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Old 06-08-2012, 08:52 PM   #16
OccRider OP
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Oahu, Hawaii
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Just south of Ensenada we drove out to the point where La Bufadora is located. Wow, was it crowded. A holiday weekend is not advised. We hung out and continued to eat our Pepto Bismol tabs and watch the spectacle. We also ate some pretty fine shrimp fajitas at one of the nicer restaurants with a spectacular view. The rest and food seemed to help both of us recover some energy. We were both pretty wasted until then.

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Old 06-08-2012, 08:56 PM   #17
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One quick note about fuel. We had no problems with finding Pemex stations. We only had one station blatantly rip us off with mis-calibrated pumps. Oh, well down a couple of dollars. We split a five liter can of fuel at this "barrel station" near Catavina. I filled up with premium when possible and my F650GS ran extremely well the whole time.

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #18
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We headed into Ensenada to look for a hotel. It was about 4:00pm and I suggested that we just blast back to La Mesa via Tecate. It turned out to be a great decision. It was a nice cool after noon with light traffic heading through wine country. I hadn’t been working much and it got me back a day earlier to make some money. Speaking of money, the whole trip was pretty cheap. Other than Alfonsina’s the food was very cheap, gas was about the same as in CA, and even though we stayed at tourist hotels the whole time they were still pretty cheap by U.S. standards.The camping is extremely cheap but I like my hot showers.

I mentioned the border crossing at Tecate already. There are numerous ways for a motorcycle to get to the front of the line and no one seemed to mind, on the contrary we had a bunch of people wave us in front of them.

I5 sucks. There I said it. I only saved my sanity by listening to a book on tape the whole way there and back on the freeway. Benjava didn’t seemed bothered by it in the slightest. Could it be that the KLR was just that much more comfortable than my F650GS? Not a chance. He just loved being on his bike and after all the stress had melted away at the beginning of the ride, it was all just pure bliss to him.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by OccRider View Post
...He just loved being on his bike and after all the stress had melted away at the beginning of the ride, it was all just pure bliss to him.
Perfect. Thank you.
"Coffee first..."

Next Trip: Divide & Conquer...

"it's a dog's life.............and I love it"
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:26 AM   #20
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Location: San Francisco CA/ Austin, Texas
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thanks for the ride report, this is perfect, reading through it, I am soooooo happy you and Ben got to do this together!
Seeing pics of you and your bike and Ben and his KLR is just !!!
thanks man, congrats on selling the bike!
RIP Benjava, I finally did Alaska, thanks to you
moto rental/sales and tours, location et vente moto, import-export
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:39 AM   #21
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Location: Oahu, Hawaii
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Here's a few additional logistical things for people contemplating a trip to Baja.

Language. As with any foreign country if you and the other person are both willing to try and communicate it will happen. A few Spanish words will help and take a small English to Spanish dictionary, it will help a lot at restaurants if you want to have something other than names you recognize from Taco Bell.

Bathrooms. Pemex! For someone with a small bladder I was glad to see that almost every Pemex had a pretty decent bathroom. A couple stations were out of water so the bathrooms were closed.

Northern roads. If you are staying on Mex 1 from Ensenada to El Rosario, don't get discouraged with the less-than-wow scenery and the slow speed-bump-stop-sign towns in some sections (Colonet to past San Quintin). When you start to get closer to El Rosario the scenery and traffic improve dramatically. Your average MPH will also increase dramatically.

Phones. Almost no Verizon coverage but GSM phones like AT&T have decent coverage but definitely only near towns.

Lane position. My own personal advice is to stay near the center of your lane. I know the logic of riding in the left part of the lane but Mex 1 is narrow at spots and if you slide to the right a bit you might appreciate the extra comfort room when you meet oncoming trucks.

Road bike. Someone asked about a road bike. I wouldn't take a road bike on the gravel near Gonzaga Bay. It's deep gravel where the highway ends because of the current construction; and then it's rocky and bumpy all the way to Mex 1. I wouldn't suggest it but others might have different opinions about road bikes and washboard roads. That said, if I had known we were going to skip some of the off-road further north I would have headed down to Loreto and back. The pictures and reviews of the road from Mulege to just past Loreto look amazing and worth the extra road miles if you are on a short trip and aren't spending time off-pavement. Or perhaps take an out and back to Bahia de Los Angeles. Depending on you tolerance for bumps you could probably ride out to Punta Baja. It was in very good condition when we were on it; makes for a nice adventure.

Distances. The paved roads were so very good and we made way better time on than expected just about everywhere we went. Other then the Colonet to San Quintin section we were doing regular two lane highways speeds the whole time. At one point one of those giant, Jawa Land Rover tour buses passed us. We were doing 65, which seemed reasonable at the time, and it passed us like we were standing still.

San Isidro. It's nicely paved all the way through to the coast and the dirt road just north of town is smooth-ish and doable on a road bike for a little ways. If you planned ahead there look to be a couple of hotels or rentals out there but I wouldn't plan on just showing up and looking for a room.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:18 PM   #22
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Good reading, Brett.

Thanks for posting this up. It's great to see how that trip went.
Coffee first, then all your other mundane bullshit. Benjava

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