The morning of leaving La Paz, I met Darren at a local faux-Starbucks, and then we bought some fruit from a street vendor for the first time.

I got an enormous cup (about a liter) of pineapple, mango, and coconut. It turns out that fresh coconut isn’t that great — I would not make this mistake again.

We got a little lost leaving the city, which I’m sure will be a recurring experience. We tear-assed all the way to Cabo San Lucas, just 100 miles of very good, wide freeway with little traffic, some construction (with occasional forays into oncoming lanes), and a wind coming off the Pacific just to our right. We stopped in Todos Santos, known as a gringo town, and we got lunch. I got Mexican-inspired sushi, which was quite good and makes sense given their proclivity for seafood and rice and sauces, but Darren won lunch with his crab quesadilla, which was more crab than tortilla or cheese. People really know the meaning of value here.

 That night we went out to El Squid Roe, where waitresses skilled in tic-tac-toe played me until they won and I had to buy jello shots, which they fed to me. I don’t remember much else about that night.

 

 

The next day we went and got seafood tacos of shrimp, scallops, and whatever else is in the ocean. This has been the best place yet, with the largest variety of salsas (e.g., corn relish, slaw) and plenty of peppers to nosh on. I’ve decided to cut back on these fried tacos, though. Like heroin, it’s great but also not so good for you.



We sat on the beach and watched attractive people walk by. I tried to order Coronas, but I was unable to take pleasure in re-enacting a commercial because they only sold Dos Equis. I suppose I don’t always drink Dos Equis, but when I do, I prefer to do it on a beach in Cabo.

 

Hawkers bugged us approximately once a minute, and it was hard to stay polite to them. They were wearing all white and had little permits. They appeared to be almost entirely of indigeonous extraction, short and dark, which is telling. The same ones would come back after a few minutes, not recognizing us or not caring, and they hawked mostly tourist crap. Later while looking for a baño we found their staging area and we chatted with them, and much like strippers they were quite nice and human when not trying to sell you anything.

Later we partied some more, hopping between nightclubs with outrageously American prices. We met people and hopped to other bars and then met people they had met elsewhere, where we bought buckets of beers and even got comped drinks for reasons unknown. After our new friends decided to crash, Darren insisted on going to the local locals’ club (by now 4am), where your humble gringos got plenty of attention, all of it friendly.

The next day, we rode to the port north of La Paz to board the ferry to Mazatlán. At customs (aduana) I discovered that the total weight of my bike with me and equipment came to 360 kg, or roughly 800 lbs. With a full tank of gas this puts me at 50 lbs over the bike’s maximum weight rating. No bueno. I’ll be working to lose weight on the bike, as it seems my primary issue right now.

Once we got the bikes onto the boat, I tied them down and secured them with chocks while Darren helped an Argentine with his adorable puppies.

bikes on boat

 I didn’t get a picture of the puppies.

The boat was formerly owned by the French for Mediterrarnean cruises and had French labels in many places, while many of the markings and placards had been covered up with laminated Spanish translations. That it was a second-hand boat was a slightly disconcerting, but the cabins were fine, the meals were complimentary, and the crew was courteous and professional. The voyage on the Pacific was, well, pacific and calm the whole way, though a few days later a hurricane would blow through.

cabin with gear and dudes


The next day, we would arrive in Mazatlán.