Day 4: Dec 31, 2002
Ensenada to Cataviña (272mi)

Today I took Mexico Route 1 South to Cataviña (pronounced ``cat-ah-bean-ya''). The road was fairly uneventful.

on Mex 1 south of Ensenada

at a Pemex (state-sponsored Gasoline monopoly)

Since I hadn't really ridden on any unpaved roads before, I figured I should try it out before committing to the over 100 mi of it I had ahead. I rode a dirt road from Rt. 1 a few miles to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way I pased a group of un-occupied buildings. It looked like it might be a school. The ride on the dirt road was very challenging, but passable. I decided I should try and tackle the dirt road ahead and at least see how far I could get.

dirt road to Bahia Colonet - road to Pacific ocean

dirt road to Bahia Colonet - bike, Pacific, cliffs

dirt road to Bahia Colonet - school?

I arrived in Cataviña an hour after sunset. I had hoped to camp in the hills nearby (which the Lonely Planet book suggested), but it was pitch black and cold by the time I arrived, so I stopped at the first place I came to - Cabanas Linda.

Cabanas Linda is the crappiest motel I've ever been to. It would probably rate negative 2 stars. But it only cost $20 for the night, and it was an adventure, so I can't complain. It is a pink cinderblock building with no heat and no hot water, and they turned the electricity off at 10pm (on New Years Eve, nontheless!). I was the first visitor to arrive, and when I got there there was no running water (they later turned on the pump).

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - sign

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - bike by rooms

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - room (night, full)

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - room (morning, empty

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - bathroom

Cabanas Linda in Cataviña - shower

Cataviña is a teeny town. There are 3 businesses - Cabanas Linda, a food stand, and a ``Resort Hotel''. There are no public services - electricity, sewer, water, etc. The restaurant in the hotel was the only place open for dinner.

The hotel was actually quite fancy, although a far cry from a resort. After a yummy American dinner, I talked with 2 American tourists who were at the table next to me. We chatted for a few minutes and they invited me back to their room to celebrate New Years Eve later on. I was back at my room writing in my journel at 10pm when Cabanas Linda turned off the electricity. I took that as my cue to go over to the hotel to visit with the guys I met at dinner. It was great to talk with people about my adventures. Up until this point, I hadn't really met or conversed with anyone on my trip. I enjoyed the isolation I had - the time to think and reflect while I was riding, and the independence to make (and really be forced to make) all my own decisions. But it was really nice to have another outlet for my thoughts and feelings besides just my journel.

The travelers I met were really nice guys. They had been coming down to Baja from the Los Angeles area for about 4 weeks a year for many years. They were impressed with the adventures I had experienced so far and they thought I was crazy to attempt the unpaved roads on my street bike, which only made me more determined to give it my best and not give up.

Next: Day 5 Cataviña to Campo Miramar

Day 1 San Francisco to Los Padres National Park
Day 2 Los Padres to Lancaster, CA
Day 3 Lancaster to Ensenada, Baja
Day 4 Ensenada to Cataviña
Day 5 Cataviña to Campo Miramar
Day 6 Campo Miramar to Stalton Sea, CA
Day 7 Stalton Sea to Las Vegas, NV
Day 8 Las Vegas to Death Valley National Park
Day 9 Death Valley to Minden, NV
Day 10 Minden to San Francisco