April 6th (La Paz)
Today we intended to drive out to a resort community on a spit of land in the La Paz Bay called El Mogote. This place is shrouded in controversy. On the peninsula is a 1,700-acre resort called Paraiso del Mar. It was planned to have 2 golf courses, over 3,000 homes and condominiums, a marina, a town plaza, and other amenities. The developer did not receive the proper clearances and approvals from the government prior to beginning construction, and abandoned the project in order to flee criminal prosecution. So, this "resort" sits with partial occupation and no means of access, except via water taxi. The "road" is notoriously sandy with a depth and texture that will swallow most 4x4 vehicles.
Our attempt to get there was denied about a mile into the section along the dunes. The sand kept getting deeper and the sand patches got longer. I dumped my bike once, which gave JT the chance to film how to right these heavy beasts. Then it was JT's turn. He attempted to turn around and found his bike chain deep in sand with no way to get out. We took this opportunity to film the procedure of getting unstuck. It all went well and we were both pleased to turn a bad situation into a good one. The swim in the bay helped, too, since we were sweating in the heat of the Baja sun after that ordeal.
The El Mogote has another story that needs to be mentioned. There are a number of shark fishing operations and is also a sea turtle nesting site. The turtles come to this peninsula to lay their eggs and the locals have instituted a "Protect and Release" policy. Forty-five days after the eggs have been laid, the babies hatch and the locals help get them to the water.
We met a wonderfully interesting man tonight named David from Alaska. He is riding a bicycle along the Baja Divide trail (the length of the peninsula). We had a beer and several tacos together as we swapped stories. We had seen him several times in multiple places along our route and were glad to get his story and comments on film.