From La Constitution, a women’s running club accompanies me. The women run 21 kilometres with me and party behind me. It gets very hot again and the closer I get to La Paz, the higher the humidity. On the night ferry, which takes 11 hours across the Sea of Cortez, I can get some sleep on deck in my sleeping bag. The 5 weeks through the Baja California desert landscape was a great experience, but now I am looking forward to a new section. On schedule I am 2 days ahead.
In the port of Mazatlàn, media and the baseball team are waiting for me. I am kitted out with a Venados jersey and flag and walk a lap of the city to the stadium with the Venados mascot.
After Villa Union there is a brilliant climb from sea level up to 2800 metres, which takes me 3 days. As it also goes downhill again and again, the total ascent is 4000 metres. At the foot of the climb, I am told that there are no police on the side road I take from here on, but that the area is a marijuana and opium cultivation area and is completely controlled by the cartel. The people are informed that I am coming and they know who I am. They will watch me and probably control me, but if I follow their rules, everything will be fine.
10 kilometres after Concordia, the first wardens appear. Young men on dirt bikes, with walkie-talkies and pistols in their belts. A little later, a man with a radio comes out of the bush, wanting to know exactly what Ravier’s film crew, following me in the car, is doing. The drone in particular is given clear instructions on where it may and may not fly.
The higher I walk up the mountain, the wilder the landscape becomes and the more reserved, but always friendly, the people I meet become. But I can tell by their clothes and radio bones that they are involved with the narcos. I pass high waterfalls and spectacular rock faces. It is the rainy season and I experience a first heavy rain. I take off my shirt and just keep walking through the rain and enjoy the cooling.