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Old 01-08-2012, 09:08 AM   #46
donnh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motowest View Post
Enjoying your report so far.

Like others, I hope to get to Baja someday (it just hasn't happened yet).
Hey motowest - it's much closer for you. You should check it out some day, nice people, decent roads, nice offroad stuff, all good! We're having a blast. Thanks for following .
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:11 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by snooker View Post
If I remember correctly from my windsurfing days in the 1980's, that is THE spot in Baja for windsurfing. Nowadays kitesailing. You probably already know this as I hope you are having wind and seeing it for yourself! OK now I googled it and there is a big event there Jan 12-16 called Lord Of The Wind Showdown, with a $20,000 cash purse, the biggest in North America, according to LordOfTheWindBaja.com (you may already know this as well!) So either stay another week or hit it on your way back? enjoy.
Yes, there were kiteboarders everywhere. That probably explained all the people from Hood River. Indeed they are getting ready for Lord Of The Wind but I asked at the hotel and they didn't expect to be full, strange. I hope it works out.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:45 PM   #48
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Return Trip Stopover in NorCAL?

Enjoyed reading your RRs...
Getting ready for my own trip to Baja next week...but I'm kinda cheating...flying down to stay with a fellow ADV'er who's been spending the winters down there. I fly in, he picks me up at the airport and we head to his rental house in Los Barriles...then we ride his bikes! Wanted to ride down on my 950 but couldn't afford that much time off. Oh well...still not complaining! Get to ride dirt bikes in BCS!
Let me know if you need a place to crash in NorCal on your way back to WA.... I'll send you a PM so you'll have my contact info.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:35 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by yankeewog View Post
Enjoyed reading your RRs...
Getting ready for my own trip to Baja next week...but I'm kinda cheating...flying down to stay with a fellow ADV'er who's been spending the winters down there. I fly in, he picks me up at the airport and we head to his rental house in Los Barriles...then we ride his bikes! Wanted to ride down on my 950 but couldn't afford that much time off. Oh well...still not complaining! Get to ride dirt bikes in BCS!
Let me know if you need a place to crash in NorCal on your way back to WA.... I'll send you a PM so you'll have my contact info.
Ah, I replied to your PM before I read this. You'll have fun there is some good mountain riding down there. Look up a guy named Ronnie who's dad owns the Martin Verdogo's resort, he rides a KTM and said he knows all the good places to ride. He often works the afternoon shift in the office near the main gate.

I would also recommend the road north from Los Barriles and make the loop we did. If you are on smaller bikes skip the paved road and ride along the beach to where the roads connect.

Have fun
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:16 PM   #50
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Leaving in the AM

Maybe we'll pass you on the way down
We are leaving Redding, Ca in the morning, We'll drive to Santa Veronica, We can leave our truck there.
We'll start off Tuesday morning, and our next night will be in San Felipe
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #51
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In bay of LA

Quick update. We made it to the Bay of LA but have a really bad connection so pictures will have to wait.
Stay tuned.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:34 PM   #52
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Nice report.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:51 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donnh View Post



Saw this guy in San Felipe this weekend.

-John
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:07 PM   #54
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Kim and I are really enjoying the ride report and are glad you got to see Doug in Mexico, I'm looking forward to hearing all about that. Now since many of us are living vicariously through your adventure, isn't it about time you knocked the sand off your asses, got back on the bikes and headed for Peru and the finish line of the Dakar Rally? There's nothing but the Darien Gap and a few thousand (OK maybe a lot) more miles in your way. You have a week, go for it!
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Torm View Post
Kim and I are really enjoying the ride report and are glad you got to see Doug in Mexico, I'm looking forward to hearing all about that. Now since many of us are living vicariously through your adventure, isn't it about time you knocked the sand off your asses, got back on the bikes and headed for Peru and the finish line of the Dakar Rally? There's nothing but the Darien Gap and a few thousand (OK maybe a lot) more miles in your way. You have a week, go for it!
Hey Torm - good to see you post on ADV. Peru??? Hmmm, maybe someday. Why don't you and Kim join us so we have a translator?
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #56
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Loreto to Mulege
The plan for the day was to start with a ride to the San Javier mission outside of Loreto. It’s about 30 miles in from the highway and about half was paved. As usual we started with a leisurely morning of coffee, breakfast, a walk on the beach and I took time to upload my last ride report.

Morning at the Oasis Hotel in Loreto


Almost ready to ride



We hit the road about 10:00 am and rode the first 15 miles on a great twisty two lane, nicely paved roadway. As is typical in Baja the pavement suddenly ended and we spent the next half hour on gravel and rocks up the rest of the mountain to the old mission. The road makes a curve around a hill and suddenly we saw the old church sitting there surrounded by a few houses and cobblestone roads. We stopped for a walk around and a few pictures.

Paved section to San Javiar


More of the same


The Mission




Completed in 1758? Wow.


Cobblestone streets in the small village at San Javiar


Buzzards watching over children at the local watering hole


Even the gravel road had white painted rocks to mark the edge'


Goat Crossing


By the time we were back to the main highway we only were as far as Mulege before it was starting to get late in the afternoon so we looked for a place to stay. Lenny who we met at Gonzaga bay who boasted that he knew everything about Baja insisted we go to a place called Jungle Jim’s to eat and stay at a hotel next to it called Cliffs. We located Jungle Jim’s but it looked like it had been closed down for a couple of years and there was no sign of a hotel nearby, why was I not surprised. Next we saw a sign by the road advertising cabins for rent $38. We rode down the road and found some cabins but the office was closed. We asked some gringo’s walking by and they said the office was always closed and couldn’t help us. One of them recommended the Mulege Hotel in town which is where we ended up, $35 for the nicest room. The room was all concrete from the concrete walls, floor, table extruding from wall and raised concrete slabs for the mattress. At least I felt secure in case there were any hurricanes heading our way. A little later we met the guy from the cabins that recommended the hotel and he suggested a place for dinner where we met him and two co-workers. They were down from the US working on the big copper mine expansion project in Santa Roselia, 20 miles up the road. They were staying in Mulege because all the mine workers have filled up the hotels in Santa Roselia. I glad we didn’t try to make the extra miles to stay there. After dinner we decided to call it a night and get an early start the next day.

A beach stop on the way to Mulege


Motorcycle Parking



Mulege to Guerrero Negro

We had been told that we shouldn’t miss going to San Ignacio Bay to look for whales, that this was prime whale watching time. We got up early and were on the road by 8:00 AM. For the first time on this trip we started out the day wearing heated gear with the controllers on high, it was 41 degrees. We skipped breakfast with the plan to ride about 100 miles to the city of San Ignacio and have breakfast at Rice and Beans, the place we stayed on New Year’s Eve.

We had a fantastic meal at Rice and Beans, we were the only people in the restaurant and it looked like the hotel was empty. There was one camper in the RV parking spots. We talked to Ricardo, the owner and he pointed us to the road to the bay where the whales were. He said it was an easy road with some pavement then “A typical Mexican road with rocks, sand and gravel”. That part was right. We followed the road into the main part of town where it circled around the town square. Just past the town square we saw a sign with an arrow to the bay and we followed it. Suddenly the road turned into a two rut rocky narrow uphill path heading behind some old buildings. Was this really it? We turned around and circled back, did we miss something. No, we once again followed the sign down the narrow track, this time a little further up and around a corner when suddenly there was a brand new two lane beautiful blacktop road with painted lines and guardrails. I’m not sure what that was about, I guess they didn’t have enough money to connect it the ¼ mile to the main town square. The first twenty miles was a blast on the nice new road twisting through the mountains towards the Pacific coast. The second twenty miles was, well, a typical Mexican road. Some true adventure riding with every type of terrain.

Hard pan mud on the way to San Ignacio Bay


Almost without warning we were riding in the deep stuff. Deby's bike got tired and took a little nap


Up to try it again -what a trooper. We learned a sand technique called the Dog Paddle


No naps here


After over an hour of beating up the bikes and ourselves we arrived at the beach and a hand painted sign that said “whale watching” with an arrow. We followed the arrow to a row of what looked like new cabins along the beach which looked like they were make for whale watchers to spend the night in. We parked next to one of them and were ready to watch the whales. As I was getting the binoculars out of my bag a woman in her 20s with a baby in tow approached us. “We’re not open” she said when she got within earshot. I told her we were just there to see all the whales and she laughed when she said we were probably a couple of weeks early and not to believe all the publicity in the tour books. We talked for a while and learned that at the right time of year this is one of the best places to watch whales right from shore. If we had time we could take a boat out to some outer islands where there might be whales but none would be coming into the inlet yet. No worries, it was a fantastic beach and Deby and I took off looking for beach treasures.

Collecting shells - the ride was worth it


Tortoise shells were on the beach


Whale watching cabins


Resourceful building technique, tires filled with sand and stacked.


Riding back out


Giant cacti along the way






We finally pointed our bikes back out the gravel road and to San Ignacio for lunch where we met some German tourists who just came back from a whale watching trip in a boat and said they saw whales all around them. So, maybe next time.

By this time we were starting to look at the map and the calendar and realized that to get across the border on the 12th we would have to start logging some miles. We blasted on highway 1 and made it to Gurrrero Negro just as it was starting to get dark. At the hotel we were greeted by another Canadian riding a BMW 1150GS Adventure who had just checked in. Interesting guy, a semi-retired helicopter pilot. We drank a beer and swapped stories about our adventures.

Stay tuned
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 PM   #57
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Good stuff....That is a rough road to the whales. Keep it coming
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:16 AM   #58
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Super ride and report. Your "1st time to Baja" perspective is excellent. Makes me want to go back, now!

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Old 01-15-2012, 05:54 PM   #59
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Guerrero Negro to Bay of LA


I couldn’t see any reason to hang around Guerrero Negro so we packed up and got a relatively early start towards the Bay of LA. We had finally met enough people on the trip who insisted that we not miss the Bay of LA that we decided to make the short ride over from Guerrero Negro. We were immediately sidetracked when we noticed a road about 20 miles north of our starting point that cut over to the ocean at Punta Santo Domingo. It was marked as a graded road so we decided to make a second attempt at spotting some whales in the Pacific Ocean. We rode approximately 10 miles on another “typical” Mexican road to the ocean. We parked on a beautiful white sand beach and walked around looking out the binoculars for the elusive whales. Seeing none, we reverted to beach combing which again was amazing. Deby found more shells and other treasures and carefully packed them away before we made the ride back to Mex 1.

Along the beach





The next hour or so was spent riding on the long straight boring highway until the turnoff to Bay of LA. At the turn off the road goes almost due East back to the Sea of Cortez side. Once we made some distance from the ocean the air warmed up and we were soon pulled over peeling off a couple layers of gear. We hadn’t seen a car either direction since the turn off and when we stopped a guy on a BMW GS blew past us without slowing down but questioned with hand signals if we were OK. We replied with thumbs up and he continued on.

Giant cactus on the way to Bay of LA



Gringos use the term Bay of LA for our destination, the more accurate name is Bahia de Los Angeles. The last hour of riding took us on a fantastic newly paved twisty road through the Sierra La Libertad mountain range. In the past this had been a gravel road of some challenge but now the whole distance was an easy ride. It was only about 1:00 in the afternoon when we arrived so we rode up and down the main street looking for a suitable place for lunch when we passed the BMW again, it looked like he was doing the same thing. We reached the end of town and turned around and saw the beemer stopped at what looked like a restaurant so we stopped and parked behind him. We chatted only for a brief time when we realized that we weren’t at a restaurant but a convenience store of sorts and the BMW guy was just getting some supplies for the road. He told us he was riding with a group and they got separated and he had to get to San Francisquito to meet them. He seemed in a hurry and went in the store and Deby and I rode across the street and found a place to eat at a hotel near the boat launch.

After a great lunch of yet more fish tacos while watching fishing boats coming and going on the boat launch we decided to see what other hotels were in town. We drove around for a while and found the Costa Del Sol hotel in about the middle of town. We pulled in and recognized a family that had been staying at the hotel in Los Barriles, the father was one of the people who told us not to miss Bay of LA. He laughed when he saw us and said he was glad we took his advice to visit and suggested this was the best place to stay in town. Of course they had a room since the family was the only people staying there.

We settled and went for a stroll on the perfect sandy beach along the bay. We looked down and found a perfectly intact conch shell, wow, you don’t see them very often. Deby scooped it up and put it in her pocket. We walked 10 feet and saw another, scoop, 10 feet and another scoop and then we realized the beach was full of these shells spaced about every 10 feet for as far as we could see. By the time we started walking back to the hotel Deby had a bag full of conch shells and was wondering how she was going to get these treasures packed so they wouldn’t break. Of course she found a way.

Giant footprints on conch shell beach



Walking up the steps to the hotel we heard two motorcycles pulling into the parking lot. I walked over to see two guys on 990 KTMs getting off their bikes. The first words I heard from the first on was “Hey – you must be Deby and Donn!” That was a shocker. They had been following my ADV ride report and thought they might run into us. They asked if we saw someone on a big GS go past. I told him of our encounter and they laughed. They explained that was Ron Peck who is of some motorcycle fame. He must have thought he was behind everyone and was trying to catch up when in reality he was in the lead after the group was separated. I went to his blog and had a good laugh, his pictures look a lot like mine.

http://ronsblog.ronpeckmotorcycles.com/

KTM rider (sorry forgot your name)


A little while later the rest of their group arrived at the hotel, two KLRs, a 650GS Dakar and a Versys. We found out over dinner that one of the riders on a KLR, John, had a pretty bad crash caused by a front tire blow out going 70 on the road in. He looked ok and his bike only had a few scratches so we all commented on how lucky he was. John seemed a little quiet at dinner and turned in early, I had a suspicion maybe all was not as well as it seemed.

The rest of the bikes



Bay of LA to Santos Tomas



The next morning John asked us if we were heading back north and where we had our truck parked, he was thinking of joining us. By coincidence our truck was parked in the same storage facility as his. The rest of his group had two more weeks of riding and were heading south. With a very good week of riding under his belt I could tell John was torn between bailing on his friends or take advantage of someone to make the two day ride to the border and his truck with him. I didn’t ask too many questions but it became pretty clear that he probably had more than a few broken ribs. In my book broken bones should get anyone a free pass to return home. After some discussion with his buddies John packed his bike and followed us back out the nice twisty road to Mex 1.

Hotel at Bay of LA - highly recommended. Wait, is that a Northwest Norton Owners sticker on the left side?


We had an initial thought that we could make good enough time to cross the border before dark, not a chance. We pretty much just blasted north settling into the groove of passing and being passed. We passed the turnoff to Coco’s and the road gradually curved West towards the Pacific ocean and the cooler breezes.

Gasolina stop


John getting his fill


We stopped in San Quintin for our daily ration of fish tacos at a road side stand. The ground under the tables was covered with shells as ground cover.


We headed north with the idea of spending the night at San Vincente, a town I thought I read was a nice stop in one of the many ride reports I read as preparation for the ride. We cruised through town and didn’t really see any place to stop so before we knew it we were through town as it was starting to get dark. I considered turning around and making another sweep of San Vincente but decided to chance it and make a run to the next small town on the map, Santo Tomas. I know we would be getting there almost as it got dark and hoped there was a hotel in town. Deby and John gladly followed behind me assuming I had some type of plan, ha.

Horse transport along the way


Typical warning sign for an upcoming military checkpoint


I stopped at the first sign I saw that said Hotel on the left side of the road. Yes they had rooms, yes they were 350 pesos (about $25.00, hmmmm), yes they had secure parking, yes they had a restaurant and no, they don’t have any internet. We didn’t even ask to see the rooms, paid our 350 pesos and picked up keys. The proprietress who we later came to know as Emma asked us if we would be having dinner in the restaurant, when we said yes she wanted to know what time. “Not too soon”, she told us so we scheduled our dinner appointment for 6:30. I presume that gave her enough time to call in someone to cook for us.

At least the room had heat - someone had to come to the room to light the fire


Ahhh - a warm fire and glass of wine after a long day's ride


John and our hostess Emma with her homemade wine.


Typical of the whole trip. It really didn't matter because the TV wouldn't turn on.


We called it a night and got a good night sleep in preparation for the final leg the next day.

Next: Summary report
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2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:07 AM   #60
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Thanks for sharing, great pictures. My brother and I are headed to Baja the first week of April and reading as much as we can before we go.
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