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Old 06-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #93
peekay OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 116
Catavina, an oasis in the desert

I rode back to Ensenada and was feeling sorry for myself. I really considered just going home.

The bike's left control quadrant (turn signal, ABS switch, horn, etc.) was damaged in the crash, and I was going to use that as an excuse to ride back up to San Diego to get parts. But I managed to fix it so there went that excuse.

Quick fix

I lost confidence in my riding abilities but I decided to continue the trip. I had dreamt of this trip for so long, I wasn't ready to give it up just yet. But to be honest, part of it was driven by shame -- what would my friends & family think if I returned early? If I failed to reach my destination? I know I should ride for my own enjoyment and forget what everyone else thinks, but a bruised ego is a tough motivator sometimes.

I programmed my GPS for Catavina -- an oasis in the Baja desert -- 375 km south of Ensenada along the (paved) west coast route of MEX-1. That's outside my bike's fuel range so I planned a stop about two-thirds of the way in El Rosario.

There was a ton of construction happening throughout MEX-1, and I was pretty hungry when I finally arrived in El Rosario. Mama Espinoza's restaurant is a Baja institution since the 1930s. I gassed up then sat down for some yummy food at Mama's.

Mama Espinoza's in El Rosario is a Baja institution

After El Rosario I only had a short ride to Catavina. I loved the scenery there! It looked like a "proper" desert, the kind you see on TV, with tons of cactus everywhere.

MEX-1 on the way to Catavina

It's nice to be on the road again. Approaching Catavina, I see that it's quite a small, with only a few buildings here and there.

Small town Catavina

Hotel Mision Cataviņa is the one (and only) hotel in town.

Hotel Mision Catavina

There's an abandoned PEMEX pump at the hotel's parking lot; the gas station has been closed for years. There's a guy across the street selling gas from plastic jugs.

Filling up

I walked around admiring the scenery. Some of cactus looked pretty funny, people say like a giant upside down carrot. They's called Los Cirios in Spanish (Boojum trees in English).

Boojum tree looks like an upside-down carrot

Then I stumbled across this, uhh, a car garden??


The sun was setting and I enjoyed the desert vistas.

Sunset at Catavina

Mision Cataviņa used to be part of the Desert Inn chain. New management took over and renovated the hotel. They did a pretty good job.

Hotel Mision Catavina

I retire for the night; tomorrow the plan is to cross the state lines to Baja California Sur.

Canada to Argentina (in progress)
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