The morning of the 29th saw us leaving the hotel in Ensenada early, on the road by 8.10am. This two-day leg would take us first to Guerro Negro, west side of the Baja peninsula, and then to Loreta, on the east side of the peninsula. Industrial areas and half-built warehouses petered out, giving way to more rural scenery. Highway 1, our main route down Baja, is a no-nonsense kind of road and seems to have been built by people who REALLY liked straight lines. The wide, dusty road ploughs directly ahead across the flat desert landscape, intermittently rolling through small villages built alongside the highway, characterised by tens of small food stands selling tacos, burritos etc at dirt cheap prices. On this road, straights of 20-30km are not uncommon and for the first third of the journey we were in danger of falling asleep, it was that tedious, and we were a little worried that this would typify our Baja experience. After a lunch stop at El Rosario, we rapidly recognised that nothing could be futher from the truth. The sign as we left El Rosario should have given us an inkling of what was ahead – no petrol for 314km. Nervously calculating our tank range to make sure we’d make it through, we approached the northern foothills of the Baja desert. The road led up onto the vast desert plateau, winding up, down, left and right like a rollercoaster, climbing over and down the shoulders of hills as it followed the contours of the undulating desert landscape. This is perhaps the best road in the world for bikes – smooth tarmac, minimal traffic, and incredibly beautiful scenery. Temperatures were in the 40s and the Platypus drinking systems were working overtime – even at 50-60mph, our comfortable cruising speed, we were drenched in sweat, and opening the visor to let more air in was identical to opening an oven door – a solid blast of hot, dry air that dries out your eyeballs and lips in milliseconds. The desert terrain looks like something out of a Tolkien novel – huge expanses of desert covered with scrubby trees, and colossal, towering mountains looming in the distance – we feel very, very small and vulnerable in the wide-open expanse of baking desert, the only other signs of humanity are the tiny whitewashed cafes, many abandoned and ruined, dotted alongside the highway every twenty miles or so, and the huge trucks that occasionally come thundering past in the opposite direction with a blast and a thump of diesel smoke. The drop out of the desert was equally stunning, winding down through the mountains at the edge of the plateau onto a desolate plain, which we crossed on a road that ran die-straight for 30miles, eventually bringing us into Guerrero Negro for the night (hotel – $20)…! We didn’t think it could get much better – but the next day did just that. Again, we had a straight, boring lead-in to the desert roads but then we were out into the desert again, weaving across dry riverbeds, through massive boulder fields and eventually culminating in a dramatic descent, down a thread of tarmac that clings, somehow, to the dry edges of the plunging valleys as we head tentatively down the intense gradient into Santa Rosalia, a bustling fishing village on the coast, for lunch. We left Santa Rosalia headed for Loreto – however, we weer distracted by a narrow track that led us to the top of a mountain and provided us with some of the most spectacular 360deg views ever – see photos! Headed for Loreto once again, we rounded a headland onto Bahia de Conception to be presented with a fantastic sight – a superb beach, clear blue seas washing around the rocky coastline either side and pelicans fishing lazily just off the shore. Abandoning plans to make Loreto that evening, we plunged into the bath-temperatue water for a swim, later watching the sun drop over the islets out in the bay with a cold beer… The only downside to this idyllic location was that the temperature stayed at 34deg all night…making sleeping a little difficult…!