Days of the Dead, Baja California, Mexico

Baja California

Views from beautiful Baja California y Baja California Sur:

IMG_2479Potable water is precious in the desert states of Baja California, and we have been drinking roughly 6 liters each day.

IMG_2495 A shot from Coco's Corner. Coco lost both of his legs and decided to ride his wheelchair alone for 250 miles into the middle of the desert to find a place to live. He has had many visitors since, including us.

IMG_2515 Pascual, a global traveler from Switzerland (ptitb.net).

IMG_2511Most nights in Baja California mean sleeping next to big cacti. Mexico puts the United States to shame when it comes to size and variety of cactus. Come on Arizona, step your cactus game up.

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IMG_2472 Puertocitos, Baja California

IMG_6397 (1)Pascual, Melanie and Vincent, and I after celebrating Pascual's three year anniversary on the road. We celebrated with a tasty fish fry, a series of presents for Pascual, and a night sky filled with shooting stars. I taught them how to make smores for the first time, and I felt American.

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IMG_2581 I think Corona comes here to film their commercials.

IMG_2570Another Baja morning.

IMG_2547First night sleeping with Los Bomberos (firefighters). We woke up in the middle of the night to their fire alarm, and first thing in the morning to the sound of dance music from their neighbors.

IMG_2523Another Baja evening.

Dia de Los Muertos

On the 2nd of November, Mexicans celebrate Dia de Los Muertos, a time when families remember their loved ones who have passed away. I did not know what to expect regarding this holiday, but was pleased with what I found. Staying with a family in the small town of San Ignacio, I was invited to an exhibition of several Dia de Los Muertos memorials that the students at the local school arranged. I learned how they take this time to remember those who have passed, preparing memorials with the dead's favorite foods, memorabilia, flowers, and candles. What was particularly interesting was how this was a weaker tradition in Baja California, as Baja is a more touristy area with a greater American and European influence. I listened to the principal of the school encourage all of the students to embrace this great Mexican tradition. And what a great tradition it is. Do you know very much about your great grandparents? I don't. Dia de Los Muertos is a wonderful time to celebrate the life of the deceased in our families, and an opportunity to educate children on the life of their ancestors. Below are a few pictures of the Mexican holiday:

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French in Baja California

Crossing the border from the USA into Mexico is rather easy. 20$USD ( o $320 pesos mexicanos) and a weird look from a soldier carrying an assault rifle and you are in Mexico! I rode a couple of days on my own before I bumped into Vincent and Melanie, a French couple travelling through the Americas on their bicycles (lasellerit.com). We met at sundown, made small talk, and agreed to meet the following morning to discuss more important matters like biking together. Our formal business meeting lasted roughly 45 seconds when we agreed to bike together for a bit. Melanie just finished her studies in France and is now a Family Doctor, and Vincent is an electrical engineer with experience in both the private and non profit sectors. At the time of writing this, we have biked together over the mountain range of Baja California into San Felipe, Mexico. Our days have consisted of discussing politics, educating one another on Spanish vocabulary and French wine and cheese, and eating delicious tacos at the many taquerias on the penninsula.

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In case you wondered what crossing the USA-Mexico border looks like, just enough space for a bike and a greeting

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First sunset in Mexico on the beach of Las Playas de Tijuana

IMG_2430Hillside ranch inland Baja California

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Vincent

Bruce Willis, aka Vincent

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Vincent and I looked for alcohol for our stoves for three days before finally finding a solution in una farmacia.

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Vincent and Melanie checking the map after our taco lunch

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I think Vincent looks like Bruce Willis. He and Melanie think I look like the Frech singer Johnny Hallyday. You be the judge.