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No.68 Mexico – The Beach life – Bikepacking Baja Divide Trail III

Apr 19, 2017 | America, Blog, Mexico

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Blue moment
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69 - Camping along the Baja California
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Camping at the beach Baja California
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Blue fish
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I am pretty sure everyone of you has seen those beaches where people are lying like sardines and trying to get a glimpse of the ocean for themselves. I remember those times when I had to go on holiday with my parents at the age of nine or ten. In the 80’s the Adriatic Sea in Italy was the place to go.

Even in those early years of my life, I was totally bored and annoyed about those uneventful weeks which were supposedly the most brilliant weeks of the entire year. And therefore, by the time I was eleven I said to my family “Well you know what, enough is enough – I am no longer joining you, from now on I am going to a youth camp instead.”

Ever since I’ve had negative feelings towards beaches. A lot of beaches especially in Southern Europe, have in my opinion the bad side effects of being crowded, expensive, dirty, party noisy and most of the time simply boring.

But and here comes the big BUT…..The beaches you pass while riding the Baja Divide trail are another dimension.



In most parts the trail follows sandy and rough dirt tracks where most people won’t have access to and that means you have the entire beach all to yourself.



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Bike touring Baja California


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Well, besides pelicans and seagulls, dolphins and lots of nice surprises you can find along the shore.


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Pelican at the Sea of Cortez


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Muschel Detail
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It is just absolutely amazing to camp along the beach, to listen to the ocean, to have a campfire and to see the sun reflecting its last light on the water. Brilliant.


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Now and then there were little fishing villages where time seemed to stand still for centuries. The remoteness gave them an interesting atmosphere. What I was most amazed of was the huge amount of fish they had caught each time I saw the fishermen unloading their boats. Stingrays were really common.


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Camping Baja California bikepacking Baja Divide


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The trail crosses the peninsula from east to west several times, so I had the chance to enjoy both sides, the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez and found this totally appealing. The ocean is not like the sea and of course the Sea of Cortez is much calmer and for some reason the little natural treasures I found there along the beaches were more interesting.


Old lighthouse
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Am Strand Baja California
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Cruising along those beaches was part of the fun. Lots of ups and downs along the coastline gave me the possibility to see the coast from every angle. Some sections were totally barren, others were covered by an awesome cacti world. It never got boring.

As always, I tried to soak it in as much as I could, but also found it a bit sad that the trail is often strenuous and therefore it had put me under time pressure because of water and food resupply issues. It was hardly ever possible to stay in remote places for longer, only if there was a town or a ranch nearby. The risk of running out of water was just too high.

But having said this, the further south I came the more ranches there were along the trail where I asked a few times for water.

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Fishing village San Rose del Faro

Because only following the Baja Divide and not seeing anything else wasn’t enough for me I sometimes added some side excursions and made sure to get back to exactly the point where I had left the trail, to not miss out on any part of it. I mostly hitchhiked to those spots, to give myself a break from the saddle.

Guerra Negro, Bahia Magdalena and Laguna San Ignacio are 3 main whale migration spots where calves are born and the mothers stop for a few months to bring up their new born, before continuing in April to Alaska. So, I wanted to see those gigantic creatures but each time I got closer to those spots the amount of people who were trying to see them like I was, destroyed the remote atmosphere which I so much loved about the Baja Divide.

Anyway, I didn’t want to book a boat tour and spotting them from the shore isn’t the easiest task, so at the end I didn’t see a single whale. But I still had a great time, especially eating fish tacos and taking pictures of lighthouses, watching the birds flying and the fishermen working.

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Enjoying the Street Life and meeting people along the Baja California is worth another blog post……bye for now 😉



  1. Hello Heike,
    Although you are the “wrong” Heike I hope you won’t mind if I follow you on your travels. Love the photos you are taking – keep safe. Enjoy each day.

    • Hello Marie, not sure why I am the “wrong” Heike, but I appreciate your nice comment.
      Enjoy life yourself ! Cheers Heike

  2. Amazing pictures. Worth the wait! Thank you for sharing.

  3. We love Baja and have a good friend who runs whale trips near Guerrero Negro (small ones) – the photos are beautiful and sounds like you found the place as lovely as we do.

  4. Love your photos! And your blog 🙂

    • Hi Heike, just started riding the penninsula. I have enjoyed your notes and pictures. One remark is especially appealing to me. The way you start the day. I will try by myself. Heavy rain in Santo Tomas. Gracias. Rafal

      • Thank you Rafal, enjoy the Baja, one of my favourite places on earth!

  5. Beautiful
    Love your photos
    Keep pedaling

  6. Heike, we miss you here in Flagstaff but it looks like you had a great time on the Baja Divide. The new site looks great and your pictures are really special this time. Wish all the best in your travels on the mainland. As always thanks for taking us along on your adventures.

  7. Hello! Nice to read your blogg again. I have followed you from the start and when I didn’t hear from you I got worried that something happened to you!! Wonderful pictures as allways. Take care. Regards Anders

    • Thanks Anders….the blog transfer took a while – sorry….Cheers Heike

  8. Beautiful pictures and great blog. Sorry you missed the ?. Keep having a great trip, wish I could hire you as a tour guide. I liked the solitude on my small tour but haven’t figured out how to do it for long without having to get a job and get back into a society that I hate because it has not treated me very good for most my life. Even with my resume, l have never found a business that treats its employees or me any good, since loosing the only job l liked, because the company closed after 15 years. I’ve done another 15 years searching, finding nothing good, and in the end never made any more money than l made after the first job ended. I guit my last tour to pursue a relationship with a lady from my past that was following my tour blog, but as soon as we got together it was back to jobs l hated, which made life unbearable so since she didn’t understand l should have kept on my tour, l left and have tried to put money back together to do another one, but my car died and job didn’t pay well so guess it will be a while. I may head back to “We Cycle USA” in Phoenix Arizona were l was helping a non for profit business build and help intercity kids earn bikes.
    Have a great tour, reading yours and a few other touring blogs ls pretty much all this introvert has left to keep me going.

  9. Brilliant. The way you capture and share this route is a feast for the senses.

  10. Hallo Heike, like some others was a little bit worried you were ok due to the period of no blogs, but anyway I knew you were in good health. How do you like your new bike and the set-up you have, I see the handlebars are really for a single position for your hands, do you find the single hand position suits you, I like multiple position handlebars as I get pains after a while in the same position.
    Nice to hear from you again, best wishes Mike.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for your concern. The blog transfer took longer than expected. I have actually two positions, because I am using the bar ends for a comfy position sometimes. But I still have issues with my neck. I think I need a higher stem at some stage.

      Cheers Heike

  11. Love seeing your pictures and hearing your story….. miss you my friend!

    • Nicole, I hope you are doing fine…..I hope it is already warming up in Canada, if not I can send you some heat from Mexico 😉 Come over here and we can ride for a bit 😉 HUGS Heike

  12. Heike, The vibrant colors of your photographs and breathtaking and the stillness/remoteness you are able convey are almost like taking a vacation just looking at them! Thank you for sharing it all for those of us who will never have the courage to do what you do. My brother, Rich, whom you met on the Baja Divide, is getting ready for his three year world bike tour, leaving this summer. I wonder if the two of you will ever cross paths again? I hope so. Anyway, stay safe, keep photographing and sharing your views and insights with us.
    Much appreciated,
    Laurie (Lytle) Burge

    • Dear Laurie, so nice to receive such a lovely comment. Thanks very much! And thanks for all your nice wishes. I am sure Rich will pass me on his way down south. I am the slow-motion lady compare to him 😉
      Best greetings Heike

  13. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences with us!

  14. Such an amazing photos can explain all what you want to share keep pedaling always look after yourself , following from Palestine.

    • Thanks! Wow from Palestine, nice, best greetings to the Middle East! Cheers Heike

  15. Liebe Heike

    Schaue ummer wieder auf deinem Blog vorbei. Die Baja steht auch schon lange auf meiner Liste.

    Vielen Dank für die tollen Fotos. So bin ich grad ein bisschen mitgereist. Traumhaft sieht’s aus in Baja California.

    Liebe Grüsse aus Australien & weiterhin gute und sichere Reise.


    • Liebe Reni, freut mich! Danke und lieben Gruss in meine Lieblingsland 😉 Heike

  16. So glad to see a post again. Your photos are special, and I’ve shared your blog with friends. I’m planning a Baja tour this coming winter, but it, unfortunately, will follow on highway 1, not your adventure on the Baja Divide trail. I’ll save that one for another time. Congratulations, and best wishes on your journey!

    • Thanks very much Drew! Take care on the HWY1 – some stretches are dangerous because there is no shoulder. But others seem to be fine and quiet. Enjoy it! The Valle de los Cirios was my favourite. Happy riding, Heike

  17. Beautiful Pictures! Amazing travels! Stay safe!

  18. Lovely post Heike.
    So happy to see you are enjoying mi Mexico lindo y bonito.
    What kind of camera and filters are you using?
    Are all your pictures raw or edited?
    They all are awesome!

    • HI Roberto, thanks very much for your big compliment! I am not using any filter. I shoot RAW and jpg, but never bothered to work with RAW at all. So what you see is the result of the natural light. Now and then I add some contrast, or darken or lighten up a bit, but the light on the Baja was all in all very special. My camera is a Olympus OM EM 10 Mark2 – Happy cycling 😉 Cheers Heike

  19. Hi Heike-
    This is Terri Olson, you stayed with our family in Lincoln, MT this past summer. We think about you and wonder where you are, so glad to see you are safe.

    Happy trails, and we pray you continue to be safe….

    • Hi Olson family, nice to hear from you! Thanks very much! Greetings to the US, I am still in Mexico, but getting closer to Guatemala. All good down here 😉 Enjoy the summer! Cheers Heike

  20. Hola Heike, thank you again for shown us a Mexico that many Mexicans don’t know, saludos and take care.

  21. Hello Heiki, just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and photography. A friend of mine met you in Utah and recommended that I follow your blog – so glad I did! Safe travels, love, love, love your photography and narrative!!

    • Oh so nice Brett!!! Thanks for your lovely comment…say hello to your friend 😉 Cheers Heike


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