First order of business this morning is a trip to the laundromat. We attempted this yesterday but arrived to find it closes at 2pm. As a result, we get a late start and don’t roll out until 11am.
Heading south we see evidence of the housing boom and subsequent bust. Half-finished buildings sit windowless, rebar exposed at their tops. Telephone poles stand without wires connecting them.
We’re riding through the Valley of the Giants, named for the Cardon cactus that are native to the area. They resemble the saguaro cactus. The cardon are the tallest cactus in the world. One has been recorded at 63 feet tall and they can live for hundreds of years.
The Sea of Cortez is to our left, beautiful and inviting, but always out of reach. The heat is oppressive. I have no idea what the temperature is, but I’m exhausted by 2pm and we’ve only covered half the distance. The billboards advertising developments that never materialized provide a brief relief from the sun.
Our destination for the night is Puertecitos, a small town known for its hot springs along the shore. We arrive as the tide is going out, exposing the hot springs below. The hottest springs are closest to land, the cooler ones closer to the ocean where the cool and hot water mix. As the tide goes further out the pools become hotter and we have to move to pools closer to the ocean. Like Goldilocks, we test the pools until we find the one that is just right. It’s heavenly, soaking in the springs, watching the moon rise.
Afterwards we come back to a cove we’re camped at tonight. Fresh water is so scarce here they have to truck it in. As such, there are no showers, but they provide a large bucket of non-potable water and a stone enclosure to wash up in. We’ve become quite proficient with water rationing and I’ve got bucket bathing down to a science. In the strictest occasions all I need is 1 liter. That includes everything except shampooing my hair. It’s not the best wash or rinse, but I feel cleaner after than I did before. After going to the hot springs I feel saltier than before I went in. After thinking about nothing but water all day, I’ve never been so excited at the prospect of a bucket bath.