New adventures

We would cross the border early in the morning with our new co-riders, Guillaume, Isabelle and their 3 kids: Beatrice, Norah and Laurent (10 feet on hearth). We cross the border by pedestrian walk. Usually we go through the revolving door but there is a door just beside (many bike riders go by this door), the bikes would cross easily. We ask to an American border officer to open that door for us. He refused. We have no more choices: go through the revolving door. At the beginning, we were wondering if we could get our loaded bikes through. We begin with the child’s bikes and everything goes well. A Mexican border officer helps us from his side of the border. At the end, all the loaded bikes go in this door except the Kayla’s trailer. We just pass that trailer by itself.

Here, we are in MEXICO! The custom formalities are very simple because they are none. Nobody ask us our passport or ask us some questions. We just have to get a 180 days Mexican visa. But the Mexican officer asks us too much money and he is not sure to give us that visa, so we decide to wait for the next immigration office in Ensenada.

It is time now to start pedalling in Mexico. The change is radical. We cannot see and hear everything in the same time. Sounds, music, language, odors and poverty confront our reference points.

A News convoy

We find easily Highway 1 to leave Tijuana as quickly as possible. On the road, the ascents slow us down and the drivers can look at us and they support us by honking their horns.
When we get Rosarito, the next city, we go shopping in a Wal-Mart for fresh produce. It’s taken a long time to find our things because all the products are so different. Our eating will change as we get use to that country.

We are now looking for a campground and we ask to some taxi drivers. Our Spanish is very far and we use a little dictionary to help us. When Karl and Guillaume try to use a restaurant Internet connection, a Mexican guy and a French tourist come to talk with us and invite us to camp on their ground. We accept after looking to their place to see what we could have. We went to bed early that night because we were so tired of this long day.

Isabelle and Guillaume know some people who could accommodate us in their beach house close to La Mission. We took some days to get there but with a good company, we can have a good bed, shower, meal and a private beach. We will stay there for the Karl’s 40th and Kayla’s 2nd birthday. We celebrate that with Beverly and Philippe (our hosts) and our co-travelers. We stay there 2 nigths.

Beach house

Well rested, we ride a long, narrow and winding ascent to Ensenada. We stop in a ranch for a campground. One of the many dogs at that place remains close to our campsite and was barking for nothing all the night. On the morning, that dog follows us on almost 3 miles but we lost him in the first long downhill.

In Ensenada, we just take a break along the road and we meet Joseph and Abigael, some American people from California. They came here to found a place for their biological farm. They already had one in California. They also process their products for the market. They give us homemade bread, carob cookies, vegetables.

We cross the city to meet our Warmshower Mexican host, Thomas and Carmen. On our way, we stop at the Immigration office to get our visas, it cost us less than they ask us at Tijuana and everything goes easily. This visa is free for less than 2 years old child but Kayla is now 2 years and 1 day, we have to pay it…

Thomas, Carmen and their 3 children offer us hospitality for a few days. Carmen is a wine lover and she tells us that 90% of all Mexican wines are from Ensenada region. They teach us how to make different tacos; it’s what they eat almost every day. We also go eating tacos in the restaurant… The competition is so present here in Mexico.

The Highway 1D ends here in Ensenada. After that, they use the road 1. Many people told us not to take that road because too much traffic and it is a narrow road. Then, we have 2 possibilities: take a bus to San Quintin where the traffic decrease or go through Baja California from west to east and continue along the Cortez Sea (less traffic road). That road joins the Road 1 in Laguna Chapala but it ends by a dirty road that we didn’t know the length and the condition.

We were almost on the bus to San Quintin when Guillaume tells us that one of his knees is hurting him so much, more and more every day that he has to go and see a doctor. So we stay here one more day while Guillaume goes to see a doctor. He tells him to rest for a whole week and gives him some anti-inflammatory drugs. Because of that one more day, we meet Mike, a bike rider coming from the South. He took that road along Cortez Sea. According to him, that trail is bumpy but practicable in bikes even with our entire load. So we decide to cross to the east cost of Baja California and ride this road.

We say Good Bye to our friends and hope that they will join us in San Felipe in one week by bus.

We took 5 days and climbed 4000’. After 46 miles of climbing, we were enjoying the downhill but the road was not very good. We take a break at the bottom of the hill. Just as we stop, we hear Kayla throw up in her trailer. We take her out; we clean her and the inside of the trailer. We hardly thought that she begins gastroenteritis. (Thank you Chantal and Ben for the sheet protectors, they were so useful). She was almost never sick since the beginning of our trip that we thought that it was the winding and bad road that causes her discomfort.

On the road to san felipe

We stop in a campground near San Felipe to let Kayla recover. As we are close to the American border, many American people are coming here for the winter along the sea. We are quickly so popular that they gave us a lot of things: one some food, another a restaurant dinner… The day we want to leave, a lot of persons came to talk to us that we had trouble to go away… It’s you the Bike’s family going in Argentina?…

We have to meet our friends from “10 feet on Hearth”. They took a bus from Ensenada to San Felipe. While we wait for them on the supermarket parking, Larry an American man from Oregon, come to suggest a free space on his land to camp. We also meet Ron who is living along the sea at year long. He invites us at his place, 60 miles from here, when we will be there. We stay in San Felipe a few days more to help Kayla to recover completely.

We are going slowly at Ron’s house. The children of 10 feet on Hearth are also sick and they have trouble to ride. Kayla was lucky because she can rest in her trailer during our travel.

We meet Ron again but this time on the road. He leaves for a few days in California. He cannot host us but he told us to camp at his place while he was gone. He said that the dirty road is very difficult but he will ride us with his car and put our bikes in his trailer if he comes back in time. Meanwhile, we put our tent close to his seaside house and stay there a few days. Many American people live here year long as Ron, some others come for some weeks or months.

We make our shopping at 10 miles before the trail. An employee from the market spoils Kayla by giving her some food and drinks. We were just a few miles from the trail when Ron arrives with his car and trailer. He also has some food to make luxury sandwiches. He takes his day off just to help us to go across that trail. We cannot ride the entire group in the car so Isabelle let his family go first and keep on riding with us. It takes a few hours to Ron to drive back and forth that trail, so we have time to see what kind of road it is. The stones are big and we must zig zag between them. Sometimes, we have to get off to push our bikes because the rocks are in our way. We are very glad to see Ron. Without him, it will take us almost 2 days to ride the 28 miles of that road.

Laguna Chapala

The next night, we are camping close to the Road 1 junction. We have just 60 miles to be in the middle of Baja California, at Guerrero Negro. The road is narrow with no shoulder but the cars and trucks are very nice: they pass us in the other line or wait behind us.

The scenery, always desert area, is full of cacti, from small to big size, from all varieties. It looks like we are in a botanical garden life-sized. Find a place to camp in the desert is very easy.

Camping in the desert


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