Breaking the Cycle - Baja Divide

Feb 16

Nueva Odisea - Rosario...feeling cactus

Published at 07:25
Dispatch created from email
14th - 13th February
Distance - 80km
Total Distance - 562km

Day 8

It was great to wake to the sounds of waves breaking on the beach behind us. We returned to Nuevo Odisea to stock up for what was to be a challenging two day ride through high back country tracks through the renowned curios trees and Cardon cactus. As there would be no water or food available, it was quite a load; 6-7litres of water each and all our food plus a little in reserve.

My bike was loaded on the front, with an extra 3 litre water bag fitted to one of my 'Anything Cages' on the front fork. It made for heavy steering over the loose stones and gully erosion.

The tracks bisected a few farms on the way out, but after two or three kilometres we were in wild landscape. With cactus now lining the track, there was extra incentive not to fall off! We had to keep a look out for broken pieces in our path too. Hopefully the sealant in our tubeless tyres will do it's job should a spine pierce a tyre.

We ascended some steep technical climbs, rising to over 400 metres in the first 18km. Light rain was forecast and the sky looked grey ahead, but initially we were enjoying the cooler overcast weather. As soon as light rain began to fall, the dust turned to clay. I would describe it as 'dry mud'. Very quickly, thick mud and stones jammed my wheels and I could not move the bike, only drag it along. Chris faired slightly better because he has a bigger frame with more clearance between the frame and the wheels, but his bike ended clogging too.

We had done 20km only and could not move, so we set up our tents at about 2.30pm for shelter. We had plenty of food and water. The forecast was for fine weather the next day so we thought it best to hold out.

On the hillside, below where we set up our tents, lay what I termed a wild 'garden' of cactus and curios ttrees, for which this part of the world is renowned. In between showers, I wondered around the plants and photographed a few of the best features.

Day 9

I awoke to diffused daylight and when I peered out of the tent, the whole area was enshrouded with dense fog; the air so heavy with water vapour. These were not the kind of conditions that would dry the ground. Clouds swirled for the next few hours as we lay in our tents.

It is Chris's birthday...this will be a memorable one.
With a further 80km ahead of us before we could find food and water, and with the conditions we faced, it was unrealistic for us to continue - we simply weren't equipped. We decided to return to Nuevo Odisea and catch up for the two days lost riding the highway.

Starting off was a real challenge with the sticky mud, but as I suspected, once we were out of the depression and over a couple of hills, the ground dried enough. I crudely cleaned the mud from my pedals and cleats and with some forceful persuasion was able to clip into my pedals.

We returned to Nueva Odisea and filled up from out favourite roadside restaurant. Leaving at 3.20pm, we pushed on down MEX1 towards Rosario, arriving just after sundown.

It is a bit frustrating that we have lost another day and a half with our path being blocked by the conditions, but we will endeavour tocatch up on the tarmac. It does put real pressure on us to get to La Paz in time.

Images are of me climbing the cactus-lined track, Chris using the BGAN to find out the weather forecast so we can make the best decision about what to do, best roadside restaurant we have come across- in Nuevo Odisea, the bikes caked with mud.


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    2018-02-17 23:21:54 JAne Leeming says: Do you remember how we used to tie a piece of wire around the fork just above the wheel to scrape off the mud as the wheel turned? It that a cactus or tree?

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