Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mulege to Loreto

On Thursday I packed up to leave Mulege for Loreto and realized that the bolt my right saddleback uses to lock down on the bike had worked it's way off my bike the day before - on my adventuring out behind Mulege. So as I packed up and put everything back on the bike, I thought the weight of the saddlebag would be enough to keep it on so I headed on down the highway. Crash tested the saddlebag. I was heading to Playa Santispac to say goodbye to Jim and Sherrol Lambert (and travel to Loreto with Brian), doing about 50 mph and I felt the saddlebag leave the bike. It's a strange sensation to feel your bike off-weight something going that fast, and I looked in the sideview mirror to watch the bag (it's a hard plastic/aluminum box) bounce and slide down the highway. Luckily it didn't bounce much but slide most of the way and it came to rest, thankfully, on the side of the road - and no cars were behind me. Pretty perfect situation, actually, for all things considered. So I did some roadside repairs, zip tying the bag to the bike where the lock bolt had been, and headed to the Lambert's RV at Santispac.

I have to confess that I have had for a long time - and especially since riding my motorcycle - a bias against the RV set, that it was somehow an illegitimate way to travel. Hugely expensive, wasteful, gas-guzzling, and road-clogging, RVers were, well, annoying. Tough, I know, but like I said, this is a confession.

Jim and Sherrol changed all that. These two people have such a positive impact on the people they meet, and really fit into their environment by staying in one place for large chunks of time, and showed me a whole different way of traveling by RV. Not only that but opened my eyes to how amazing it can be to live "on the road" and the way in which one can spread goodness to those who come into your life in that journeying. I was impressed with their simple, full life. And warmed by the sincere and deep love and affection they have for each other. Such good people.Brian and I said our goodbyes and headed to Loreto.

It was a short trip down to Loreto, and as it has become my routine when I get into a new town, I unpack and go to the local church or mission. The mission in Loreto is incredibly significant: it is the first mission established in all of California and from which all other missions came into being. As the inscription above the door says, it is the "Head and Mother of the Missions of Lower and Upper California." While walking around town I also ran into Sabine - our Swiss friend we met in Mulege - and had an early dinner in a restaurant near the plaza. I realized it was the first time I had been in a restaurant since starting the trip. All my meals had been at taquerias and food bought at markets! So I guess you could say I splurged...

This morning I got up and before the wind kicked up for the day, went to the malecon (beach boardwalk) and took some pictures. It has been windy and cold the entire trip - save one day at the beach - so actually being near the water and it being still was a great experience. Everyone here has told me that this wind and cold is "abnormal." It's all I've known so far... But it has made my Baja trip memorable in many ways.I sat there for a bit and watched a huge group of pelicans dive relentlessly into a school of fish, diving back into the water as soon as they could loft their wings enough to get up to "diving altitude." It was an amazing display of orchestrated dive bombing, pelicans rising and diving by the hundreds. It was a rough time to be a fish.

Brian and I headed out for Cabo, to reach the end of the peninsula and the point at which I will turn towards home.

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