A much-needed respite in Cataviña
Since arriving in Cataviña, I’ve done little more than try to recuperate from the previous days’ tough riding. We are staying in a beautiful hotel, unusual considering its extremely remote location in a highway town with nothing more than a small shop and a family restaurant. There isn’t even cell service here! While pricey by Mexican standards, at least as far as what we’ve experienced so far, this hotel has been a much-needed oasis for me. It has truly taken me until today to feel like myself again, and to gather the energy and motivation to set off on what should be the longest leg of our trip without possibility of water or food resupply.
In the image above, I’ve indicated the location of Cataviña, 6 miles off-route, down the MEX1 highway. Having experienced riding on that shoulder-less highway once already, and not wishing to repeat the process, especially considering that the trip back to the route would be almost entirely uphill, we have made arrangements with one of the hotel staff to get a lift back to the route in his pickup. We have planned for a 6:00 AM departure tomorrow, before the day starts to heat up.
Beginning at approximately 1800′, and traveling to sea level, one could assume that at least the first part of the ride should be easy. If you’ve been following along though, you should know by now just how dangerous, and almost certainly erroneous, that assumption would be. We are making no such mistake. On the contrary, we are quite certain that the general downhill trend will be punctuated by numerous steep uphill sections, and all of it will be on rough roads. In spite of that, we’re still going to try to put in our longest day yet, as we have 100 miles to cover before we can hopefully restock our water supply. I say hopefully because nothing is guaranteed. Our resupply guide simply says to “ask for water” at El Cardon. The source of the water there is supposed to be a well, and we’ve already witnessed how that can turn out. In spite of that, we are optimistic.
We are hoping to make it to El Cardon in two (very) full days of riding, but are carrying provisions for 3, just in case. I don’t suspect that we’ll have any internet access or cell service until we reach Santa Rosalillita, another 25 miles down the coast from El Cardon, and possibly not even then. We’ll be sure to touch base when we can though. Until then, wish us luck!