Traveling scenic ocean road in Baja Carifornia by bikes with its little ups and downs was a joy, but it was still a bit cold in March. So we decided to turn from west to east coast. And traveling by bike from Ensenada to San Felipe means two things – our first serious uphill and Sami`s first flat tires.
Baja California crossing
In Ensenada we could stay for a night with our warmshowers host Chema, a very nice and helpful guy. After some tacos and a ride to the supermarket (1st flat tire of Sämi) we checked together two options to go South. And we decided for Baja California mountain crossing a.k.a. to take the route through the mountains. From the pacific side to the golf side. Less traffic and more beautiful landscape. And, we (and by we I mean mainly Anna) also have a very good motivation because our road is also famous as a road of wine and cheese 🙂
And the winner is Schwalbe marathon plus
Our goal for the next day was to reach Ojos Negros. It is a village around 40 km from Ensenada and around 1000 m above sea level. Anna was a bit worried about this uphill challenge, but guess who was struggling more on the way there.. Exactly, me – with my second flat tire. At first, we thought it is because my bike is just too heavy, but problem was elsewhere. It was a road. This road is made of asphalt and tiny sharp metal net. When the asphalt is gone, these sharp metal parts are everywhere and especially at the curb.
If you don`t have good tires in Baja, you have basically no chance. Anna was lucky because she had Schwalbe marathon plus and we really recommend them.
Hiding between cactuses
Nevertheless, we reached Ojos Negros in the afternoon without any bigger problems. From locals we got a hint that this nicely flat road is used for plane drug trafficing. And to be honest, that road is just a perfect runway for a small plane. And there is a huge amount of burned cars everywhere around. So just for sure, be careful there with traveling by bike and camping. We also always went a bit further from road and hid in between the blooming cactuses.
The next days we were ,,blessed,, with a lot of rain and fog and headwind. One day we even stayed in a small hotel because Anna got seriously lung-sick and it was pain for her to bike. We were wet all the time. Not even wine helped. Landscape also changed a bit from green savannas to sandy hills with various cactuses. And also a lot of offroad trails. Anyway, at the end we successfully passed our first military checkpoint. Soldiers even gave us water.
So after bike touring from Ensenada to San Felipe with our first uphill and flat tires, after 5 days, we finally reached San Felipe – the city of four-wheelers and party Americans. We didn’t plan to stay there longer than 1-2 nights, but shit happens right? More about that here.