Our last week in Baja was pretty remarkable. We travelled through several more days
of desert before stopping off in Loreto for a rest day. Exploring the vividly colorful
cemetery was one of the highlights of this town.
Southbound, we encountered more and more ranching as the cacti gave way to scrub
brush and dead and living livestock roamed around us. We spent an afternoon getting
to know some local ranchers. We camped at Hector’s store and enjoyed horse rides,
cervezas and friendly company.
We took a day in La Paz to visit the sea lion colony north of Isla Espiritu Santos
where we swam with these playful creatures. It was an incredible experience that
we will never forget.
Playing Tourist in La Paz |12.9.10 |
After cycling the entire length of the Baja Peninsula Jess and I decided it was time
for a break. We checked into a hotel with our riding companions and spent four days
getting to know this thriving town. The street vendors and food stalls were a great
place to explore!
Crossing the Sea of Cortez |12.10.10 |
Crossing from the Baja peninsula to mainland Mexico proved to be quite the adventure.
Our trusty vessel (a cargo ship) tugged away throughout the night, crossing the Tropic
of Cancer and dropping us off on the beautiful coast of Mazatlan.
Mazatlan's Central Market |12.11.10 |
It didn’t take us long to find the bustling Mercado in Mazatlan. The market is roughly
divided into sections for fruit and veggies, meat, and other dry goods. Prices vary
amongst the venders so a swift comparison of them will save you a few pesos here
Virgin de Guadalupe Festival |12.12.10 |
December 12th is celebrated throughout Mexico in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The Cathedral in Mazaltan, elegant in its beauty, was the center of the festivities.
The children dressed in traditional costumes and pilgrims brought bouquets of flowers
as offering gifts.
Cockfights and Other Sights of Mazatlan |12.14.10 |
Over the course of four days we thoroughly explored Mazatlan. Passing by a car wash
proved an thrilling experience. Champion cocks lined the parking lot. We were able
to see a few in action. Mazatlan is full of interesting sights and well worth a several
day break from riding.
The Vibrant Mainland |12.19.10 |
Setting off from Mazatlan we were excited to see what mainland Mexico had to offer.
We were welcomed into small towns that were unused to seeing tourists and even
spent a night in the churchyard in El Rosario.
The large town of Tepic was bustling when we arrived, giving us a taste of Nayarit’s
culture and some sweet sugar cane!
Jala - An Unexpected Adventure |12.22.10 |
Leaving the city of Tepic we found ourselves making an unplanned stop at the small
town of Jala. We were surprised by the warm welcome we received. The town’s police
force led us to El Presidente (the mayor) who let us set up camp in the community
center. That night we enjoyed a school Christmas pageant in the town square.
The next day we rode up the the Volcan Ceboruco to check out the steam vents and
marvel at the view from the edge of the active crater.