairy farm with quite a number of very thin Friesian type cows. Heaven only knows what they eat.

With traffic much lighter it was possible to take our eyes off the road and enjoy the vista of sand dunes and huge volcanic cinder cones on the foreshore of brilliant blue Pacific ocean. Following a night at the delightfully rustic Baja Cactus Hotel in the small town of El Rosario, we turned east and climbed up into the central desert. Here the landscape is dominated by various species of magnificent cacti, some of which only grow in this region. Increasingly there are now long stretches where it is just us, the road and eagles circling overhead; soaring on thermals, screeching as they fly. with night-time temperatures of around 4 degrees c, the prospect of camping on the hard desert floor cannot be underestimated as motivation to keep going. However it did result in a couple of very weary souls with four aching knees that arrived at the Cataviña Mission Hotel in the tiny oasis of Cataviña. The day’s ride totalled 78 miles with 1,500 metres of climbing and a net gain of 600 metres in elevation. All of which was made harder by sections of very bumpy and potholed road and a constant, considerable, headwind. With time for a welcome shower and chicken in chocolate and chilli sauce (delicious) for supper, were tucked up and fast asleep in a large comfy bed by 8pm. It is so tranquil here and the hotel very comfortable that we are taking a couple of days to rest and catch up on the laundry etc. A walk out amongst the cacti this morning was awe inspiring and very special, but paid for by the hour it took us to pull spiky thorns out of our shoes! The next update will be as and when due to WiFi access being very sparse in this remote region.

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