Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

November 17, 2018

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Desert camp to San Felipe

The sound of revving engines was thankfully gone by morning, and we took our time packing up and getting ready to move on. Dea took a little more time than me, and, not wanting to waste this gift of free time, I used it to create a new game. I dug a hole, bordered it with my spare tyre, then drew three lines in the sand, one two yards from the hole, one four yards, and one at six yards. 
"Do you want to play a game, Dea?" I asked, one of my favourite questions.
"Yes, why not?" she said, and I explained the rules. Broadly speaking it was to try and throw a bouncy orange ball into the hole from behind one of the three lines. The closest line scored one point, the middle line two points, and the farthest line three points. We got five throws each, and one key rule was that you could not throw from the same line two times in a row. Well, wouldn't you just know it, but it was a great game! You really should try it yourself, it brings an element of fun to any morning in the desert.

Here I am going for a safe one pointer, although I'm pretty sure I missed.
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Dea wayward from the two point line.
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One adaptation we did find was that it was better to play it with a Eureka Ball ball rather than the orange bouncy ball.
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"♫ Cool desert plant of the day ♫"
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like a teddy bear cholla. Don't let the name fool you though!

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4 years ago

But, as I keep trying to tell you, cycling through Latin America is not all about playing games, and, with honours even after six rounds of Desert Hole Ball we tore ourselves away to do some cycling. With the circus of the Baja 1000 having moved on the road was more peaceful, and more importantly the wide shoulder continued. We only had 45 kilometres left to ride to San Felipe, where we had booked an apartment through AirBnb, and with the good road we would have done it quickly, had we not got distracted again. This time it was the call of the seaside that dragged us away from the cycling. The coast had been getting closer on our left hand side and, not having been to the beach in six months, we were keen to get to it. All of the land appeared to be privately owned, but we found a way to get to it by asking to go down to the beach in a large resort area. The security guard was very friendly and told us we were welcome to go down to the beach, giving us directions to the sea: "Go straight. Just straight. Look for the blue!"

It wasn't hard to find the blue, and what a lovely beach it was. Being segregated for the tourists that stayed in the resort, most of whom seemed to be American (and taking part in a tennis tournament), it was clean and safe and lined with palm trees. It really did look like a picture book paradise. We spent some hours lying on the near-empty beach and playing in the sea, feeling relaxed and happy. Life doesn't get much better than this.

It's a hard life!
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What do you do when driving your ATV around gets boring? Tape it to a hang glider of course!
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There were a total of six pick-up trucks with Mexicans trying to sell pineapples and coconuts to the approximately ten tourists on the beach, without much success.
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After a couple of hours of sunbathing we decided we'd gone quite long enough without playing any games, and headed over to the volleyball court. This is really one of our favourite games, especially when we find a proper sand court and a decent net. A five-set epic ensued, with me coming back from 8-3 down to clinch victory 17-15 in the final set. Below you can see Dea's reaction to another of my legendary comeback victories.

"I'm not sad, I'm just sitting down. I'm very happy," she insisted.
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Back at our bikes we met a couple of Mexican guys who had come down from Mexicali for the Baja 1000. Pancho and Jo were really friendly, like all the Mexicans we'd met so far, and we chatted for a bit. It's one of the real special things about Mexico so far, is how friendly everyone is, and there's something very genuine about this friendliness.

Chatting with Pancho and Jo.
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We rode the final few kilometres into San Felipe, the largest town we'd been to in Mexico so far. We navigated through the challenges of sandy back streets and barking dogs until we arrived at the apartment we'd rented for a couple of nights through AirBnb. Our host, Luis, greeted us and showed us inside. Naturally we'd booked the cheapest accommodation we could find, but for $25 US per night we had a whole apartment with two bedrooms, not too shabby.

Luis's puppy. One day he will be a barking menace, but for now we love him.
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For $25 all of this is ours! Well, one-sixth of this is ours.
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We were both hungry so we rushed out to find somewhere to eat down on the malecón (the esplanade), but it looked a little expensive there, so we found a restaurant a street or two away. We were the only customers, and while there was nothing vegetarian on the main menu, the predictably friendly owners were happy to make us omelettes from the breakfast menu. We were a bit surprised when the omelettes came with tortillas/tacos, but we guess that's just the way most things are eaten here, so we wrapped our omelettes in our tortillas, and it was of course very delicious. Our technique was similar to the way we ate tacos a few days ago, so there really is no need to show you a photo demonstrating our technique, but it came with fries, and, you know, maybe you might be wondering how to eat those:

Dea demonstrating how to eat a french fry. Nice one Dea.
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Ludo VerhoevenHmmmm, delicious !!! National belgian dish: steak-frites

Source: wikipedia - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_fries

"Pommes frites" or just "frites" (French), "frieten" (Flemish) or "patat" (Dutch) became the national snack and a substantial part of several national dishes, such as Moules-frites or Steak-frites.[24] Fries are very popular in Belgium, where they are known as frieten (in Dutch) or frites (in French), and the Netherlands, where among the working classes they are known as patat in the north and, in the south, friet.[25] In Belgium, fries are sold in shops called friteries (French), frietkot/frituur (Dutch), or Fritüre/Frittüre (German). They are served with a large variety of Belgian sauces and eaten either on their own or with other snacks. Traditionally fries are served in a cornet de frites (French), patatzak[26]/frietzak/fritzak (Dutch/Flemish), or Frittentüte (German), a white cardboard cone, then wrapped in paper, with a spoonful of sauce (often mayonnaise) on top.
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4 years ago

After we were well fed we wandered back to the malecón which was busy and coming alive as the day drew towards a close. There were people playing guitars, people drinking on the beach, people just out and about, wandering along the seafront, being in San Felipe. And San Felipe seemed like a pretty good place to be. We were looking forward to take a rest day here, the chance to enjoy being in a Mexican town, and to recover from all of those games.

Lots of flying things in this photo!
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Note the flying ATV on the beach. It kept landing and taking off on the beach.
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Well I suppose it does look like fun.
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Spanish phrase of the day: Increíble planta del desierto para el día (Cool desert plant of the day.)

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 281 km (175 miles)

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Marian RosenbergIn case you ever come back to China, it's 超级棒的沙漠植物
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4 years ago