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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BullShatter, Jan 17, 2013.
Ha....I was going for the Falcons, so no need to hang out for the game!!
Thanks for the hot tip on snorkeling spot in Belize....most of places you mentioned are on my list of "must-see" spots. Looking forward to the whole trip!
After two unexpected delays I'll finally be getting out of here on Feb 2nd.....Let's be honest, I don't even want to be in the office right now!
Satuday! I command you to get here, STAT!
, you go get 'em we'll be on our way a few days later. We will stop in Manzanillo for a couple of days max, then continue on south
It's the 3rd.
Did you wake up in MX today?
I am finally packed and on the move....better late than never, right?
We madw it to Guaymas today. Heading for either Los Mochis or Culican. Both are on the west coast
Have a safe trip. Hope to see you on the road
Oh, I'm sorry, was that my inside voice!!! Lol
G' Postal...Hopefully we'll connect on the mainland, I am in San Felipe right now and should be in Mazatlan by Monday.
Well, 2 1/2 weeks after my proposed departure date I escaped from work, only to be nearly involved in an accident leaving Phoenix by a jackass driver merging through 4 lanes of traffic, intent on trying to occupy the same space I happened to be occupying in the HOV Lane. Phew!!! disaster averted and I'm in Mexico!!
My odometer began at 24,323 and ended at 24,701, but it took 9 hours to do it. This should be (I hope) my longest day in the saddle, only because I was so hell bent on beginning this trip...finally!
So these are the dirty details...I left Scottsdale, AZ this morning at 10:30 am and arrived in San Felipe, MX at 6:30 pm. I crossed the border at the east Calexico crossing. Unlike my usual border crossing at Lukeville, AZ when we travel to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), there was no friendly group of US Border Agents there to greet me. I simply drove out of the the US and into Mexico without saying hello or goodbye to anyone. At the Lukeville crossing, I've always been required to present my passport and answer a few friendly questions! So much for the warm and fuzzies...
I already had my TVIP so I only needed my Tourist Visa. Fortunately at this border crossing the Immigracion and the Banjercito Office is on the right, immediately after crossing into Mexico. 20 minutes after I'd arrived, I was walking out with my Visa. One note on getting my TVIP in Phoenix at the Mexican Consulate, It did confuse girl and her supervisor at the Banjercito Office in Calexcio as to how I got a TVIP. Apparently they didn't realize the Mexican Consulate issued them!
Here is the Banjercito Office and the Immigracion Office:
And the Immigracion Office...It's the Building behind the Palm Tree as seen from the Banjercito Office:
My next task was to work my way through the streets of Mexicali and find Hwy 5 South, to San Felipe. It is certainly not a direct route, but the route was marked by frequent signage to San Felipe. I took about 20-30 minutes to clear all of the traffic of Mexicali. It's funny and I don't know if any of you feel this way or have noticed. As soon as you cross the border things smell different, it smells like Mexico. It's a combination of exhaust fumes and meat being grilled. It's not a bad combination, it's just Mexico.
About 40 miles out of town I passed through my first Mexican Military Checkpoint. The soldiers did not know any english, I knew very little spanish, and after a few questions by them, a few perplexed looks by me, they just waved me through, hedging their bets that I was no threat to National Security.
Since I did leave late this morning I almost went against a basic truth of traveling in Mexico...don't drive at night...I rolled into San Felipe at 6:30, just as the sun went down. My backside was tired and I was starving so I was not in the mood to seek out budget accommodations, so I ended up at "El Capitan" Hotel for $36/night, but I do have secure parking and WiFi.
El Capitan, one block off the Malecon:
Parking...they were not being overrun by guests tonight:
And my parking spot and Room # 88:
And Dinner...after checking in the next order of business was Tacos...in Mexico the easiest way to find good tacos is go the the Taco shop that's busy. So guys no food pics tonight, but I did get 2 Asada Tacos, 2 Adobada Tacos, and a Coke Light...$5, and the Salsa was incredible!!
And say hello to Karmine...
Funny thing about Mexico, there's always a celebration, tonight was no different. While I was eating my tacos there was a police escorted parade supporting to local public schools. It was nice to see all of the participation, especially for a good cause.
That's all for tonight folks. Tomorrow I'll be headed for Guerrero Negro, to pet me some Gray Whales! I'm hoping to get some good video and photos...stay tuned...
Feb 6th, 2013
San Felipe to Guerrero Negro...the hard way!
After a good nights sleep I woke up fresh and ready for what the day had in store for me. I did some computer work and made a few calls thru Skype while I had internet service. I eventually got packed and got on the bike at 9:30. As I pulled out of the El Capitans parking lot I noticed a small cafe and the thought a coffee sounded just right.
This is where my quick cup of coffee turned into 2 hours and 2 new friends, Don Noel, an old Stock Car Driver and local legend in San Felipe, and Dave Anderson, owner of Anderwerks, a BMW repair shop in Calgary, AB...talk about the right guy to have around while riding through Mexico!
Dave and I ended up talking for awhile before I struck out toward Guerrero Negro. It turns out that we have a few friends in common...small world! Dave was headed my way but not for several more hours and he was going to spend the night in Gonzaga Bay, along the way to GN. He was down for a few weeks on a scouting trip for an upcoming moto-tour that he is putting together for several of his clients. Today he was on Little Red, his BMW F650GS. Thanks for the stickers Dave!!
Here's Dave from Anderwerks Motorrad:
And his Bike...:
Finally I pulled out toward Guerrero Negro at 11:30 am. The route would take me through Gonzaga Bay and Cocos Corner. The sun was shining and the road was smooth all the way to Puertocitos. In several of the washes, the dip in the road was so steep that I was able to catch air with the front wheel when I was coming out of it. Once I got to Puertocitos the road smoothed out even more...except for the wind! I would come around a curve or over a hill and get a full blast from right to left which would blow over the centerline. It was so strong that I was riding on a straightaway, but I was leaning into the wind at a 30 degree angle just to maintain my line....and then I came to the Desviacion, detour in Spanish. I thought this was going to be a quick detour then Id be back on the blacktop. I didnt think that I wouldnt see an improved road for another 40 miles!! I dont mind riding on gravel or dirt roads, but I hate sand and the first 15 miles turned out to be nothing but sandy roads. I spent the majority of the next two hours standing on my pegs doing between 15-40 mph, depending on conditions. I dont know if I got any better in the sand, but I did gain a lot more confidence and improved my technical skills, and not by choice!
Here is Looking back at San Felipe:
On the way along the Coast:
Along the way I did go through my 2nd Military Checkpoint, which again went smoothly, they did check my side bags and ask where I was from, however, I think they were more interested in the bike than anything else. The questions I keep getting are how much does it cost and how big is the engine. Right after the checkpoint I stopped for gas at the Pemex in Gonzaga Bay and met Sergio, and one of the local dogs, Whiskey.
The end of the road...but I didn't know it!
One of the reasons why...the bridge was out!:
And then I had a decision to make....Beer of Gas:
I had to choose Gas... I was on "E" and the Beer would come later:
Time to head to Cocos Corner....
Those that have been to Baja will recognize him, for everyone else, hes a bit of a legend in these parts. He has been on his little piece of paradise for at least the last twenty years and his property is every bit as eclectic and charming as he is. I rolled in and he scooted up on his 4 wheeler and greeted me with a big Coco smile. After 28 miles of sand, dirt, and gravel roads, the only thing I wanted was a cold beer...or two, and Coco obliged. I sat and talked with him for about an hour and half, and yes, I did sign his book. Our only interruption was two of his pussy cats, well, umm, making passionate love.
Twenty Three miles of Sand and Gravel Roads I arrived at Coco's:
Cocos just ahead...at the base of the mountain:
FInally it's in sight:
Say Hello to Coco:
Those are some big Cullos...
Coco drawing me a map to his favorite hotel in Geurrero Negro...Thank you so much...
And then his cats were feeling a little amorous...do I really need to comment any further!!!
At 3:00 pm I left Cocos on a mad dash to get to GN before dark. I was chasing the sun the whole time and I lost, but not by much. I got to town at 5:45, just as the sun vanished below the Pacific.
February 7th, 2013
Guerrero Negro and The Whales
Yesterday was a very special day, I had the experience of scratching the head of a curious gray whale. At the hotel I stayed in, Los Caracolos, you could book a morning whale tour ($49) at the front desk which would last 4 hours and include a lunch and transportation there and back.
Our guide for the day was Enoch, a very knowledgeable guy who spoke English, Spanish, and Italian. The other hotel guests going on the tour were Andre and Claire from Nice, France and Bruno and Lorena from Milan, Italy. It was a 45 minute ride to the Lagoon where the Gray whales were located. Enoch mentioned that according to their most recent surveys there were between 600-700 Gray whales in this particular Lagoon, which is one of three on the Baja coast where the whales come to breed and calve each year, the other two spots being San Ignacio and Magdalena Bay, both farther south. Apparently the whale choose these three spots because the lagoons are shallower, only 10-30 meters deep, free of predators, and the lagoons have a higher salt content increasing the buoyancy of the new born calves.
Once we arrived at the shoreline you could see the backs of whales as they surfaced and spouted. We were given our life vests, loaded into our boats and off we went out into the lagoon. It was not even a 5 minute boat ride until two curious young male gray whales approached our boat, each of them were wider, and twice as long as our boat...talk about intimidating! I truly think they are just as curious of us, as we are of them. They would slowly circle the boat and raise their heads out of the water far enough that you see see their eyes, and they would slowly and gracefully inch toward us just hovering next to our boat. I reached out and put my hand on the top of one of their noses and you could feel them gently respond. It was absolutely an amazing experience.
Looking Back Toward Shore:
Two Curious Males...
Not me, but Bruno on this go around...
But I was just as happy...
Later in the morning we had a mother and her calf do the same thing. They slowly approached the boat and the mother appeared to encourage the calf to interact with us, almost saying its okay, their safe and Ill be right here. They stayed around our boat for about 15 minutes before moving on.
By the end of the morning we had seen between 100-150 different whales, they were everywhere, in every direction, some were moving from one spot to the other, others were just loafing in one area, slapping their tails and fins on the water, or breaching the water with their entire head exposed. This was an experience of a lifetime.
We got back to the hotel at 12:30 pm, and my initial plan was to spend another night in GN, but looking at the map I knew if I hustled I could easily make it to Mulege, pronounced Moo-le-hey, by 4pm, leaving me a short ride the following day to Loreto.
Well I grabbed a roo that advertised "Agua Caliente" with front door parking por $200 pesos...how could I argue!
One of the Downtown Streets in Mulege:
Note to Self...the Bomberos are doing a Pig Race this weekend:
Coincidentally, one of the readers from another forum said that if I passed through Mulege, look up a guy named Big Al, and get a beer from him. So, I rolled into town, got a room at a small guest house. Next was food...so far Ive only eaten tacos for dinner each night, tonight was no different, Asadero Dannys was the recommended taco shop in town where I had 3 Asada tacos and 2 Tecate Lights!!.
Now, how do I go about tracking down Big Al...well, I saw two gringos getting gas and asked them, Hey Gringo, do you know Big Al?. The gringo, Mike, although he also goes by Scare Crow replied, Ya, I know him he lives two doors down from me, jump in the truck and Ill give you a ride. Five minutes later I was sitting in front of a warm toasty campfire, cold beer in my hand, BSing with Big Al and 6 other new friends. Its too bad that I have a commitment in Loreto the next day because they invited me to their clam bake the next night for clams and fresh yellowfin tuna. Did I mention I Love Mexico...
Looking Back at Big Al's...Sorry no photos from the night before...too much alcohol involved:
Another look at Mulege from the other side of the river:
A couple thoughts on Mulege. It is a neat little town that has a thriving expat community, however, prices are still in Pesos, not Dollars. The town itself is about a mile off the beach and it sits in the Mulege Estuary, where the rivers drains into the Sea of Cortez. If your passing through, its definitely worth a stop.
Along the way there are numerous bays, one in particular, Santispac Bay, I stopped at I met a wonderful couple from British Columbia. Thank you John and Lisa for the great cup of coffee, it helped get me through the day.
And here are John and Lisa:
And my bike parked next to them:
Really does life get any better than this...what a beautiful place to meet new people and share a cup of coffee with them...we talked like we were old friends! They had already been on Baja for a week or so and were spending several more weeks before heading home....drive safe my friends!
Just another Bay in Baja:
After this Bay (Bahia) I cut inland for 30-40 miles before Loreto:
And here is one of the PRIMARY reasons not to drive at night in Mexico....LIVESTOCK!!! A herd of 75 goats...
After a three hour ride from Mulege to Loreto (frequent photo stops included) I pulled into town and this is the first sign for a cafe that I see...would you want to eat here???....Not me....
Well tonight I was treating myself to a great resort...the Villa Del Palmar, which is just south of Loreto and Puerto Escondido. All I can say is that the rooms, food, and customer service are over the top!!
My Room...are you kidding me!!
And Lunch...Life ain't that bad on the road......but I'm not going to get used to this, itt was just a treat!
Ahhh, a mexican Hamburger with Fries, and a couple of ice cold Negro Moldelo's...Mmmmmm.
Tomorrow I am headed to La Paz to catch the Ferry to Mazatlan, which runs on Sunday. I hope I'll have internet when I get there...but right now I'm happy if Ijust have hot water in the shower!! Salud!
Fun report. I found it thru an expat web page, escapefromamerica.com, and really glad I did!
I hope you don't get burned out w/taking pics and giving details about the adventure....looking forward to some comments re: the expat scene. Especially looking forward to your opinion of Jaco, Costa Rica because I didn't stop on my way thru there on a rented F650gs a few yrs back.
Best wishes on your trip. I'll worry a little for you on the Mexico portion! Bad stuff going on down there. I admire and support your attitude. I've been all over this world. You only go around once!
I will follow your trip. I plan to spend winters in Ecuador starting next year. I'll have a 2008 BMW f650 down there.
I rode my 1958 Triumph TR6 from El Paso to northern Pennsylvania a few years ago. I'm THINKING about maybe riding from my home in Anchorage, Alaska to the East Coast next year also. I'm 75 years old and in good shape...physically. Wife has suggested I've lost it mentally. She's a 50 year old youngster. Knows nothing due to youth and inexperience. beautiful though!
Nice adventure ... but now doubting myself and the decision to sell my 990 SMT!
Great report so far! Keep it up and safe riding. I need a good daydream thread while it is snowing in Colorado. I can almost taste the Pacifico...
I can't find any further trip reports on Scottsdale to Panama?? Last I read you were headed to LaPaz. Is all OK?
Am I somehow not finding your new reports?
Great pictures and trip accounts! Thanks for sharing.
Terry in San Luis Obispo, CA
Hey, TI, you should put the posts on advrider and share the link on facebook. That way you only have to do it once. Looking forward to the next installment.
made the trip 39 years ago, it was fantastic. I especially loved Acapulco. Lots of good luck on your adventure. Queasy)
Hey Tom be safe, got a mutual friend (Ken) in Wenatchee, WA. Loved the Facebook intro on the "if you climb a ladder and fall off whose fault is it anyway?" Sounds like you haven't lost the edge either from your days in WA. Keep us up to date amigo!