Photos and words by brand ambassador, Leslie Kehmeier
The tour de Tacos and Topo Chicos continued as we set our sights on discovering the Sea of Cortez while pedaling down the east shore of the Baja Cape region.
Rested and recharged, we set out from La Ventana for another week and a half of sun, sweat, smiling, sunrises, sunsets, and soreness. And no surprise, we quickly settled back into our stinky, happy people routine.
There was only a short stretch of pavement to navigate before rolling back onto dirt, the surface we had become very accustomed to traveling over. Trading highway traffic for dust and a few washboards is a no-brainer. And besides, that is what the Baja Divide route is all about…being off-road and discovering out-of-the-way places.
Case in point, our group was heading towards the most remote stretch of the route along the Bahia de Los Muertos, below the Sierra La Gata mountains. Crossing over a pass, and descending through a scenic canyon, we found ourselves riding along an extended section of cliffs, perched above the sea. Somehow it felt as if we had crossed over into another world. Gone was any sign of significant development. The clouds were a little dark and the water below had some extra saturation of blue and turquoise. If the first week on the Baja tour hadn’t been surprising enough, our team was yet again blown away by another unique landscape. Camp that night was right on the beach, at the edge of the water rolling up onto rocky shores. It felt very remote and wild, a place that ranks as one of the most captivating I’ve ever experienced.
From there we continued south, back to into Baja reality and the town of Los Barriles. There we found Cafe Encinalito (more good coffee) and mountain bike friends from Oregon who generously showed us the awesome network of trails accessible from town. The ride solidified our thoughts about the surprisingly good riding all around the Baja Cape.
After the respite in Los Barriles, we went back to our castaway routine, sleeping on the beach, under the stars, for multiple nights in a row. Our last evening and morning was spent watching the ocean as multiple pods of whales swam past us in both directions. We could hardly believe our luck!
Mountain Surf Plaid
The second-to-last stop of the tour was back to bustling city of San Jose del Cabo. To distract us from sore bums and hot weather, we set our sights on finishing with a cafe stop and a nice hotel. We don’t mind admitting that we are the type of group that is perfectly fine mixing up the dirt bag life with creature comforts. After a few hours soaking up the ambiance at Coffee Lab Cabo, we rolled into the lobby of the Hyatt Place hotel, smelly dust and all. Although the memories of beach-front camping lingered freshly in our minds, a hot shower and a double run through breakfast buffet was very welcome.
On the final day, we pedaled the last 9.6 kilometers back to our beginning at the Hotel Cactus Inn. Happy and tired, we exchanged hugs and breathed a sigh of relief. Over the course of 18 days, 410 miles 19 gallons of Topo Chico, we had not one flat or mechanical issue between the four of us. It’s quite amazing really. I guess it reflects the remarkable time we had bikepacking around Baja.