06-05-2012, 10:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto, ON
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.
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.
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.
Mama Espinoza's in El Rosario is a Baja institution
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.
MEX-1 on the way to Catavina
Hotel Mision Cataviņa is the one (and only) hotel in town.
Small town 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.
Hotel Mision Catavina
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).
Then I stumbled across this, uhh, a car garden??
Boojum tree looks like an upside-down carrot
The sun was setting and I enjoyed the desert vistas.
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.
Sunset at Catavina
Hotel Mision Catavina
I retire for the night; tomorrow the plan is to cross the state lines to Baja California Sur.