Monday, 31 May 2010

along the coast to Zihuatanejo

Monday 31st of May 2010

The ferry docked in the port of Mazatlan at around 8am. A slow cycle ride took me into the centre of the “old town” and a cheap hotel. Not getting much sleep on the ferry I hit the bed but not before I had turned on the fan.

Come the afternoon, come the shopping trip. I needed a few more T shirts as two of mine are of no use to me on the bike (they take far to long to dry out and they have given me a major case of jogger's enough was enough). After a walk around I was able to buy only one T shirt in my size but it is better than nothing. Even more importantly I was able to buy a couple of pairs of cycle gloves as the ones I brought from Halfords before I left England had completely worn out. The gloves stop your hands from sliding of the handle bars...which is really handy!

In the early evening I went for a walk around the area. The town has much more of a big city hustle and bustle feel to it than La Paz and the grid layout made for easy walking. I checked out the sunset sitting on the sea wall with the waves of the pacific gently crashing on the rocks several metres away. Later on I ended up in a small square in the middle of the Art and cultural district were there are several bars and restaurants.

I pigged out....big time!

The next day it was up early, I have no idea why? There were clothes to wash, food to buy and a route to plan. Two hours later all of that was complete, so cue rocking chair in the hotel courtyard!

As the afternoon turned towards the evening I decided to head back to one of the restaurants in the square but I thought I would take the long way there along the seafront. The views were great and by the time I was sitting down at the restaurant table the sun had almost set. The food was delicious and the beer cold!

Upon leaving the restaurant I found that I was completely unable to walk properly. The tendons in my ankle were taut and non flexible and the 10 minute walk of yesterday took me nearly 50 minutes today! I finally managed to hobble back to my room and as I went to sleep trying to find a comfortable position for my foot took a while.

The next morning I came to the quick conclusion that there was no way I would be getting on the bike. During the course of the day I massaged, stretched and slow walked my ankle back into something that was almost useful.

Finally on Thursday 3rd of June I got back on the bike. As it had been a week since I had turned the pedals (I'm not counting the two hours it took me to cycle the 11 miles from la paz to the ferry terminal) and I was definitely uncertain about my ankle I planned an easy 45 mile ride to the small town of El Rosario.

The 1st 24km were along a busy dual carriageway with a large hard shoulder and the going was flat and easy. After that I had a choice, go along the “free road” or the “toll road”. I chose the toll road because it had the hard shoulder and the free road didn't. Being on a bike meant I didn't have to pay at the toll booth and the road was by far the best road I have yet to cycle down. By 11:30 I had made it to the centre of El Rosario which itself was a few miles from the highway. After rehydrating, even though it was only midday and the next town was only 25km away I decided to find a hotel room.

The hotel was easy enough to find and at 120 pesos a night it was damn cheap.

The afternoon was spent in a rocking chair in the courtyard with occasional playtimes with the hotel dog...which was nice. In the evening I needed food and I ended up in a street restaurant in the centre of town. The host couldn't speak English and I really can't speak Spanish so I ended up just saying Si to whatever he said.

Throughout my 40 years on planet earth I had yet to eat prawns...that soon changed! It looked like I ordered a large glass bowl of fish broth packed with prawn tails with the odd bit of onion and celery chucked in for good measure. After 8 or 9 of those little buggers I decided that although the taste wasn't making me gag, I was concerned about possible food poisoning issues! Mind you at under £4 a bowl it was good value.

In the evening I was in was in bed by 9pm, listening to the fan whirr the warm air around.

The next morning I awoke before the alarm and looked at the time. Looks like I forgot to set the alarm because it was 07:30! I was on the road 30 minutes later and soon I was back on the toll road heading south. Several easy but slightly boring hours later I exited the highway and was making my way along the secondary road the 5kms to the town of Acaponeta and a hotel. 500 metres along the road I saw a was 2pm and as I wasn't planning on doing any sight seeing this afternoon I thought “sod it, this will do”. For the 1st time in 12 days I had a room with A/C (and a two channel TV) it was costing me 250 pesos but I needed it!!

The following day, after experiencing the effects of a time experiment I was on the road just after 6am. By midday I was in the town of Santiago Ixcuintla, hot and sweaty. After a quick cycle tour around the centre of town I found only one hotel. At 320 pesos a night it was expensive but it had A/C, cable TV and not too bad a deal after all! In the evening following a pizza and chips meal I had a quiet night in.

looking at the map and the road ahead I came to the conclusion that as I wasn't in a rush (this isn't a race and there is no finish line) I would take it easy for 3 or 4 days on the road to Puerto Vallarta. Therefore the next day I rode the 30 miles to San about taking it easy!!!!

On the approach to the town I bumped into a fellow biker. Alain from Switzerland has been on the road for a few years and has so far covered 20000kms around north America. He is heading in a similar direction to me so I expect to see him somewhere on the road further south. We chatted for a while, comparing bikes, equipment and stories. If the truth be told I don't think he has heard of the word “ultralight”. He is basically carrying the same gear as me but he needs a trailer to get it all on. We came to the conclusion that his bike is around 30kg more than mine!

Leaving Alain to his lunch I headed into the centre of town, found a good value hotel (200 pesos per night with cable TV!) a few blocks from the main square and decided to have a siesta.

In the evening I was sitting outside a bar in the main square. My fingers were drumming a “what to do what to do what to do” beat on the table. By the end of the second beer I had my answer....lets have a lie in tomorrow!

I left San Blas and spent two days cycling the 100 odd miles to Puerto Vallarta, spending the night in the unremarkable out of season seaside town of Rincon de Guayabitos. The days were overcast and very muggy and there were lots of hours spent going uphill...slowly! However every time I went up hill my legs got just that little bit stronger, the rest of me got just that little bit fitter and the climbs got ever so slightly easier...but not by much :)

I arrived in Puerto Vallarta on the afternoon of Wednesday 9th of June, found a cheap but slightly run-down hotel in the central tourist area and relaxed! In the evening I realised that the world cup started in two days time...looks like I'm here for the weekend :)

I ended up watching the England V USA match in Harry's bar, the only English pub in Puerto Vallarta. It was packed out with a friendly rivalry between the opposing supporters. I won the “guess the time of the 1st goal” competition and the winnings paid for the my beers.

The bars here don't shut till 4am so I had late nights and lazy days.

I did look at going diving and I found a dive shop nearby that would do a days diving for 1000 pesos. I was warming to the idea till the guy mentioned that I would have to make my own way to the marina several kilometres away via a bus! So instead I spent 450 pesos on a 90 minute massage, the lass did a really good job on my I guess I had a happy ending after all :)

I was all set to leave early Monday morning but my clothes were stuck in a launderette on Sunday afternoon and I wasn't able to get them till the following day...maybe mañana.

The next morning I was up early and ready to leave. Whilst carrying my bike down from my 3rd floor room I managed to slip on the stairs and jar my ankle in the process....of course it had to be my left ankle!!

On the road all was mostly okay, the road followed the coast up, down and around the headlands till after about 10 miles it headed inland and uphill. After 90 minutes I had travelled several miles and came to stop in a small village for a break. My ankle was stiff and sore and I was facing more uphill action for many miles to come. It was then I saw I hotel sign.........

In the morning after a long day of rest I was once again going uphill. After several hours the road started to go downhill and after a while it became flat! I spent the night in the small town of Tomatlan in a cheap hotel near the town square. The following day I was back on the road, sweating! The day was pretty much like the one that came before it, long uphill climbs followed by even more long uphill climbs. After 60 miles of this I was, to say the least, knackered. By now it was just after 3pm and I had had enough for the day. Stopping for a cold drink in a small village I realised after 10 minutes that I was standing in front of a hotel...doh!!! The next day it was about 60 miles to the seaside town of Manzanillo where I was planning to have a day of rest. The 1st 35 miles were uphill, then after the goddess of topography had answered my prayer I had 5 miles of downhill free-wheeling....yippee! After that it was an easy 20 mile ride along the flat coastal plain, if the strong headwind hadn't of been blowing!

Manzanillo is situated on a wide curving bay several miles long that is bisected by a small headland. I was making my way along the road when I saw a cheap hotel and decided that enough was enough. For 150 pesos I got a bed, a noisy fan, a toilet and a pipe in the wall that water comes out of. In the evening I was eating in a small restaurant a few 100 metres from my hotel. Halfway into the meal I looked around and saw a sign for the 2 star hotel next door. For only 50 pesos more I could of got A/C, cable TV and free wifi.....BUGGER!!!! Later on in the evening I found myself in a rock music bar, sitting on a stool overlooking the surf-able waves of the pacific ocean crashing on to the golden sands whilst a scarlet sunset slowly set. Sometimes life is good!

After a couple of nights I was once again up early and on the road, this time to the small town of Tecoman about 45 miles away. Once over the hill I was on the toll road going along by the ocean. Several Sunday morning cyclists passed by heading the other way, on their light weight racing machines....tossers :)
Arriving in the town of Tecoman I made my way to the town centre and after a quick cycle around found a cheap hotel near the main square and the church. The afternoon siesta was relaxing and the evening meal was devoured with relish. Following a few cold beers in a local bar I headed back to the hotel and was looking forward to a good nights sleep.

I was drifting off to the land of nod when a cockroach ran across my face! Once my impression of a very scared eight year girl in a pink frilly dress was over I turned on the light to see about 12 of the bastards running around on the floor...I didn't get much sleep that night! Come the morning I was up early and very eager to get the hell out of there. Unfortunately the lazy sloth like bastard that had the key to unlock the hotel entrance (and only fire escape too I might add) could not be found. 45 minutes later someone turned up to get into the hotel and get to work and after a phone call the sloth then took him a further 10 minutes to remember where he had left the padlock key!

Finally I was on the is 270 kilometres (or 160 miles) to Playa Azul so I had more than a few days of biking ahead of me, most of which would be along the coast on a winding road that rose and fell dramatically. After about 25 miles the road stopped being flat but I knew that it would be the case (sometimes google earth is a blessing, sometimes it's not) and started going uphill. Passing a small village right on the beach with several hotels (it was just a little bit too early to stop) I slowly made my way up the inclines. Coming around a corner I saw Alain resting by the side of the road! Neither of us were expecting to see one another this soon! We carried on to the next town and stopped for lunch and the last 20 minutes of Switzerland's loss to Chile in the world cup.

At this point I had cycled 40 miles and the next town with a hotel was 15 miles away mostly uphill. Luckily the small town where I was had a hotel, so that was good enough for me. Alain, had only covered about 10 miles so he decided to carry on...

The next day I was back on the road and once again going uphill, again and again and again! The downhill bits were long enough to dry the sweat from my face but that was it. Coming down one of the short descents I passed a small house where the world's fastest accelerating dog happened to live. Within a blink of an eye it had appeared from nowhere and was within feet of my back wheel. Bear in mind that I was doing 25mph at this point and I had to start pedalling to break his chase. The adrenalin made the next ascent easier than the last. By 14:30 the hot sun and the terrain had taken its toll, turning a corner I came across a small town and ended up spending the night on the beach under a ancient hut for free...but only because there wasn't a hotel!

Waking up with the dawn I was, after breakfast, on the road by 8am. Having covered 80 miles in the last two days I wasn't too sure what my energy levels would be. By 11am I had covered nearly 20 miles, I think I pushed hard too early! Sitting outside a shop I spent 30 minutes drinking 3 bottles of gatorade and a can of coke...yes I was that thirsty! One mile later I passed a small establishment right on the beach. It had a restaurant, RV parking and a few rooms. I paused for a few minutes then decided it was too early to stop and carried on up the road. 100 metres later I came to the conclusion that I was being a “fucking twat”. I turned the bike around and got myself a 200 peso room for the night. The rest of the day was spent in the hammock.....

In the morning I only had 100kms to Playa Azul to took me two days, I mean what was the rush! The final day (Friday 25th of June) was mostly along flat roads...fantastic!!!! With less than 10 miles to go I watched 2000 miles appear on my odometer!

Arriving at Playa Azul I was disappointed to say the least....still, two days off the saddle is two days off the saddle!

After two days it was back on the bike and I had 80 odd miles to go to get to the seaside town of Zihuatanejo (and no I have no idea how to pronounce it!). So I decided to pedal 40 miles each day, turns out it was more like 60 miles the 1st day as that was where the hotels were! On the Monday (28th of June) I only had 20 miles to travel and I was glad of the ankle was feeling weak, once again!

I finally made it to Zihuatanejo and after a little tour around the main tourist area found a nice courtyard hotel. A long relax followed a hot shower and when I went to get off the bed a few hours later I found my ability to walk was greatly reduced!!!!


Looks like all the tendons in my ankle have gone on strike....I may be in this town for a while

(and the rainy season has just started!)

Saturday, 1 May 2010

On the road to La Paz

I spent three nights in Tecate, relaxing during the day and drinking beer in the bar in the evening. Time well spent if you ask me! Finally on the 1st of May I got back on the bike and headed south on highway 3 over the mountains towards the town of Ensenada just over 80 miles away.

I wasn't expecting to make it there in one day and I didn't. The day was spent slowly going uphill for up to 90 minutes before blasting downhill for 10-20 minutes again and again and again. I actually quite enjoyed it! The uphill bits weren't too steep and the scenery was fantastic. By just after midday I have covered 40 miles so I was halfway there, the rest of the day's mileage was a bonus!

By 3 in the afternoon I was only 20miles from Ensenada and 15 miles from the coast. Taking it easy I ended up in the small “town” of El Sauzel right on the coast of the pacific ocean 90 minutes later. I found a “cheap motel”  (if you can call £22 pn cheap) with a great shower, free wifi and super firm bed :)

the next day I woke early (why?) and turned on the TV to find that  the Liverpool V Chelsea match was  live on fox sports...fantastic!!!!

I finally left the motel after 10am and travelled the 5 miles to Ensenada. After a quick bike around the tourist area I found a good hotel for only £15 pn. I'll be here for a few days before heading south once again.

I ended up spending 3 nights in this little American orientated tourist town, I didn't do that much. I checked out the local museum (small but interesting), the local Starbucks (where else am I going to get an ice cold frappaccino?) and the local cinema (iron man 2 is cool!). Yes, there were also bars but man was this town quiet! Why sit in a bar where the staff outnumber the clients by a ratio of 2:1 when instead I could watch TV lying on a bed with a fag in my mouth and a beer in my hand...I know I'm a classy kind of guy. I forgot to mention all the shops selling tourist tat...well now I have!

Come Wednesday (the 5th) morning I was up at 6am and on the road an hour later. It was 52 miles to the small town of St Vincent and after 10 miles the dual carriageway and the hard shoulder disappeared. It was once again a day of crossing valleys, the downhill bits were nice, the uphill bits not so nice.

A fully loaded touring bike is at its most unstable at low speeds (i.e. going uphill) and when an Arctic lorry is passing you by less than 2 feet...well lets just say it's fun and leave it at that.

By 13:30 I still had 10 miles to go and damn it was hot, even though I am wearing a “head sock” the salt from my sweat was stinging my eyes. When you are going uphill the last thing you want to do is look up!

Another hour later and I was in St Vincent, a small dusty town straddling the highway. I passed one motel that was shut, another that was open but with no one around however the 3rd time was lucky.

It is now 5pm and the heat of the day is fading, a cooling breeze is helping with that and the sound of the traffic 100m away can't block out the birdsong in the trees that are keeping me in the shade.

The following day after an uneventful ride I arrived in the small town of San Quintin in the early afternoon. I checked into a nice motel next door to a bar (strange that) and after showering walked the two mile round trip to the nearest ATM. Since leaving Tecate I haven't used my cane at all and I was getting used to “walking normally”. By the time I got back to the room my ankle was aching. Looks like a tendon on the outside of my foot was playing up. As it was the 1st time since I broke it that the outside of the ankle was causing me problems it gave some cause for concern.

The next day and my ankle was still sore and stiff so it was time for some bed rest and massage therapy. In the end I stayed in San Quintin for 3 nights, which was one more than planned and on Sunday the 9th of 'May I got back on the bike.

As it was a Sunday the road was quiet and for the 1st 30 miles it was flat! Mountains to my left and the pacific ocean to my right and for the 1st time since Las Vegas....a tailwind!!!! The end stop of the day was the small town of El Rosario which was only about 40 miles from San Quintin. After 3 hours I only had 10 miles left to go. However 8 of those miles were uphill but on the bright side the last two were!

By midday I had arrived and was in a hotel, next door to the famous Mama Esponzia restaurant, which if you are into off road racing (like the Baja 1000) you'll know all about it! My ankle seemed to be okay, which as tomorrow is going to be spent going uphill, is a good thing.

Monday 10th of May

What a day I've just had!

I left El Rosario just before 7am and at midday, 5 hours later, I had only managed to cover 30 miles. There was many steep ascents to climb and in 1st gear I average 3.5 mph. At one point I was almost at the top of a ridge when a police car came screaming down as fast as possible, ten minutes later I found out why. Going downhill I passed an overturned lorry on the apex of a tight left hand bend, its trailer smashed open discarding its cargo down the hillside. I guess the police car was being used as an ambulance!!!

A few miles later I was going downhill into a large and wide valley and by 2pm I had covered another 20 miles, making it 50 in total. Passing through a town (if you can call 2 houses and a shed a town) I realised that I would have to carry on in the saddle.

The nearest town with a hotel was Catavina, 26 miles away. By now my ankle was hurting and my right knee was starting to feel the strain. It was too hot and to early to camp by the side of the road so I just carried across the desert landscape.

By 3pm I was only 12 miles away and the road was crossing a boulder strewn cactus forest. The road was mostly flat and when it wasn't it was downhill...which was really lucky!

An hour later I had reached the town of Catavina. There are about 20 houses, a restaurant/shop and only one hotel. As soon as I saw the hotel I knew it would be costing me more than 250 pesos a night. I was right, it's 1100 pesos ( or about £60 ) but its not like I would go anywhere else!

Its now just gone 6pm and I'm sitting in the courtyard garden next to the swimming pool wondering if I am the only guest here but also if the restaurant is open?

I really wasn't planing on spending 9.5 hours on the road, with 8 of those hours in the saddle covering nearly 80 miles today. As for tomorrow...well it's about 70 miles to the next town or if I feel as knackered as I do right now I'll be on a shade lounger near the pool reading a book and trying not to think about how much this is costing me!

The next day

Shade lounger won!

I don't think that was a surprise to anyone :)

the following day I was on the road just before 7am and after 30 miles or so the steep climbs were left behind and I was travelling across easy valleys. As the day wore on the miles slipped past. By 5pm I had covered 85 miles and decided to call it a day. Being miles from nowhere I pitch my tent at the side of the road, cooked dinner and relaxed as the sun went down.

At dawn I was up, chilled and relaxed and after a coffee and the 1st use of my folding trowel I was on my way. There were only 62 miles that needed to be covered today (I know!!! I think 62 miles isn't that much any more...???) and as such I took it easy. The last 30 miles were along a dead straight road, so it was quite boring but by 3pm I had reached the town of  Guerrero Negro. This is one of the places to come for whale watching (but right now its out of season) but apart from that there really isn't much else.

I'll be here for two nights, clothes to wash and legs to rest before heading across the desert to  Santa Rosalia nearly 140 miles away. So that should only take a couple of days then :)

right now it is Thursday the 13th of May and I have been on the road for one month. I've spent 18 days cycling and have so far covered just over 900 miles. Not too bad for a beer swilling, chain smoking fat bloke

(Turns out I spent 3 nights here. I was online on Friday afternoon  when I realised that the FA cup final was being played the next day. Kick off was 7am local time, so instead of an early night I had beer and in the morning watched Chelsea win!!)

Sunday 16th of May:

I rolled out of Guerrero Negro just before 7am and as the road was flat and straight within 3 hours I had travelled 40 miles. As I was planning to cycle 90 miles across the Vizcaino desert today, it put a grin on my face :)

At nearly 3pm I was watching the odometer and as all the nines turned to zeros a big smile erupted across my face. I stopped, lit a full fat marlboro to celebrate and let out a big sigh!! I had just cycled my 1st 1000 miles, I wonder how many more there will be?

Back on the bike I only had 8 miles to go to the small town of San Ignacio. The town itself is about 2 miles from the main highway and as I turned off I came across a motel next to a restaurant. After biking 90 miles already I really couldn't be arsed to cycle a further two!

The following day I “only” had 46 miles to cover, across the desert to the sea of Cortez and the town of Santa Rosalia. A few miles out of the town there was a short but  steep bitch of a climb and after 30 minutes I had reached the top, sweating like a pig in a butchers shop!!! After yesterday's epic ride my legs were only at about 60% and so I was cruising along the road at 8-9 mph as opposed to the 13-15mph of yesterday.

About 3 hours later I climbed over a ridge and was met with a beautiful view...a wide valley that lead all the way to the coast. Its undulating road was easy to ride and I just chilled out and enjoyed the views. Towards the end of the wide valley I climbed a small ridge and could see the Sea! Then the road plunged down into a narrow valley, which if I had been coming the other way would of made me cry at the  gradient. I kid you not, I would of struggled to even push the bike the final kilometre, it must have been about 25%! So glad I was going downhill!!!!!!

8 kilometres later I was by the sea, the main road following the coast line the few miles to the town of Santa Rosalia. The town is set back from the sea and the harbour in a small canyon. It has two main streets, one goes uphill and other one down. The streets are narrow, lined by wooden houses with small verandas. The town dates back to the late 1800's and was built by a French mining company and the bakery has been here since 1901! I'll be here for a few days before heading south along the coast.

Wednesday 19th of May

After a couple of nights it was time to move on. The next main town is Loreto nearly 120 miles away but as I am feeling lazy and the sun is feeling hot I decided to take 3 days to cover the distance!!

About 40 miles down the road is the small town of Mulege and that was where I was heading today. Just outside of Santa Rosalia I passed a road side sign which was displaying the temperature...25oc at 07:30! The road was easy and I was enjoying the views when after cresting a small rise I saw my doppelgänger! His name was Andrew too but he was from Norway and had been on the road for nearly 10 months travelling north from southern Argentina heading to Vancouver and a flight back home. We chatted for about an hour before we parted, leaving him to fix his puncture.

By midday I was in Mulege and after looking around the small town I  found a cheap hotel  on the highway. So, it's a ten minute walk into the centre of town for tonight's meal.

A few hours later it had just gone 5pm and so I got my carcass off the bed and walked into town and into Scott's bar. I was enjoying a cold beer whilst being slightly concerned that the pub's dog had decided that my bar stool was the one to sit under when I looked at the clock. It was an hour fast...or was it??? Turns out the southern state of Baja California is in fact one ahead of the north...doh!!! That explains a few things......

Tomorrow, well that's just more of the same!

The next day I was up at dawn and on the road at my usual time. It was only 74kms to my target town and after a few climbs the road went along the jagged coast line. The views were great but the inclines were not. After a few hours I left the coast behind and headed once again into the desert. A long slow climb followed under the hot unrelenting sun till finally I crested a ridge and saw a wide long valley in front of me.

It was only 5kms to the town and when I got there I was surprised (?) to see only 2houses and desert...bugger! I carried on along the road and 8 miles later I came across a truck stop. After spending 30 minutes in the shade rehydrating I decided to push on to the town of Loreto which was only 50kms away. By now it was nearing 3pm and so I was looking at doing a 12 hour day.

As the miles slipped by my speed slowly dropped and the small climb 10km outside of town was a complete  bitch! Finally at around 17:30 I was on the outskirts of Loreto and by 6pm I was sitting outside a hotel with a couple of ice cold drinks that didn't stay around for long!

The following morning after a great night's sleep (thank you super quiet a/c unit)I wandered around the tourist part of this town. Loreto is situated along a wide bay with a marine park off the coast. There is diving to be had here but I just don't think that paying 100USD to see some fish swimming around is worth it. As tomorrow is Saturday (as is the champions league final) it looks like I'll be hanging out here for the weekend :)

Sunday 23rd of May

After being kept awake till the wee small hours by a Mariachi band playing at an outdoor party across the road, my alarm clock woke me up. An hour later I was once again back on highway 1 heading south.

The road meandered along near the sea for about 18 miles before turning right and heading uphill into the mountains. The following 2 ½ hours were fun...not! The road was steep and curvy and I was in 1st gear going along at 3 ½ miles per hour. After a few false summits (I liked those) I finally made it to the top of the pass. It was at that point that Mr Headwind joined me and despite several loud vocal requests to leave he stayed with me for the rest of the day!

The downhill bit was far to short and at the bottom was a rest I did! 60 minutes and 2 litres of gatorade later I was back on the road. It had just gone 1pm and after travelling 60kms I still had another 60kms to the next town.

Heading along the valley the dried up river bed went downhill but the road went uphill (WHY!!!) A long slow climb into a headwind followed and by 3pm I was on top of the ridge with 40kms of straight road ahead of me. Due to the headwind I decided to camp by the side of the road and an hour later I was setting up camp next to an electrical pylon some 50 metres from the road.

Whilst pitching my tent I walked back to the peg bag for some more pegs when a gust of wind lifted up my tent and tumbled it along the dry stream bed nearby. Luckily a barb wire fence stopped the tent's brief flirtation with freedom. Sadly 3 of my tent pegs made good their escape. So tonight I'll be sleeping like a cowboy, under the stars.

After dinner I was pondering why I had back in England decided that the 320 gram weight of my hammock was too much weight to bring with me, because if I had  had it I would have been able to put it up using the frame of the pylon uprights!!

The next day I was up at dawn and whilst smoking my last cigarette (note to self: next time when camping by the side of the road make sure you have more fags with you than you want to smoke) I stumbled across the missing tent pegs...hurrah!!! A short time later I was on the road to Ciudad Constitucion which was only 60kms away. Halfway along the road I turned left and was now enjoying a tailwind whilst travelling along a flat straight dual carriageway.

I arrived at the town just before midday and after wandering around for a while (the town has a population of 50,000 people so it's quite a large place) found an over priced hotel (but it does have cable) near the highway. It is only 210kms or 126 miles to La I should be there sometime Wednesday afternoon.

The next two days on the road were easy and rather uneventful with boringly repetitive scenery!!

I arrived in La Paz just before 1pm on Wednesday 26th of May and got a room in a Hostel, quickly followed by me going to the shops for a ice cold beer :)

It's been 44 days since I left Las Vegas. I've spent 27 days “in the saddle” travelling one thousand three hundred and fourteen miles.......