Since leaving Gruerro Negro we have completed another three circa 50 mile rides which were all very different.
We have taken to setting off at first light, just after 7 am, so we get a good few miles in before it gets too hot and the wind comes up. The first of these three rides took us from Gruerro Negro across the flat and arid Viscaiño desert to the very sandy town of Viscaiño. What should have been any easy ride all the way was a real game of two halves, flying along at 16-18 miles an hour with no wind in the relative early morning cool to slogging out the last 20 odd miles against a strong headwind in 30 degree full sunshine. We were more than grateful to check into a very nice air conditioned hotel room and chill for the afternoon.
No two days are the same here, and the following day’s ride to the town of San Ignacio, although hillier, was much more enjoyable. The scenery was more interesting as we returned to swathes of cacti, a fair amount of cloud kept the temperature at a pleasant level and there was virtually no wind. San Ignacio is a delightful town nestling in a natural oasis where an early 18th Century, Catholic mission, built by Spanish invaders, dominates a leafy, cool, central square. We spent two night here so we could take a boat trip out to another of the grey whale lagoons. There were lots of them about, we saw a Mum and baby which was very special, but this lot were not quite so inquisitive as those at Gruerro Negro. The were a great many bottle-nosed dolphins playing in the water, such a delight. The day was very cloudy and we even had some rain, which apparently only happens about twice a year here.
Today’s ride has brought us across the Peninsula to the Sea of Cortez, also called the Gulf of California, which separates the Baja from mainland Mexico. We are in the cobalt, copper and zinc mining town of Santa Rosalia, where production recommenced in 2015 after having been shut down in the 1990s. Originally owned by French companies, the town has a colonial air and many wooden houses from the 1920s. The prosperity the mines bring is evident in this thriving and bustling little town.
The ride from San Ignacio took us back into the hills with some spectacular views across the cacti to Las Tres Vergentes, three towering volcanos. The wind once again made the going harder than it should have been. In the periods with no traffic, the solitude, just the noise of our tyres on the tarmac, bird song and the soaring of the many vultures (sinister birds) circling in the sky above us is quite something.