New Years, Windy Daze, and Warmshowers!

Well…Our New Years stint in Puerto Escondido was quite the hoot, and just what we needed. The Hostel Tower Bridge served as our refuge for 5 days in order to rest, relax, and take in everything around us. Puerto Escondido is on the backpacker circuit, so we got the opportunity to meet lots of other travellers from all over the world, who congregated at the hostel for the New Years celebration, my favorite holiday of the year! The people at the hostel were great…We were intrigued by their travel stories, and they were even more intruiged by ours.

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~Chillin hard at Tower Bridge Hostel

We quickly found out that Tower Bridge is a party hostel. If you are looking to get a good night sleep, you might want to try somewhere else. This served as the perfect hub for having a great New Years. The New Years Eve day was spent relaxing, checking out Playa Zicatela, home of the Mexpipe (rival to Hawaii Pipeline). However, the Mexpipe didn´t have swell and was flat. NYE night, started off with a delicious dinner that I prepared for the gang. I made carne asada tacos and everyone in sight was jealous of our gourmet feast. We jokingly convinced the other travellers that I was a chef at a Mexican restaurant back home! After dinner,  it was time to start drinking. Mixing tequila cocktails and drinking cervesas, we quickly achieved the desired affect of alcohol. This lead to spinning the wheel at the bar of the Tower Bridge. The wheel, is a wheel of fortune of sorts, and whatever spot you land on, you must do. After spinning, I was assigned to give one of the lucky ladies a lap dance! This is what all the bike training has lead up to, achieving buns of steel, perfect for this situation! After pregaming at the hostel, the entire compound taxied down to the beach where the count down to 2014 commenced and the beach party continued! Sporting my new Mexi haircut and our nicest shirts, these cyclists were dressed to impress, looking for success! The New Year celebration was amazing, we all got separated where we would meet up in the morning to recall the insanity!

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-Maintaining the status of Kings of the Kitchen at Tower Bridge

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-Carne Asada Tacos and cabbage salad for NYE dinner!

Typically, the hostel is busy and loud in the morning, but not on Jan 1. Everyone feeling the effects of the night before, cooking coffee and stewing around. It was international hangover day and what better way than to spend it with internationals. We recounted our wild stories with each other and our new friends Warren from Espana and Tom from Australia! We had all had hilarious tales from the night before filled with lust and debauchery! There is not much to say about the rest of the day…It was spent sipping coffee, eating food, and enjoying a nice smoke in the countless different relaxation zones within the hostel quad.

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-This is how we survived our New Years Day hangover…LOTS of coffee!

The next day would be our last in Puerto Escondido. Again we relaxed most of the day at the hostel. The backpackers are thrilled to hit the beach all day, but for us, we lived on the beach for 2 months and sitting in the shade of the hostel is way more enjoyable and relaxing. However, we did decide to check out the small beach close to the hostel as it is supposed to be quite nice. However when getting there, it was overcrowded and just not what we were looking for.

January 3 marked our exit of Escondido. Having 5 days off the bike is what we needed. We love biking but getting off the bike and really exploring an area for a few days is great! Leaving the hostel, we were sluggish because it so easy to sit around all day, but were ramblin´men and we gotta go. So we sent south, with Zipolite in sight for the evening. Zipolite is a small beach village 80 km south of Escondido and is home to the only nude beach in Mexico. After riding up and down the steepest hills we have ever experienced on bicycles, we made it to the small village that had been overtaken by gypsies and artesians. One of those artesians, Santiago, recognized we were looking for a place to stay, and pointed us in the direction of a Italian woman’s compound that accommodates campers. Santiago is also a bike tourist who has extensively travelled Centro America, but has made temporary home in Zipolite.

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-~The only way to sell bread is on your head

The next morning before leaving Zipolite, we had to indulge in the nude beach. There weren´t many nudists at the beach, but there was three more once we arrived to the beach! Drying off, we gathered our clothes and our bikes and continued south. The morning riding was tough. We had a 15 km climb from the beach to the highway and it was pretty steep. This climb would mark the start of a 3 day stint of riding through the big, steep rolling hills Oaxaca! The entire day, we would climb a hill, gasp for oxygen before quickly dropping back downhill. At the end of the day, we made camp in dried up river bed hidden from the recently constructed section of highway! We are pretty open when looking for a camp site, but the one principle we follow is ¨Out of Sight, Out of Mind¨.

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-We met these Argentinians who have been travelling for 4 years in this van..So rad!

The following day was similiar, climbing and descending all day. The scenery was phenominal, and although the riding was difficult, it was enjoyable. At the end of the day, we found ourselves at the end of a huge valley, where the mouth of a river exited, which would be our home for the night. Getting to camp on a river is a real treat for us because A) it fulfills our daily desire to go swimming and B) it serves as a source for bathing and washing our clothes. It´s primitive and that´s what we love. Living simply!

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-Awesome riverside campsite…Notice Hen in the Rio

One days ride from Salina Cruz, the highway greeted up with 10km of flat road with a slight tailwind easing us along the highway. However, these conditions were only temporary. As the day continued, the hills got bigger, and the wind got strong, rapidly changing direction. Short on supplies, we persisted through the strong wind all day until we could stalk up and make a final 25 km push to Salina Cruz where we would spend the night. But as summited a large hill that over looked Salina Cruz, the wind even more ferocious! Wind in our face and semi trucks at our backs, we were pedalling as hard we could to go downhill! Once we hit the bottom of the hill, the headwind turned crosswind continued to grow, realizing we had just entered a wind corridor. And it is this wind corridor that mark the start of ¨The Heinous Winds of 2014¨. Wayyy more consistant than the winds of 2013. After pushing in the wind all day and exhausted, we made it to Salina Cruz around dusk. With very little options to camp in this industrial port city, we opted to ask the police to stay at the station for the night, where permission was granted.

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-Overlooking Salina Cruz, just before the Heinous winds of 2014 really took effect

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-Camped at the cop shop

Waking up at the police station was weird, but comforting at the same time. Hen, Ike, and I were laughing about how the last time I slept in a police station this summer, is was not by choice and I was on the other side of the bars! We decided to take a rest day in Salina Cruz because we were tired and Hen was getting sick. We spent the ENTIRE day lounging in the square of Salina Cruz and it was great! Surrounded by street vendors in the wind blown city, we filled our stomachs with the infamous 2 peso tacos, and dug the scene of Salina. We had our bikes rested against a wall and we just sat in the square, a spectacle to the passerbys. Everyone was intrigued, questioning us and taking photos with us! An amigo even bought us dinner from Burger King because he loves America and wanted to treat us well! After couchsurfing opportunities fell through, we resorted to buying a cheap hotel for the night, and pushing through the wind mañana.

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The bikes posing in the plaza of Salina Cruz

Taking advantage of the luxuries that hotels provide, such as indoor plumbing and wifi, we got a late start before pushing into the wind to head south. The section of road that we would hit for the next 2 days is notorious for being extremely windy, and during peak wind conditions, is known to blow cars off the road. Often times, police will close the road for up 3 days at a time until wind reduces enough to make safe passage. I guess 50+ km/hr winds aren´t justifable to close the highway, so we pushed through, using all of our energy to maintain the bike upright and as well as trying to pedal forward. The wind was so strong, Hen was blown off the road on three separate occaisions! WOW! Stopping in the business hub of Jucitapan, I bought some fresh brake pads for the mountains of Guatemala that are soon to come. The golden hour was approaching and we needed to seek refuge from the night and the wind. So as we entered the wind farms, we quickly sought out a little Rancho on the side of the highway that granted us permission to sleep behind their house for the night! The real treat was that they gifted us some Hecho a Mano (Handmade) tortillas, and Angél (the farmer) grew the maseca himself. These were the freshest, most local tortillas that we will EVER eat!

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-Camped at the ranch…With windmills comes LOTS of wind

Our sleep spot for the night was windy. Hen was worried his tent would blow away in the wind. However, we were camped under a windmill, which was pretty awesome. Hitting the road, it was windy. The wind has been our life for the last three days, and we´re anxious to get out of it. For the first half of the day we fought the wind and then after lunch something amazing happened. The road turned south and these Gail Force winds were at our back, allowing us to absolutely smash on the bikes, something that seemed a distant memory in the past. We smashed for a bit until we found a very inviting river in which we took a dip. After swimming, we continued to ride, with wind no longer an issue. It was getting late in the day and camp was in mind. As we cruised through a Pueblo called Zanatepec, spraypainted on the road, it said ¨Warmshowers este lado¨(this direction). Knowing that this could only mean it was directing us to a warmshowers host. For those that don´t know, warmshowers is an online community that is set up to host travelling cyclists worldwide. Following the roadside directions, we made it to Rodrigo y Lupita´s house, where we would live for the night! It was amazing having no expectations for a campsite for the night, and all the sudden we had a guest cabana, a hot meal that Lupita cooked, and great conversation. Rodrigo is a long time advocate for bike tourists, and although he is not a cyclist himself, he loves hosting travellers. He said he hosts 50-100 people a year! What hospitality! We are members of warmshowers but had yet to use it on the trip, and I think after the hospitality we recieved, it will be a much more useful tool, espcially in Central America!

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-With more windmills comes even more wind!

The next morning, we indulged in  more of Lupitas delicious cooking. She prepared us Huevos con frijoles (beans) and coffee. It was wonderful! After drinking 3 cups of coffee and taking farewell pictures with our hosts, the crew was psyched to get on the road! Today marked a new era! The road is flat and wind slightly at the back, which envoked the perfect conditions to smash, smash, smash! Loving the riding all day, we maintained the paceline formation all day! The riding was beautiful. We were riding parallel to the Sierra Madre Sur mountain range, so we got the enjoyment of gazing at the mountains but not having to scale them…yet. Today we also crossed into Chiapas, our 10th and final state of Mexico that we will visit. After riding all day and clocking in 110 km for the day, we made camp at a family Rancho that  was in the median of the highway. The highway that appears to be recently rebuilt was built around this ranch, where the Abuelo Mario had been living for 60-70 years! Wow! What an experience living in one place for that long. Tired and hungry, we celebrated the day with a cold cervesa and a large, hot meal!

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-Rodrigo´s Casa! He is stoked on couchsurfing/warmshowers and so are we!

With 230 km to the border of Guatemala, we made the plan to ride another 110 km to stay with another Warmshowers host, Noé Sanchez. We had written him the day before requesting a stay and had to bike to the next town Pijijiapan to check the email to see the reply…After taking in another casual 60 km of riding through beautiful landscapes that are starting to become more junglesque, we stopped and accessed the interweb! Yes! We had another host and would not need to search out a camp yet again…Riding another 45 km to reach Noé´s home in the town Mapastepec became easier knowing we had a basecamp. Arriving to Noé, we were quickly greeted by his wife Anita and she sat us down, feeding us tall plates of taquitos and cold coca-cola. We were also introduced to Matt, a fellow bike tourist who stayed with Noé two months ago, and has since moved here and is teaching English for an undetermined amount of time. The rest of the night relaxing and drinking cervesa. When Matt showed up with a bottle of tequila, we knew our rest day was in store!

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-Nothing like some roadside prescribe burning…I love fire use!

And today…The rest day has been great! It is Anita´s birthday and it is a Mexican tradition to light firecrackers for the birthday person, so that was our wake up call! Then Anita cooked us the most enormous breakfast I have had all trip and it was delicious! Huevos con Chorizo, frijoles, and pan dulce (sweet bread), with coffee! It was so great and really cool to have a meal with the entire Sanchez family to celebrate her birthday. Hen, Ike, and I even sung her Feliz Cumpleaños! Later Matt took us to a small mountain village 15 km called Costa Rica, where a beautiful river flowed through mountainous jungle and plenty of places to swim and cliff jump. We have been fiending some cliff jumping, especially Ike and Hen who are the aerialists! The cliff jumps were awesome, the river were refreshing, and the scenery spèctacular! We returned to Mapastepec via hitchhiking instead of the Colectivo we paid to take us there! Free rides are the only way to go!

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-The swimming hole at Costa Rica!

So currently, we are hanging around waiting for Anita´s birthday dinner which will be followed with cake! It´s been a great rest day and really easy for us since we have great hosts! Our warmshower hosts have helped us tremendously recently!

Tomorrow we hit the road for Tapachula, the last border city before crossing into Guatemala! Then we will wake up and send the border and start a whole new adventure! Mexico es mi amor ( Mexico is my love) and we have all thoroughly enjoyed the time here!  But it is time to cross a new frontier and apparantly that frontier is vertical. Everyone has told us of the wall of mountains we have to climb into after crossing the border and we couldn´t be more psyched!

Hasta Luego Mexico y Bienvenidos Guatamala!

Ranger Tom

Livin’ on the Highway!

Wooowww! It is hard to believe that it has been 10+ days since our last blog. Life on the road makes it hard to keep up on it as often as we would like. Sorry to keep you anxious readers waiting but the adventures have been chocked full, so enjoy!

Breaking up for a night in Zihua was a good break for everyone. Bradie is off doing his thing with his girlfriend Diana in Oaxaca City and the Riviera Maya for three weeks, where we will meet up with him in Quetzltenago, Guatamala. Ike got to do his thing on the beach with our Aussie friends. Hen and I stayed at the Hostel Rincon del Viajero with the artist Malli Nalli. Our stay at the hostel was welcoming…We were the only guests staying that night, so we got the chance to just hang out with Malli and Esteban, an Argentinian traveler who is living and working in Mexico at the moment.

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~Hangin with Malli and Mariana before we take off~

Meeting back up in the morning with Ike was easier said than done. The meet up spot was easy, only 20 km down the road, but I was plagued with having to repair my tire 3 times in that 20 km. Finally, I just ended up replacing the tube when we met up with Ike. We parted ways with Pepe and Bren our Aussie friends and cruised the coastal road of Guerrero! The road was beautiful, lined with Coco trees to the left and ocean to the right! With the sun getting to that point in the sky when its time to start looking for camp, we made it to the beaches of the small town called Papanoa. We camped at a restaurant off the beach, which provided a grassy backyard, a nice break from the sand life!

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~The rides sittin’ on the coastal side pit stop~

The next morning, we got on bikes, started cruising for the morning, then arrived at a small town where we took care of some errands and made some plans for the next coming days. The biggest one being that we booked a hostel in Puerto Escondido for New Years! My favorite holiday of the year…After riding all day, we had plans to camp on the beach Playa Paraiso. When we got there and were blindsided to find out there was a laguna between us and the beach and would need to pay for a water taxi to get across. No worries, but to really throw a twist in the game, when we got to the other side of the beach, we saw 400+ tents and Mexican hippies, dreadies, rastas, and what have yous. Apparantly there was a reggae festival at the beach this weekend and it was also Friday, which was news for us. Awesome, we got a free festival for the night, hangin’ out with locals and checkin out  a scene that reminds us of home.

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~A bridge we knew we needed to cross~

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~Hen’s bike is notorious for falling in precarious positions~

Tired from the night before, we got on the road and dug the coastal farmland that Guerrero has to offer. We spent the day creeping closer to Acapulco. We could tell that we were getting close based on the fact that traffic was higher and we could see the signs of Hurricane Miguel that came through this summer and wiped out the Acapulco region. We camped out in the tiny town of Pie de la Cuesta, which is on the north side of Acapulco. Camp was on the beach of a little Hacienda, more costly than we enjoy, but in relative terms, it was a cheap camp.

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~Damage from Hurricane Miguel~

Everyone rags on Acapulco, as it has been ravished by ongoing drug wars, Hurricanes and such. But we like to take everyone else’s opinion with a grain of salt. I try to form my own opinion on a place. Acapulco is situated on a beautiful mountainous bay, where you need to climb in and out. On our climb in, we met a ciclista named Carlos who was on a training ride. We were stoked on him and he was stoked on us…He offered to chauffeur us through the city and to the world famous cliff jumps in Acapulco. Hen and Ike wanted to jump, but it was closed for the day and would have to wait until mañana. Its always mañana but we didn’t have the time. Acapulco was wild, traffic blazing left and right, and then up the hill climb. It was a wild, winding 4 km climb out of the city and then 5+ km down and even more wild downhill section. After we recovered from the insanity at the bottom of the hill, we all agreed that was the wildest hill we all have ever ridden! That night we asked a restaurant owner to stay in front of his establishment, thinking we would camp on the beach. Instead he offered us an open air loft on top of the restaurant. Again one more night of the sand!

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~Riding through Acapulco with Carlos~

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~Bayside view of Acapulco before we started climbing back up~

With 120+ km between us and our Christmas destination Playa Ventura, we smashed all day in order to be able to relax on Christmas eve and day! Arriving into Ventura, exhausted from 8 non stop days of hard riding, we found our Christmas home at Las Palapas, a hacienda owned by a local family. They don’t have any rooms, but we didn’t need them. We have our casitas (tents) and they had a backyard shaded with and endless supply of coco trees, an outdoor kitchen, bathrooms, a pool, and situated between the beach and a lagoon! The perfect Christmas location and a 5 star establishment by our standards. Knowing that we had 2 full days off the bike to relax felt great. When we get our rest days, we feel like Peter Gibbons from the movie Office Space, where we just wanted to do “NOTHING”, all day and it feels great!

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~Hen scopin’ out our new home for Christmas~

Christmas was awesome…Hen’s family traditionally celebrates on the 24th, where Ike and I have always celebrated on the 25th. So we are celebratin’ for 2 days! I cooked a feast like breakfast, and we lounged. We all washed our clothes by hand in a washboard and hung it out to dry…This was my first time washing my clothes by hand and it felt awesome! We spent the day hanging out with the little niños (Irwin, Edgar, y Yasmin) that live and work at the Hacienda. They were eager to play with the big kids and fascinated about the gear we have with us! Christmas dinner was great! I got the opportunity to make my specialty Carné Chili Verde for the dudes. The huge feast of food for Navidad marked the first time that these calorie crunching cyclists have had leftovers. We spent the rest of the nights sippin’ on cervesa and recollecting past stories.

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~The Christmas dinner table~

Christmas day, we all spent the morning cyber talking to all of our families and just living the good life. Not a worry in the world! We met another guest staying at Las Palapas that was there with his mother for Navidad. Cristian is a student from Mexico D.F that is studying in Guadalajara. He was a total chiller and psyched on our trip. He is proud of his  beautiful country and wanted to ensure that we had a great time in Mexico, and bought us breakfast for our way our tomorrow! It was great to meet Cristian and spend part of our Christmas with him!

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~Feliz Navidad from the Dudes~

Leaving Playa Ventura felt great knowing that we have Puerto Escondido for New Years in sight. Creeping closer to the State of Oaxaca, we started by biking south through some winding countryside. Right at the border, we camped out at a farm right off the highway. Sleeping was impossible that night due to dogs barking incessantly, roosters crowing, Jake Brakes screaming, pigs squealing, and drunks yelling. In the morning we left asap and got back on the road.

That morning we crossed the border into Oaxaca, and instantly saw a change in landscape. It went from wetlands and farmland to dry grasslands with a very safari feel to it. Stopping for a break outside a restaurant, we took the opportunity to the football around with some guys in the backyard. After swerving through traffic of the busy business hub of Pinotepa Nacional, we hit a big curvy downhill section! We crossing a river bridge, we  took a dirt road riverside to search for camp. We knew we found it when we came across a palapa built of a river beach next to a cascading waterfall and a deep swimming hole!

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~Riverside campsite and swimhole for the night~

Taking in the morning, we went for a naked dip in the river and enjoyed 2 cups of coffee today as we prepped for the day…We climbed all morning through the mountains of Oaxaca until were stopped by a large line of dead stopped traffic. Working our way to the front to see what was going on, we saw the road block that had been made by locals who were hosting a political protest! Apparently they are unhappy with the current president and want him out of office. The road was stopped for cars but bikes were permissable. Cycling through traffic with the road stopped, we got to finish our mountainous climb without a worry of traffic behind us. The rest of the day was spent cycling through flat farmland, where we made camp in the front yard of a local water vender named Pedro. It felt great to have a gated campsite, riverside as well, which offered a bath for the evening.

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~Ridin’ through the center of  the political road block~

So we woke up in the morning with Escondido in sight for New Years. The ride was very casual and curvy as we pedaled the flat 70 km into Escondido. We pulled into our Hostel, the Tower Bridge Hostel, in early afternoon, exhausted from the road. But we were quickly stoked on the digs, with a shaded pool, bar, hammocks, a kitchen, and lots of people loungin around. This is definately the Hostel for us! With many travelers from worldwide, it should be a great hub for our New Years celebrating.

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~Chillin’in Escondido for 5 days…A vacation from the vacation~

Its off to the beach today and lounge around, checkin’ out what Puerto Escondido has to offer! I am sure it should be pretty wild.

Stay Tuned

-Ranger Tom

Mountains and Beaches, Montanas y Playas

Everytime we get back on the blog and manage the time to write the latest adventures, it is hard to think what happened a week prior, but we will do our best. Our one and only night in Puerto Vallarta was quite the hoot. Wes, Michele, and The Rangers went out for a night on the Malecon, to do some dancing at the clubs and a little partying. We did PV up right and spent the whole night out on the strip partying. The next day we had to leave early to bike, with a big hill climb in between PV and our next destination, Rancho Sol y Mar.

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~The view of a PV beach…Would look a lot better without the Resorts~

Just as we went to sleep, we had to wake up. Time to get on bikes and say good bye to our dear friends. Without even enough time to feel hungover, we jumped on the bike and started riding through the humid, temperate air Mexico offers. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Rancho Sol y Mar is 75 km south of PV with a 30 km hill climb in between. After partying all night, we were definitely feeling it. This day definitely rivaled the heinous cross wind of 2013 for the hardest day on tour. However, after 6 grueling hours of climbing and biking on a very rugged dirt road, we made it to Rancho Sol y Mar.

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~Ike and Hen learning how to make eco-friendly soap at Rancho Sol y Mar~

Rancho is a sustainable, permaculture farm utilized as a campground for travelers and also as a teaching grounds for others interested in sustainable farming and living. Naturally this is right up our alley, and quickly sought out the Rancho after hearing about it. We got to spend 2 nights there for free. Rancho is part of the warmshowers community, which is an online homestay organization for bike tourists. It was awesome relaxing with the people of rancho, learning about their sustainable practices such as: cob ovens, cob builidings, solar heated water, and goat farming. Between learning about the farm and swimming in the beautiful playa only 300 meters away, our two days flew by quickly.

It was at the Rancho that the Rangers and The Sustainably South crew parted ways for the first time. Ike and Hen wanted to stick around for a couple more days and learn more about the ranch, while we were anxious to get back on the bikes. So Bradie and Tommy hit the road after two nights at Sol y Mar, with plans to meet back up with Ike and Hen in a few days in the surf village of Boca De Pascuales. The first day from the dudes was pretty chill. We took a dirt road out from the village of Mayto where the ranch was located and rode that for about 60 km. It was here on this road that Bradie and Tommy got to do their first river fjording of the trip since the road was flooded by the river. That was rad! After riding on the dirt road for most the day, we finally made our way back to Highway 200. In search for a place to rest our heads,  just as dusk was approaching, we found a tomatillo farm that had “campsite” written all over it. The ranch hand Oscar was more than willing to let us stay on the farm for the night and even gave us the go ahead to pick a bag of tomatillos. Naturally, Tommy got the idea to make his mom’s famous Chili Verde for dinner the next day with the fresh picked tomatillos.

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~Camped out next to the Tomatillo Farm~

The next day was a pretty big riding day for us. We wanted to go to Barre Navidad that night, a mere 110 km away with big rolling hills leading us there the whole way. We were in the Mexican State of Jalisco, which is big rolling mountains along the pacific coast. Absolutely beautiful terrain, and breath taking scenery the whole day. After riding approximately 95 km for the day, we decided to make camp in the small beach village, La Manzanilla, which was a great call because right after La Manzanilla is a 10 km hill climb leading to Barre Navidad, which would have been a hard end to the day. La Manzanilla was beautiful, a large bay, accompanied with warm water, perfect for swimming. We stayed at a small campground on the beach surrounded by coconut trees and a  cold shower.

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~Beachside view from La Manzanilla~

Everyone in La Manzanilla was great. As we cruised the town in the morning taking care of much needed errands, such as laundry and internet, the locals were so helpful. Bradie and Tommy were able to practice their spanish, holding conversations with the locals easily. Ike and Hen are definately more fluent in Spanish than us, so this break allowed us to get out of our comfort zone, and communicate with the locals…It was awesome! The ride after La Manzanilla was great! Lots more rolling hills, gorgeous scenery, and good weather. We had an interesting lunch this day as well. While eating, a local man our age who was a race cyclist training stopped to see what these gringo cyclists were all about. Eduardo was interested in our tour and generously offered us his energy bar and lady finger bananas! He lived in Santiago, our destination for the evening. In our half assed spanish, we figured out he was offering us a place to stay for the night, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Again we ended up sleeping on the white, sandy beach in Santiago in front of a beachside restaurant. Thanks to Lee, the owner of a coffee shop in Santiago called, The Coffee Bean!

The next day, we had to stop in the biggest port city in Mexico that is Manzanillo. We have to get vaccinations for typhoid and yellow fever, since these are common in Centro America. We went to the Health Center looking for the shots. They said it would take an hour to get the vaccinations, but in the meantime we could get a tetanus shot if we wanted. Why not? When in Mexico! So no questions asked and completely free, we got some tetanus shots…Unfortunately they didn’t have the vaccines we needed, so we went on our way. Next stop, Boca de Pascuales, where we had planned to meet up with Ike and Hen the next day. The ride from Manzanillo was muy tranquillo. It started with a hot and sweaty hill climb out of the industrial port city then we dropped into the lush and green coastal plains, rich with banana plantations. Just as dusk approached, we arrive into Tecoman, which had 14 km bike path from the highway to the beach where Boca de Pascuales resides. Getting to Pascuales, we asked some local senoritas where we could camp, and they invited us to camp on the beach in front of the restaurant they worked at. Stoked for another beach side campsite, we set up our camp which included a personal night watchman that looked over the restaurant at night.

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~Loungin in the hammock at Al’s pad, from the second floor of the Cabana~

To set the stage, Boca de Pascuales is a world renowned big wave surf spot that no one really knows about. After talking to a Sean, a gringo transplant, we saw and learned how big the waves were here. These were the perfect swells. I am talking huge barrels, 15 feet high. Perfect breaks and everyone is stoked because the swell of the winter is coming in and all the locals are stoked! Sean told us how his buddy Al owns a house with a 3 story ramada that people can camp on. Excited for this, we moved our camp, which is right at the beginning of town. Easy for the dudes to spot when they bike into town and quite the view of the beach too! When we arrived their were a bunch of local, surf bums chillin’ at the ramada. Tommy and Bradie quickly started chatting up the chicas, as this is the first time we have been able to chill with local girls our age. What better way to practice our spanish than sittin’ in the ramada, gettin’ fed cervesa by beautiful girls, and chattin’ them up! Just before dusk, the dudes rolled in, we saw them from the second floor and whistled them into their home for the night!

The next day was a total rest day. We went swimming, chilled with the chicks some more, and one of the girls Gabbi took us to the beach by the Rio to boogie board. Even the boogie boarders are super extreme here. The waves are so massive, none of us have ever seen waves this big. Hen, Tommy, and Bradie went for a swim in the ocean and quickly got overwhelmed by the riptide. After struggling for a few minutes to get out of the water and avoiding what could have been a disaster, we sat on the beach and reflected on how powerful the ocean is and how easily it could take us all out.

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~Local surfer bro rippin up the 10 foot swells!~

The next morning, we woke up, watched some people rip the big waves, as today was the day for the gnarly swells. The waves were so big, it was unfathomable to think people could rip them up. Even Allenito, our host Al’s, 11 year old son was rippin it. He is the future of surfing, and it was awesome to watch this future pro hit the big waves. But now it was off on the bikes again, the team of 4 reunited and ready to take on the powerful mountains of Michocan. The State of Michocan is known for its beautiful beaches, breath-taking cliff side oceanside, and its gnarly mountainous roads. We were stoked for it! We left Pascuales and headed south for Michocan. The first part of the day was chill getting to the new state, but right after the boarder crossing, we could tell it would be mountainous. It was getting late, so we made our home for the night in the town of La Placita. Switching it up from the salt life, we made camp next to the mouth of the river, enjoying a fresh water swim! That night it poured rain for about 2 hours, right after dinner. This was the first time the whole trip that it had rained on us!

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~I think these guys are stoked on bike tour!~

Getting up we were slow as we had to have our stuff dry out, but nonetheless, got on the road. The mountains were getting tough. Steep climbs, steep descents! Just how we like it. The beaches were so wild. Large breaking waves surrounded the coast the whole way. About 10 km from our desired destination of Marhuata, Tommy spotted some bike tourists stopped in a small town, so naturally we stopped to talk. Our new Aussie friends, Bren and Pepe, were on a bike tour from British Columbia to Cancun. We offered for them to ride with us, they accepted and the rest is history. Four bike tourists became six, and it was awesome! We made camp in Marhuata, a sick surf beach that was also the same beach that giant sea turtles lay come onto shore at night and lay eggs. We got to see the turtles come onto shore and struggle to lay eggs, but in fear of stressing them out, we left them alone and went to bed!

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~Settin up camp in Marhuata, chillin with the new homie Pepe~

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~Watching baby turtles being released into the ocean after hatching~

Tommy had the most excellent alarm clock the next morning. Hearing a shuffling noise, he looked outside his tent and saw a 3 foot turtle crawling past him, working back to the ocean. So amazing! What an experience and one he will never forget! Getting on the bikes early was essential because we had 100 km of huge hill climbs and descents to make it to Nexpa, where Bradie needs to be to take a bus to Oaxaca and meet They are on the way to Belize and offered to give Bradie a ride to Oaxaca, which is a life saver for him, helping him avoid a 3 day bus journey. But instead all of us got on the bus, named Down to Earth, and we were off, driving to Playa Azul, the last beach in the state of Michocan. It was so wild how the universe works. Bradie was dreading the bus ride and now he has sick ride in a sick bus, with some super chill people! We made a pasta feast for kings that night and passed out after a very long day!

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~The Down to Earth Bus…If you gotta take a bus on bike tour, it better be Down to Earth!~

Well that brings us to the present more or less. In the morning, the crew which was once 4 turned into 8 people, and we packed the bus for a ride south! Bradie is riding with Laura and Ike to Oaxaca City, Bren and Pepe are riding the bus just south of Zihuatanejo, where Ike joined them, and Tommy and Hen, got dropped off in the seaside city of Zihua to chill out, shower, get a bed for a night, and dig the scene! It is crazy how each day brings something else, and how exciting it can be!

Bradie is off  to spend the holidays with Diana, hopefully meeting up with us in Puerto Escondido for New Years! The rest of the crew will keep pedaling south, perhaps with the Aussies, or maybe not but we don’t know. We are stoked on our new friends, new experiences, and new knowledge!

Until next time…

-Ranger Tom and Ranger Bee-Koz

 

Mainland Mexico and Beyond!

Wow, we just realized it has been over a week and a half since our last blog and we attribute it all to having too much fun! Baja was an adventure of a lifetime and it just keeps getting better. We spent three days in La Paz, really soakin´up the sun, living the relaxing life. We didn´t do too much in La Paz besides shredding the Malecon (beachside boardwalk), eating squid tacos, and drinkin cervesas.

Our Thanksgiving was a little atypical for the standard American holiday but we enjoyed it nonetheless. We made an exquistely large egg stir fry breakfast and topped off with some hot, plantain flapjacks for dessert. We all got to skype with our families which was the best part of our Thanksgiving! It is wild that we can be over 2000 miles away from home but still be able to see our families smiling faces and celebrate together! After eating our Thanksgiving breakfast, we quickly packed our bags, jumped on our bikes to take our ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. Just as we were leaving our hostel, we met some other bike tourists that just got off the ferry and are doing Mexico the opposite direction as us. That was pretty awesome because they were able to spray us down with a ton of beta on Mainland and we were able to give them a ton of info on Baja!

Our ferry ride was quite the experience! This ferry is the size of a small cruiseliner and definately the biggest boat that any of us have ever been on! Right as we got to the dock, Ike realized he threw away his ticket! With less than 30 minutes before the boat leaves, he convinced the customer service to give him a free new ticket and we were on our way again…As the clock was ticking, we literally rode our bikes onto the ferry, the only way we could see doing it. The back hatch closed and we were off, starting a whole new adventure, that is Mainland Mexico. Once on the boat, we ran into the Swiss couple (Samuel and Fluerina) who we had met in El Coyote. It is kind of crazy how many people we have met once and ended up running into again. They introduced us to our new buddy Wes, a Canadian who is biking from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta. He has a sailboat down there where he spends his winter. After eating the poor excuse of a dinner the ferry provided us, we decided to hit the deck and do what we do best, dirt bag it. You aren´t supposed to bring food onto boat but we did. We cooked some rice and beans on our stove up on the deck and we are definately not supposed to have open flames on the boat either. After a satisfying second dinner, we pulled out our sleeping bags, and slept for the next 10 hours of our boat ride, getting rocked to sleep by the ocean waves.

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~The Crew loungin on the deck of our ferry~

Getting off the boat in the morning was a lot easier than expected. The port was right next to the old town center, so as we pulled off, we quickly found the malecon and went for an afternoon cruise. Enjoying the beachside cruise and the joy of kind of being in a new country but not really, we decided to hit the beach for a little swim. We needed a place to camp for the night, and a free place since we just spent three nights in a hostel. After asking the locals, it was decided that in front of the resorts in Mazatlan was the place. All the locals said it was cool, and besides the fact that we were outside these big resorts, it was pretty cool camping on the beach. All was good until around 2 or 3 am a police officer tried to say we were not allowed to camp there and wanted to extort $51 USD from us for being there, After arguing for a while, he realized he wasn´t dealing with the average gringos and left us alone.

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~Tommy preppin’ breakfast at our Mazatlan bandit campsite~

Not digging the big city scene that Mazatlan had to offer, we had to make a plan to leave. Wes and Michele would be in Mexico the next day and we needed to find a good place to meet them. We decided to meet them in Teacapan, a small fishing village 150 km south of Mazatlan. With the time crunch, we unfortunately decided to take a bus to fast track and make sure we could meet them in time. It was an odd feeling being in a bus travelling. We were travelling so fast and not getting to experience the smell, sound, sight, and feel of the road that bike touring provides. The bus dropped us off in a town called Esquinapa, which we were immediately intrigued by. Everyone was riding bikes. Every store had bike racks, it was awesome. This is the first time that we have seen a town dominated by bicycles and it was great! With the sun setting we bee-lined it to a beach 30 km down the rode to spend the night, and be in Teacapan in the morning.

 

Teacapan was suited it the farm land of the pacific coast Mexico. It felt very empowering to see people work the land, living simply to provide  for their families and community. Getting into Teacapan was very inviting, especially with the Bienvenidos a Teacapan scene at the head of town. It was a very small fishing community, but very humble. We waited for Wes and Michele in the square for a bit and finally saw their smiling faces! They just travelled 2.5 days by car to see us and have a trip of their own, and it is so awesome that we could travel in another country with them. While we waited for them, we established a free place to stay for a couple nights. An ex-pat named Kurt let us stay in the front yard of his beachside home, so it was pretty cool that Wes and Michele got to see how we go about finding our homes from the day to day. Upon arriving to our luxorious campsite, Wes and Michele showed us all the wonderful gifts they brought us. Snickers, Cheez-its, homemade saurkraut, Colorado beer, and Thanksgiving leftovers! So awesome, couldn´t say thanks enough! Although these things aren´t necessary, it´s having a little taste of home while abroad that keeps us feeling great!

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~Getting welcomed into the village Teacapan~

Our day and a half in Teacapan was awesome! We swam, played beach futbol, fished, biked around town, and had a lovely fish barbeque with our hosts and friends! The day after we were going to head for San Blas, a well known surfing town and also well known for its bug problem. We got to take a fishing boat across an estuary which dropped us off in a farm town. From there we biked about 40 km to meet up with Wes and Michele who would drive us to San Blas from there, about 75 km away. The boat ride was great! The bike ride from river to meet up point was muy tranquillo (very chill), enjoying the afternoon cruise. Upon meeting up, we packed the back of Wes truck with our bikes and gear,  with Ike and Bradie in the cab and Tommy and Hen in the back, riding the highway local style! The road trip experience was pretty great, and seeing the Mexico highway from the back of a pickup was quite the experience!

 

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~Wes, Michele, and Tommy sittin’ back in the fishing boat with our captain Chuy~

The next two days were spent in San Blas chillin on the beach, drinkin´cervesa, and surfing! For most of the crew it was their first time surfing. We stayed at a hostel called the Stoner Surf Camp, named after the legend Rob Stoner, and rented surf boards too! Not knowing what we were doing, but had an idea since we all snowboard, we quickly started shredding these beginner waves! Everyone got up, and everyone got to shred, even Ike The Skier! San Blas was excellent, but as they say, every silver lining has a touch of grey. San Blas is known for being terrible for the No See Um bugs. Every morning and every evening, we got swarmed by bugs beyond belief! We´re talking 500+ bites per person in the matter of 2 days. It was unreal, by far the worst bug problem any of us have ever experienced. After shredding and living the beach life, Wes and Michele took us out to a nice dinner at the Wala Wala. This was by far the best meal we have all had the whole trip. Between our fish, chicken, and pasta entrees, everyone left feeling full and completely satisfied with our meals!! And for dessert, we went to the San Blas Social Club for some cocktails, which is where we spent the rest of our night!

 

 

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~Wes’ feet after two nights in San Blas!~

The next day, it was time to move on. San Blas was great but we are nomads and need to keep moving. The next destination is La Cruz, which is on the same bay as Puerto Vallarta and the home of our new buddy Wes´sailboat. The gang road for about 50 km unloaded through some of the most amazing countryside some of us have ever seen. We are finally starting to enter the jungle. Tommy was extremely entralled, being the tree lover that he is and this was his first time in the jungle. Jack fruit, bananas, and plantains lined the countryside and using our foraging skills we stocked up! We were pleased to find some banana tree flowers, which Bradie harvested to make soup with, a delicious soup he had when travelling Cambodia last year. After riding for half a day, our support vehicle picked us up and drove us to La Cruz. Using the directions bike tour Wes gave us, we searched for his boat and found him. Stoked for us to show up, he moved some sails around to accomodate 6 weary travellers to sleep on his boat. Its amazing that a 36 foot sailboat can support 7 people but it did! The soup was delicious, the company was spectacular, and the stars were beautiful! What more could you ask for!

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~Our new buddy Wes’ boat “Tumbleweed” that we slept on”

Well just 20 km from Puerto Vallarta, we rode unloaded into town, cruising thru traffic with our wide shoulder on the 2 lane highway. Biker Wes decided to go on a day ride with us, which was great so we could chill with him longer, and he had the local knowledge of PV. We met up with Wes and Michele at The Hilton Puerto Vallarta, where Wes´dad booked us a room for the night! Thanks a ton! Super upscale for our taste but diggin´it. After cruising the malecon with biker Wes, we said our good-byes and chilled at the hotel. Tonight we´re going dancing then back on bike tour from there. Tomorrow we will hit the highway, the next destination in sight is Rancho Sol y Mar. It is a sustainable, off the grid ranch that we are interested in checking out!

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~The good-bye picture with two of the coolest cats we know. Thanks for everything Wes y Michele!~

The adventures keep getting better, the gifts and love keeping flowing and it is hard to fathom what is next. Thanks to everyone who is making it happen and we are so fortunate to have met everyone we have! In the words of Bradie, “I Love My Life!”

Stay tuned

-Ranger Tom and Ranger Bee-Koz

Completed the Baja 1000

It is amazing how fast time is going for us. It seems likes just yesterday we were still in Mulege, resting up for another week of riding. Since our last blog, we were able to really soak in the low pace lifestyle of Mulege. We got sucked into the wonderful lifestyle of Don Chanos RV Park. While in Mulege, we were able to use the residents fishing poles, sea kayaks, snorkel gear, and even kitchens to cook our fish tacos. Ike and Henry both caught a fish a piece which enabled us to have a delicious dinner. Bradie and Tommy were not as lucky with the catch, but while fishing we had  a monumental life experience. While paddling around in our kayaks, a 25+ foot whale shark swam up to us to feed. We are literally less than 10 feet away from the biggest fish that either one of us have ever seen! It was an earth shaking moment for us and one that neither of us will ever forget! In excitement, Tommy flipped his kayak and briefly got swim with the whale shark, accidently.

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~Holy Whale Shark!

We couldn’t of had a better experience in Mulege and we would like to thank everyone that made it what it was. Thanks Pete, Sonya, John, Dave, Manuel, Tuna, and especially Rick. You all hooked it up so much and were so stoked on your community! But its off to El Coyote for a couple days to camp on the beach and soak in the beauty of Bahía Concepción! Its a magical and truly a wonderful community. NOLS Mexico is located just south of the beach we camped on. Underneath a palapa, we made base camp for two nights, beneath our new friends Mark and Jen’s Winter home.

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~Our home for a couple days on Coyote Beach~

We woke up to hot coffee and a fruitada courtesy of Jen! After that they let us borrow their sea kayak so we could troll around Coyote Bay, the Bay within a Bay. We finally figured out the rest of the day because Mark told us how Bertha’s Bar is poppin on Wednesday and we needed to go out with them. Sold, we never turn down a poppin’party! But before going out, late in the afternoon, our buddy Sean took us sailing after persistantly looking for us for 3 days. He promised to take us sailing and kept his word. He has a 26 foot catamarán, perfect for an evening sail. It was Tommy’s first time sailing and Bradie’s first time in quite awhile.  The winds could not have treated us better and we enjoyed the Bahía Concepion via sail boat, enjoying the setting of the days sun. We ended an already, epic day with a few drinks at Bertha’s then back on the bikes to finish the last part of Baja. On the way to the Bar, we saw a bright, orange shooting star blaze across the sky for over 10 seconds, and evening splitting into two pieces. So wild!

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~ Tommy and Ike soakin’ it all in with their Captain Sean. Thanks again!

Well the morning came quick, but we were all eager to get back on the bikes and ride again. We got spend the day riding throught the hills of Bahía Concepion all day, soaking in the sun, with open sea to our left and densely vegetated mountains to our right. Pretty much the most beautiful section of Highway 1 that we have seen so far. After leaving the Bahía, we entered into this wide open, desert valley with large, jaggedy mountains off in the distance. Such a crazy landscape and to think, this will be the back drop of our home for the night. Thats the great part of bike tour, every night we have a new home, and when we wake up in the morning, we have no clue what home will look like at the end of the evening, but it never ceasts to be amazing every night.

Our next day, we had a 60 km into Loreto, another seaside city, where we had the intentions of eating 10 fish tacos a piece. Less than 20 km from Loreto, we saw our buddy Rick driving back to Mulege from picking up his family from the airport. It was awesome seein’him on the side of the road and meeting his family. After snappin’ some roadside photos, Rick generously bought our lunch and the fish tacos were on him. We went to this taquería that had the best fish tacos we have had, twice the size of any other one we have seen so far, with the full salad bar! Those are the best because we can load our tacos as big as we want. It’s hard to satisfy our almost endless appetites, but this taco stand finally did it…While we were eating we met a man in a wheelchair named Dave, who had extensively bike toured around the world and even toured the Baja Penninsula on four separate occaisions. He traveled the whole world by bike and never was hit by a car, but in his hometown, he got hit by a car. What an inspirational person and  he gave us a great piece of advice. ” It’s up to you whether you have a good day or a bad day. It is what you decide to make it”. He told us of a beach south of town that we could camp on for free, so back on bikes to make it to camp.

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~Rick and the crew just outside Loreto~

That night we had made a three day plan of what was to come. Kind of odd for us because we use go day by day, but we had a few goals in place. We needed to get to Ciudad Insurgentes, 98 km from us with a large hill climb in between. The climb was 11 km from our camp, which was perfect. We had 11 km to warm up, gettin’ psyched for it along the way. The canyon that we got to climb was out of this world, it felt like we in Jurassic Park or something. Bradie thought it resembled Zion National Park while Tommy thought it resembled a cross between the Grand Canyon and Hawaii. So wild and such an awesome scenery for a good part of the day. After climbing for the first half of the day, the canyon finally plateaued and we had a slight downhill tailwind to push us the 50km we needed to get us to Ciudad Insurgentes. The importance of starting here in the morning was that it was the last good resupply spot and set us up perfectly to be able to achieve the 100 mile day we have been looking for all trip. After filling up our dromedary bags, Ike found us a place to stay. it was a corraled garden outside of a dairy farm in town. The perfect setting for camp and it even had a table for us to cook on! After dinner, we talked about the feasibility of the 100 mile day and got ourselves psyched up.

For the first time all trip, Tommy set his alarm. Setting it for 5 am, he woke up Bradie and the gang and we quickly started cooking coffee and oats to fuel our bodies for a long day. If we wanted to ride 100 miles we needed to start early and get as much daylight as possible. Getting on the road by 7am, we quickly got in the paceline formation to save our energy by drafting. By lunch time, we had already put down 100 km for the day, feelin’ good. With 30 km, we had to stop to refill our water bags and get some more food in this tiny town. After talking to a moto tourist who gave us some good beta on Mainland, we pushed onwards. Bike heavy with 10 liters of water, we pedaled into the hardest section of the day. We went from flat straights to rolling hills and a little head wind. Finishing the day was tough, one of the hardest things we have done the whole trip. We were physically and mentally exhausted, but we completed our goal of 100 miles. Thats the most Bradie and Tommy have ridden in a single day, especially with a 120 pound bike. Right as we hit the 100 mile mark, there was a dirt road where we could pull off into the desert and make camp for the night.

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~Danger! This bike has high Voltage~

Taking our time in the morning following a long, hard day, we had 80 km to go until we reached La Paz. Rolling hills and head/crosswinds dominated throughout the whole day. This made what could have been a casual day after two very long days, a pretty difficult push into La Paz. Tired and ready to take a shower, we made the push into La Paz, keeping spirits high! Riding into the city was pretty wild. Traffic was high and it was a real city. We haven’t seen a city since leaving San Diego and we had to be on our A Game in order to navigate safely through the traffic. Working our way in and out of traffic, we found our way to the Malecón and outside the popular and recommended “The Shack”. We had to get a celebratory beer…We just completed the Baja 1000, Tijuana to La Paz!! It felt to know we had completed one large segment of our tour already. We have grown as a team so much and kick ass! After celebrating, we made our way to the Pension California, the local Hostel, where we will shack up for the next two nights and figure out what is to come.

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~Taking over our room in Pension California for a couple days~

Many errands need to be done, especially some laundry! As we soak in what La Paz has to offer, we are also planning our departure into Mainland. Right now the plan is to take the ferry across to Mazatlán, but who knows maybe some other alternative means is waiting for us. Upon arriving in Mazatlán, we are gonna be greeted by our great friends Wes and Michele!! Can’t wait to see them and chill in Mazatlán! Especially since they are bringing down our recently ordered Helinox Chair 1. No longer are we livin in the dirt, movin’up in the world!  Stoked for whatever adventures come our way in the next few days!

Stay Tuned.

 

-Ranger BeeKoz and Ranger Tom

We’re Gettin’ Mulegèd!

The kindness and hospitality we have seen so far is parallel to nothing else! We had the original intentions of leaving Guerrero Negro on Monday, we were introduced to a friend of a friend named Roberto, a G. Neg local! Roberto happened to work at the salt mine that we had been hoping to take the tour of but it was not in the Budget so we opted out on it. But thanks Roberto, we got a private tour of the worlds largest salt mine! It was so rad to see where the salt that we consume comes from. After the salt mine tour, Roberto took us back to his parents house where we would camp in the backyard for the night and leave G. Neg in the morning. His families hospitality was fantastic! We were treated with delicious coffee and pan for dessert, and Roberto gave us each a bottle of a porter that he brewed himself. It was so tasty and felt great to have some microbeer, kinda brings us back home alittle bit.

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~Ike and Hen hangin’with our new friends Luis and Roberto~

In the morning, we took off early pushin the pedals south, toward San Ignacio (the next town in site). But before we left, our host family set us on our way with some machaca taquitos. They were so delicious, lovin the home cooked meal! The riding was great gettin out town. We had a long, flat straight away all day with a slight tail wind! The perfect conditions for smashing an easy 105 km that we ended up doing. The team rode so well together, keeping the paceline dialed all day, maximizing the amount of energy conserved! The highlight of the day was in the late afternoon as we stopped to get supplies in Viacanzo, a man in a car pulled over to give us some energy bars and cold wáter! We were so grateful for the kind jesture, but it is after this that the hilariouty ensues! He was a computer salesman driving to La Paz to make some sales and Tommy mentioned that he was in the market for a small travel computer. Well, this led to that, Edgar the salesman gave him the spiel of the computer, and next thing you know Tommy is in his car heading to the ATM to pull out $250 (American) for a laptop. It was so wild, buying a computer on the side of the road in Mexico, who woulda thought! After the big purchase, we pedaled on another 20 km to finish the day in the desert, 40 km away from San Ignacio. Our campsite was a beautiful desert location, with cactus fruit for the picking, and great views of both horizons, enabling us to stare in awe at both sunset and sunrise!

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~Tommy buying his new laptop on the side of the road…Stoked!~

The morning of our 3rd day we took off, keepin’casual as we only had 40 km to do before getting into San Ignacio to watch Mexico play New Zealand for a seat in the World Cup! We made it to the desert Oasis that is San Ignacio about an hour before the game. It was perfect, we found the Rice and Bean hotel with had nice tv’s for the game, wifi, and a pool. For the purchase of a beer a piece, we got wifi, unlimited chips and salsa, Access to the match, and a cold pool! The pool was crucial, definately needed a cold swim! We watched the match, it was epic! Mexico won 5-1, pretty much sealin’the deal they are goin’to the Cup. Mexico is home for the next couple months so definately was rootin’for them! We spent the rest of the day and the morning in San Ignacio. It is a beautiful oasis full of date palms, fruit trees, and a cold river to swim in! The foraging we did in Sag Ignacio was awesome! Climbing trees to gather pounds of dates, oranges, grape fruit, limón, and who knows what else! Loving the foraging lifestyle, we’re gettin’so good at eat, essentially gathering all of our produce. We spent the night in the date palm forest in the middle of town, bandit camping if you will. But our motto is “Out of site…Out of Mind”, and that is the key to camping for free where ever we want!

 

Before leaving San Ignacio, to bike to Santa Rosalía, we stopped in the river for a quick naked swim! This is a pretty common trend on tour so far. We have come to the point where we change our clothes where ever we need to and swim naked whenever we can! Lifes great! After leaving the river, we met a guy named Big Tuna who further intrigued our interest in the town called Mulege. Everyone has been talking about it and we knew that we needed to go! But first it was onto Santa Rosalía for the day, check out the Eiffel Church, and feel out the Sea of Cortez! It was a desert 75 km ride to Santa Rosalía, completed with a gradual uphill day with slight headwind and lots of heat! But still a good ride. The day was completed with the gnarliest downhill section we have ever ridden! I’m talking 6 kms of 45 degree turns going 80 km/hr+, no brakes, gettin’sideways on the bike…So Rad!!! We were all so torqued after the ride, our hearts pumping with adrenaline! We finished the last 10 km into town after that, with dusk coming close we were in search of the free place to stay. After first asking the church, we were pointed towards the cop shop. They turned us down but no worries because the bomberos were right next door, more than willing to let us crash in the station! It was awesome, watching the firefighters train the junior firefighters, and seeing the town in action! Not to mention we are camped at the safest place in town! After eating dinner, we bought some tall beers, walked around the square, and enjoyed the downtown vibe of Santa Rosalía! Dug the scene and ended the night by gettin some late night Street meat. It was a carne hot dog wrap thing, fully loaded! So tasty!

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~Who woulda thought? An oasis in the middle of the desert! San Ignacio Rocks!~

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~Makin’camp at the Bombero Station 174~

Well we got out of town headin for Mulege, where we plan on chillin for a few long rest days! We got the confirmation from our great friends Wes and Michelle they are driving down to visit us in Mazatlán on December 1, so we can casually cruise from here on out! It was a short mostly flat 60 km ride to Mulege, so we took it easy riding in, and then gettting to drop a pretty good sized hill before town. As we got into Mulege, we got a good meal at a local restaurant, and then searched for a campsite as dusk was nearing. Already lovin the scene in Mulege, we cruised out to the beach, and camped right next to the ocean, staring at the full moon!

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~Just rolled into Mulege…Bradie lounging out after a days ride!~

The hospitality we have seen so far is ridiculous. It is easy to see why people get Muleged, as it is called here! The rest day started off pretty crazy, as Tommy saw an ederly man take a bad fall in the gravel right next to their tent. As he rushed to assist him, he realized the man was pretty banged up. We assisted him with first aid, Ike taking the lead as the first responder, it was obvious he needed stitches. So we flagged down a car, got him a ride to the farmacia for stitches and see that he is safely returned to his hotel. As we chilled on the beach, another couple locals ,Sonya and Pete, gave us some fish they caught, and offered to let us cook on their kitchen at their RV camp. This is where we have decided to call home for the next few days! It is cheap and the locals are awesome!! We went out to the local party last night, where there live music and dancing! It was a great party, full of all the old hippies that go to Baja for the Winter instead of Florida! The music was great, the people were soo stoked on our story, and so generous to us! We even met some locals from Glenwood, who used to own the 19th St. Diner. It was was Suawannee and his wife, if any of you Glenwood locals are Reading and know them!

Anyways we’ve got a couple super chill days in Mulege lined up, getting to fish, snorkel, sea kayak, and swim! Like we said the hospitality is awesome, getting hooked up on all these activities we want to do! Gotta take a vacation from the vacation!. After chillin in Mulege, on Monday we are getting sailed from here to El Coyote, which is 20 km down Bahía Concepción! Gonna be so wild, 5 guys, 4 bikes, and one 26 foot sailboat! Gonna be wicked, were loving everything about the trip. Each day is another adventure!

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~Our new buddy Pete and his buggy on the beach~

Last but not least, we want to thank everyone who has helped out along the way. You know who you are! Your awesome, thanks for helping and believing in us!

-Ranger Bee-Koz and Ranger Tom