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Old 02-04-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
warp9man OP
Gravel in my Travel
 
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Baja Virgin's....We do it 2 up

So the wife and I were getting a bit tired of the 18 degree weather in Utah and I had been dreaming of doing a Baja ride for as long as I can remember. So I waited for the coldest of days a drop my evil plan in her mind, promising her warm days and white sand beaches. My mind bomb worked on her and she agreed that it sounded like a plan. So the plan was to trailer from Layton Utah to Yuma Arizona where we have family, spend the night and ride the bike from there down through Baja and travel as far as our time off would allow us and then retrace our route back. Day 1 has us driving most the day from Layton, Utah to Yuma, Arizona.
Day 2 with bike insurance in hand and a set of fresh tires we took the short ride on I-8 out of Yuma and found ourselves staring at the Algadones border crossing.
(sorry but some of our pics are crappy cell phone pics)


We have been to Mexico a couple times but never crossed by bike or car so this was going to be an experience for us. We rolled up to the gate expecting to have to get off the bike and show paperwork, to our amazement there is no one stopping you, there is a simple wave and that’s it….you’re in Mexico!
Getting our tourist Visa’s was pretty easy, after a short detour and a few wrong turns, the wife figured out where we needed to go and did the instructional slap on the shoulder (means I’m doing something wrong, lol). As soon as you cross the border the INM office is the 2nd little white building on your right and there is room to park the Moto right in front of the office while you do your Visa paper work.


We went in with our passports, filled out some forms and then instructed to take the forms to the HSBC right behind the office, pay $25 bucks per Visa (per person, BTW there good for 6 months.) While at HSBC we also changed some US currency into Peso’s then headed back to the INM office with our receipt, then got a stamp of approval. Whole process takes about 30-45 minutes so don’t plan it being a quick thing, as we were told before we left, everything happens on Baja time down there which I have now mathematically figured is Half US speed, even traveling takes twice as long, it seems like every time we stop someone wants to talk to us which we love but it always puts you behind on travel time. Remember you’re on Vacation so enjoy the time, conversation and the ride.
Once we were back on the bike we consulted Google maps to get out of town and on to HWY2 heading west. Yes I had a GPS but it didn’t have Mexico maps and on this trip was really a glorified MP3 player.
On 2 we needed to catch 2D southwest which is a short toll road (16 peso’s) that bypasses Mexicali and drops you onto Hwy 5 which is the road we would be using to head south.
On hwy 5 we stopped at our first authentic Mexican restaurant, freaking delicious and pretty cheap.

the great food



Funny story about this food stop: We drive by a couple food places and wife gives the slap on the shoulder and wants to turn around and go eat lunch. I ask her, “ O…at that Abierto place?” She starts laughing at me and says “Yes…but Abierto means open…hahaha.” She wonders why I think everything has the same name, lol. Yes my Spanish sucks….nuff said.
Back on the road we were making tracks towards San Felipe, passing through Laguna Salida, I was warned there were high winds through here but we were blessed with no wind and smooth pavement. This place looked like a brown version of the Bonneville salt flats.




turn down your volume!!, all of our riding video have tons of wind. Sorry...you were warned

End of the day finds us in San Felipe looking for a hotel as the sun was going down so we were stressing about finding a place before it was dark. We cruised around for a bit actually looking for El Cortez hotel (from others reviews) and rode past a good looking place called KiKi’s. We rolled in to check out the rooms and found Kiki’s was a Hotel/RV park that was right on the ocean, decent prices, clean rooms, awesome staff and the most import thing that we Americans take for granted…Hot Water. Paid $600pesos ($46) because we had large bills and they didn’t really have change, they just said, “that’s good…600pesos is ok”. It was suppose to be like 650. So feel free to negotiate.



We also did find the El Cortez (in case you’re wondering), the next day and actually stopped in to check it out. It is nice too, they said $65usd per night, also on the water and had a pool. But Kiki’s was just as nice, smaller and all the Canadians and a few Yanks spend the winter in their RV’s there. They are sure to come up and chat your ear off, invite you for a drink, offer you chairs and yell at you when they spot dolphins and sea lions out in the water. I somehow don’t think the El Cortez is host to such a friendly & lively bunch.
views from the KiKi's beach







After getting set up we cruise into down town to find some grub, we use our sense of smell and it leads us to “Fat Boys Pizza & Bar” which is owned by an American who serves pizza, pasta and Mexican food. We park the bike right on the side walk and are chowing down on some delicious food in no time. The owner, who also rides, spots our bike and chats with us forever telling us his tales. Great guy and the food was awesome. He also advises us on just how safe Baja is but does note for us to bring our helmets inside for future note.

While we were there this guy rolls in with his electric guitar and an amp, he asks if we want to hear any Clapton, CCR, Pink Floyd or Bruce Springsteen. I hit him up for some Pink Floyd and CCR and wondering just how well this will go with his strong Spanish accent. Amazed…he actually did really good! Assuming he works off tips and takes what you give him, I pull out $2 and have it resting on the table while he sings the last song….boy was I wrong, he gets done and says…that’s $4 bucks….I was a bit shocked and kind of annoyed but pulled out another $2. Damn! I must have Tourista printed on my head, ok I won’t be doing that again, but to his credit the guy was good!

Day 3: This morning we have plans to ride to Guerro Negro and know it’s going to be a long ride but not really in a hurry. Grab some breakfast on the Malecon and head down Hwy 5 towards Puertocitios.


Following the picturesque coastline on the sparsely driven hwy 5…..I’m happy, relaxed and possibly starting to slow my mind and mold into Baja….thinking of nothing but what is around you. My relaxed state is occasionally interrupted abruptly by the unmarked giant G-outs in the asphalt between San Felipe and worse as you get closer to Puertocitos. Hit just one at significant speed and grind your back tire on any newly installed tool tray under your seat and it will keep you on your toes. Not saying I know this from experience…..lol.



a little diversion from Hwy 5 to the ocean



We see signs for Puertocitos and decide to pull off and grab some fuel before the pavement is sure to end soon. Puertocitos is a small fishing village (like most) and there isn’t much there but we got some gas and keep going south. We pull off here and there to get the necessary coastline photo.


We later pass what we now see is 2 dirt bikes sporting large desert tanks and 2 ATV’s busting down the highway.

I have to say we didn’t expect the ATV’s. I don’t image they had too much fun with the quads on the pavement . We get to the end of the pavement and we see a few more dirt bikes and guys walking around, this was the rest of the group that we had heard earlier. We stop once again to chat and to take out our jacket liners, as the day was warming up comfortably. As we try to chat with the group, we find they are local Mexican’s doing a day ride from San Felipe to Coco’s and back. The stragglers’ of their group finally arrive and we all gear up to head south toward Gonzaga bay / Alfonsia’s Resort.




While on this gravel road we came around a corner and Bam!!!…there’s a military checkpoint.


Didn’t really expect to see that in the middle of nowhere. We didn’t have any problems but the place looks like it was out of a movie set manned by 2-3 guys and nothing but a small building and a drop gate that seemed comical because you could just drive around it, they smiled and waved us though as they searched a pickup with some happy Californian’s that were happy and joking around as we rode past.
pulling into Gonzaga bay

It’s a good thing we got gas in Puertocetios because the Pemex station in Gonzaga bay had been closed for weeks because they were out of gas. There’s a small but surprisingly well stocked convenience store that’s attached to a small restaurant, which turns out to serve very bad food, so grab something from the store…trust me you will be much happier. If you’re dying for something to eat in Gonzaga, turn east and head 1-2 miles towards Alfonsia’s resort, while it’s not much of a “Resort” the food was good. We also caught up once again the dirt bike/ATV group. We chatted a bit more and were kind of entertained as we seen a few of the watching the satellite tv out on the patio but the funny bit was they were watching “American Pickers” and they had Spanish speaking voice overs, which was hilarious to hear. After a quick snack and a coke we motored on towards Coco’s Corner.

Headin from Gonzaga towards CoCo's Corner



turn down your volume


found my missing boat...its on hwy 5 in the desert heading towards coco's



Pulling into CoCo's Corner


Coco is a bit of a celebrity to the Baja crowd. He’s a desert nomad that has a quirky place made out of stuff people have left in the desert.



He sells cold Beer and Coke’s from his Solar ran Fridge system. I was amazed at how cold they were.

While there Coco asks you to sign his book. He asks all travelers to sign their names, where they’re from, where they’re going and he usually draws and colors in what type of vehicle you were riding/driving. Coco is a double amputee and gets around quit well. He has a great spirit and attitude towards life. We once again caught up to the dirt bike/ATV group and since they spoke Spanish and arrived before us, they were pretty involved in a conversation with Coco but we did get to chat for a bit before he asks, where we are heading. When we tell him and the others that we are going to Guerro Negro, they all look at us with big eyes and say, “tonight?” They tell us it’s about 3hrs and since it’s already about 2:30pm we need to get going. Coco advises us on a slightly less bumpy route to hwy 1 but as we come up to his route we are also in viewing distance to hwy 1 and decide to just stay on the main route we are on because it really wasn’t bad, at least for us, just some stutter bumps that the suspension was soaking up nicely.
heading out of coco's heading towards the main Hwy runing down Baja...Hwy 1

Hwy 1 in the distance

We turn south off the dirt and onto the paved hwy 1 and looking to make some good time. We really expected the road to be busier than it was. Again…. peaceful and content to motor along without many reminders of civilization. We do stop at the notorious pick-up truck filled with 55gal barrels of fuel and welcome getting some questionable fuel to insure we can make it to Guerro Negro before nightfall.

It is a nice ride with smooth asphalt that rises, falls, and curves with the terrain. We followed the views of the giant cactus, Valley of the Candles, as we were told due to the orange blossoms on top of the cactus literally looking like giant candles.




We were making great time but did encounter a decent section of road construction where they route you onto some rough dirt road (you know the type that would never fly in the States), like big dirt pot holes, some sand, big lips and some dips but nothing impassable even 2 up on a fully loaded beast. There was also a water truck coming toward us that was kind enough to turn the water off as he passed us and all the construction crew, even the heavy equipment operators all took time to look and wave as we passed by. We passed thru one more check point just as we came into Guerro Negro and were once again just waived thru.


It was almost dark out with just a speck of ambient light left on the horizon as we rolled into Guerro Negro. Not really ideal. We drove down the main drag passing quite a few hotels and food joints, then turned around and went to the first hotel we had passed coming in called the Cowboy Hotel. It looked a lot better and the hotels seemed to get worse as you go further into town. We got a room for $50pesos/$36usd for the night. They had hot water, clean, somewhat protected parking and a small restaurant. We were beat so we ate on site, the food was pretty good and cheap.



Walking back to our room a guy asked us if the food was any good. He was a baja diehard from California that loves to ride his ATV and was in route to his own adventure. He gave us some tips on our plans south including a stop in San Ignacio and if we stayed there to check out the Ignacio Springs B&B. Shower and bed for me but the wife didn’t like Guerro Negro and was determined we would be staying at a nice place for at least 2 nights in Loreto to relax so she stayed up and attacked the free wifi on her blackberry before she surrendered to sleep.

stay tuned..more to come!

warp9man screwed with this post 02-04-2012 at 02:34 PM
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
Flashmo
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Nice trip, so far.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
inbred
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Keep it coming. Great job. Cute girlfriend as well. She seems to go along with everything.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:18 PM   #4
Gale B.T.
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Great ride, great RR, pics , all the good stuff. If that KTM sounds as nice as it looks how about on your next video hold that camera close enough to the twin pipes we also get the sound. My 640 LC 4 sound is nice but nothing like those twins

Thanks again,
gale,

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=572583
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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Great report your info is very valuable myself and my brother-in-law are heading down to do the Baja end of the month. Keep it coming.

Thanks.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:41 PM   #6
warp9man OP
Gravel in my Travel
 
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True.North. I hope its usefull, before the Wife and I left we poured over RR's to find useful info.

Gale B.T. I agree man, i bought Akro's just for the sound but on real long rides i put the baffles in so it doesnt piss of the locals but when you open the cans up she really sings, wish i would have left the cans open because if you crack the throttle it scares the dogs away that chase you in the villages ha-ha!

Inbred the Girlfriend has been forcefuly married to me for 22 years now. i keep her in the house so she knows no better than stick it out with me! but truthfuly she's a good trooper and doesnt complain much even if i accidently break her finger as you will find out later in the RR

flashmo thanks man, im working on more as we speak....seems RR's take more work than the actual trip sometimes
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #7
warp9man OP
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We woke early to get underway. Wife so disliked Guerro Negro that she didn’t want breakfast here and opted to eat the nuts and snacks we had in our bags. On the upside the wife was pleased as she had an email stating she was successful as securing one of the nicest accommodations in Loreto. So it was gas and go today. Not going to be as long as yesterday but definitely wanted to arrive by about 3pm in Loreto with a planned stop for lunch in San Ignacio and some sight seeing.
The rode south was quiet with very minimal traffic. We passed thru one town, don’t remember the name but it had the split highway set-up as you go thru town. I’ve seen this set-up in Cabo San Lucas before so it didn’t catch me off guard and for once in Baja, I knew the drill, lol. Cute town, not big but not small and the wife actually said she would rather stay there than in Guerro Negro again. The road is pretty much straight, and kind of boring except for the BAB’s (big ass birds) that were a frequent site on the tops of the power poles that follow the hwy. Found later that the big black one’s are Turkey Vultures, in case you’re curious.
We arrived in San Ignacio and were pleasantly surprised to see a little valley completely full of large palm trees. This was a nice change and we were happy to stop.











We grabbed some early lunch at the closest food joint which was Rice & Beans. The food was really good. We sat on the open balcony seating in the warm sun and looked out at the palm trees.











Feeling like a vacation more and more. We had the company of a talkative white cat with almost fluorescent blue eyes that was patiently waiting for some morsel to fall his way, and we didn’t disappoint him.






Full stomach finally! We were curious as to this little oasis. We jumped on the bike and made a quick cruise down the road to our right La Joya (if you look at a map), then turned around to head into San Ignacio. A short distance off hwy 1 we find the Ignacio Springs B&B and decide to check it out for future accommodations possibly on our way back home.





We were greeted by an upbeat Canadian lady named Terry that showed us the accommodations. It was all Yurts….sweet, some for $65 that had a shared bath/shower house but only shared with one other yurt, the $85 yurt had a private attached bath, or $125 for a larger yurt with private bath and waterfront patio. Funny we didn’t even see any water until she walks us over to a rock wall and we look over to calm, smooth, spring fed, large river. We walked over some stairs to the waterfront lounge chairs and then she showed us to some kayaks and said it’s all free to use and just paddle down 2 miles to where the spring starts to check out some fish and a good swimming hole fed by the warm springs. We were impressed and now determined to somehow fit this place into our agenda on our return trip! We must see more. there website is www.ignaciosprings.com
as were leaving the B&B we were greated with some serious horse power


We grab some gas in San Ignacio and head south toward Santa Rosalita. The hwy suddenly changes pace and becomes much more fun once again with twists, turns, and changes in elevation. I like this…..!








We start catching sight of the Sea of Cortez as we wind down the hills toward Santa Rosalita. As we get close we see a beautiful beach to our left and a landfill overlook to our right? Wtf? Guess there is no city planning there, lol. Welcome to Baja. Lots of garbage near the landfill with plastic bags stuck to every kind of vegetation, kind of sad to see.





Then we see old rusty factory plants around and cruise past what looks like a Marina wall under construction just off the shore.


Store, hotels, and multiple Pemex stations as we ride thru then we come to a stop near a round-a-bout with a small old locomotive on display at the center of town. I see what appears to be a 18” tall geyser of water coming out of a drain in my side of the road.
As I get closer I get the distinct smell of raw sewage and realize the water is a yellow brown color!! I will get a shoulder slap for sure if I get the shit on her, lol! I do like her company and my bike so I make sure to hug the curb and try to avoid the sewage fountain in front of me. I spared you the smello vision picture Other than the trash and the sewage fountain on the road that runs right into the ocean….I suppose Santa Rosalita has a lot to offer but on this ride through we just rode on thru.


The ride was nice as we came into Mulege. The road is simply a blast and left me dreaming of the fun I would have if I only had some slick road tires on!! Canyon riding, without many warning signs, you never know if the curve ahead is just slight or a complete U-turn.





Mulege was similar to San Ignacio. Palm trees everywhere that I assume are fed by the river going thru town that we rode over.







check out the trees growing thru the roof







We had initially wanted to stop in Mulege and check the place out for a bit but it was getting later and the wife definitely wanted to make it to Loreto with plenty of daylight. We found that finding places while the sun is going down can prove to be difficult….maybe be because many streets simply don’t have signs and if you find the correct street it seems that actual address numbers on the buildings don’t exist…..now I think about it, many places, when you look at their information online simply tell you what street they are on and link you to a satellite map view of their place, lol. At least this has been the case so far. For now anyway Mulege will have to be explored another day.
After leaving Mulege the road once again was awesome, in and out of the hills with views here and there of the Sea of Cortez. This is a sport bike or Supermoto dream except of course one or two small sections that were at the apex of a corner…..they had small SMOOTH Metal round disks about the diameter of a grapefruit meant to get people to slow down in the corners and they covered a section at least 5 feet long and the width of your lane. That will keep you on your toes but all the other corners were awesome!!

Next stop...Loreto!

warp9man screwed with this post 02-04-2012 at 10:50 PM
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #8
stickman1432
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Nice report........the town you were just refering to with the divided center roadway south of Guerrero Negro is the town of Vizciano.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:23 AM   #9
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It must be nice to have an on-board photographer along.
Awaiting more.
Jim
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:28 AM   #10
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More Utards in Baja............lovin' it........and leaving on a similar trip in a week..............


Keep it coming..........
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:54 AM   #11
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baja

Thanks for the RR. I'll be there in a week. I like the info as to the hotels and the time between points. I wish my wife was coming with me. salud
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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cool report. I hope to visit Baja someday....
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:48 AM   #13
Gale B.T.
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This may be too late but from experience NEVER get too close to one or more of those turkey vultures that may be on a road kill close to the road. They will be so full of dead meat they cannot make a fast exit and the effort causes them to PUKE, like upchuck all that rotten meat.
The stinch is so bad, long lasting , uncleanable, etc that you will sell or burn the car/truck/bike and all your clothing to get rid of said smell.

Not to even mention or think of what that loving lady will do to you!!!

Do not even ask

gale
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:14 PM   #14
warp9man OP
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[QUOTE=Gale B.T.;17915252]This may be too late but from experience NEVER get too close to one or more of those turkey vultures that may be on a road kill close to the road. They will be so full of dead meat they cannot make a fast exit and the effort causes them to PUKE, like upchuck all that rotten meat.
The stinch is so bad, long lasting , uncleanable, etc that you will sell or burn the car/truck/bike and all your clothing to get rid of said smell.

Not to even mention or think of what that loving lady will do to you!!!


Gale B.T. thats invauable information and one that I will take serious note too.......now back to the laughing and imagining of that situation

MotoWest; just plan it man...I have wanted to do Baja for years and glad I did. defiantly planning another trip back.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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on2wheel52: it is nice, she gets the photos that unless you stop you never get, bad thing is my fat head is in half of them.

Stickman, thanks for the info dont know why I couldnt remeber that town, the Topes were pretty crazy going thru there.
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