Hot springs and things we didn't see - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

November 22, 2018

Hot springs and things we didn't see

Casa Las Sirenas to just beyond Peurtecitos

A photo with our host Roy as we prepared to move on.
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It would have been nice to take up Roy and Jeanette's offer to stay for "as long as we wanted" at their amazing home, but that would have been the end of this journal because we would never have left. So instead of wallowing in luxury any longer we decided to throw ourselves back into the task of cycling south. Our goal was the next town down the coast, Peurtecitos. It was around 40 kilometres away, but after a day of doing nothing we'd just about recovered from our respectable 30 kilometre day, and were confident of hitting the high numbers.

We said goodbye and thank you to Roy and Jeanette for their wonderful act of kindness and were on the road by ten. Initially we made fast progress on the paved road, passing through some surprisingly green desert, the consequence of a hurricane that had passed through this area a month or so ago (although it was apparently downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit Roy and Jeanette's place). It felt like we were going to be in Peurtecitos in no time at all, but then the tarmac suddenly came to an end and we had to plough on, quite literally, through a sandy, washboardy excuse for a road.

Dea cycling through the surprisingly green desert beside the Sea of Cortez.
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Come back road, all is forgiven!
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"♫ Cool desert plant of the day ♫" The ocotillos were in bloom, with flaming red tips!
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We made it to Peurtecitos by about two in the afternoon and we were a bit surprised by the slightly run-down appearance, as we had been expecting a town of American villas and holiday homes. What was more, there was a Mexican family at the entrance to the town who stopped us and asked us for 250 pesos ($12 US) to proceed on to the hot springs which we had heard about and wanted to visit. This seemed a little steep considering that they were natural hot springs in what appeared to be a public space, but we nevertheless paid the toll.

The hot springs were worth the money as they were really cool (not temperature-wise, I mean cool in the wicked bad radical awesome dude sense of the word). And by mere fluke we had arrived at the perfect time, just as the tide was going out. These hot springs are right on the tideline, you see, and the boiling hot water mixes with the sea water in a descending series of rock pools. As the sea water recedes the pools are revealed, and they gradually heat up as the tide takes the sea water out of them. We, and a handful of American tourists, found ourselves relaxing in one hot pool until it became too hot, then moving on down to the next one, which would be warming up nicely, until that one became too hot and we moved on down again. It was a really nice piece of work by Mother Nature. Nice one, Mother Nature.

Dea in one of the hot springs. She was not looking at the camera because she was chatting to a nice girl from L.A. who I cut out of the photo as it is a little rude to take photos of people in their swimwear without their permission.
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Okay, so I took one photo of people in their swimwear without their permission. And I put it on the internet. But I'm sure it's fine.
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An interesting sculpture at the hot springs. A naked girl putting on some trousers.
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You can't really tell but this is the first hot pool we sat in that was a nice temperature when we got there. By the time we left it all of the sea water was gone and it was bubbling with steam rising off it.
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As we left the hot springs and cycled up a hill out of Peurecitos I started to feel a little unwell, possibly dehydrated from sitting in the hot springs, and we decided to stop and make camp not far beyond the town. We went up onto the cliffs overlooking the sea, as we knew that it should be a full moon and we wanted to watch it rise out of the water, in another of Mother Nature's beautiful marvels. Sadly it was a show we were denied, as the sky was overcast and clouds mostly blocked the rising of the moon. What did you have to make those clouds for, Mother Nature, ruining your own work?

Regardless it was still a nice place to camp, with Peurtecitos down below us away to our left and the vast peaceful Sea of Cortez spread magnificently out in front of us, as we sat eating our dinner in the light of our headtorches. Then the peace was abruptly disturbed by the sound of a motorised boat bouncing over the water, hitting the water hard with each bounce as it raced along. We looked out to sea but couldn't locate it, for it was travelling without lights. Immediately we thought about what we'd been told about the drug runners transporting their goods up this way in just such a style. We joked about it for a moment, but our laughter was silenced when we saw the silhouette of the boat coming in towards the shore and the engine cutting out as it came to rest almost directly below where we sat. We strained to try and see what was going on, our curiosity battling against the knowledge that it might actually be wiser not to see too much. Some lights flashed down below and we began to communicate only in whispers, our headtorches now well and truly switched off.
"Chris, I'm scared," Dea whispered, perhaps an appropriate reaction to having inadvertently set up camp in such close proximity to bad people doing bad things.
"Don't worry," I reassured her, "I don't think two dead tourists would be very good for their business."
Even so, it was obvious that it probably wouldn't be too good for us to be found here, so when another motor boat, also lightless, came in towards the same spot, I suggested we use the noise as a cover to move ourselves into the tent without being heard. This we did, and we were soon zipped up inside, listening to a podcast through headphones, thoroughly not getting involved. We saw nothing, we heard nothing, and I might not even write about it in my next book.

This photo of our campsite was taken the next morning, the sun rising over an empty ocean making us feel happy to be alive.
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Today's ride: 42 km (26 miles)
Total: 373 km (232 miles)

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