Comparte su vida sobre una bici

When the local newspaper interviewed me in Escuinapa, an incredible town in Sinaloa, mainland Mexico… wow…. Muchas Gracias al club deportivo de los Walikochis que me ayudan tanto. Son amigos que nunca me voy a olvidar. Los Walikochis, te quiero!

EscuinapaNews

INICIA JOVEN UNA AVENTURA

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Maud Yoli viene desde EU con la intención de recorrer el País y llegar a Perú y especializarse en actividades médicas

Sugey Estrada – Noroeste
13-06-2015

ESCUINAPA._ Sin límite de tiempo, salvo la meta de llegar feliz a su destino y vivir plenamente la aventura que inició hace tres meses, Maud Yoli arribó al municipio a bordo de su bicicleta como parte de su viaje que espera terminar en Cusco, en Perú.

Originaria de la región de Lyon, Francia, pero con residencia en Los Ángeles, California, en EU, la ciclista de 30 años inició su travesía que, aunque no sabe cuándo terminará, la meta es clara: llegar a Cusco e integrarse a las actividades médicas de una congregación local.

“En una ocasión visité a esa comunidad y me gustó mucho el trabajo que hacen porque es como un hospital en donde se utiliza la medicina tradicional…

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A week out of time / Une semaine hors du temps

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One month ago, on the 29th of March, Christophe, joined by the colorful Lucas, decided to drive for 15 hours down the Baja Peninsula to join us and embark on the cycling adventure… living on the road, with new friends in a breathtaking environment was a guarantee for intense emotions and possibly a way to unlock new/old doors…

On my side, i was simply astonished to be able to live a part of my journey with my lover… I have a real need to do this trip by myself, but being able to share such magical  and real moments, in connection with everything surrounding me, whilst riding alongside the man I love, was an experience as rich as emotionally destabilizing.

Il y a exactement un mois, le 29 Mars, Christophe et son acolite Lucas, ont décidés de prendre le volant  pendant 15 heures, le long de la péninsule de Baja, pour venir nous rejoindre et s’embarquer pour une semaine d’aventures à vélo… 

Vivre sur la route, sans programme pré-établi, avec de nouveaux amis était déjà en soi une garantie d’emotions fortes et peut être meme une occasion d’ouvrir quelques nouvelles portes…

De mon côté, j’étais tout simplement heureuse de pouvoir vivre une partie de mon aventure avec mon amoureux… J’ai un réel besoin de faire ce voyage seule, avec moi-même, mais me retrouver à partager des moments magiques et tellement « vrais », en connection avec tout ce qui m’entoure aux côtés de l’homme que j’aime fut une expérience aussi riche qu’émotionnellement déstabilisante… 

back together! de nouveau ensemble!
back together! de nouveau ensemble!

 On the morning of Monday the 30th, after a rich and intense night of emotions and wine, I woke up to my friend hangover and thought to myself I was starting the adventure being 5 with virtuosity and exemplarity… with grace and class, just managing to hold down what my body was trying to get rid of. I know, pure poesy.

Fortunatelly, our wonderful host Othon, saved my dignity by serving us an incredible “hangover breakfast”. Nothing better than eating well after a night of debauchery.

Maud the adventurer was ready to get back on the saddle and eat the km.

Le matin du lundi 30, après une soirée intense en émotions et quelques bouteilles de vin descendues, je me remettais peinement d’une jolie gueule de bois en me disant que je commençais l’aventure à 5 avec virtuosité et exemplarité… la grande classe, le raoul au bord des lèvres. 

Heureusement, notre super hôte Othon me sauva la face en nous préparant un petit dej’ de roi. Rien de tel qu’un bon gueuleton pour se relever d’une soiree de débauche.

Maud L’aventurière était de nouveau prête à se remettre en selle pour avaler les km. 

Christophe exchanging drawings with a young Mexican Artist.
Christophe exchanging drawings with a young Mexican Artist.
Fun night!
Fun night!
Our hosting family, Sugey, Juan Miguel, Othon and Erik./ Nos hôtes
Our hosting family, Sugey, Juan Miguel, Othon and Erik./ Nos hôtes
Desayuno/breakfast/petit dejeuner chilaquiles rojas... hangover's heaven!
Desayuno/breakfast/petit dejeuner chilaquiles rojas… hangover’s heaven!

Once again, goodbyes left me with a lump in the throat but with a heart filled with joy to have met such beautiful people.

Une nouvelle fois, les aux-revoirs me laissèrent avec la gorge nouée mais le coeur rempli de bonheur d’avoir pu rencontrer d’aussi belles personnes.

Goodbye picture/ photo d'aux revoirs
Goodbye picture/ photo d’aux revoirs
mandatory water duty / mission eau
mandatory water duty / mission eau

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getting organized with the food situation / en pleine organisation de nourriture
getting organized with the food situation / en pleine organisation de nourriture
C'est parti!!!!!
C’est parti!!!!!

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A contradictory feeling of euphoria and calm embodied me this morning, feeling like I was part of a very special convoy, excited by our circus like group on the way to the next town, and incredibly peaceful to be living in each and every second passing by, in every turn of the wheel… cycling is bliss, especially with people you love.

Un sentiment contradictoire d’euphorie et de calme m’envahit se matin là, j’avais l’impression de faire partie d’un convoit très special, excitée par notre petit groupe aux allures de wagon de cirque en direction de la prochaine ville, et sereine du moment present, de chaque tour de roue se faisant. 

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Christophe was filling my heart with joy, It felt like I could literally see wings growing on his back… it’s so good to see people being happy and enjoying themselves.

The cycling routine started again, conversing, listening to music, spending time alone, stopping for lunch, deciding where to set up camp… and I started to feel glimpses of frustration about the “decisions dynamic” within the group. The more people we are, the more divergent opinions there is and the more time it takes to decide things in general… I am not always very patient with that :-s .

During the day, after our now famous tacos picnic, Lucas offered me to ride with bike so I could get a break from my heavy (but non the less beloved bicycle😉 ). From a train, I felt like I was suddenly riding a Porsche….. wowwwww, it felt like I was flying!!! Without bags, it surely is a completely different experience!… almost too easy😉 ! Thank you Lucas for coming with almost nothing and letting me use your beast!

Christophe remplissait mon coeur de joie, j’avais l’impression de pouvoir littéralement lui voir pousser des ailes… quel bonheur de voir le bonheur des autres s’exprimer. 

La routine des km avalés, discussions, moments de solitudes, picnic, decisions sur le campement se remit en route et je sentais tout de meme quelques frustrations sur la dynamique de décisions à prendre tous ensemble pointer le bout de leur nez dans ma petite caboche… 

le plus de personnes nous sommes, le plus d’avis contradictoires il faut prendre en compte, et du coup, prendre une simple decision peut prendre (ce qui me semble etre) énormément de temps… je ne suis pas très patiente avec tout ca…

Dans la journée, après notre picnic tacos en bord de route, Lucas me proposa d’échanger nos vélo, et d’un tracteur, je me retrouvais au guidon d’une Porsche….. vvvvvvouuuuuummmmmmmm, quel bonheur !!!! c’est moi qui volait à présent!… sans bagages c’est définitivement une autre aventure!!!! Merci Lucas d’être venu avec presque rien et d’avoir eu la gentillesse de me laisser piloter ton engin à réaction!😀

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At night, under the stars and after passing through Santa Rosalia (where you can see a church built by Gustave Eiffel himself —we didn’t see it though…😦 —  ) we finally managed to find an abandoned building, or something looking like an abandoned basketball court… the energy was quite peculiar… we found out that it was actually an abandoned shooting range! Oh well, it was not that bad after all… and we all made it through the nigh😉 !

Le soir, sous les étoiles, et après avoir passé la ville de Santa Rosalia, nous trouvions un vieux bâtiment à ciel ouvert où nous abriter pour la nuit, l’énergie y était assez étrange… et pour cause, il s’agissait d’un ancien stand de tir… Hooooo… mais il était trop tard pour chercher un autre endroit et puis, au final, c’était pas si mal que ça du tout sans les pseudos cow-boys  en surplein de testosterone😉 …

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The shooting range / Le stand de tir
The shooting range / Le stand de tir

The next day, we aimed our wheels towards Mulege, Playa del Coyote, some 80 km farther down south, were Gayle & Paul were waiting for us in their beach house…

Do you remember about my first Warm Showers adventure in San Diego where I showed up to a house without giving any prior notice? Well, it turned out that, Mike, the host from that warm showers’ house that i actually never got to meet, started to correspond with me by email and gave me some super useful information about Baja as well as the contact for some of his friends willing to host me down in Mulege.

The only detail that had changed was that I was not cycling on my own anymore… but with 4 other crazy people. hehehe!

I must have been selling our little troop very well😉 , because after a few email exchanges with Paul & Gayle, they gave us green light to invade their property…. if only they’d knew!  hehehehehe .

At this point, I even had info about the possibility to meet some incredible friends…the biggest fishes on earth: whale sharks… now, isn’t life incredible?

The 31rst was a tough day for me. the group dynamic was playing tricks on me… so many types of energies and emotions emanating from everyone, plus mine… it was simply too much for me to manage on top of the physical side of the journey. One more time, Lucas took my bike and I took his. Thanks!

With the group support (thank you guys!), we all arrived by the end of the afternoon in Playa del Coyote, Mulege, in what seemed like a postcard … we were welcomed with margaritas and ended up partying with some very cool friends of Paul and Gayle for a good part of the night. Welcome in Paradise!

Le lendemain nous partions en direction de Mulege, playa del Coyote où Paul & Gayle nous attendaient dans leur maison en bord de mer… 80 km plus loin. 

—Vous vous souvenez de ma petite aventure warm showers à San Diego, où je me suis tout simplement présentée à une maison sans savoir si ils pourraient m’accueillir? Et bien il s’est avéré que Mike, l’hôte de cette maison warm showers que je n’ai au final jamais pu rencontrer, s’est mis en contact avec moi et m’a donné les informations d’amis prêts à m’accueillir sur une plage de reve à Mulege… sauf que là je me trouvais avec 4 autres cyclistes!!!!! et bien, qu’a c’la n’tienne! Après quelques échanges e-mails avec Paul et Gayle, nous étions les bienvenus! … et il paraissait meme que mes amis les requins baleines pourraient être au rendez-vous… ah non la vraiment… Elle est pas belle la vie ????!!!!—

La journée du 31 Mars fut éprouvante, la dynamique à 5 était trop intense pour moi,… beaucoup d’énergie qui circulait, plus la mienne à gérer… ca faisait beaucoup… Pétage de cable mais finalement, avec le soutient du groupe, nous arrivons finalement à bon port, sans savoir qu’une soirée de folie en compagnie de nos hôtes et d’un autre couple d’amis s’annonçait. Bienvenue au paradis.

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Cameron fixing a broken spoke / Cameron en train de réparer un rayon cassé.
Cameron fixing a broken spoke / Cameron en train de réparer un rayon cassé.

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Mulege!
Mulege!

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Celebration time!!!! We made it to Mulege playa del Coyote! / On est arrivé à Mulege!!! Une biere s'impose!
Celebration time!!!! We made it to Mulege playa del Coyote! / On est arrivé à Mulege!!! Une biere s’impose!
Arrived in Paradise! / Bien arrivé au paradis!
Arrived in Paradise! / Bien arrivé au paradis!
Gayle & Paul's house
Gayle & Paul’s house

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The rest of the week was like some sort of awaken dream, Gayle & Paul, incredible hosts, taking us under their roof like if we were their own children.

Partying together, cooking and eating together, discovering town, doing yoga, learning how to make (or almost) dolphins out of glass with Paul, kayaking, boating, jet skiing, tubing,…. and so many more ings…

Very quickly, we understood that our week cycling together would en up in a holiday camp in Mulege… trying to check how much fun one can experience in the smallest amount of time…😉

Thanks again to Gayle and Paul, 5 children, that’s a lot to handle !

Le reste de la semaine fut une sorte de rêve éveillé… Paul&Gayle, d’incroyables hôtes nous prenant sous leur toit comme si nous étions leurs propres enfants, partageant des soirée festives sous les étoiles et les melodies chantées par le maire du coin… (épique!), dévorant des repas cuisinés tour à tour par chacun (crepes, pizzas, plats mexicains…) , apprenant à travailler le verre et à essayer de fabriquer des dauphins… (c’était presque ca! ;-)), découvrant la ville de Mulege, de Loreto une centaine de km plus bas, kayak , bateau, ski nautique, « tubing »… la liste est presque sans fin …

Très vite, nous nous sommes rendus compte que notre aventure à vélo se transformerais en camp de vacances à Mulege …merci à Paul et Gayle pour leur patience😉 … 5 enfants, ca fait beaucoup quand même!!! 

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Paul!

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Camion citerne des pompiers! / firemen water truck! :-)
Camion citerne des pompiers! / firemen water truck!🙂

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Easter!!!! Paques!
Easter!!!! Paques!

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Easter Brunch! / Brunch de Paques!
Easter Brunch! / Brunch de Paques!

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And then, the magical day arrived, the majestic kings of the see, the whale sharks, graced us with their presence. What a tornado of emotions!

By the end of the week, we were all in an another dimension, on a roller coaster of emotions… barely realizing how lucky we were to have been living what we got to experience together and individually but also knowing that it was coming to an end…

On Monday, Christophe and Lucas would go back to the States… and they would do so with Molly who had decided that her own cycling chapter was coming to an end.

As all the cycles of life, this one was going full circle, bringing its fare share of emotions… I would now be on the road solo with Cameron, and I was very eager to push hard on the peddles to process and digest all those dislocations.

Good thing, nice hills were awaiting us on the way to Loreto.

et puis le jour magique est arrivé … les requins baleines nous on fait grace de leur presence… quel tourbillon d’emotions!

En fin de semaine nous nous trouvions tous dans un état second de toutes ces aventures partagés et d’une séparation difficile qui arrivait à grand pas… Christophe et Lucas repartirais ensemble… accompagnés de Molly qui décida de mettre un terme à son cycle de voyage à vélo… la fin d’un cycle et d’une dynamique aussi folle que fantastique. J’allais me retrouver sur les routes avec Cameron et je savais qu’il me faudrait pédaler fort pour évacuer et digérer tous ces bouleversements… ca tombait bien, de jolies montées nous attendaient en direction de Loreto…

Check my whale shark video here! / Regarde ma video des requins baleines ici!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvHlTo_xhCI&feature=share

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Goodbye and see you soon Gayle and Paul! Thank you for everything :-) / Au revoir et à bientot Gayle et Paul! Merci pour tout :-)
Goodbye and see you soon Gayle and Paul! Thank you for everything🙂 / Au revoir et à bientot Gayle et Paul! Merci pour tout🙂

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Going South and Flying High

It has been such an intense period of time since the last time I wrote!!! I left Tijuana to enter a place I had absolutely no idea about, discovered a peninsula filled with incredible people, always ready to share stories, food, homes and mostly laughters , and explored an environment that alternatively gave and took a lot, both physically and mentally… 

I joined an incredible companion in the name of Molly and my world opened up to a whole other level … entering a realm of pure love, magic, and adventures, climbed up to 2300 feet, cycled in 107˚ F, bathed in an oasis, horse-rode on a mexican cowboy horse, came across many angels on the road, spent a day at sea watching finn-back whales and seals,  and camped in the middle of nowhere, where only cactus dare to show the tip of their spikes .

But has the fun never stops, we were joined by another cyclist from New York State, USA: Mister Cameron… and all of a sudden felt much, MUCH safer having a male with us ;-)! hahahahaha!!!!

Lets get to the details of it… and there are many of them!

March 8th: (Tijuana-Alisitos, playa de misión)

After many wise advices from Elvis and Liz, a well hidden tear, off i went to cycle towards Iain and his daughter Molly (in playa de mission) that I had previously contacted through Warm Showers.

For almost 2 hours I climbed up hills on what was definitely a freeway… crazy… Have you ever cycled your bike on a freeway? well.. you just have to mentally erase every car going by your side and listen to meditative music… or… go the complete other way and crank up some hard core heavy metal in your ears… could work just fine for such an extreme situation.

The good thing about cycling is that you have time to wander away in your mind, digesting the experiences and encounters you just had… I love it!! I cycle most of the time with a big grimm on my face… except for hills… then I look kind of scary .

On the way to my host, I stopped at a « Nieve » (ice cream or sorbet) stand on the side of the freeway, and the guy selling it immediately gave it to me, refusing me to pay for it… yummmmyyyy! After a « few » drops of sweat, the coast finally appeared on the horizon with a nice sensation of relief… I feels so good to be cycling right next to water… this element can’t stop calling for me and I have a tremendous amount of respect for it.

As advised by Elvis, once arrived at Rosarito, I continued on the freeway and kept on having this weird impression of not belonging on that crazy road, cycling on a shoulder but non the less, right next to huge monster-like trucks ready to eat me alive… wowwwwww!!!!

After passing at least 7 signs telling me that bicyclists were not allowed were I was, I reached a toll-way. OK, NOW WTF!!!!! Since I was already there, I decided to go through pretending I didn’t exist… and it worked!!!! Still had a weird feeling, like the police would come flying behind me with sirens on to arrest me at any time… hahahahah!

The strong sensation of not being cycling on the right place kept on sticking to my guts and as I truly believe in following my instincts as well as thoughts being able to call for vibrations alike, I decided to exit the freeway and have my lunch at a local mariscos (fish restaurent)… I stopped eating meat in february, but still want to eat Baja tasty fish whenever caught by local fishermen.

I arrived at Alisitos, Playa de Mision looking for the « a sign featuring a cute surfer girl in a white bikini » and a « scary blue house » as Iain mentioned  it on his warm showers page.

Bingo! Iain, was there… but immediately told me that he had sent me an e mail during the day, explaining that he could not host me as his house was already full of spring-breakers… damn spring-breakers…! I told him I was ready to sleep in the pantry, closet, bathroom, sink, washing machine, etc… (funny where you can be ready to sleep after a day riding your bicycle), but he finally showed me a bed in the basement, where his daughter, dog and himself were camping as well… this promised to be interesting… I was just super happy to have a place to put my sleeping bag down.

The night settled down and Iain cooked a delicious meal on a camping stove, in a wheel barrel… yep, told you it was promisingly interesting! After listening to Iain’s life stories and adventures around the world, (working with my childhood’s favorite singer Jonnhy Clegg, living in south africa, Thailand, France, England -he is actually from Chiswick in London… funny reminder of a time…-, USA, Australia,Mexico…and so many other places i can’t recall). Iain is a true Englishman, with this very particular sense of humour and way of interacting as well as moving around, « hummm…ohhh well…never mind… » (I would not like to see him getting angry as I feel this is something that he had worked a lot on)… he has obvisouly lived and experienced a lot. He must be in his late 60’s but I can’t quite tell his age, his hair are still vibrating with a fire-like color and and his heart seems to be irradiating the same tone.

Nieve de limon- lemon sorbet- sorbet au citron
Nieve de limon- lemon sorbet- sorbet au citron

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Marisco between Tijuana and playa de mission - Marisco (petit restaurant de poissons) entre Tijuana et Playa de mision
Marisco between Tijuana and playa de mission – Marisco (petit restaurant de poissons) entre Tijuana et Playa de mision
Iain cooking in a wheelbarrow- Iain, mon hôte, cuisinant dans une brouette.
Iain cooking in a wheelbarrow- Iain, mon hôte, cuisinant dans une brouette.
the wheel barrel kitchen- la brouette cuisine
the wheel barrel kitchen- la brouette cuisine
Molly, my daughter's host- Molly la fille de mon hote
Molly, my daughter’s host- Molly la fille de mon hote

_DSC5260 - copie   The next day on March 9th,

I got to meet Iain beautiful and colorful daughter Molly, 10 years old, and I exchange with her about the ups and downs of moving a lot around the world. She had a life intelligence that amazed me, and even though she told me she would love to keep the friends she is making every time she moves somewhere, she also had an incredible gift in her hands… knowing at her age that life doesn’t stop at the reality and perception of your home-town, country or even culture and religion is priceless.

I wrote all day long and took pictures of this place, small community alongside the pacific ocean. It had, in my opinion, nothing special or even to be said about, except from what every small town has: gossips… and with it, people also helping each other.

At night, Iain told me that the septic tank will be overflowing from the amount of showers and toilet flushes coming from our friends spring breakers upstairs, and that I should be moving my stuff and maybe sleep in Molly’s room. I finally accepted it and decided to leave for Ensenada the next morning, when a septic tank is pushing you out of a house, you better be listening to it….or smelling it, it’s up to you! meal shared with a worker meal shared with a worker

Tacos de pescado- fish taco- taco de poisson
Tacos de pescado- fish taco- taco de poisson
Alisitos Playa de misión
Alisitos Playa de misión
Playa de misión Alisitos
Playa de misión Alisitos
Alisitos Playa de misión
Alisitos Playa de misión

March 10th 2015: (playa de mision-Ensenada)

On a monotone, without any fuss, Iain and I said goodbye to each other and I chose to be heading towards the mountain on the old freeway #1, in order not to get stranded on the crazy freeway and go through toll roads again…

I freaked out a little on the sight of the montains awaiting me… but well, I wanted it, I had it, just as the crazy heavy load I was and still am pulling behind me.🙂 The climb was somehow a little intense but the scenery I was gifted with was well worth the work… and as a bonus, almost no cars. yes!

I came across an interesting guy from the US, on the side of the road, telling me I should check the sky at night, that the UFOS are everywhere in Mexico… I didn’t know the sky was different here than in the States! I should follow his advices😉 .

I said hello to a mare and her baby and finally reached the top of the mountain road at 1148 feet…. haaaaaaa, going down after an effort like this is one of my favorite side of bicycle touring!

In the afternoon, I arrived in Ensenada and rejoined the insanity of cars flying by me. I shared few tostadas de ceviche de pescado (raw fish in lime juice, cilantro, onion and  tomatoes)with locals at a delicious fresh stand, and then took pictures with americans (Hi Ahmad!) going back on the carnival cruise ship (I found it funny that they were coming from the same place I started my trip from, long Beach in California).

Around 5pm, I arrived near my hosts’ house and came across a restaurent called (le Pinche Frances… Pinche means 2 different things: it is used in Mexico as an insult enhancer like fucking …, but it also means kitchen boy. Frances means French ) and started to laugh at loud… those frenchies are everywhere!!!! I met Antonin, Vivi (the 2 founders of this incredible truck-restaurent on a terrace) and Antonin’s mother, and we exchanged travel stories as well as their business story sipipng on a fresh coffee they offered me (once again… something that I want to share with you in my « beautiful people and stories on the road »section… I’ll work on it!).

I arrived at my host’s house and was welcome by Norma, helping the family with the house chores. To my surprise, she showed me my own quarter and felt like a vagabond queen… A shower and a bedroom, just for me… thank you Carmen and Tomas Valles !!!!

Later on in the early evening, I met the whole family and they made me feel just like at home… Tomas exhibited proudly 2 huges books filled with pictures and informations about all the cyclists that came through their house… super impressive and highly inspiring…. I had no clue how many crazy people existed in this cycling community!!! (unicycle touring with paneers, bamboo tandem bicycle, families touring with toddlers, and all sorts of crazy machines…)

Iain with my bicycle the day I went - Iain avec mon vela le jour ou je sui repartie
Iain with my bicycle the day I went – Iain avec mon velo le jour ou je suis repartie
Hello my friends! Bonjour mes amis!
Hello my friends! Bonjour mes amis!
Marsicos stand where I got my favorite ceviche de pescado.
Marsicos stand where I got my favorite ceviche de pescado.

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Friends I met while eating at a local food stand in Ensenada- amies rencontrees a une petite pause lunch a Ensenada.
Friends I met while eating at a local food stand in Ensenada- amies rencontrees a une petite pause lunch a Ensenada.
Le Pinche Frances restaurant!
Le Pinche Frances restaurant!
Antonin on of the 2 owner of the restaurant. Antonin un des 2 proprios du restaurent
Antonin on of the 2 owner of the restaurant. Antonin un des 2 proprios du restaurent
Le pinche Frances restaurant
Le pinche Frances restaurant
Tomas, the oldest son- Tomas l'ainé
Tomas, the oldest son- Tomas l’ainé
Adrian, the youngest son-
Adrian, the youngest son-
Paula, Carmen and Tomas's daughter. Paula, la fille de Carmen et Tomas
Paula, Carmen and Tomas’s daughter. Paula, la fille de Carmen et Tomas
Tomas helping Carmen getting ready for her Iron-man.
Tomas helping Carmen getting ready for her Iron-man.
Last picture goodbye with Carmen and Tomas Valles
Last picture goodbye with Carmen and Tomas Valles

The next day on the 11th of March (Ensenada-San Quintin)

after a ruff night of ovaries cramps, my favorite time of the month arrived and I struggled with the idea of making a move…

Molly, my soon to be cycling partner, was waiting for me 200 km down in San Quintin in a warm showers family’s house, and I didn’t want to make her wait for me for too long …

I resigned to write her an email about my body requiring me to rest, and to my surprise, she responded that she was in San Diego, that she was on her way going back down in a van, with her host…that she would be going through Ensenada, and that they could take me and my bike with them…. WHAT?!!! Sounds like the universe, one more time , was listening to my thoughts very carefully.😀

I gave Molly a meeting place at Le pinche Frances and at 6pm, a fairy like girl, surrounded by glitters and colors , popped out of a white van, followed by a man (Gabino) with a huge smile on his face and eyes filled with tenderness and love. WOWWW.

My bike was going for a different kind of ride this time, taking the wind on the roof of a vehicle filled with stuffs picked in good wills, that americans didn’t want anymore, and ready to get a second life in Mexico.

After hearing over and over that the road between Ensenada and San quintin was ultra dangerous, I didn’t feel guilty for a second for skipping this part of the ride, and was just happy to be finally meeting  Molly.

We arrived late at night and after briefly meeting Lupita (the woman of the house) and saying good night to my new friend, I closed my eyes to rest . A new chapter had just started.

Molly :-) when I met her in Ensenada, and Gabino, our wonderful San quit in's host. Molly, le jour ou je l'ai rencontre a Ensenada et Gabino notre super hôte de San Quitin.
Molly🙂 when I met her in Ensenada and Gabino, our wonderful San quit in’s host. Molly, le jour ou je l’ai rencontre a Ensenada et Gabino notre super hôte de San Quitin.
attaching the bike on top of the van!/ Hop! on attache le vela sur le toit du van!
attaching the bike on top of the van!/ Hop! on attache le vela sur le toit du van!
My bike and the Bob, ready for a different type of ride / Mon vela et le Bob, prets pour un different type de voyage
My bike and the Bob, ready for a different type of ride / Mon vela et le Bob, prets pour un different type de voyage
Let's go to San Quitin! / C'est parti pour San Quitin!
Let’s go to San Quitin! / C’est parti pour San Quitin!

On the 12th of March,

my body was starting to giving signs of uncomfort and I realized I would be going down with some kind of sickness soon… it is so interesting to see how every shift brings its fair share of body and mind reactions… interesting to observe it too.

Lupita, Gabino and their daughter Estefania were out of the house all day, working and studying. Molly and I spent the majority of the day exchanging thoughts, views, life experiences and silliness. The Universe, once again, worked at the highest frequency, connecting what I believe to be 2 very much alike spirits… what will be the teaching coming out of this unique experience was my question at the time.

At night, the whole family was united and I enjoyed a beautiful talk with Lupita, strong, funny and beautiful woman speaking entirely with her heart.

—the more I go on in this journey, the more I feel I am part a gigantic human family… bicycle has the power of putting every (or almost) walls down and connects people directly from heart to heart… making lights shine brighter and higher.—

Lupita and Gabino have this very cool world map in their kitchen where every cyclist passing through their house can put a pin to show where she or he is from… wonderful idea to be re-used later on😉. They started hosting people 1 and half year ago and already had 170 cyclists resting and recharging batteries in their peaceful loving home. They are looking forward to doing their own bicycle tour.

Welcome! My house is your house! / Bienvenue! Ma maison est ta maison!
Welcome! My house is your house! / Bienvenue! Ma maison est ta maison!
Lupita, Gabino and Estefania's beautiful house in San Quitin. / La jolie maison de Lupita, Gabino et Estefania à San Quitin.
Lupita, Gabino and Estefania’s beautiful house in San Quitin. / La jolie maison de Lupita, Gabino et Estefania à San Quitin.
World map of Cyclists passing by in Lupita and Gabino's warm showers house. / carte du monde de tous les cyclistes passant dans la maison de Lupita et Gabino
World map of Cyclists passing by in Lupita and Gabino’s warm showers house. / carte du monde de tous les cyclistes passant dans la maison de Lupita et Gabino
Guess where I am ? devinez ou je suis?
Guess where I am ? devinez ou je suis?

13th of March: Its Official, I am sick! I slept almost all day and at night prepared some « tacos frances »! (the new mexican name for crepes given by Gabino)…. fun fun fun… the shift mobile will soon become the crepes mobile! I love staying with this family, they have so much love to share!

Molly loves learning new skills while on the road and I here, she was giving me a taro reading. :-)))) Molly aime apprendre de nouvelles choses quand elle voyage et ici, elle me tirait les cartes (taro) :-))) j'adore!
Molly loves learning new skills while on the road and I here, she was giving me a taro reading. :-)))) Molly aime apprendre de nouvelles choses quand elle voyage et ici, elle me tirait les cartes (taro) :-))) j’adore!
El taco Frances! Crepes , crepes , crepes! Molly, Estefiania, Gabino and Lupita
El taco Frances! Crepes , crepes , crepes! Molly, Estefania, Gabino and Lupita
Having fun with Lupita Gabino, Molly and Estefania in San Quitin
Having fun with Lupita Gabino, Molly and Estefania in San Quitin

14th of March (San Quintin-Socorrito):

Molly has been with Lupita, Gabino and Estefania for almost 2 weeks and I feel her excitement and impatience about getting back on the road … I know I have to be listening to myself independently from what I feel from people surrounding me, but it seems that this is still something I will have to work on… I decide to go, telling Molly I am fine and feeling excited to start my first ride alongside my new friend . My body shouted otherwise…

Of course, our first ride together couldn’t have been a quiet, peaceful and easy one… 2 scorpio ladies, with an incredible strong appetite for life, riding in the desert… Some strong winds hit us immediately, sandblasting our bodies and the little amount of energy i had left while fighting the sickness. Every truck passing us made me feel like i was playing a dangerous game, being sucked in way to close to those monsters each time. I felt like I was trying to go against every obvious sign to stay and rest… this was just ridiculous.

Did I forgot to mention that the temperature rose up to 107˚ F? Yep, every sign… I had to stop 3 times as my body was simply shutting down, I couldn’t see, wanted to throw up and was basically very near to a heat stroke.😀 … this is when our angel showed up in his flamboyant green truck, 35 km farther down from our starting point. Alejandro, you are my hero!

Alejandro later on told us that he had seen us riding while going shopping for groceries, came back home, and felt guilty about leaving us in this horrible weather condition, and decided to go back to let us know that his door was open to us… thank you for listening to your heart Alejandro.

Our savior’s house was based in Socorrito, a very small community of houses, mostly owed by Americans and right next to the ocean. Alejandro himself is Mexican-American, grew up in the states but from Mexican parents, and decided to finally build his dreamed house in Baja, after retiring from a californian gaz company and being tremendously involved into the union forces, workers rights, and Mexican immigrants rights. Someone very human to say the least… not to mention that he is the descendent of the legendary Joaquin Murietta (also called the Mexican Robin Hood), from whom the movie « the mask of Zorro » was based. You got to love life when you end a crazy bicycle riding day being sick in the shelter house of Zorro’s descendant!!! Really!

Molly in front of the mural she did at Lupita and Gabino's house. Molly devant le mural qu'elle a fait chez Lupita et Gabino.
Molly in front of the mural she did at Lupita and Gabino’s house. Molly devant le mural qu’elle a fait chez Lupita et Gabino. Check her amazing work at : paintingmolly.com

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Socorrito!
Socorrito!
Alejandro Murrieta
Alejandro Murrieta
Alejandro is also a very talented archer / Alejandro Murrieta est aussi un archer de talent.
Alejandro is also a very talented archer / Alejandro Murrieta est aussi un archer de talent.

15, 16, 17 th of March 2015

What was initially an invitation to shelter us for one night ended up being 3 days and 4 nights!!!! I felt and still feel so grateful for the incredible amount of generosity Alejandro granted us with, opening his fridge, pantry, beer stock (Oh Oh dangerous!), heart and personal memories …We even got fresh towels displayed for us when we arrived… never felt once I was a disturbance to him. Just pure, real generosity. My heart still feels the warmth of it while writing about it almost a month later.

… and yes, I was able to heal and get back on my feet (or pedals) during this amount of time… as well as meet 3 « rad! » american surfers (Jordan, Collin and Scott) and their van, 2 girls (Stevi and Margaux) celebrating their 30th birthday on Baja’s best, and Tom a biker on the roads to himself… we all shared fire-camps, laughters and beautiful conversations… I felt so alive, enjoying the company of new friends and getting ready to finally start riding with Molly in good conditions.

On of Alejandro's friend / Un ami d'Alejandro
On of Alejandro’s friend / Un ami d’Alejandro
Alejandro on his bike with a friend
Alejandro on his bike with a friend
Mexicans enjoying their week end on the beach... and bringing cars all the way to the water! Mexicains  profitant de leur week end au bord de la mer... amenant meme leur voiture jusque sur la plage!
Mexicans enjoying their week end on the beach… and bringing cars all the way to the water! Mexicains profitant de leur week end au bord de la mer… amenant meme leur voiture jusque sur la plage!

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Molly, Alejandro, and me
Molly, Alejandro, and me

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Rattle snake - serpent a sonnette
Rattle snake – serpent a sonnette
last picture goodbye to our friends (Margaux, Stevi, Jordan, Scott, Collin, Tom, Molly and me)
last picture goodbye to our friends (Margaux, Stevi, Jordan, Scott, Collin, Tom, Molly and me)

18th of march 2015: (San Quintin- km 80 after san quintin) 

The weather was perfect, the sunscreen applied, and our minds and bodies fully rested and prepared to face the wilderness 😉. We were ready to go! After the traditional group goodbye picture, Molly and I were finally cycling, wind blowing in our hair and freedom accompanying us. We knew we would leave the coast for a quite a while, and with it, the freshness of the water, so we said our goodbyes to our beloved pacific ocean with emotion.

We stopped at El rosario to stock up on water and food for the next 2/3 days as we knew we would be riding in pretty deserted area and would have to camp… YIPPPYYYYY… I love to camp!!! At a gaz station, we came across our girlfriends from Socorrito , what took us 2 hours to ride, took them 20 min by car… crazy!

-I realize that it might be very difficult for people back home to understand the full-extend of the world I am living in right now… time has such a different meaning, and so is every little aspect of life such as knowing where I will sleep, when will I take my next shower, what I will eat tomorrow (well I am guessing tacos though!) , when will I be able to get internet and give some news etc… It cant get better than that in terms of living in the present and I catch myself realizing that my head feels much clearer than usual, I don’t think as much, and don’t dwell as much either.-

After El Rosario, we enter a challenging section of the ride, lots of hills… and I am so heavy…. I am grateful that Molly is carrying our 10 liters water bladder…) The scenery becomes almost surreal, the cactus get bigger and bigger and I feel like I am becoming a lilliputian in a gigantic, very harsh world… I never guessed that this is what desert was all about, making you feel like like you could be disappearing at any given time. RESPECT. After 55km, we decide to look for a nice hidden spot in the middle of the spikies to establish our camp, and are welcomed by a spotted owl. good sign!

I close my eyes and feel very peaceful. The adventure I « threw » myself into is incredibly incredible.😉

Purificadora in santa rosalia (place to get drinking purified water  without having to buy bottle water!) / endroit ou nous remplissons nos reservoirs et bouteilles d'eau (eau purifiee)... ce qui nous evite d'acheter de l'eau en bouteille et de ce fait, de creer plus de déchets!
Purificadora in santa rosalia (place to get drinking purified water without having to buy bottle water!) / endroit ou nous remplissons nos reservoirs et bouteilles d’eau (eau purifiee)… ce qui nous evite d’acheter de l’eau en bouteille et de ce fait, de creer plus de déchets!
Lunch stop / Pause déjeuner
Lunch stop / Pause déjeuner

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German bikers living the wild life ;-) ... or almost ;-) / motards allemands en mode "super aventuriers"... ou presque ;-) !
German bikers living the wild life😉 … or almost😉 / motards allemands en mode “super aventuriers”… ou presque😉 !
on the road again...
on the road again…

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First camp with Molly / premier campement avec Molly
First camp with Molly / premier campement avec Molly
Goodbye beautiful day!
Goodbye beautiful day, with your wisdom I will fly to dreamland…

March 19th and 20th  (km 80 after San Quitin- Km 115 after San Quitin)

First Flat!!!!  We were just ready to give our first pedal push of the day, and here it was, my front tire was giving me a very sad face ! I think i asked for it, just so I could see I prepared I was😀 !

More and more cactus, more and more ups and downs… the desert was eating us alive… fortunately,  trucks and cars passing by were encouraging us, giving us more energy… It is so good to see how people get so excited to see cyclists!… my ego, but also my heart love it.

Tom, our friend from Socorrito, drove by us on his motocycle and the we ended up talking, sitting and overlooking the mountains on the side of the road for 2 hour… Bliss.

I can’t stop thinking about the load I am carrying… so heavy…

The morning of the 20th, we realized that we had been sleeping right next to 2 of the numerous memorials, built in remembrance of loved ones who ended their journey a bit earlier than expected… I was wondering who wanted to join me in my tent last night…

The road finally got more flat, but the temperature rised a lot and Molly started to feel sick… we decided to stop, rest and ask some people for cold water… and were often offered beer… HAAAAHAAA … see the difference in perceptions and realities? 2 american cars pulled over and gave us 6 small cold water bottles, gatorade and even baggies of candies initially destined to « mexican kids » (?!).. .(I did ask for chocolate the night before😉 )

—I am very thankful for the cold bottles of water people sometimes give us when we are on the side of the road… but I have to say, I do wonder why the F*** people carry such small water bottles in their huge cooler… It makes no sense in terms of environment… especially when we find them afterwards on the side of the road, pilling on top of empty beer bottles and other trashes . RRRRRRRRR…. ok I said it!—

At the end of the day, the scenery changed drastically and gigantic rock formations appeared in the middle of nowhere… it reminded me a lot of Joshua tree in California, USA, and Hampi, in karnataka, India… promising as I love both of those places.

We were reaching Catavina and there was something definitely special about that place… the energy was getting so different from the one we were bathing in for the last 2 days…

Before finding a good place to camp, we went exploring some 1000 years old rock paintings located in caves, on top of those incredible rock formations… These paintings hail from the Yumano and Cochimí indians that have inhabited the Baja peninsula for many generations. – (See more at: http://www.sandiegored.com/noticias/28827/Magical-Catavina-The-beauty-of-the-desert-in-Baja/#sthash.vJY76Dx9.dpuf)

As we were Indiana Jones like exploring (not quite, but hey… lets romanticize the travel for some more😉 ), we discovered an incredible oasis and natural swimming pool in the middle of the rock formations… Crazyyyyy!!! I went crazyyyyy… this place was absolutely magical!

We started to go back down from our view point, when we saw a cyclist with front and back panniers parking his bike right next to our…. It was Cameron!!!! Molly had been in contact with him through « crazy guy on a bike » website for quite a while, knew that he was coming by bus from Tijuana to join us quicker, but we were not sure if he had been able to go through the workers protests that were happening around San Quintin area. (you can check what this protest was all about right here: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/03/27/why-mexicos-farmworkers-who-harvest-our-food-are-strike )

Cameron, 25,  is from New York state and bicycle toured across the states in 2014, he now wants to check how the rest of the world is doing, and in the same wheel spin, broaden his mind and perception of life…

We went down to meet him and were so happy to become 3… what a beautiful place to meet our new road companion!

We checked to see if we could camp right next to the water and to my disappointment, voted that it would be too dangerous to be camping where people could come and see us… those natural pools definitely were the center activity of this place.

We finally found the perfect spot, well hidden from the road, and as we were transporting our bikes and gear over the cactus and rocks, a motorcyclist stopped, thinking I was in distress on the side of the road… I waited to see his eyes and to talk with him a little more to tell him we were actually about to camp here. Eddy (that was his name) told me that he was himself looking to camp some 100 km farther up north… I suggested that it would be safer not to ride at night and to camp with us, and from 2, we became 4… the fun never ends.

At night we star gazed and talked about the power of travels …the stars are amazing to gaze at here in Baja… and it took an extra magical dimension, being in the middle of this place.

First flat! / Premiere crevaison!
First flat! / Premiere crevaison!

_DSC5833 First Flat! / Premiere crevaison!   _DSC5841

Molly, Tom and I on the side of the road after a long talk :-)
Molly, Tom and I on the side of the road after a long talk🙂
Going dowwwwwnnnn! / La desceeeennnnnteee!
Going dowwwwwnnnn! / La desceeeennnnnteee!

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sweets sweets sweets... /les bonbons, les bonbons, les bonbons...
sweets sweets sweets… /les bonbons, les bonbons, les bonbons…

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Being too tired and putting my helmet in the wrong way!/ Trop fatiguee et remettre mon casque à l'envers!
Being too tired and putting my helmet in the wrong way!/ Trop fatiguee et remettre mon casque à l’envers!
I made it! top of the hill! / je l'ai fait! arrivee en haut de la cote!
I made it! top of the hill! / je l’ai fait! arrivee en haut de la cote!
YESSSSSS!!!!!
YESSSSSS!!!!!

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Ca pique!
Ca pique!

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My trailer and my bike decided to get a mud bath... fun times! / mon wagon et mon velo ont eu decide de prendre un bain de boue... super fun!
My trailer and my bike decided to get a mud bath… fun times! / mon wagon et mon velo ont eu decide de prendre un bain de boue… super fun!
One of the numerous memorials we came across on the side road of Baja / un des nombreux mosoles que nous croisons sur le bord des routes de Baja, mexico.
One of the numerous memorials we came across on the side road of Baja / un des nombreux mosoles que nous croisons sur le bord des routes de Baja, mexico.
Spikey!
Spikey!

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Lantera elephant. (the "lantera" are the tire repair shop on the side of the road)
Lantera elephant. (the “lantera” are the tire repair shop on the side of the road)

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Abandoned house for shelter out of the sun. / Une maison abandonnee ou nous mettre à l'abris du soleil.
Abandoned house for shelter out of the sun. / Une maison abandonnee ou nous mettre à l’abris du soleil.

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Coca Cola...everywhere. / Coca cola, de partout comme toujours
Coca Cola…everywhere. / Coca cola, de partout comme toujours
Eating our sweets / en train de manger nos bonbons
Eating our sweets / en train de manger nos bonbons
lollipop!
lollipop!
arriving near by Catavina, the scenery changed drastically, with rocks all over the place / en Arrivant pres de Catavina, le paysage change de maniere drastique. Les rochers s'imposant au milieu des cactus
arriving near by Catavina, the scenery changed drastically, with rocks all over the place / en Arrivant pres de Catavina, le paysage change de maniere drastique. Les rochers s’imposant au milieu des cactus
Giant Cactus!!!!!!!
Giant Cactus!!!!!!!
rock painting / peintures rupestres (1000 years old)
rock painting / peintures rupestres (1000 years old)

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CAMERON!!!! Cameron is joining the party! Cameron nous rejoins!!!
CAMERON!!!! Cameron is joining the party! Cameron nous rejoins!!!
Molly, Eddy and Cameron, as we met, getting ready to set up camp. Molly, Eddy and Cameron au moment de notre rencontre, pret à établir le campement.
Molly, Eddy and Cameron, as we met, getting ready to set up camp. / Molly, Eddy et Cameron au moment de notre rencontre, pret à établir le campement.

_DSC6009_DSC6016    March 21th 2015:

Spring!!!!! A new season! And to celebrate it, we spent our afternoon in the natural pools, gathering incredible crystals (the area is filled with quartz) and getting the 3 days road and desert’s dirt, off of our bodies… so peaceful and relaxing…

We ate both our lunch and dinner in a very peculiar restaurant, across Desert Inn hotel,  built with local material, cactus wood and rocks. The people were super friendly, the food was great, and the decor, something to be remembered!

super restaurant in Catavina.
super restaurant in Catavina.
Cactus wood/ bois de cactus
Cactus wood/ bois de cactus
Restaurant decorations :-)
Restaurant decorations🙂
Eddy the motorcyclist. Can you guess his age?
Eddy the motorcyclist. Can you guess his age?
Magic natural pools of catavina. Les piscines naturelles de Catavina.
Magic natural pools of catavina. Les piscines naturelles de Catavina.
Brujas :-)
Brujas🙂

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Gas station / Station service
Gas station / Station service

March 22nd:

Cameron, Molly and I were quite excited that morning… we were just about to start cycling all together for the first time… a quick internet session at the Desert Inn Hotel  (was not easy to get it) in order to reassure friends and family, and we were taking the road over. The more we are, the bigger we look on the road, and I felt a lot of joy  and energy flowing through me having an new friend cycling with us.🙂.

We took our lunch break in a deserted house, in the middle of nowhere… such a recurrent thing we come across here in Baja… like if, once again, the desert had decided to take back its dues, only leaving vestiges of human life…                                Deciding to build a house and establishing a life here, in the middle  of nowhere, requires in my opinion either a big trust in your capability of facing and getting around one of the toughest environment I have came across, and/or,  pure insanity.

50 km after our starting point, we decided to stop and camp at one of those side road restaurant/Ranch, a truck stop, the only one still surviving since Catavina.

Eugene, proud owner of « el rancho Chapala » , definitely loves having an audience… he  couldn’t stop telling us stories about his family, what had happened to this micro town throughout the years, and we all felt like we were listening to some kind of story coming right out of a book… fascinating how things can get so exciting where they are told by an incredible story teller who loves attention😉 !

I spent some time talking with the vaqueros (cowboys), getting ready to gather the cows grazing freely on rocks near by. They told me they would go the next day, and I asked them if I could come join them… hahaha …. did you know that riding horses is a male thing in Mexico?

–I knew somewhere deep inside of me that having balls between legs had a lot to do with the balance you need while riding a horse… but what about riding a bike…Shit, I might be doing something very very wrong.–

Jokes aside, they were actually quite opened to having me riding with them and I really enjoyed exchanging with these guys… they had this incredible depth in their eyes…like a direct connection from nature’s wisdom to their own soul… reminded me a lot of my friend Reno back in France, also working with horses.

At night, we had the pleasure to be joined by a French father Rody,and his two sons, Yogi and Shiva. I was very excited knowing that I could speak in French for a little bit… excited to be meeting people coming from the same place I was born in… funny this need for appartenance to something, isn’t it?

Rody, the father, really inspired me. He is travelling everywhere with his sons, teaching them life  on the road, and living mostly on an exchange basis with people they come across. They work often in exchange for food, shelters and teachings.            When I asked him what was his job, he simply responded: « I am just a full time dad » !                                                                  I find it very captivating how many « solo father » I already met while journeying on this trip.

After a quick jump on the rancho’s internet Wifi (yep!),  I jumped in the confort of my sleeping bag, listening to the sweet lullaby of the trucks’ motors resting for the night, some 30 feet away from our tents.

Fixing equipment / en train de reparer l'equipement
Fixing equipment / en train de reparer l’equipement
starting the adventure being 3
starting the adventure being 3
The beginning of the adventure being 3! / Le debut de l'aventure à 3!
The beginning of the adventure being 3! / Le debut de l’aventure à 3!
Water service at the back of our bike! / distributeur d'eau a l'arriere de nos vela!
Water service at the back of our bike! / distributeur d’eau à l’arriere de nos vélo!

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abandoned house for lunch / Maison abandonnee pour notre dejeuner

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El Rancho Chapala
El Rancho Chapala
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Peacock at Rancho Chapala. Un paon au rancho chapala, ou nous avons passe la nuit

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coca cola art... should only be use this way
coca cola art… should only be use this way

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Above , Yogi, Shiva and Rody( the father) met in Rancho Chapala / Ci dessus, Yogi, Shiva et Rody (le papa) rencontres au Rancho Cahpala.
Above , Yogi, Shiva and Rody( the father) met in Rancho Chapala / Ci dessus, Yogi, Shiva et Rody (le papa) rencontres au Rancho Chapala.

March 23rd 2015

I woke up early and spent some time with the ranch animals, talking with the peacocks, chickens, dogs and horses.             Animals are, since the biggining of my trip, omnipresent and I enjoy their presence, love and way of communicating with me…

The vaqueros came to get their horses ready for the day, and to my wonderful surprise, offered me to ride « Quartero », one of the horse. The energy of these horses is quite similar to the vaqueros’ one, asserted, a little resigned and somehow at peace. Life can be hard, but so it is.

After another of our wonderful camping stove breakfast (oatmeal, nuts, fruits, spices) , we left the ranch and continued our journey going south.

The weather was beautiful, temperature perfect, and with no hills, we were able to cycle side to side while talking about our projects, love life and other subjects… Cycling with a girl who has similar points of views and a wonderful will to share, truly is enjoyable, and my heart sometimes feel like a fireworks… once again I felt incredibly alive at that moment.

We cycled for 60 km and decided to turn east towards Bahia de Los Angeles, 60 km farther.                                                        We agreed to hitchhike so we could arrive early in town and appreciate the sunset without having to rush to find a camping spot.

1 hour later, we were pilling our gear on top of  Andrea and Ruben’s load on a very ingenuous trailer built in a truck…Cameron stayed on the back insuring nothing would fly off, Molly rode with another car that helped us as well, and I stayed with Andrea and Ruben.

At the sight of the sea of Cortez, I shouted like a little girl, reminiscing my childhood summer vacations, when after a year of inland life, I would finally see the atlantic ocean. WOWWWWWW WATER!!!!!!!!                                                                               Our « on the road friends » dropped us at the entrance of Bahia de Los Angeles and we were not yet thinking about the next step of our day, when a couple in a sand buggy stopped by us with their 2 dogs. Susie and Don, from Laguna beach, were seemingly very enthusiastic meeting touring cyclists, and told us they met each other some 30 years ago while touring in the USA…😀 isn’t life filled with sparkles and glitters????

They immediately invited us to set up our camp in their front porch and to use their shower… Unbelievable!

Their cosy house, overlooking the sea of cortez, was the first american house to be built by Don’s Parents (Joyce and Wally) in 1972. At the time, they would fly from San Diego directly to Bahia de Los Angeles in a propeller plane piloted by Wally himself. Now, that’s what I call adventure!

Don explained to us that the house was mostly built by his mother, in the States, where she would make sure everything was working fine, and then dissembled it, to put it back again together in Bahia… ingenuity at its paroxysm !

She seemed to be quite A Woman and the house was filled with her energy and art. Once again, we were blessed with a beautiful encounter, and by sun set, were sitting with new friends, on a balcony watching the see, with beer in our hand. Haaaaaaaaa

waking up and spending time with my friends
waking up and spending time with my friends

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Maud the cowgirl
Maud the cowgirl

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The Chapala crew / l'equipe du Rancho Chapala au grand complet
The Chapala crew / l’equipe du Rancho Chapala au grand complet
Back on the road! / De retour sur la route
Back on the road! / De retour sur la route
Cactus cactus Cactus and the rare Boojum tree, only found here in Baja (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouquieria_columnaris)
Cactus cactus Cactus, and the unusual and intriguing plant , the Boojum tree (the one who looks like Dr Seuss), only found native in the deserts of Baja and Sonora, Mexico.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fouquieria_columnaris ) / des cactus de partout et l’arbre Boojum (en jeune au milieu), cette plante bizarre et  native aux deserts de Baja et Sonora, Mexico.
Dr Seuss! Boojum tree
Dr Seuss! Boojum tree / L’arbre de Boojum

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The desert truly is a harsh environment...
The desert truly is a harsh environment…
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Lunch in the shade of a welcoming tree / dejeuner dans l’ombre d’un arbre accueillant.
Hitch-Riding to Bahia de Los Angeles.
Hitch-Riding to Bahia de Los Angeles.
Andrea and Ruben
Andrea and Ruben driving us and our gear to Bahia de Los angeles / Andrea et Ruben qui nous ont pris en “auto-velo” sur 50 km pour aller à Bahia de Los Angeles.
WATER!!!!!!!!! first view on the sea of Cortez. DE L'EAU!!!!  / La premiere vue sur la mer de Cortez apres des km et des km de desert.
WATER!!!!!!!!! first view on the sea of Cortez. DE L’EAU!!!! / La premiere vue sur la mer de Cortez apres des km et des km de desert.

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part of the road that was destroyed during the last hurricane / morceau de route completement detruite lors du dernier ouragan.
part of the road that was destroyed during the last hurricane / morceau de route completement detruite lors du dernier ouragan.
Bahia de Los Angeles!
Bahia de Los Angeles!
Freshly arrived In Bahia de L.A, just before Don and Susie pulled over / Fraichement arrives sur Bahia de Los Angeles, juste avant que Don et Susie ne s'arrêtent près de nous pour nous inviter chez eux.
Freshly arrived In Bahia de L.A, just before Don and Susie pulled over / Fraichement arrives sur Bahia de Los Angeles, juste avant que Don et Susie ne s’arrêtent près de nous pour nous inviter chez eux.

_DSC6360 _DSC6361 Meet Don and Susie! 

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from Don and Susie’s house / Depuis la maison de Don et Susie.

March 24th 2015:

During the night, I dreamt that we were following a family of 3 whales… and guess what? Don and Susie offered  to take us in their boat to see the whales today… needless to say, I am VERY excited!

By 11:00 am , we were 5 humans and one dog in Don and Susie’s boat on an exploration mission around the local islands… Few hours later, we were gifted by the sight and « PHOOOOOO” exhalation sound of a Finback Whales, second largest whale in the world (they can grow up to 90 feet long).

We tried to follow them for a little while, having to stop our motor and hear them breathing as they clearly, unlike  Grey whales,  don’t appreciate the company of humans and prefer  swimming away from us… We even got lucky enough to see 3 whales coming back to the surface at the same time… interesting huh?!

By the end of this incredibly rich day, we stopped on a white deserted beach where the only soul  left was the one of a boat wrecked on its shore. The scenery was at least to the level of a James Bond’s movie … only my lover was missing…

Cameron saved us all while diving « baywatch style » in the sea to get back our boat who was trying to make an escape, and we all went back safe to the house. What a day!

At night, we cooked together and met another incredible woman, Carolina, who came in Bahia  some 40 years ago and fell in love with a local man. She is now very involved with the local cultural activity and archeology, and created the first and only museum of the town, helping the local economy as she created jobs within the community.

Another trend of this travel: being surrounded by strong, beautiful and luminous women.

Sunrise on Don and Susie's balcony.
Sunrise on Don and Susie’s balcony.
Beautiful Susie
Beautiful Susie
Our route around the islands of bahia de Los Angeles / Notre "plan de navigation autour des iles de Bahia de Los Angeles.
Our route around the islands of bahia de Los Angeles / Notre “plan de navigation autour des iles de Bahia de Los Angeles.
Getting ready for a day at sea / prey pour une journée en mer.
Getting ready for a day at sea / prey pour une journée en mer.
Molly, Don, Susie and me.
Molly, Don, Susie and me.
Cormoran
Cormoran

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baby Osprey / bebe Balbuzard pecheur
baby Osprey / bebe Balbuzard pecheur
Osprey mother flying around her nest. Maman balbuzard Pecheur volant autour de son nid et de son petit
Osprey mother flying around her nest. Maman balbuzard Pecheur volant autour de son nid et de son petit

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sea lions inc / la compagnie des lions de mer
sea lions inc / la compagnie des lions de mer
Pelicans and cormoran
Pelicans and cormoran
Blue footed boobie, cormoran, pelican and seagull/ fous a pieds bleus, cromorans, pellicans et mouettes... c'est riche par ici!
Blue footed boobie, cormoran, pelican and seagull/ fous a pieds bleus, cromorans, pellicans et mouettes… c’est riche par ici!

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And then, the giants came to say hello... from far / et les géantes viennent nous dire bonjour... de loin
And then, the giants came to say hello… from far / et les géantes viennent nous dire bonjour… de loin

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Finback whale / Baleine rorqual
Finback whale / Baleine rorqual

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Don
Don

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Cameron strikes the pose / Cameron prend la psoe
Cameron strikes the pose / Cameron prend la psoe

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Going back to Don and Susie's house. / De retour vers la maison de Don et Susie.
Going back to Don and Susie’s house. / De retour vers la maison de Don et Susie.

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Molly cooking a delicious vegetable curry.
Molly cooking a delicious vegetable curry.
Carolina
Carolina

March 25th 2015:

The night was crazy,  with winds blowing super hard… this town is well known for that… they sometimes blow up to 100km/h, and i wondered if I wouldn’t go fly with the stars that night!

Don and Susie are going today and after 30 years of doing it themselves, thy offered us to stay one more night on our own and close the door of their house ourselves… so grateful for that offer!

I am going to miss Susie’s joy,  beautiful smile and young heart, she is such a light and I enjoyed our talks about life and her intake about marriage life so much…

We spent the rest of our day doing our own things, I decided to build a little shell and wood mobile for Don and Susie’s house and then went wandering with my camera for a few hours to take pictures of the incredible birds living around… turkey vouchers, seagulls, hummingbirds  and pelicans were giving me their best profiles.

Laundry time! / Lessive!
Laundry time! / Lessive!
traditional Goodbye picture
traditional picture goodbye.
Museum created by Carolina and all the volunteers / Musee créé par Carolina et des volontaires.
Museum created by Carolina and all the volunteers / Musee créé par Carolina et des volontaires.
turkey vulture / Urubu à tête rouge
turkey vulture / Urubu à tête rouge
turkey vulture / Urubu à tête rouge
turkey vulture / Urubu à tête rouge

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Costa's Hummingbird Male / Colibri Male
Costa’s Hummingbird Male / Colibri de Costa (male) qui tire son nom d’un noble français (Louis Marie Pantaleon Costa, Marquis de Beauregard)

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Whale skeleton / squelette de baleine
Whale skeleton / squelette de baleine

March26th 2015:

Time for us to go!

We cleaned the whole house and after a quick internet session to get in contact with my lover monsieur Christophe (he was about to come 3 days later😀 ), we were on the road again.

We left Bahia late and arrived just before sunset at the cross point between « the One »and the 12 where we slept under the protection of a palapa.😀

(« the one » is the only road in Baja going all the way from Tijuana, up north,  to Cabo San Lucas, completely south) _DSC7012

Sunset with a view :-) / soleil levant... avec vue ;-)
Sunset with a view🙂 / soleil levant… avec vue😉
Cleaning session!
Cleaning session!

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Wally and Joyce (Don's parents), in front of their propeller plane / Wally  et Joyce (les parents de Don) devant leur avion a reaction
Wally and Joyce (Don’s parents), in front of their propeller plane / Wally et Joyce (les parents de Don) devant leur avion a reaction

_DSC7036 _DSC7049 11084474_10101805062537273_1197111946_n _DSC7054

Ramiro Ramirez!
Ramiro Ramirez!
Ramiro Ramirez
Ramiro Ramirez

y5iq1

Palapa for the night! / Palapa pour nous abriter cette nuit!
Palapa for the night! / Palapa pour nous abriter cette nuit!
Palapa structure
Palapa structure
BCk06
Good night little bicycle, thank you for supporting me in my journey.

March 27th and 28th 2015:

We cycled for approximately 30 km under 110˚F when Molly truly realized that she had had enough with the desert. Her body was shouting her to stop pushing limits.

The desert is an incredibly harsh environment, to say the least…

—In those moments of extreme conditions, you can fully realize the power of the mental, and I believe it is really important to make sure you are not crossing the boundaries your body has set for yourself. Boundaries and limits are for sure here to be pushed and crossed, but only gently and gradually, while listening well to where you are at with yourself and your journey, and letting the ego aside as much as possible. Putting those thoughts into actions is sometimes very interesting, challenging as well, having you realize some aspects of yourself you had no clue about… —

We decided to hitchike one more time and skip a big part of the desert. Many cars stopped by, many american tourists with cars filled up to the top… they could obviously not take us with them, but offered us cold water, which was a blessing as our water was lukewarm and was doing no good in cooling down our body machines… « nuts, you guys are nuts! »

After an hour or so, a car racing convoy on their way to Cabo San Lucas stopped and agreed to give us a ride.                     Warren and Werner loaded our bikes in a huge trailer, alongside broken parts of a racing car just coming back from the Paris-Dakar (this car race is now happening in Argentina for safety reasons).

Molly rode with Warren in a truck carrying a load of 30 tires and a 50 gallons gaz tank (!!!) and Cameron and I rode with Werner.

It was crazy to be sitting down in a truck, with AC seats, bluetooth, mp3 player  and full  on luxury, after riding our bikes in the desert…The power of those truck was so impressive…

It also felt very weird to be sitting in such comfort and watching km fly by at an incredible rate… the travel perspective was so different!

We also had a lot of fun conversing from one car to another through the radio… Molly and I couldn’t get enough of it😉 !

After 2 or 3 hours, we arrived in San Ingnacio and discovered a sign for a « casa del ciclista » (house for cyclists) and followed the indications like if we were on a treasure hunt. (super well indicated)

We met Othon the father of the house, Sugey, the mother, Eric (their 16 years old son) and Juan Miguel (their incredibly smart 6 years old son) and had wonderful conversations about education and meaningful family life.

San Ignacio has an incredible feeling after hours of dry nothing…                                                                                                    it was the second time (after Catavina) that an oasis had such an impact on how I felt when reaching civilization… water truly is the center of life.

We could relax and explore the town until Christophe (my lover) and Lucas (our friend) would join us, 2 days later.                        Molly (did I tell you she is also an incredible artist who paints beautiful and rich murals?!!… see her work at http://paintingmolly.com), painted a world map on the outside wall, so that cyclists  coming through could put a dot on their home town, Cameron went exploring and cooked some meals, and I cooked crepes (again), as well as wrote on my journal, gave news to friends and family, and organized my pictures.

I was getting quite excited, but also anxious about my lover coming to visit us.

The desert was trying hard to throw us out...
The desert was trying hard to throw us out…
Cold water from cars passing by. / Bouteille d'eau froide donnees par des voitures nous croisant.
Cold water!!!!!!!!! from cars passing by. / Bouteilles d’eau froide donnees par des voitures nous croisant….. de l’eauuuuuu!!!!!
Warren and Werner giving us a ride while the temperature was going up to 110˚F.
Warren and Werner giving us a ride while the temperature was going up to 110˚F.

_DSC7128 _DSC7114 _DSC7116 _DSC7109   _DSC7143 _DSC7124

Werner filling up the tank from a 50 gallon gas tank located  under the trailer... crazy! / Werner en train de faire le plein depuis un reservoir d'essence de 190 litres situé sous la remorque
Werner filling up the tank from a 50 gallon gas tank located under the trailer… crazy! / Werner en train de faire le plein depuis un reservoir d’essence de 190 litres situé sous la remorque
Beer stop!/petite pause bière!
Beer stop!/petite pause bière!
Check point Baja California Sur / Poste de control à Baja California Sur
Check point Baja California Sur / Poste de control à Baja California Sur

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Arriving at San Ignacio and discovering signs for a “casa del ciclista” (cyclists house) / arrivée à San Ignacio et découverte d’une “casa del ciclista” (maison d’hôte pour les cyclistes)
Othon el Papa a la casa del ciclista
Othon el Papa a la casa del ciclista
Sugey, la mama a la casa del ciclista.
Sugey, la mama a la casa del ciclista.
Juan Carlos de Dios, el niño a la casa del ciclista.
Juan Carlos de Dios, el niño a la casa del ciclista.
The family all together / La famille au grand complet : Sugey, Juan Miguel de Dios, Othon, Eric
The family all together / La famille au grand complet : Sugey, Juan Miguel de Dios, Othon, Eric
San Ignacio oasis
San Ignacio oasis

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San Ignacio's mission founded in 1728. / La mission de San Ignacio, construite en 1728.
San Ignacio’s mission founded in 1728. / La mission de San Ignacio, construite en 1728.
Tortillas mini factory! / Une tortillasserie :-)
Tortillas mini factory! / Une tortillasserie🙂
Molly working on the mural. / Molly en train de travailler sur la peinture murale.
Molly working on the mural. / Molly en train de travailler sur la peinture murale.

29th of March 2015 (morning and early afternoon):

I could barely keep my mind focused… Christophe was on the road with Lucas and by the end of the afternoon, we would be together again!!!!!

I know fairly well that during this last month, we have been in complete different world… as I already talked about, time is much different being on the road…let see what this week together, as well as being 5 on the road will bring us…

CREPES!!!!!!
CREPES!!!!!!
sous-chef crepes
sous-chef crepes

Changer de croyances pour changer de monde…

This is for everyone who can understand French, while waiting for my new post…

Cet article est destiné à tout ceux qui parlent français … en attendant mon prochain article qui devrait arriver sous-peu… J’ai été fascinée par ce Ted talk qui resume bien mon état d’esprit au tournant de l’incroyable époque que nous sommes en train de vivre. Bonne écoute à tous… et prenez le temps de vous écouter, de savoir si votre compas interne vous indique toujours la direction de votre propre bonheur… unique moyen de pouvoir le redistribuer, à votre manière.🙂 plein d’amour a vous tous🙂

Hola Mexico, Goodbye the United States!

Mexican Border!!!!!!!! La frontière Mexicaine!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhh
Mexican Border!!!!!!!! La frontière Mexicaine!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhh

Note:pour les français, le texte sera en italique et de cette meme couleur, 

Here you go! I am finally in Mexico!!!!!

After all the anxiety it generated, I have to say… well, it was not that bad at all to cross the border and spend some time in Tijuana. I guess all this anxiety was just preserving me from being a little too confortable🙂 .

But lets get back a little in time as I had some quite interesting interactions with the « livings » in general.

Me voila enfin au Mexique!!!!

Apres toute l’angoisse que je me suis presque imposée en pensant à la traversée de la frontière Mexicaine et à mon arrivée à Tijuana, je dois bien avouer que je me trouve aujourd’hui un peu rigolote … pour ne pas dire autre chose :-)… ca n’a franchement rien eu de si terrible! J’imagine que ces angoisses étaient tout simplement présentes pour me préserver de me sentir quelque peu trop confortable. 

Mais avant de passer au chapitre « Mexique »,  petite retrograde…

On March the 3rd, I finally encountered beautiful weather and was able to make a move towards  the south.

My initial plan was to camp at a camping called camp land on the bay on pacific beach (San Diego). It all sounded very promising with supposedly a Spa, internet wi-fi and what not… of course it also sounded a little too good to be at a reasonable « i just want to put my tent down » price… $60, BAMM, in your face… needless to say, I did not take it…. and the rest of this story is for later on.😀

I had decided not to ride the bike for too many miles on that day, one of the reason being that I had quite a good climb between Cardiff and San diego, and I knew fairly well that my legs were not ready for that, so I opted for slowly but steady.

The scenery was extraordinary , cliffs, ocean, trees, animals, and with the blue sky and sun, I clearly could not have asked for more.

Before the « deadly cliff » at the Torrey pine tree reserve, I had the chance to meet a gentleman who granted me with a beautiful story on how he decided to give another life to a Torrey pine tree that had been destroyed by beetles, by converting it into an art piece. (I’ll definitely write about this story more in-depth  in a page that I’ll probably call « people’s stories on the road »).

I completed my first ascent of the Mt Blanc….well, the Mt Hill would be more appropriate, and was surprised to see how incredible the impact of the mental truly is…I had imagined something way crazier than this and, looking back, I can barely remember even doing it!

After THE ascent, I required to empty my bladder and decided to have some fun with the people working at a club called« The Lodge at Torrey pine ». (the kind of place where you know you need to be invited —or at least this is how I see it) I asked to the valets if they could park my “shift mobile”, and after getting a friendly response, asked them where I could go do my business. To my surprise, they indicated me their place/palace and a few second later, I was sitting on a golden toilet seat.😉

I then answered their questions about my journey and got insane help from Roger who was ready to help me in any way he could, trying to get me on a local radio, giving me advices… I left the place with $40 in my hand, given by Roger, not knowing how to thank him… I sometimes feel very peculiar in those kind of situations… It really was huge for me!!!!

The day went on and I had my lunch with another long time traveler, Ross, who invited me to join his table at La Jolla. He then showed me around and after spending a good amount of time with the seals, I decided to head to my camp….

As I explained, the Camp land place didn’t quite work out, so,as it was already 5:30 and had very little time before the sun would go down, I thought of a back up place that I had in mind from warm shower. It was too late to contact the person and after checking the address on the warm showers’ website, decided to go there anyway!

I arrived at the address but nobody was there. The neighbors got involved, and eventually I got to meet one of the roommate (Chris) of the guy I was looking for.

Within minutes, I was in, welcomed and reassured not to be spending the night outside, with a beer in my hand and a meal in front of me ! What did you say? Yep, life’s good!

Mike, Thank you so much for being on Warm showers and having such amazing room-mates… It really helped me that night and I hope that our path will cross one day🙂.

Le 3 Mars, le soleil fit son apparition à grand renfort de ciel bleu et je pus reprendre la route pour les cités d’or… ou du moins en direction de…

Mon plan initial était de m’arrêter le soir à une sorte de camping de vacances (Campland) avec, comme leur site internet l’indiquait, une tonne de caractéristiques carrément attrayantes: wifi, piscine, jacuzzi… le truc de pacha de la route quoi…Ca semblait aussi trop beau pour être à un prix raisonnable… 60 dollars . BAM, prends ca dans ta gueule et va dormir sur le trottoir miserable vermine. 

Cela va sans dire que je ne me suis pas attardée au pays merveilleux du camping à paillettes… et … le reste de l’histoire un peu plus bas🙂. ..

En quittant la maison de Kristin, j’avais décidé de ne pas faire trop de km, la raison principale concernant ce choix étant l’ascension de ma premiere bonne montée (tout le monde m’en parlait comme d’un truc absolument abominable)…et je savais éperdument bien que mes petites guibolles n’étaient pas vraiment prêtes pour ce genre de choses. :-s … doucement mais surement était donc le mot d’ordre du jour.

Toute la journée, le paysage fut incroyable, des falaises tombant dans une mer oscillant entre le bleu et le vert, des animaux, des arbres de partout,… et un temps merveilleux pour accompagner le tout… que demande le peuple?!

Ayant le temps, je décidais de m’arrêter à chaque fois que le coeur m’en disait, et ce faisant , j’ai eu la chance de me retrouver nez à nez avec une personne en train de sculpter un aigle dans un arbre coupé… une belle histoire dont je parlerai plus longuement dans un dossier qui s’appellera très certainement « histoires sur la route ». En resumé, un locale avait eu decide de remuer ciel et terre pour honorer un arbre centenaire et lui redonner vie sous forme artistique. Une très belle rencontre qui m’a donné la pêche pour entamer l’ascension du Mont Blanc, enfin, de la colline géante quoi. 

La fameuse « montée de la mort », s’est avérée être bien moins difficile que ce que j’avais pu imaginé— c’est fou ce que le mental peut arriver à générer! Je crois que tous les encouragement des personnes rencontrées peut aussi aider… nous sommes capables de bien plus que nous ne pensons—au final, j’ai même de la peine à me souvenir avoir monté cette fameuse côte et ça me donne du courage pour ce qui m’attend par la suite.

Après la montée , l’appel de ma vessie s’est fait pressant et je me suis dirigée vers un club très privé (ou du moins c’est l’image que je m’en suis fait) à côté d’un club de golf. 

Prise d’euphorie et fière de mon effort accomplie, j’ai demandé à un des valets si il pouvait garer ma « shift mobile » (le nom de mon vélo … shift signifiant le changement ). Ce dernier à commencé à rigoler et j’ai demandé plus sérieusement ou je pourrais trouver un endroit pour soulager mon envie pressante. A ma grande surprise, le valet m’indique l’intérieure du club et en moins d’une minute, je me trouvais comme une reine assise sur son trône (désolée, je fais dans la fine fleur, je le sais, mais a défaut de vous faire sourire, moi, ca me fait bien rire😀 )

Une fois mon devoir corporel accompli, je fut assaillie par une tonne de questions sur mon voyage, mon vélo etc.. et Roger, un des réceptionniste, époustouflé par mon projet, fut éprit d’une envie soudaine de tout faire pour m’aider, essayant de contacter un de ses amis pour me faire passer sur une radio locale… Il me laissa repartir après m’avoir donné 40 dollars dans la main… « tu vas en avoir besoin, et bravo! » WOWWWW, merci Roger!!!!!

J’ai ensuite pris mon déjeuner avec un voyageur de longue date,Ross,  curieux de me voir passer avec mon vélo et tout mon barza. On a pas mal échangé sur les voyages et il a prit du temps pour me montrer ce petit coin mignon qu’est La Jolla, juste avant San Diego. 

Après avoir passé pas mal de temps avec des mamans phoques et leurs bébés, je suis repartie pour arriver avant le couché de soleil à mon campement…

Comme je l’ai eu expliqué plus haut, l’option  camping aux paillettes n’a pas vraiment fonctionné et j’ai du trouver en urgence une solution de secours… Je me suis donc rappelé d’une personne qui habitait non loin  de là et que j’avais vu sur le site « warm showers » (c’est un site qui connecte les cyclistes du monde entier et qui demande, à ceux qui le peuvent, d’héberger ceux qui sont en voyage… super principe!) , ne l’ayant pas prévenu au préalable, j’ai quand même décidé de me diriger vers l’adresse qui était fournie sur le site avec le contact…

En arrivant à la dite adresse, je me trouva face à une maison vide… arghhh, je ne vais quand meme pas passer la nuit dehors non! Très vite, je demandais aux voisins de m’aider et alors que ceux ci étaient prêts à m’accueillir, un des colocataire de la personne que je cherchais (Chris) arriva. En moins de 30 minutes, je me trouvais assise à la table de la cuisine un plat devant moi et une bière dans la main. Elle est pas belle la vie?!!!

The mermaids are always welcomed ;-) /le sirenes sont toujours les bienvenues
The mermaids are always welcomed😉 /le sirenes sont toujours les bienvenues
How to transform a dead Torrey pine tree into a piece of art at / Comment transformer un arbre (pin rare aux stats unis) en oeuvre d'art.
How to transform a dead Torrey pine tree into a piece of art at / Comment transformer un arbre (pin rare aux stats unis) en oeuvre d’art.

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The lodge at Torrey pine trees
The lodge at Torrey pine trees
picture taken at The Lodge where I met Roger/ photo prise a The Lodge ou j'ai rencontré Roger
picture taken at The Lodge where I met Roger/ photo prise a The Lodge ou j’ai rencontré Roger

la jolla museum

La jolla
La jolla
Mama with her baby (she was actually trying to scratch the baby and he didn't quite like it ! / Une maman avec son bebe. Elle etait en train d'essayer de le gratter mais celui n'etait pas enchante par l'operation.
Mama with her baby (she was actually trying to scratch the baby and he didn’t quite like it ! / Une maman avec son bebe. Elle etait en train d’essayer de le gratter mais celui n’etait pas enchante par l’operation.
Cuddle time between a mum and her baby./Moment de tendresse entre une mere et son bebe .
Cuddle time between a mum and her baby./Moment de tendresse entre une mere et son bebe .
Torrey pine tree reserve
Torrey pine tree reserve
Chris and Zeus
Chris and Zeus
My tent, set up nicely in Chris's back garden (well, I actually used the couch!) / ma tente dans le jardin de Chris (au final j'ai dormis sur le canapé!)
My tent, set up nicely in Chris’s back garden (well, I actually used the couch!) / ma tente dans le jardin de Chris (au final j’ai dormis sur le canapé!)

The next day, the 4th, I went with Chris for the dog’s (zeus) morning walk and spent most of the day trying to figure out if it was ok or not to go from where i was, directly to Tijuana. —It really is the beginning of the adventure and I, sometimes, don’t feel very sure of what I am doing and what I will be able to accomplish within a day worth of riding. — I finally asked Chris if I could stay one more night and offered a crepes feast in exchange (!) (nobody can turn down a crepe feast… clever😉 )

Chris accepted my offer I used this opportunity to try to calm myself down about the journey to Tijuana, get some cash, groceries for the journey and the crepes and watch a beautiful sunset on pacific beach. Later on,  we had a very wonderful evening with his friend, eating crepes, listening to music and Chris’s insane knowledge about the subject, and talking about dreams, life and projects.

Le lendemain, mercredi 4, chargée d’angoisse concernant la route jusqu’à la frontière et Tijuana (la premiere grande ville après la frontière Mexicaine, ville de fous selon presque tout le monde) , je demandais à Chris si je pouvais rester une nuit de plus en échange d’un festin de crêpes… maline la Maud… ca ne se refuse pas un festin de crêpes😉. 

Chris accepta mon offre et après avoir passé du temps avec Zeus le chien tout fou, fait quelques courses pour les crepes, fait un tour sur la plage et arrangé les derniers préparatifs en vue de mon arrivée au Mexique, nous mangeâmes la spécialité hexagonale en compagnie d’une amie à Chris tout en discutant de musique (domaine dans lequel Chris excel), poésie, voyages, rêves et projets de vie. 

morning walk

Jasmin
Jasmin

pacific beach_DSC4922 _DSC4920

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Crepes!!!!!
Crepes!!!!!

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zeus et dejeunercrepes pour le dej chez chris

depart de chez chris san diego

On Thursday the 5th, Chris took a last picture and with the help of my beloved googlemap previously uploaded into the phone, while still having an internet connection at Chris’s house, I headed towards the Mexican border and eventually, Tijuana.

The journey went fine and felt like I was on a mission, nothing could set me off.

I met an incredible spirit in the name of Desserine, sailing the sea and oceans of this globe with her husband.It’s heart warming to see how some people are genuinely happy and enthusiastic about my journey and to see at the same time that they are living an incredible adventure themselves.🙂

I stopped at a bike shop who offered me their restroom, had a taco for $1.25 in San Isidro and got a free avocado at a stand that was selling 20 of those for $5, can you believe that Christophe Lautrette?🙂

Around 15 minutes before crossing the border, somehow, the map that i had uploaded into my phone before leaving in the morning, disappeared. I had the address but didn’t know how to get there!

Crossing the border was fine, it felt like a no go zone type of area (not like the ones in Paris though, don’t be crazy!😉 ), with money exchange bureaux , a Mc donalds , some shops and a weird depressive feeling hanging in the air. A constant line of people was crossing the border back to Mexico . Some of them filled with bags of goods bought at a local 99 cents shop, and some, probably back from a hard day of work, a few young Americans here and there too, probably getting ready to party over the border for the week end! Youhou!

I had to ask the help of somebody to be able to get my bike and my trailer on the other side as the turnstile were not allowing me and my load to get all at once… and of course, I could not go back once on the other side…

Ahhhhhhhhhh VICTORY!!!! I was in Mexico!!!!  It really felt like a first accomplishment and the beginning of the real adventure, my heart was ready to burst and my eyes about to let the river flow… so much emotions already . After refusing kindly the offer from a guy who stank of alcohol to go and stay at his place, I asked direction to go to my host’s house (thanks to Molly and Warm Showers), Elvis and Liz. I got lost on the free way (yes you read, no comment) and after 45 minutes instead of 10, I arrived safely.

Liz and Elvis immediately got my poor spanish back in action, and with the weigh of the day on my shoulder, all the emotions and stress i went through, (excuses really!) talking was not easy… but I could almost understand everything and was actually pleased with that!

Le jeudi 6, Chris pris une dernière photo souvenir de moi devant la maison et je poussais le premier tour de pédale en direction du Mexique.

J’avais l’impression d’être en mission vers Mars, rien ne pouvais m’arrêter si ce n’est la pause déjeuner (et une nouvelle belle rencontre avec une nana (Desserine) en tour du monde en bateau avec son mari) un avocat gratuit  au bord la route (le gars les vendait normalement à 5 dollars pour 20 avocats!!!!!! Oui oui Monsieur Christophe Lautrette!!!) et le premier taco de ce voyage à 1.25 dollars (avec sa petite soupe s’vous plé!)! 

A 15 minutes de la frontière la carte et le tracé de route que j’avais telechargé sur mon telephone alors que j’avais encore une connexion internet s’effaça et je ne savais désormais plus comment me rendre exactement chez mes hôtes à Tijuana. J’avais l’adresse, mais rien de plus🙂 .

Arrivée à la frontière , l’ambiance était assez particulière , un mac do, quelques bureaux de change et une étrange ambiance assez depressive..comme une sorte de zone de non lieu ou no-go zone (enfin rien a voir avec Paris, Fox news, ne vous inquiétez pas!) . je traversa la frontière du cote piétonnier  au milieu d’une file de personnes; les uns, les bras chargés de sacs de trucs achetés au magasin 99cents d’à côté , les autres , très certainement de retour à la maison après une journée de travail chez les gringos . Quelques jeunes américains également, surement en attente d’un week end de débauche (Tijuana est bien connue pour ses excentricités nocturnes… )hihaaaaaaa!

Je dus demander de l’aide pour porter ma chariote qui ne passait pas les tourniquets si attachée à mon vélo… tout une histoire puisqu’une fois de l’autre côté, je ne pourrai pas revenir en arrière.

et puis…. VICTOIREEEEE!!!! je suis au Mexique!!! J’ai l’impression d’un premier accomplissement et ne me sens plus de joie, le coeur remplie d’allégresse et les yeux au bord des larmes… bien sur, ce n’est pas grand chose à côté de ce qui m’attends mais je suis tout simplement heureuse… le Mexique c’est aussi le début de la vraie aventure😉 !

Après avoir refusé poliment l’offre d’un mec puant l’alcool de m’héberger chez lui pour la soirée, je demande ma route pour aller chez mes hôtes, Liz et Elvis, qui m’attendent grace à l’aide mon ange de la route (Molly), rencontrée sur le site Warm Showers.  

Je me perds sur l’autoroute (oui vous avez bien lu… sans commentaire) et 45 minutes plus tard au lieu de 15, j’arrive saine et sauve à destination. 

Elvis et Liz sont des gens ultras ouverts, pleins de vie et à peine arrivée, je me dois de dépoussiérer la malle de mon espagnol enfouie loin dans ma cervelle embrumée. Avec le poids de la journée et des émotions, je comprenais plus que je ne pouvais parler… enfin, c’était quand meme assez satisfaisant de me dire qu’après toutes ces années sans vraiment pratiquer la langue, je ne m’en sortirais pas trop mal.

Pause déjeuné sur la route en direction du Mexique Tijuana/ Lunch break on the road to Mexico.
Pause déjeuné sur la route en direction du Mexique Tijuana/ Lunch break on the road to Mexico.
Last amerian flag on my road/ Le dernier drapeau américain sur ma route
Last amerian flag on my road/ Le dernier drapeau américain sur ma route
On the rail, on the road/ Toujours sur les rails, sur la route
On the rail, on the road/ Toujours sur les rails, sur la route
Humans vs nature... sad scene but esthetically quite interesting /tant qu'a faire, m'en vais utiliser les cochonneries des humains comme perchoir...
Humans vs nature… sad scene but esthetically quite interesting /tant qu’a faire, m’en vais utiliser les cochonneries des humains comme perchoir…
20 avocados for $5.... I know someone who would go crazy for that! / 20 avocats pour $5 ...I asked to buy only one but got it for free :-) / je connais quelqu'un que ca rendrait fou! J'ai demande a  en acheter un et je l'ai eu gratos :-)
20 avocados for $5…. I know someone who would go crazy for that! / 20 avocats pour $5 …I asked to buy only one but got it for free🙂 / je connais quelqu’un que ca rendrait fou! J’ai demande a en acheter un et je l’ai eu gratos🙂
My first taco on the road/ mon premier taco sur la route
My first taco on the road/ mon premier taco sur la route
Another mermaid (la sirens) on the road, and my first taco stand on the road ($1.25 ... not bad !!!!)/ Encore un sirene sur ma route et mon premier camion taco sur la route ($1.25... pas mal du tout!)
Another mermaid (la sirens) on the road, and my first taco stand on the road ($1.25 … not bad !!!!)/ Encore un sirene sur ma route et mon premier camion taco sur la route ($1.25… pas mal du tout!)
Mexican Border!!!!!!!! La frontière Mexicaine!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhh
Mexican Border!!!!!!!! La frontière Mexicaine!!!!! Yeahhhhhhhh
Tijuana border to USA/ la frontière mexicaine a Tijuana pour aller aux états unis.
Tijuana border to USA/ la frontière mexicaine a Tijuana pour aller aux états unis.

The next day, Liz took me to her work where she had to fill up some forms— Liz and Elvis work for the government trying to change and help, not without any frustration, their country towards something better and fairer for the Citizens of Mexico. They traveled, lived and studied in a lot of countries, including a big part of Europe—

We then went to get some groceries for the breakfast and I made « pain perdu » or « French toast » as the americans call them. Not the healthier breakfast you can ask for but yummy non the less! Liz made a delicious juice of nopal (cactus), goyava, banana, mango..with « la licuadora » (blender) and we had quite « el desayuno de reyes ! »

The rest of day, still with the kind and beautiful help of Liz and Elvis, I got to stamp my passport in order not to get a fine while leaving the country for Belize. ($26 instead of $100) , change some dollars into Pesos , went to a small but very interesting exhibition of photographies about the immigration , smelled , looked and tasted the local marked and bought a pan (local cake) and some real good tortadas (chips made with corn flour), along with some fruits. yumm

Everybody (Americans but Mexicans included) is telling me to be cautious, that Mexico is a dangerous place for women,… but interestingly enough, I can’t stop meeting people who wants to buy me food, help me and share words with me.🙂 I am having fun!

We started the evening with Rene, one of their neighbor, going to the beach for the sunset.

I was stunt by the immense border fence, going all the way down to the water, the helicopters checking the water above and the US military on the other side protecting the american land from invasion😉 … quite a specular thing to watch!

« …Imagine all the people, living for today…. imagine there is no country, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too… »

You may think I’m a dreamer… but I know I ‘m not the only one. 🙂

We ended the evening in a gigantic bar in the heart of every possible shenanigans, seemed a bit like Kao San road in Bangkok to me, but way less crazy (yes it is possible!). The place was filled with big TV screens showing music videos of diverse music from latina america and north america, sports, and sex and rock n roll! They served « buckets » of beers (10 for the equivalent of $7)… crazy! What a blast! Thanks my friends for an incredibly good day, your generosity is truly beautiful!

Le lendemain, Liz m’emmena à son travail pour qu’elle puisse remplir quelques papiers —Liz en Elvis travaillent pour le gouvernement, ils sont chargés de projets et essaient d’aider , non sans frustrations, leur pays à évoluer vers une économie et une société plus juste pour l’ensemble des citoyens… Ils ont beaucoup voyagé pendant leurs études et ont passé beaucoup de temps en europe. Liz et moi avons eu beaucoup de discussions sur les femmes notamment, un sujet qui lui est très cher. Elle participe à beaucoup de lectures de L’ONU sur le sujet —

Nous somme ensuite parties acheter de quoi faire le petit dej’ et nous nous sommes régalé de jus de nopal( cactus), mangues, goyaves, bananes et de pain perdu bien français. MIAM!

Toujours avec l’aide de Liz et Elvis , j’ai pu faire tamponner mon passeport pour 26 dollars histoire de ne pas avoir à payer une prime de 100 dollars en sortant du territoire du côté de Belize, changer mes dollars en pesos. Nous sommes ensuite allés voir une petite expo de photos sur l’immigration, puis partis gouter, sentir, et apprécier la vie du marché locale ou j’ai pu moi meme faire quelques photos et acheter un pan (sorte de brioche mexicaine) et des tostadas au mais (chips de mais géantes consumées avec du guacamole, ceviche, puree de flageolets…)

C’est marrant, tout le monde me dit (americains mais mexicains également) que le Mexique est dangereux, que je ne devrais pas voyager seule, que les hommes sont dangereux… et meme les femmes d’ailleurs… et pourtant, je ne fais que de rencontrer des personnes qui souhaitent m’aider, me donner à manger gratuitement, me conseiller… ces personnes étant souvent les meme qui me mettent en garde!!!! hahhahah

« -ne parles pas aux étrangers!

-mais monsieur, vous etes un étranger vous meme!

-ah oui, mais pas CE genre d’étranger! »

Moi je dis qu’en pensant au pire sans arrêt , le pire vous arrive, mais le contraire marche aussi! 

En fin de journée, nous sommes allés sur la plage pour le couché de soleil et admirer la magnifique et monumentale oeuvre d’art américaine (ou frontière) construite dans une effort de conservation ultime  du trésor économique et culturel américain. Le truc de ouf, qui descend jusque dans la mer et qui est survolé en permanence par des helicos qui surveillent l’ocean aux alentours et protegé de militaires du cote USA. 

« …Imagine all the people, living for today…. imagine there is no country, it isn’t hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too… » 

You may say I’m a dreamer… but I know I ‘m not the only one. 🙂

Nous nous sommes ensuite dirigés vers le coeur de la folie nocturne de Tijuana dans un bar avec des écrans géants diffusants clips musicaux, sports extremes, football américains et d’autres trucs vulgaires… haha ca m’a rappelé Kao san road à Bangkok mais en moins fou. Les bières étaient vendues par « bucket » (sceau ) de 10 au prix modique de $7… Merci les amis pour ce bon moment de rigolade!

waking up in Tijuana, looks like that!/ voila a quoi ca ressemble un reveil à Tijuana, Mexique
waking up in Tijuana, looks like that!/ voila a quoi ca ressemble un reveil à Tijuana, Mexique
View of a part of Tijuana/ vue d'une partie de Tijuana
View of a part of Tijuana/ vue d’une partie de Tijuana
Liz on the way to her work/ Liz en route pour le travail
Liz on the way to her work/ Liz en route pour le travail
In the government building , where Liz is working... / dans l'immeuble gouvernementale ou travail Liz.
In the government building , where Liz is working… / dans l’immeuble gouvernementale ou travail Liz.
Breakfast! Petit dej'!
Breakfast! Petit dej’!
At the immigration exhibition/ a l'exposition photographique sur l'immigration
At the immigration exhibition/ a l’exposition photographique sur l’immigration

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Elvis and I at the botanical garden.
Elvis and I at the botanical garden.
Elvis
Elvis

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La pinata! d'origine espagnole (du sud) la pinata est un personnage en papier mâché dans lequel se trouve des bonbons. Elle est achetée pour les anniversaire et les enfants sont sensés la battre avec un morceau de bateau pour la détruire et en faire tomber les trésors sucrés qu'elle contient.
La pinata! d’origine espagnole (du sud) la pinata est un personnage en papier mâché dans lequel se trouve des bonbons. Elle est achetée pour les anniversaire et les enfants sont sensés la battre avec un morceau de bois pour la détruire et en faire tomber les trésors sucrés qu’elle contient.
Piñata/party shop/ magasin ou les piñatas sont fabriquées .
Piñata/party shop/ magasin ou les piñatas sont fabriquées .

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Man preparing/cutting "el nopal" (cactus)/ Un homme preparant/coupant "el Nopal" (cactus)
Man preparing/cutting “el nopal” (cactus)/ Un homme preparant/coupant “el Nopal” (cactus)
small fruits (forgot the name) marinated in water and sugar.. I thought it was quite bitter/ petits fruits (je ne me souviens plus du nom marines dans de l'eau et du sucre. gout assez amer
small fruits (forgot the name) marinated in water and sugar.. I thought it was quite bitter/ petits fruits (je ne me souviens plus du nom marines dans de l’eau et du sucre. gout assez amer
Market / Marché
Market / Marché
pimientos!
pimientos!

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It's always very interesting, while traveling to see all the different habits that people have with food (at what time they eat, what do they eat and so on) Mexican, from what I have seen so far seem to "snack" a lot,(tostadas con ceviche, guacamole, frijoles, tacos...) The food is delicious and extremely fresh! C'est toujours super intéressant lorsque je voyage de decouvrir les differences habitudes alimentaires (l'heure des repas, le type de nourriture ...) Jusqu'ici j'ai l'impression que les Mexicains aiment beaucoup manger des snacks tout au long de la journey (tostadas con ceviche, tacos, tostadas con guacamole,....) La nourriture est delicieuse et extremement fraiche. Yummm
It’s always very interesting, while traveling to see all the different habits that people have with food (at what time they eat, what do they eat and so on) Mexican, from what I have seen so far seem to “snack” a lot,(tostadas con ceviche, guacamole, frijoles, tacos…) The food is delicious and extremely fresh! C’est toujours super intéressant lorsque je voyage de decouvrir les differences habitudes alimentaires (l’heure des repas, le type de nourriture …) Jusqu’ici j’ai l’impression que les Mexicains aiment beaucoup manger des snacks tout au long de la journey (tostadas con ceviche, tacos, tostadas con guacamole,….) La nourriture est delicieuse et extremement fraiche. Yummm
Liz making guacamole/ Liz qui prepare du Guacamole
Liz making guacamole/ Liz qui prepare du Guacamole

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Ceviche de pescado, y otra cosas del mar. :-)
Ceviche de pescado, y otra cosas del mar.🙂
the border, going all the way down to the ocean  and an helicopter flying above the area to check the water/ La frontiere qui descend jusque dans la mer et un helicopter qui survole et surveille l'ocean.
the border, going all the way down to the ocean and an helicopter flying above the area to check the water/ La frontiere qui descend jusque dans la mer et un helicopter qui survole et surveille l’ocean.

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Rene, Elvis and Liz enjoying Tijuana's craziest (or almost ;-) )/ Rene, Elvis et Liz en soiree au coeur de Tijuana l'extreme.
Rene, Elvis and Liz enjoying Tijuana’s craziest (or almost😉 )/ Rene, Elvis et Liz en soiree au coeur de Tijuana l’extreme.
fiesta!
fiesta!

On Saturday, March the 6th, we started the day with … Crepes! Yes!!!! Because why not eating crepes everyday of my journey!

I tried to get to my serious work of writing, route, checking for places to stay in my next town, managing pictures and videos of the trip and wash some laundry… because laundry is very important… stinking is not the best thing if you want to be hosted… still, I stink. I mean,… really.

I was succesful on the laundry task but didn’t get any good writing… I have way too interesting hosts to be writing and couldn’t get my concentration going… Instead, I shared conversations after conversations , tons of common ideas and dreams as well as an incredible Paella made by Liz…. I want it now again!!!!

Le lendemain samedi 6 mars, je me suis mise en tete de faire tout le « travail séreux ». Ecrire, faire la lessive (parce que la lessive est un travail tres sérieux ) et organiser la suite du parcours… J’ai eu beaucoup de mal à avancer mais arriva quand meme a faire mon sac avec des petites culottes propres… Il va être difficile d’être rigoureuse quant à l’écriture du voyage … mes hôtes sont toujours passionnants! Le soir, Molly nous a cuisiné une délicieuse Paella…. j’en veux maintenant!!!!!!!!!

El pan. Mexican brioche (sort of)
El pan. Mexican brioche (sort of)
des crepes, encore des crepes!
des crepes, encore des crepes!
Policeman inside the fish market / policier dans la poissonnerie
Policeman inside the fish market / policier dans la poissonnerie
On our way back home from the fish Market / en revenant de la poissonnerie
On our way back home from the fish Market / en revenant de la poissonnerie

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La famosa Paella de Liz!!!!!!!!!!!
La famosa Paella de Liz!!!!!!!!!!!

On Sunday, March the 7th, I jumped back on the saddle, on my way to Alisistos, playa de mission, to stay with a certain Iain and his daughter Molly…

Another Molly, my angel from Warm Showers who is now also on her own with her bicycle, is waiting for me in San Quitin, and from all the email exchanges that we have had, I can’t wait to meet her. go go go go go little turtle!

Le lendemain, dimanche je remettais mes sacoches sur le velo et repartais en direction d’un certaine Molly qui m’attendait à 300 km plus bas sur San Quitin…

Liz and I, as I left on Sunday
Liz and I, as I left on Sunday
Elvis and I, as I left on Sunday
Elvis and I, as I left on Sunday

The beginning / Le début

Kristin's House in Cardiff by the sea / La maison de Kristin à Cardiff by the sea
Kristin’s House in Cardiff by the sea / La maison de Kristin à Cardiff by the sea
In the morning at the first campground/  Le matin au premier camping .
In the morning at the first campground/ Le matin au premier camping .
first campground / Premier campement
first campground / Premier campement
stopping for lunch, America is such a luxury with all the state parks facilities, bike trails... / arrêt dejeuner , les  états unis c'est vraiment le grand luxe avec tous les equipements et facilites dans les parcs nationaux, sans compter sur les pistes cyclables
stopping for lunch, America is such a luxury with all the state parks facilities, bike trails… / arrêt dejeuner , les états unis c’est vraiment le grand luxe avec tous les equipements et facilites dans les parcs nationaux, sans compter sur les pistes cyclables
Carrots are good for me! ;-) les carrots, c'est bon pour moi!
Carrots are good for me!😉 les carrots, c’est bon pour moi!
Vue from the Maritime military base (didn't want to take pictures of the buildings as I am not sure I was allowed) / Vue depuis la base militaire maritime (pas voulu prendre de photos des batiments, pas envie de me faire chopper ;-) )
Vue from the Maritime military base (didn’t want to take pictures of the buildings as I am not sure I was allowed) / Vue depuis la base militaire maritime (pas voulu prendre de photos des batiments, pas envie de me faire chopper😉 )
Of course I'll stop for a view like this! / Bien sur que je vais m'arreter pour une vue comme celle ci!
Of course I’ll stop for a view like this! / Bien sur que je vais m’arreter pour une vue comme celle ci!

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Crazy guy who told me he rode his bike for 5000 miles  (but had no gear, 2 broken spokes and a wheel that had seen better days... ) / Un grand fada qui m'a dit qu'il avait fait 5000 miles (8000 km) ... mais n'avais absolument pas de materiel, 2 rayons de casses et une roue qui etait aussi droite que lui. haha hahah , y'a des droles sur la route!
Crazy guy who told me he rode his bike for 5000 miles (but had no gear, 2 broken spokes and a wheel that had seen better days… ) / Un grand fada qui m’a dit qu’il avait fait 5000 miles (8000 km) … mais n’avais absolument pas de materiel, 2 rayons de casses et une roue qui etait aussi droite que lui. haha hahah , y’a des droles sur la route!
Indeed! / "restez vigilant, restez en vie" ... comme un petit memo de voyage
Indeed! / “restez vigilant, restez en vie” … comme un petit memo de voyage

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Love that sign ... America is fun in its own funny cooky way .
Love that sign … America is fun in its own funny cooky way .
First beer offered, first celebration, firsts friends on road, first sunset / Premiere biere offerte, premiere celebration , premiere rencontre, premier couché de soleil
First beer offered, first celebration, firsts friends on road, first sunset / Premiere biere offerte, premiere celebration , premiere rencontre, premier couché de soleil
ARRRRRRRGHHHHH!!!!
ARRRRRRRGHHHHH!!!!

In English:

That’s it! I am off to new adventures and so many emotions already came through me for the first 2 days of riding… I went from super sad to anxious, nervous, excited, overwhelmed, grateful,…. asking myself why and what I was doing, wondering is I was truly doing this exploration for myself or for or vision I would like people to have about me . But I started to settle a bit more on the second day, and went back down to earth about the reality but also the beauty of what I am doing for myself.

The journey started just after Long Beach and I was quite relieved not to have had to ride through the urban jungle of Los Angeles… no need to start in this kind of environment :-s … thanks to my knight in shinning armor  who fought through his sickness to drive me to the cost, I started in pretty good conditions .

I then proceeded to ride along the cost and tried unsuccessfully to reach San Clemente 50 miles away… after getting lost (how to get lost on this I am not sure😉 but it did happen) and I finally ended up in a camp ground in Dana Point (40 miles from departure point) on the advices of some firemen .

In between my pathetic existential questions, I had some good fun with people stopping me and asking me if I was crazy to do I am planning to do and to wear clothes like the one I had on! “But still, on your face I can see that you are not really crazy…hummm….???” haha , who’s crazy ?! not sure it’s me !

I had my first beer while watching the sunset with a group of friends who offered me my first day celebration drink… I was exhausted and not very expressive but it ended my day with a big smile in my heart. ahhhhh grateful🙂

At the camp ground, super nice people again, a dad and his son offered me to share their fire, some nice talks, music and MARSHMALLOWS!!! Americans , I love you with your mandatory camping rituals🙂 . The next day I even got a fresh cup of coffee… some people are naturally generous and it was heart warming to see how the values were being taught and transmitted gently to the next generation, just like a sweet marshmallow🙂

On day 2, I had to ride through the rain in order to arrive on time at a friend’s place in Cardiff by the sea (close to San Diego). Again, a few very nice people on the way sharing some words, encouragements and advices (Bernie, it was very nice talking with you!). I cycled through a military maritime base… had to give my ID and almost had to turn back as “your bike is not a sports bike”… not a sports bike, not a sports bike …. well, climb on it and you’ll see if it has nothing to do with sports what I am doing! Some smiles, some nice “yes sir”, “of course sir” and I was on a military base with my shift mobile🙂 .

I arrived in the early evening at my friend’s place and my legs felt like dead weights… how many days have I been doing this again?! So nice to be welcomed in a warm place and get to shower in the luxury of a house :-)… It is just the beginning, but am I grateful again? yes indeed!

Today (day 3), as the very sensible English people would say, it was raining cats and dogs and I had to weight for a long time to decide if I would go or not in between showers. It was not easy to take a decision as I have to take in consideration that I am a guest, but we finally agreed that I would stay until tomorrow when the weather should be much better.🙂 Thank you Kristin!

Having that day “off” (sorry for using that word all of you who are working-😉 ) , I was able to make my plans all the way down to ensenada, Mexico as I was blessed with an angel (Molly met through warm showers ) preceding me and sending me all kinds   of priceless information and addresses where to stay… we are supposed to ride together soon and I can’t wait to meet and share the road with her. Serendipity you said?🙂

En Francais:

Ca y’est! Je suis partie pour de nouvelles aventures et déjà tant d’émotions m’ont traversées durant ces 2 premiers jours!

Je suis passée de très triste à nerveuse, excitée, accablée, reconnaissante…me demandant par moment dans quoi je me lançait et pour quelle raisons…questionnant également le fait de m’embarquer dans cette exploration pour une réelle volonté d’aller vers moi-même ou pour une vision que je souhaiterais que les gens aient de moi…Le deuxième jour, j’ai commencé à me calmer, redescendant doucement sur terre en me rappelant la réalité mais aussi la beauté de l’aventure dans laquelle j’ai décidé de m’engager.

Le point de départ se trouve juste en dessous de Long Beach, sur la côte Californienne et je suis super soulagée de ne pas avoir eu à traverser la jungle urbaine de Los Angeles… pas vraiment besoin de commencer le périple dans ce genre de conditions… heureusement mon preux chevalier, bravant une bonne crève/sinusite me soulagera de cette épreuve en m’amenant vers un point de départ ideal. Je lui en suis grandement reconnaissannnnnnnteee.🙂 … des bisous en passant par là.😉

Puis j’ai commencé à descendre doucement vers le sud, toujours le long de la côte, en tentant infructueusement de rejoindre San Clemente (80 km plus loin)… J’ai quand meme réussi par je ne sais quel moyen à me planter de chemin sur une route plutôt simple… bref, comme il était trop tard pour aller jusqu’a San Clemente je me suis arrêtée, sur les conseils de gentils pompiers, à Dana point (environ 63km du point de départ) dans un camping en bord de mer.

Au milieu de mes cogitation hautement philosophiques et existentiels  (enfin,…plus vraisemblablement pathétiques), je me suis bien marrée avec les premières personnes rencontrées… un gars, par exemple, se tordait de rire en me demandant si je n’étais pas complètement tarée de me jeter dans une expédition de ce genre et de porter des vêtements comme ceux que je portais… et en me disant « mais pourtant quand je te regarde, tu ne sembles pas si cinglée! » Ha Ha c’est qui le maboule ici? Pas sur que ca soit moi au final!

Et puis, en fin de journée, j’arrive à Dana Point et je me pose pour regarder le coucher de soleil et je tombe sur un groupe d’amis avec leur toutou qui m’offrent une bière pour célébrer mon aventure… j’étais fatiguée, exténuée et donc du coup pas très vive cérébralement parlant, mais cette petite rencontre m’a fait vraiment chaud au coeur, surtout après une journée si intense en émotions. ahhhhhhh reconnaissante!

Une fois au camping, je rencontre mes voisins, un papa avec son fils qui m’offrent de partager leur feu (le bois s’achète dans le camping et n’est pas donné), des discussions, de la musique et des CHAMALLOWS grillés!!!Americains, je vous aime avec vos rituels de camping!🙂

Le lendemain j’ai même eu droit à un café fraichement pressé qu’ils sont allés chercher au café du coin (Français, pas d’excitation, le café du coin n’a rien à voir avec nos petits cafés de l’hexagone!… enfin quand même, c’est pas sympa ca ?!).

Y’a des gens qui sont naturellement généreux et ca m’a fait une nouvelle fois super chaud au coeur de voir en si peu de temps que cette générosité et ces valeurs simples de «reconnaissance de l’autre » étaient consciencieusement mais calmement inculquées à une nouvelle génération. Une autorité en douceur comme un bon chamallow qu’on te demanderai d’avaler gentillement… en fait, si ca trouve, à la maison c’est coups de ceinture et martinet. BAM.

Le 2eme jour, j’ai du rouler sous la pluie pratiquement tout du long pour être sûre d’arriver à temps à Cardiff by the sea, où Kristin, une pote de Christophe, m’attendait.

Encore une fois, une multitudes de gens bien cool rencontrés sur la route et de nouvelles conversations, encouragements et conseils échangés.

J’ai même du traverser une base militaire maritime, donner ma carte d’identité à l’entrée et me suis presque vu l’autorisation d’entrer refusée puisque « Votre vélo n’est pas un vélo de sport et nous ne laissons rentrer sur la base que les vélo de sport » … pas un vélo de sport, pas un vélo de sport… bah vas-y montes dessus et tu vas voir si c’est pas du sport c’que j’fais! Enfin, je m’en suis bien sortie à grand coup de sourires et de « oui monsieur », « bien sur monsieur »😀 et hop, je me trouvais avec ma shift mobile à circuler pendant 15 km sur les routes d’un camp militaire🙂 hahaha! La vie me fait vraiment marrer des fois!

Je suis arrivée en début de soirée chez kristin en ayant l’impression d’avoir deux cadavres à la place de mes jambes…Ca fait combien de jours que je fais ca déjà?! Ahhhh, le luxe d’être accueillie dans une maison bien chaude , de pouvoir prendre une douche et d’avoir un bon matelas pour dormir, je savoure cette aubaine en me disant que ca ne sera pas toujours comme ca…

Aujourd’hui, il pleut comme vache qui pisse et j’ai du peser longuement le pour et le contre pour savoir si je pouvais partir entre deux douches. Ca n’a pas été simple de prendre une décision puisque j’ai du prendre en considération le fait que je suis invitée chez quelqu’un que je connais peu… mais nous avons finalement décidé qu’il serait plus sage d’attendre demain et de partir dans de bonnes conditions . Merci Kristin!

Du coup, je me prends une journée de repos (désolée pour ceux qui travaillent, je sais que ce mot peut heurter votre sensibilité😀 ), et j’en profite pour planifier la suite de mon parcours jusqu’à Ensenada au Mexique. Le tout grâce à l’aide de mon ange gardien Molly, rencontrée sur le site Warm Showers, qui me devance et me donne en permanence des infos, des conseils et des adresses où aller.

Elle m’attend et on devrait se retrouver très bientôt pour faire la route ensemble… bien pressée de la rencontrer🙂

… Sérendipité vous avez dit?😉

Bises à tous. La pêche la forme et de l’amour partout!😉

Putting the gear into action!

Hello friends!                    10920919_10153031649773866_4416596589170114491_n It has been quite a long time since I worked on my blog… things have been quite hectic with the organisation of my L.A to Peru journey, the daily life, the construction of my chicken coop and a few trips to France to see my family and my friends…. yes, it was a lot! But last week end (24/25 january 2015) I went on a “mini” tour in the Santa Ynez area, or I should say,  we went on a crazy mountain tour in the figueroa mountains with up to 13% climbs… check that! tour Santa Ynez janvier 2015

I believe I started, during those 2 days, to embrace some of what will become my daily routines and sets of emotions, and…. I feel quite pleased with that idea!

The first element that stroked me was the elevation :

wowww I am way to heavy for steep hills like those! I will have to chose my roads depending on climbs … and if I have to go through crazy mountains, well, why not riding my bike… in a bus! Sometimes (as we say in France) you have to put some water in one’s wine… isn’t the key of happiness about balance after all?

The second element that I will remember from that trip was the kindness of people

… how amazing  to have people stopping and encouraging you while you are going up hill and breathing like an exhausted seal vegged out on a beach? Asking you how you are doing, what you need, or just simply waving at you like a “wow, good job!” (this is the way I take it anyway! ;-)). I felt also very proud to become part of what I call the “cycle crew”, having pretty much every cyclist wave at us, and us in return, as we were crossing each other’s path…  it was a very nice feeling, the connection to my new family on the road!

The third element was our health, body and mind  and understanding their limits… hummm, let see…  

-Yes… you will definitely need more water if you go up hill than going on a flat, straight road….DUHHH!                                reminder to myself: DON’T BE SILLY AND CARRY MORE WATER THAT WHAT YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED!!!!That being said,   thank you to all the people giving us water on the road…

-I realized my food intake was crazy… riding a bike makes me become a ogre! Nutrition will be ultra-important, no doubt.

-You can push your mind and body, I agree… but there is a point where it is wiser to decide to stop and avoid them both to break down😀 … balance and respect with myself.

The fourth, last, but not the least element, was mother nature and everything she gives and takes.                                     

That ride was super easy as far as weather’s concern; lots of sun but not too hot, no wind (at least during the day) and INCREDIBLE landscapes, a breathtaking sunset, animals friends along the way …. BUT …. during the night, we got some nice winds that totally destroyed our tent while we were sleeping, one of the pole broke, destroying the mesh and the rain cover. Bummer, knowing that I am supposed to be leaving in 2 weeks and that I surely don’t have 300+ extra dollars to use for a new tent… I am currently discussing with the Big Agnes company, trying to have a replacement one as fast as possible. So far so good, they seem to be quite helpful. fingers crossed🙂

_DSC4510    The bicycles parked at our camping spot for the night  _DSC4501 View from our camping place …🙂                                                                                                           _DSC4505Christophe using nature’s best light for a slefie _DSC4508Sunset and view to reward our efforts! _DSC4519                                                                                                                                    _DSC4525  Never enough food!  _DSC4528

CIMG3874    Finally going down hill on Happy Canyon road

And here is a link to the video of our trip :

Love to all!

The Shift Mobile has arrived!!! / Decisions on what type of gear I should be getting…

Hello brothers and sisters!

Taking decision is something that I really have a hard time about lately… well, lately maybe means longer than what I think… The fact is, if you never take a decision, then you are sure to never make any mistake or never be wrong about the decision you ended up not even taking :-)… and it is bringing me back to a few of my long term issues… I don’t want to be “failing”.

But with a project such as bicycling all the way down to south america, you better make your mind about a few things if you want to see your idea becoming one day something else than just a dream you talk about (to everyone)… The first decision I felt I had to make for that trip to happen, was to chose THE ride… maybe because I needed to see a part of that dream already getting materialized. A bike for a bicycle tour, it seems to make sense so far.

The problem with me is that everything seems to be very clear, up until I really start researching about what I am looking for…and then… wowwwww, the maze of all the possibilities/ideas/opinions (and so on) opens up to me and I feel like a child in the world’s biggest candy store, knowing she can only get one piece of candy… :-s

Everybody has their own reason why they decide to go with one thing or the other (either you decide what diet is good for you, how you should be giving birth (😉 ), what type of education you will give to your child, what brand of blender, water purifier, car, etc you will choose,… I know you don’t choose your child’s education the same way you would choose your blender but I hope you got my point🙂  ).

There is definitely no “wrong” decision about making a choice as long as you make a conscious, well-thought one, based on people’s experience, the technicity of what you are looking for (to satisfy your logical and rational mind), your own convictions, but at the end, on your own “guts”feeling and, obviously, your budget… Am-I speaking Chinese here? What I want to say is that in this particular adventure, I felt like I was needing to take my “broad-spectrum parameters” (money/ duration of the trip/ types of roads/ availability of parts where I will go…) and make it works for me at the best…. researching it, but at the end, trusting myself and my guts, and letting go of the possible negative outcomes resulting in that final decision. You can’t always control everything, right?!

Thanks to the “crazy blog world” of people sharing their stories of touring the world (and particularly central and south america) , I was able to be helped through my quest. (http://familyonbikes.org , https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=174187http://frenchguyonabike.blogspot.com/2010/06/journal.html…)

I know I am making a big gamble here by taking a “small budget” bike with 700c wheels to other countries than Canada and the USA, where it will be much more difficult to find parts for my wheels when they will get beaten by the journey, but I can’t manage to find (within my price range) any perfect answer/choice to all the possible problems I know I will encounter so :

photoHere is my Novara Safari bike! The Shift Mobile is taking shape!

One Love Maud / The Shift Mobile

PS: Thank you Baptiste from http://frenchguyonabike.blogspot.com/2010/06/journal.html, for your help and reassuring advices!

I don’t have a clue what I am doing but it’s gonna be alright / how and why I am deciding to throw myself in a solo cycling adventure.

Hi everyone!

I love travelling, and when I say so, i mean the kind of love that it’s almost unbearable to go without… a bit like coffee for some in the morning, or this sugar addiction a lot of us were forced into…🙂

I took off from France for my first long trip a  few years ago, and ended up backpacking for 2 years in south east Asia before I came to USA… this was actually 4 years ago… 4 very long years.

This time, I am preparing something with more “substance” to it… not that backpacking through Asia was meaningless, but i’d say that I had no other motive or plan than just being on the road, having fun, meeting beautiful people and landscape…nothing wrong with it, of course.

Well… it is not all that different this time, expect that life and experiences in those last 4 years have shaped me in a different way … and I believe I am doing this trip because I feel that I don’t have the choice to go or stay  if I want to remain sane and truly alive… Feeling stuck in your life is not a very pleasant emotion to carry around and I prefer, having the choice, to follow that inner voice over taking the “happy numbing pill”.

As I said, experiences of life have shaped me in a different way… I would say that it has reinforced me in the way I want to live my life, what I want to learn and the way I want to learn it… so as extreme and crazy as it may sounds for some, why not taking off again, but this time, solo and on a bicycle across central and south america with the goal of getting connected to the people interested in sharing their view on our world the way it is now, and the way they want to create/improve it.  Also, with the goal of getting reconnected to myself and my self-confidence, getting challenged with a way of life that is not broadly taught.

To do so, I am planning on stopping in WWOOF farms (World Wide Opoortunities on Organic Farms), to learn more about the earth and how to work harmoniously with it through different farming technics such as permaculture (see this link:  http://permacultureprinciples.com). I will also use social networks like https://www.warmshowers.org and https://www.couchsurfing.org/http://, where I will offer my services as a reiki practitioner in exchange of a place to put my tent/sleeping bag, a shower and some food. (if you want to know about reiki: http://www.reiki.org

 I truly believe we are living a beautiful, but non the less, intensely challenging conscious shift in the way we view our lives, interact with the living in general, and i am very interested to see during that trip, how this “shift” is affecting people from different countries, if indeed they are feeling something is changing, and if so, how and what type of paradigm they are deciding to embrace.

So… what to do with a dream like that? Well, you talk about it, you ask for advices,you get organized, you plan, you check people’s blog who have done a similar thing… but the truth is: I have no clue what the f… I am doing and how I will manage to even start the journey, standing here in the middle of my fears…and no blog or people’s advice can give you the confidence needed to truly move forward…the journey and shift has already started..just get along with it!

 

19846_246533018865_5242382_n  

One love

The shift mobile just waiting to be.