After over 2,200 miles of pedaling we arrived in beautiful San Diego as the sun was setting, and the afternoon mist cleared. It reminded us a bit of Vancouver, a fitting finale to the North American part of our journey.
Much more important for us though has been the incredible hospitality we have once again received as we have traveled through on our trusty bicycles. We have been doing a lot of preparations for Mexico and it would have been impossibly difficult to fit everything in without these good people stepping up to help. We started off by prevailing upon our recent warmshowers host, Anthony’s parents in Leucadia who put us up with such warmth and kindness having had no contact with us, just trusting Anthony’s recommendation.
Then we met Scott Endsley on our ride through the military base at Camp Pendleton (it was a choice between cruising by military hardware, or doing battle on the eight lane freeway). He caught us up (obviously) on his bike and within minutes offered us a place to stay and a session in the spa at his health club. Of course we did not hesitate, and in fact spent the next three nights taking full advantage of his family’s hospitality, the health club and even cruising around, running errands in his Jag! (Yep, a bit more driving!) Absolutely phenomenal – to be welcomed as a stranger with such open arms was extremely special. We cannot thank these guys enough. (His son is a photographer and his pictures are very cool – here’s the link.)
We also met up again with Devin – fellow cyclist that we chatted to for 20 minutes in Arcata, Northern California. Although we really didn’t know each other, meeting up was like getting back with an old friend. Having both done the Pacific Coast stretch from Vancouver we had lots of stories to compare and to talk about our forthcoming plans for Mexico. His mum also let us wash out our dirty socks – it’s important to have clean laundry when preparing to enter a new country, one has to make a good impression!
Warmshowers came good for us again with Dan who gave us somewhere to stay with less than 24 hours notice, and let us completely chill out after a hectic day chasing around looking for somewhere to get some Mexican pesos and a tyre for Ned’s bike. I was also feeling crook after a rabies vaccination, so doubly appreciated the roof and the bed. (Tip – get all your vaccinations sorted BEFORE you leave home, it is a nightmare to get them done here, not to mention expensive). Ah, the joys of cycle touring!
Last but not least we had the fortune to hook up with Bicycle Baja Bob – a great guy who visits the Baja twice a month by bike or by car, and Christine. He gave us some great tips, helped us out with changing some cash to pesos and offered up numerous friends’ places for us to stay down the peninsula. Christine even gave Ned a nearly new down body warmer for the cold desert nights!