Friday, February 20, 2009

MennoBaja Heaven

Day 2 - Del's perspective

This morning we woke to trucks, dogs and a beautiful day. With a desayuno at our host’s restaurant in Punta Prieta, we loaded the bikes and went down the road to Villa Jesus Maria where we bought diesel and gas and unloaded the bikes for a full day of riding. After locating the road we were to take, the four of us started out going straight east across the desert. We periodically wondered if we were on the right trail, and as it turns out…we were. The ride was very desolate, but beautiful to El Arco.

Clare drove down Highway 1 and bounced across 18 to meet us. Highway 18 looked on the map to be a good highway similar to 1, but it was far from that. Dirt filled the trailer by the time we met in El Arco, but peanut butter and jam sandwiches really hit the spot. El Arco is the biggest thing happening for miles around, but even there it was hard to see many signs of life.

After lunch, Clare went back the way he came and on to our stop for the night – San Ignacio. The bike riders decided to go south to Highway 1 and then find some trails to ride if we had any daylight left. The ride went great, except for one thing – we went east instead and ended up at an abandoned mission (Mission Santa Gertrudis – translated “you are screwed”) on a dead end. (Great job Del.) So…we booked back to El Arco to ask someone for the right way out of town.

We knew sunlight was at a premium now so we didn’t stop for breaks, but the road was very narrow with deep sand to whole way which made for very slow-going. Somewhere along the way we began to think that this path was not going to end up on Highway 1 either, but there weren’t any obvious options. Just as the sun went down we decided to head west in hopes of finding the main road. Distant lights gave us hope, until we came to a locked gate with barbed wire fence stretching out in both directions. A quick search led us to a place in the fence that was partially broken, and with Russ holding the fence as high as he could and Del and Glenn pushing the bikes under sideways, we got them all to the other side. A short ride into the town where the lights came from gave us the news that we were just 65 km from San Ignacio.

With the additional miles we put n to the mission we needed gas, and as it turned out a tire repair for Russ’ bike that had been punctured by a cactus. Green slime is a good friend. It gets cold after the sun goes down in the desert, and since we were dressed more for the day, the ride to San Ignacio was a chilly one. Fortunately, we encountered no cows on the road and we made it safely to the Pemex where we had agreed to meet Clare.

After checking into a hotel room and getting showers, we got dinner and discovered we were now on Mountain Time and were eating at about 11 PM.


  1. What an adventure! Holy cow! No, wait, there were no cows, only a flat tire and a mission called "You are screwed!" May all your days be this beautiful!

    East or west--pshaw! Details!