Challenges on the road

Chris and Heather are staying put in Los Barriles for the month of February

  • Wed Feb 4th, 2015 8:00am
  • Life

Getting ready to leave the historic town of El Triunfo

In our last story, we had arrived in La Paz, Baja Sur Mexico just before Christmas.

After travelling for nearly five months, it was definitely a highlight of our cycling tour. Our five day stay in La Paz gave us time to reflect on what a great adventure we’ve had since we left home in July last year. We’ve had amazing weather with only four days of rain in nearly five months and only a few minor setbacks that slowed us down to this point. This stopover also allowed us take stock of what we really wanted from this tour. Like many other Canadians, we travelled south to enjoy the warmer climate. But we wanted this trip to be more than sun-seeking, we wanted to meet people, lots of them. At this point, we’ve achieved that. So, what’s left before we come home? We’ll use the time we have to find out what it’s like to live here and to experience all this fantastic region has to offer. Let’s go.

We left La Paz in enough time to get to the little seaside town of Los Barriles. We felt a bit rusty on the bikes after our extended time off to recuperate from Heather’s dog bite in Loreto and some serious upset stomachs we told you about in our last story. Nevertheless, we pushed south from La Paz and then headed to the East Cape on a windy secondary highway. We stayed overnight in El Triunfo – a beautiful little historic town that has an extensive history of gold and silver mining. Slowly, its heritage buildings are being restored, much to the delight of the many tourists that stop there on their way east. We were fortunate to find a place to stay in El Triunfo. Short of free camping in the desert, our best option was to ask the locals. We inquired at the cafe and they just pointed across the street to a beautiful house. We ended up connecting with the owner who was in Los Barriles and the offer came back to us. “Three hundred pesos ($24) and the whole house is yours for the night.”

Really? We wasted no time moving in. What greeted us was a work of new age art. With the comfy living quarters and fully equipped kitchen, we had more than we imagined.

The second day’s ride to Los Barriles was extremely challenging due to the changing terrain. But that’s Mexico. Roads are not designed to be ultra user friendly, especially for bicycles! Never mind, we made it! We arrived in Los Barriles and checked into our hotel we had reserved for the Christmas season. Yes, it was time to enjoy the holiday along with everyone else. The hotel had good wi-fi so we were able to connect and celebrate with our family via that handy thing called Skype. It wasn’t the same as being home but our family understands we’re following a dream we’ve had for some time. We were so happy to see everyone.

After Christmas we made the decision to stay in Los Barriles for another four weeks. A palapa (covered, semi enclosed living space) was available near the ‘downtown’ street and we made arrangements to move in Jan. 1.  We really liked the little town and we could see ourselves just enjoying a month off there. Good thing. After we settled in to our new palapa home, we faced another challenge.

All of a sudden, Heather developed severe pains in her left side involving mostly her leg. The same leg that the dog tried to take a chunk out of. We sought medical care both locally and in the larger city of San Jose del Cabo 80 km south.

After exams, x-rays and MRI’s it was determined that the encounter with the dog had set up a chain of events that would lead eventually to the pain she was barely enduring. It was explained that all of this happened when she tried to kick the dog away while riding her bike.

Since the diagnosis, Heather has been following doctor’s orders and the treatment is working ableit very slowly.

She has also been in touch with one of her most admired colleagues back home in Quesnel to get his input on her rehabilitation. Heather is confident she will get back to normal in time.

To that end, we’ve rented another palapa in Los Barriles for the month of February to ensure her complete recovery.

In the meantime, we are actively planning an expedition to the San Ignacio Lagoon on the west coast of Baja.

In early February, we’ll get the chance to be very, very close to the grey whales that come there every year to mate and give birth. It will be a once in a lifetime experience we’re sure.

We’ll tell you all about it in our next story.