Thank you Will (known as The Viking by the local senoritas) for your hospitality, your company and your friendship. You are the kind of friend that I know I will always see again.
With the clock ticking, time running out and a storm rolling in, I decided to skip pedaling the 225 miles from Loreto to La Paz. After all, it’s nothing but desert and twisty, shoulderless mountain roads.
I chose to take a bus from Loreto. In my stereotyping mind, I imagined the Baja buses to be run down with chickens and small goats on board. I was definitely wrong! The buses that run up and down the Baja penninsula are very nice and comfortable with no sign of chickens or goats anywhere.
An inner battle I experienced was to pedal or not to pedal. Would I be cheating? Shouldn’t I be fighting the wind, the rain, the hot, the cold and the inclines? Shouldn’t I throw caution to the wind and move my rearview mirror so I can’t see the rigs, buses and RV’s coming up behind me while I take up room in their lane? But then it came to me that there are no rules, that it’s ok to take the bus, that it would probably be foolish of me not to. There is no medal waiting for me in Cabo or California. The reward would be getting back safely and every experience is an opportunity to embrace change… which will occur with or without my consent.
When I started this journey, I sought change. I didn’t want to travel as I always had – which is to fly somewhere, rent a car and stay in a hotel. Isolation at its finest. I’ve accomplished making this change. I’ve reduced my needs to minimal space and weight. I’ve discovered how little I need to enjoy my surroundings, to discover the unique beauty, talents and attributes of the people I’ve come in contact with. I’ve experienced the beauty of seeing moose on the side of the road, bald eagles flying overhead and trees growing from rock crevices.
When I look at my many, many photos and I see pictures like the tree above, I think about the perseverance of nature. Can you imagine what we could accomplish if each of us had 1% of that perseverance?
Any which way, from the front seat vantage point of the bus, I enjoyed the view with my shoes kicked off, a bag of snacks at my feet and cell service most of the way allowing me to play scrabble games with friends as I rolled across the Mexican desert. It was quite luxurious after pedaling for days and battling a rash on my bottom from bicycle seat irritation. I must add that baby wipes are a must between showers! The things we never discuss…
On another note, I always appreciate the concern of others when they hear I am traveling alone and I typically laugh it off saying it’s okay, I have life insurance. There’s a bit of truth to that. It is okay and I do have life insurance. I feel fortunate that I can wander around another country where I can’t speak the language, but I’ve always found a way to communicate enough to get the message across. As far as life insurance, I have peace of mind knowing my loved ones will be provided for if anything happened. Like the carcasses I’ve seen alongside the road while pedaling, we all have an expiration date and having died before, I tend to look at every day as bonus time. So all in all, being dirty, sweaty and stinky sometimes while I pedal – is truly a gift to be embraced… until my terrible sense of smell let’s me know I’ve pushed humanitarian boundaries.
Having made it to La Paz before the storm, I decided to find a hostel to meet fellow travelers like I did in Alaska and Canada. I viewed my choices and chose the Peace Hostel. It’s a wonderful environment and I had the pleasure of spending last evening with two gentlemen from Germany and a couple from Switzerland – all backpacking. It was a fun evening of cooking together, discussing food, wine, places we’ve been, places we’ve yet to go, politics, perspectives, fears, life, death, prodigies, challenges, love and all that really doesn’t matter. A wonderful evening enhanced with Chilean wine and talk of the differences between tourists and travelers.
I like this town. I think I’ll explore for a few days and wait out the coming storm. Thank you for following me! If you’re new, click on the FOLLOW ME link in the menu and enter your email address to receive my coming blogs. Have a Great Day!