02.02.09 California
We are leaving Santa Monica. On the road again. Yeah! We packed and left at 9.30am. We rode along the beach, through Marina del Rey cycling around the canal where all these expensive boats were. Then we were back at the beach again, passing Fermosa Beach. We saw lots of different sceneries today. We rode through really expensive areas in the hills, we rode along the Pacific Coast Highway which was super busy, we also rode through a huge industrial area, passed the big port of Long Beach and got finally back to the beach. We even saw the cruise ship "Queen Mary". In the afternoon we checked in at a motel in Long Beach. Oh... today I fell off my bike as I was still clipped in, got up as quickly as I could and tried to look cool. But in reality I meant to do it as I used the red traffic light to do some yoga stretches while lying on the pavement. We also fit right in in our smelly cycling clothes on Long Beaches answer to Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills.
Resume: Santa Monica-Long Beach, 70km, 21-33 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 16-25 , video 031
03.02.09 California
We tried to download the GPS software for Mexico. There was no such thing, we got the wrong information when we bought it. In Seal Beach they told us that there is a great outdoor store in Huntington Beach that might have really good software or maps. As we passed Huntington Beach anyway we thought we give it a go. At the end we found out that Huntington Beach was very stretched out and not directly at the beach, there was no city center. So we ended up riding a big circle of at least 18 km to find out that the store had no GPS's for Central America and South America. Finding that out after we kept riding and riding, we were riding along gated communities of rich people, we passed lots of palm trees but there were no people. Hardly any cars. It was like a ghost town. At the end we bought 2 maps in the store. Finally we were on our way again, back on the coast heading south. Somehow since we told our GPS Lulu that she won't come with us to Mexico she refuses to give as us any mileages... Strange. We stopped in Newport Beach for the night.
Resume: Long Beach-Newport Beach, 54km, 22-32 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 26-27
04.02.09 California
62 miles to Encinitas, where friends of Bhinti live. They offered us to stay, which was very nice of them. It was a hilly ride, we rode through Corona and stopped in Laguna Bay for ice-cream and a nap on the grass enjoying the sun. Laguna Beach is an upscale enclave place, it reminded me a little bit of Carmel. Cute shops and houses and proud prices. Looking out to the ocean, I saw people paddling on their surfboards. You couldn't really see the boards so it looked like they were walking over water. We found a nice campground in Dana Point where we set up our little home. You know what??? I have never seen so many nail studios than in Southern California!!! We listened to audiotapes in our tent. I often fall asleep while listening, that's was happened again... All I heard was Bhinti saying that it will take us years until we listen to all the tapes, but I was too lazy to answer... The railway track was only 30 meters away from us and the trains were tooting and squeaking so loud, I didn't care, I was already in lala land...
Resume: Newport Beach-Dana Point, 33 km, 22-31 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 28-29
05.02.09 California
I woke up in the middle of the night and the trains appeared to be much louder, despite earplugs. I saw Bhinti ducking in his sleeping bag each time a train passed... There was also the freeway with lots of trucks passing by. We had breakfast and left at 9.15am. We rode through San Clemente and passed a park. Somehow it was a strange park. So narrow and so long, maybe 10 km long. Then we entered the Pendleton Marine Camp. We had to show our IDs. A chopper with 2 rotars was checking out the area. For miles we rode through this camp. Sheets were hanging on the fence, children painted messages on them, that they missed their daddie's and that they are happy that they had returned. It was like a town, they even have a clinic, a school and a shopping mall. The whole camp is surrounded by a fence. There were tanks on the side of the road, we heard lots of gun shots in the distance. We wanted to buy something in the store but we were civilians so we couldn't. A friendly marine corp offered us to go for us into the store to get the things for us we wanted. That was very nice of him but we decided to keep going, back to the crazy civilization. We thought about how it must be forthe families living in this camp. How is it for the children? What do they learn at school? We came out in Oceanside where we finally stuffed our hungry faces. As it started pourring down we decided to check in in a motel right on the other side of the street where we had early dinner. Oh, we could hear the trains again... We had a really nice and lazy afternoon in a warm and dry motel room, enjoying a hot bath and listening to nice music.
Resume: Dana Point-Oceanside, 44 km, 21-26 degrees, first sunny, then rain.
LINK: Photo 30
06.02.09 California
It was overcast today. The following days are supposed to be rainy. It was windy and rained on and off when we left. We passed Carlsbad and I recognized the hotel where my family and I stayed 20 years ago. We rode to Encinitas where we could stay at Bhinti's friends house. We waited until it stopped raining for a short while and set up our tent in their back yard. And then we enjoyed the hot tub in their garden. So nice... The weather forecast predicted storms and rain for the next days, so we will stay here until it clears up. The Mexican border is very close... 40 miles only. We are getting ready to hit the Mexican border, thinking of taking a taxi through Tijuana as it is quite a bad place to be. We are having a nice rest here, saying good bye to our particular version of Western civilization...
Resume: Oceanside-Encinitas, 18 km, 21 degrees, partly rain.
LINK: Photos 31-33
10.02. 09 California
While being in Encinitas we explored the beaches and the area. This is a surfer town. We saw cyclists with their surboards on the side of their bikes. We had lots of rain and it was cold and windy. They expect another cold storm, there was even new snow on the top on the mountains. During the night it was quite cold in the tent, sometimes close to 0 degrees. Good to have to hot tub that we made use of in the night. The drug lords of Tijuana (Tijuana is the Mexican border town) pleaded with us not to come through on our bikes because they were terrified of us. As a result the tour resumed in San Jose del Cabo, a few km south of Tijuana.
LINK: Photos 34-40 , video 032
15.02.09 Mexico
I really like the simple Mexican life, and the chaos and the heat! The streets are full of life. We walked through town. We saw a sign in a bar: "Happy hour from 9am to 4pm". What a long happy hour. There are lots of pharmacies here. I actually have never seen so many so close together. They sell all sorts of stuff over the counter, like antibiotics, prozac, viagra. Wow, we are in Mexico, in the semi desert with lots of cacti and palm trees. We stayed here in San Jose del Cabo for several days, tomorrow we will hit the road again. We bought some spray for cucarachas, scorpions, centipedes and other lovely animals... I guesss they like camping too. We wanted to buy a sheet for the beach and asked the receptionist in our hotel if they had an old bed sheet that they don't use anymore. She didn't but she offered us to use our bed sheet for the beach. It was so sweet of her! That was surprisingly nice but we were looking for one to keep, so we bought one in the store. We spent some time at the beach. The beach here is long, wide and open. Pelicans were doing their formations and were hunting for fish. People did horse riding along the beach. One day we took the bus to Cabo San Lucas. At the beach were lots of tourists, restaurants and bars. Their chairs and tables were set up right on the sand. There were even couches and mattresses. A man, dressed like a doctor, handed out the drinks. Mexican musicians were going from one table to the next. As we were leaving tomorrow and weren't sure which road to take, we tried to get some information about that road along the water to Pulmo. So we asked a police officer. He had a little snooze in his car but I was not hesitated to wake him up. We asked him about food, water and road conditions. He said that it is a dirt road, wasn't sure about water though. We thought we give it a go anyway.
LINK: Photos 0001-0018 , videos
16.02.09 Mexico
We packed our gear and left at about noon. Off to the dirt road. At the beginning the road was kind of okay, it was bumpy but it was paved. Then after a while it became bumpy and sometimes the sand was so deep that we had to push our bikes. We made about 5km per hour, paddling up the hills like crazy through the sand over the ripples, not to get stuck. The bike computer showed 40 degrees, there was no wind. I could smell a dead animal somewhere in the desert. There was no shade, vulchers were doing their circles above us. After about 15km we found a restaurant where we could fill up our water bottles. Living in a desert, what do they do? We stopped in the afternoon and pitched our tent on a beach. Free camping. Yay! We were the only ones on the beach. A little bit further away was a Canadian couple in a campervan. They have been coming here with their campervan for 17 years to escape the cold Canadian winter. People just park here and stay in their campervans for months. We set up our little home next to a palapa (straw umbrella) and went for a swim. The waves were big and loud, we watched the pelicans and listened to the surf. There were lots of pelicans. We just set up our fly, so we could see the sky, there were so many stars out there, and the brakers were so loud. Free camping on a beach in the desert, no water access.
Resume: San Jose de Cabo-Shipwreak, 23km, 32-40 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 0019-0034
17.02.09 Mexico
We heard some strange flapping during the night, had hardly any sleep, the moon was beautifully bright and the ocean was so loud. People told us that the flapping noises were stingrays jumping out of the water. At the beach was a little store, so we some food. What a great and remote place to stay. As we had access to food and water we decided to stay for another day. We went for walks, for swims, did some cooking, watched the pelicans and... there were so many whales today! They did really big jumps. We were watching them right out of our tent. We set up the solar shower underneath a palapa, I really enjoyed it. Another sunset, the stars became visible again...
Resume: Rest at Shipwreak beach
LINK: Photos 0035-0040 , videos 033-035
18.02.09 Mexico
We had breakfast, packed our gear and left at 9am. At 8am it was already hot. Up and down the sandy, bumpy desert road. And again, often we had to push our bikes up the hills through the deep sand, with our heavy gear. I was wondering if everybody had done it before us, touring on these roads... It took us 3 hours for 15km, then we finally found a village, Crossroads. We filled up our tummies and water bottles and decided to stay here as people didn't know if there was any water access for the next 15km. And we can carry only so much water with us. We pushed our bikes through the sand towards the ocean. It was really windy but we made it, setting up our tent at the beach. As fast as we could we wrapped our tarp around the bikes to protect them from the sand. I guess it was still the same beach, just 15km further. It started to sink in what we are doing. Being on the road for a long time. I left so many dear people behind, I will meet new people and I will also leave them behind. We realized that hardly any Mexicans live here, mostly Americans. We could use the well from the restaurant and our water purifier became really handy. We watched another sunset, the wind became less and finally it stopped blowing. Another night in the desert. After it got dark we listened to Tracy Chapman to her album Crossroads, since we stay in Crossroads. Ha ha.
Resume: Shipwreak beach-Crossroads, 15km, 25-36 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 0041-0046
19.02.09 Mexico
We got up at 6.30am and left an hour later. It was windy already and quite chilly, only 15 degrees. As soon as the sun was up the degrees climbed quickly up to 36 degrees. The scenery is breath taking. Lots of earthy colours, cacti, mountains and the ocean to our right, being in the hot semi desert. People we met told us that there is a well in Los Frailes about 10km from where we met them. Okay, that was our destination for today. We got there and found the well. A men helped us getting the water out of it. We filled up our bottles and our solar shower. Nice! Mexicans were living at this beach in their little beach sheds, lots of fisher men. We were so lucky! A cooler truck full of fresh fish was there for 3 days, so we bought some fish. As we had enough food we could stay for another day. I set up the tent between two palapas and Bhinti prepared the fish, sitting almost in the waves. Very quickly he had new friends. Lots of seagulls and pelicans surrounded him. And one pelican tried to eat Bhintis foot! Bhinti cooked the fish, it was really yummy. Some people, mostly Americans come here every year for 4 months, living for nothing. This coast line is so romote. Everything was like a dream... The pelicans, the vulchers doing their circles, the fresh fish, we found some water access. After we had filled our tummies we did the dishes in the sand, a good dry sandwash! I haven't had a look in the mirror since we left San Jose and Bhinti started to look really wild as he hadn't have a shave since then and his eybrows grew really bushy. The sun went down and we watched the jumping fish in the water. Sometimes there were three fish, all jumping. It looked like they did a competition. They just jumped like crazy. They ocean is so calm here, no loud breakers. It was so romantic. The stars came out, it was nearly new moon.
Resume: Crossroads-Los Frailes, 20km, 15-36 degrees, sunny.
LINK: Photos 0047-0064 , video036
20.02.09 Mexico
What a beautiful sunrise, and the ocean is so quiet. We got invited for breakfast from a lovely couple that we met yesterday. I also could charge the batteries for the camera, yay... that means I can take more photos... They told us that every Friday is a food truck coming. And today is Friday. We are lucky! We got eggs, pineapple juice, tortillas, papaya, oranges, green pepper, tomatoes and 2 fresh fish. Bhinti prepared the fish again. This time he got attacked by a pelican from behind. He flew against his head and gave him a good hit. Poor sweetheart! Normally they are so friendly, patient and graceful. I love pelicans. There is something I want to tell you. It happened in the afternoon. I was lying on the beach sheet, that was only one meter far away from the tent. A pelican walked by and stopped right between our tent and the beach sheet. I was surprised. And then I was even more surprised when he decided to sit down. He sat down half a meter away from the tent and was watching us. He made himself really comfortable, after a while he put his head into his feathers and had a snooze. He was so trusting. The beach is so big, he could have gone anywhere! Why right next to us? You could see his eye moving, he was watching us. It was so nice to have him here!!! What a gift. He hardly moved, but I couldn't stop taking photos of him. I was a real snaphappy! Maybe he thought he was invited for lunch. He seemed to be very patient but he left before our late lunch was ready. Strange. Bhinti is reading "The Pelican Brief" at the moment. The book was on the beach sheet. What is this all about??? We are having the time of our lives. I am so grateful to have that incredible experience together with the love of mylife. Free camping, being surrounded by pelicans, getting fresh fish, in the distance the whales were breaching.
Resume: Rest in Los Frailes
LINK: Photos 0065-0079 , videos 037-039
21.02.09 Mexico
As we were packing a man on a quad stopped and offered us a cup of coffee he brought for us. The people are very friendly here. What a nice gesture. We left at 10am saying good bye to the pelicans and to the lovely couple that invited us for breakfast. After 7km we arrived in Pulmo where we rented a beach house for 2 nights. We had a kitchen, a shower, a real toilet, drinking water coming out of the tap, a fridge, a bed, table and chairs and even a couch. And also a mirror. This is how I look like? We did all our laundry and spred out our stuff. It was so windy here that it would have been challenging to camp on the beach. We even have a hammock outside. We went to the store and a short while after started cooking. What a nice meal and what a great place to stay!
Resume: Los Frailes-Pulmo, 7km, 36 degrees, head wind, sunny.
LINK: Photos 0080-0088
23.02.09 Mexico
We left Pulmo today. Filled yesterday's day with a nice beach walk and eating lots of fresh fish, doing some washing and drinking some margaritas. We left at 11.30am, following the dirt road... And then, after about 10km the road was all in a sudden paved! Our first paved roaad in Mexico! We stopped in La Ribera, our first Mexican town. We set up our tent on the public beach. There were lots of people. The Mexicans know how to have a good time. They love their quads! They are driving them like crazy on the beach. And they love their music (lots of tuba) and they love to party. They are so easy going, they don't have many regulations. Everything is simple, they don't even have a sign for their village. And everybody can camp on their beaches, they don't mind at all. I felt weak and I was happy to be in the tent, our little shelter. Bhinti organized water and food while I was sleeping.
Resume: Pulmo-La Ribera, 27km, 35 degrees
LINK: Photos 0089-0103
24.02.09 Mexico
The bells of the beach cows woke us up.We had a nice breakfast at the beach. Eggs, avocado and granola. We packed and left. On our way out we stopped at a little store. I asked the wonam who worked there if she knew how many people live in this town, she didn't know. She also didn't know how far the next town was (Los Barilles). I guess, why should she know? We left at 11am.. There was no wind, it was really hot. We left the ocean behind and rode through the inland. When we rode through a small village we passed a teacher and his little kids having class outside in the front yard. They were really cute and they got so excited when they saw us. After a while the road led to the highway. Our first highway. There was hardly any shoulder. Whennever cars were coming from both directions we tried to get off the road. We saw 2 rottening cows on the side of the road, the smell was quite strong. Wow, riding on a paved road, we are actually moving. After another 10km we got back to the ocean We stopped in Los Barilles and pitched our tent this time at an RV campground. We passed the campground sign, the moment we passed it a man approached us saying that we could turn here to go to the campground. Meeting the right people at the right time... Hardly any Mexicans live here, mostly Americanos. We have a real shower here, a washing line, even WiFi, and we have our own plug for electricity. What a different world, it is so tame her. Everybody in their RV's has it all figured out. They stay here for months. They even bring their own satellite dish, one site even had a plastic palm tree in front of the entrance. Everyday is so different, every location is so different, everyday I am so different. I must say this bike trip is more a journey to myself. Not having a routine anymore, nothing that distracts you, so you have to deal with yourself and your shit... We filled our evening with some margaritas, yummy! When we got back it was already dark, we heard lots of dogs barking.
Resume: La Ribera-Los Barriles, 29km,up to 41 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0104-0113
 28.02.09 Mexico
In the mornings we decided to stay for another day, so we are still in Los Barilles, camping under a tree. This is a wind and kite surfer town. There is wind here almost everyday. We spend lots of time watching these kite surfers, dancing on the water, jumping so high. Amazing! And so danced the windsurfers, some of them even wore helmets. We made friends with our neighbour and got invited for dinner. Classical music and wine and good company. How nice! One thing I want to tell you. We think we are so smart!!! We got another glass of gel thinking it was Aloe Vera. So we have been putting it on for several days, the glass was almost empty. I have been wondering why this stuff is so sticky... Finally I had a closer look and.... it was hair styling gel. So have you ever put hair styling gel on your whole body? We looked quite stylish!!! This place is so windy. How can people be here for months, being everyday in this wind.
Resume: Stay in Los Barriles.
LINK: Photos 0114-0126, videos 040-041