October 27, 2007 GMT
Too hot to trot!

Before leaving Ensanada I had to find where to pay my tourist tax for Mexico, it could be more hassle than it's worth to be stopped and not have it. It would certainly involve a fine, and I don't know if I'd have to return to Ensanada to get one then. Better get it sorted, then I've no cause for concern. As It happens, I got fined anyway, for not getting said tax at the land crossing; a whole $5. Cheapskates, you'd have thought they could make it a decent fine, that wasn't even enough to piss me off. Not even the fact I was made to go to the other end of town, at least I got directions to the bank, so I could use the ATM. So, temper intact, I left the sprawling metropolis and headed south.

A dead simple route this time, follow Mex 1 south; with a few detours and lots of desperate tears. I took one detour to the coast, following a signpost declaring camping at a beach. Actually it ended with the name “Del mer”, which I thought meant over, or of, the sea. The other detour was a much longer one, taking me 100km off the road to the Parc Nationale San Pedro Martin (recommended by the tourist office).

Boy is it hot, or what? No gloves, jacket open and still sweating at 60+mph. I had to leave my visor open to stop my face and lips getting fried through the perspex. Only an hour of riding brought me to a stop, I just had to get a cool drink and sit in the shade. This is hotter than California, in fact hotter than I can remember being on a bike before. Being nearer the sea seemed a good idea; hence the first detour, a forty mile round trip to a glitzy tourist pad on top the cliff, with no sign of sand or beach. Of course anyone who knows me will also know there is virtually no chance I would stay at such a place, so around I turned and set off for Mex 1 again. I didn't mind really, one road is as good as another, it's still riding!

Actually, the riding has not been able to take my mind off troubling thoughts, every ounce of my being has been screaming for me to turn around and return to Ojai. My greatest desire to be amongst those I know, respect and trust, again a strong pull to return home. I found it impossible to imagine completing this journey, no way do I feel like being alone anymore. The feelings from my night in Ensanada have taken root and multiplied. How I have kept riding south I do not know, uncontrollable tears accompanied me most of Thursday. I've called out for Cai, almost pleaded for the strength to make a decision, let alone to continue. I can only express my deepest thanks to those I spoke to on the phone, whose words consoled me, allowed me to bolster my reserves, and keep heading south. Whether it's only for one more day I can not say, the important thing being I do what I feel is right for me. I still feel unable to continue long term, alone. I know I am alone in the purest sense where ever I am, but i do not want to be isolated, desperate to seek out anyone I can speak to, any other travellers to linger around, to ease my pain and loneliness.

After a night sleeping out in the open I did meet another traveller, another who felt lonely, who delighted in the thought of some company. This, at least, will give me a chance to settle into this new culture, maybe to pick up a bit more Spanish. It hasn't made me feel more like continuing after we go our own separate ways, but it delays having to decide way or the other. It gives me a couple of weeks, if I don't settle in that time, if I still cry out for friends I will return to Ojai, if not home. David is a reasonable guy, an old Aussie, well travelled but had enough of travelling solo, after his six months alone I can understand that.

Now we're back north, 150 miles or so south of Ensanada, at San Vicente; we're staying at a contact David had. A guy Larry who runs off-road bike tours of the Baja Peninsula, him and the others have a great time running these bike rides. If you turn up at their place they'll do a days riding, if you want picking up it'll have to be a few days package. It sounds hard work, definitely not for the faint hearted. Maybe worth contacting, if you're simply passing by, or want a serious adventure for a few days, no harm in taking a look at their site and giving them a ring.

Posted by Leslie Kay at October 27, 2007 11:35 PM GMT

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