A three night stay in La Paz, located just a stone’s throw from the main promenade and next to the Cathedral, gave us plenty of opportunity to look around this large, bustling city.
We joined our new Dutch cycling friends, Frank and Jacinta, on a rather chaotic boat trip to snorkel with, plankton eating, whale sharks. Eventually the guide, who led the snorkeling, spotted one of the massive fish, so in we jumped. Unfortunately, my mask was not quite water-tight and quickly filled up; this added to the very poor visibility due to the presence of millions of microscopic plankton meant we only got an hazy impression of its size and shape.
Beach beyond La Paz
That evening was the final night of the week long carnival with revelling continuing into the wee small hours, fortunately not too intrusive for us old fogies who had long since retired to bed.
With low tolerance for city life, the next day we headed along the bay for fifteen miles to some quiet and spectacular, fine white, sandy beaches. Pedaling back we were able to wish Jacinta and Frank safe travels; bumping into them as they headed for the ferry terminal to continue their epic adventure across mainland Mexico and onwards to Argentina.
Our final evening in La Paz was filled with laughter as we shared supper with Erik and Cindy from Colorado, such great company.
Heading out of La Paz, venturing ever south, was no fun at all. The roads were horrendously busy, with no shoulder, heaven only knows what all those fumes have done to our life expectancy.
Things improved in leaps and bounds once we left the city, the traffic became much lighter the road had a shoulder and we climbed ever so gently for almost thirty miles back into the mountains, to the old mining town of El Triunfo. Almost deserted when the gold and silver miners left in the 1920’s it has seen a remarkable regeneration at the hands of some philanthropic, wealthy Americans. The old smelting chimneys and the graveyard for European miners who never made it home were quite spooky.
Today, Friday 16th, was one of the prettiest ride so far. Another 15 miles climbing up then swooping down through mountains clothed in a palette of all shades of green. We are very near to the Tropic of Cancer (should cross it tomorrow) so spring has awoken the deciduous trees and shrubs from their winter slumbers. It is decidedly hotter and more humid now. The final 18 miles was virtually a glorious freewheel, back to the Sea of Cortez at the small resort of Los Barriles.
Having arrived by 11 am we had plenty of time to admire the skill of the many kite surfers taking advantage of this windy stretch of coast. It appears to be a Mecca for American and Canadians who chase around the town and beach on quad bikes.