Breaking the Cycle - Baja Divide

Mar 01

#11:
Las Barrancas - Cuidad Insurgentes - Santa Rita - La Abuja (-6km)

Published at 15:46
Dispatch created from email
26th -28th February
Distance - 281km
Total distance - 1585km

Days 20 and 21

Away from La Barrancas on the coast, we had a couple of days of dead
straight roads. Once on to the La Purisima - Ciudad Insurgentes road,
the asphalt did not deviate, it was arrow straight, bisecting one long
rolling hill after another for 90km. Apart from the distant mountains to
the east, the landscape was pretty featureless, extensive cattle ranchos
being the predominant land use.

From about 30km out of Insurgentes, we entered an intensively farmed
zone. There were irrigated fields of tomatoes, oranges, potatoes and
many other fruits and vegetables. The region was bone dry and dust
whipped off the cultivated fields, sometimes as willy-willies (mini
tornadoes).

Insurgentes is a vibrant rural centre - plenty of activity, many
restaurants and we found a good hotel with WiFi to catch up on
communications.

Out of Insurgentes the straight road continued for another 80km; the big
difference being that it rained for most of Day 21. From Insurgentes we
rejoined MEX1, and the traffic became much heavier. After 28km we
reached what seemed to be the twin town of Insurgentes, Cuidad
Constitucion, which was a slightly larger rural centre.

Day 21 was a case of keeping turning the pedals, but remaining alert to
the constant traffic. By 4pm we reached the end of the big straight at
small village called Santa Rita. Wet and cold, we sought refuge and a
snack in the only roadside cafe, feeling pretty over the rain at this
stage. There were no signs of the weather abating, so rather than
continue and camp in the wet, somewhere off the side of the road, the
woman who ran the cafe offered a room for us to stay. We had no
hesitation in accepting. It was just a free-standing room with a
concrete floor, but it was a safe, warm place to camp.

Day 22

The penultimate day was cool and overcast with a brisk tail wind. With
157km to go down the main road, if we really wanted to finish the
journey, it would have been possible to get it done and arrive two days
early. However we were in no great hurry and took our time.

Finding a campsite near the main road wasn?t going to be easy, so, after
77km we turned off the busy road and took a diversion towards the
Pacific Ocean for one last time. The dirt road was sandy and corrugated
as it wound a path over what would have once been sand dunes, 15km to
the beach. It was a magical ride, such a contrast to running with the
traffic along the MEX1. From the small lighthouse we headed south on a
rough unmade dirt road, running parallel to the coast.

The campsite we have chosen for our last night of this tour is beside
some ruins of a farmhouse, adjacent to a dry creek bed. Sheltering from
the wind, I can just hear the waves crashing on the shoreline.
Tomorrow we will continue along this rocky, stony track, perhaps for
about 6km, before rejoining a graded road for about 40km, and then
finally back on to MEX1 and into La Paz.

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