Chasing the KTM from Vancouver BC to Ushuaia and back

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by camitzi, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    We started this trip last year in October, and we started a blog as well, but a lot of people asked us why we didn't blog on adv. Well, because I didn't even have an adv account until recently. So, it might be a bit late, but we decided to put it here too. I will load the story from the beginning, and then I will update as we go.
    We are two riders, my boyfriend on a KTM 990 Adventure (the best bike ever according to him) and I, on a BMW F 650 GS (the best bike for me, as I don't have the advantage of long legs).
    #1
  2. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    We've got this idea years ago, that it would be nice to go all the way down to South America on a motorbike. At that time I wasn't even riding a bike. Or actually I was, on the back seat. Vasile was riding a Suzuki V-Strom at the time, so the plan was to go two up.

    Turned out that riding is a catching*disease. I got the bug too, and now I am riding a BMW 650 GS and Vasile upgraded to a KTM 990 ("OMG, the best bike ever!!!" - according to him).

    So here we go, getting ready for the big South-American adventure.We will be riding our motorcycles from Vancouver BC all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina. Or at least this is the plan. Excited!!!!

    We will leave on Oct 1st, accompanied by a couple of good friends, Robin and Matt. They will join us for a month down to Mexico, after which they will turn around and we will continue our journey.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_5976.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-89" title="IMG_5976" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_5976.jpg" alt="" width="930" height="620" /></a>

    Vasile and Matt became friends when Vasile bought his KTM 990 from Matt. And now they are twins:) So the trip starts with two KTMs and two BMWs.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_6474.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-90" title="IMG_6474" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_6474.jpg" alt="" width="930" height="620" /></a>
    #2
  3. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I needed Vasile's help on this blog, as mechanics is his forte, not mine, so he's the one who edited this blog.

    HE chose the bike best suitable for what lay ahead. Any decent rider should know there can only be one – the KTM 990 Adventure. Its pedigree is ready to take on all comers in a stylish free for all fashion.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_7733.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-85" title="IMG_7733" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/img_7733.jpg" width="930" height="620" /></a>

    I purchased my bike one year and two months prior to departure and ever since it was a non-stop steep learning curve. Watching youtube videos everybody thinks they can spin the wild big elephant by the tail, but when one saddles the dragon they’d better hold on, cause there’s only two ways to get off: in a hurry or ride it off. In the same package with the bike came a life-time friendship that words and a blog cannot do proper justice.

    The bike as it comes out of the factory is ready for an adventure, but here is the list of mods that I did. Starting from the front:

    -******* Rims: Replacing the stock 2.15 rim with Excel 1.85 rim (<em>which is much more suitable for the off-road and doesn’t sacrifice a lot of the smiles on-road</em>).

    -******* Front Suspension: Super Plush .70 Spring load (<em>“Stiffler” Suspension…</em> when <em>you wanna’ turn that marshmallow “into an offer you can’t refuse</em>”).

    -******* Windshield: KTM Touring (<em>so you don’t have to stop every 30 km and clean the pizza off your visor</em>).

    -******* Lights: HID H4 Bi-Xenon High/Low beam bulb (<em>not a must, unless you’re Radek dipping your toe into the Baja 1000 with the big elephant</em>)

    -******* Crash Guards: SW Motech

    -******* Cooling Fan: Secondary Cooling Fan from KTM Twins (<em>a must have fan if you want to fly hiiigh like a butterfly when you pass through a 45 degree gradient slope</em>)

    -******* Skid Pate* – Touratech (<em>or Black Doggy Dog from KTM twins as my much better riding friend has – must have unless you want to visit the doc for an engine rebuild).</em>

    -******* Side Stand Relocating Bracket (<em>a must have if you want to keep that smile on and the $4000 engine rebuilt in your pocket</em>)

    -******* Foot pegs Extensions: KTM Twins ZipTy Racing KTM 690/950/990 Adventure Enduro Foot peg Extension Kit (<em>better control of the bike, less pulling on your controls</em>)

    -******* Luggage System: Jessie Backs with pannier mounting bags.

    -******* Mod (Motorcycle Overland) Rear Rack.

    -******* Roto Packs 2 gallon Jerry Cans with mounting bracket (<em>for the petrol head</em>)

    -******* Tires: Hydenau K60 Scout Front and Rear (<em>tires of choice</em>)

    -******* Oxford Heated Grips

    -******* Acerbis Hand Guards

    -******* 12 V outlet

    -******* CrashBar Bags

    -******* Maintenance Prior to the trip
    <ul>
    <li>75,000 KM:
    <ul>
    <li>Valve clearance</li>
    <li>New rear wheel bearings</li>
    <li>New spark plugs</li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    </ul>
    *79,000 KM:

    - New air filter

    - cleaned pre-air filter

    - new front bearings

    - new sprocket carrier bearings

    - coolant flush

    - oil change
    - brake fluid change

    - clutch fluid change

    - new clutch kit

    BMW F650 GS Twin

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/400527_2875304958952_1553812437_n.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-87" title="400527_2875304958952_1553812437_n" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/400527_2875304958952_1553812437_n.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    SHE chose the best bike for HER needs due to the physical limitations and she bought the best bike money can buy. But don’t let that fool you. This is the “pink crush” of the female world: silky smooth and flick-able like a stripper shoe.

    -******* As it comes from the factory the bike is suitable for reasonable gravel roads.

    -******* But a suitable skidplate is a must for a low-clearance motorcycle.

    -******* Touring windshield, SW motech pannier racks, BMW hand guards and engine guards.

    -******* Mod Motorcycle Ovealand Rear Rack.

    -******* Givi paniers.

    -******* Foot pegs extensions.

    -******* Battery Volt Meter.

    -******* Tire of choice (Hydenau K60 Scout)
    <ul>
    <li>Maintenance prior to the trip.
    <ul>
    <li>Valve adjustment.</li>
    <li>Spark plugs.</li>
    <li>Check air filter.</li>
    <li>Front and rear bearings check.</li>
    <li>Coolant flush.</li>
    <li>Brake fluid flush.</li>
    <li>Oil and filter change.</li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    <li>Spare parts (for both bikes):
    <ul>
    <li>Brake Pads</li>
    <li>Fuel Filters</li>
    <li>Air filter (just for BMW)</li>
    <li>Front and rear sprocket for KTM (because I already have them)</li>
    <li>Oil filter.</li>
    <li>High pressure oil hose (2 ft)</li>
    <li>Tools and tire repair kits (electric compressor and hand pump, chain lube and lots of chain cleaner)</li>
    </ul>
    </li>
    </ul>
    And the secret ingredient – <strong>SMILEY SIDE UP, RUBBER SIDE DOWN!!!*</strong>


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    #3
  4. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    So we left Vancouver heading to the misterious South America.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/527278_4361767838119_435406465_n.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-102" title="527278_4361767838119_435406465_n" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/527278_4361767838119_435406465_n.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    It took us about an hour and a half to cross the border. And then another 2 hours to wait for our good friends, Traian and Razvan, who are pretty much going to do the same trip as us, but on a G-Wagon, and in half the time. We saw them right behind us, but it turned out they had the truck surched at the border, so it took a while.

    We finally reunited, so we can part ways again. We will head to San Fran, for a couple of days, and they will head to *Yellowstone National Park.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0029.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-97" title="IMG_0029" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0029.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    We will most likely meet again in Los Angeles, and cross the border together.

    We had a great ride the first day. Nice twisties, beautiful weather, until we hit the mountains. It all changed in the evening, so the first night we camped in the pouring rain, at*New Haven. We enjoyed it though: some Grand Marnier and Cyder warmed us up, and good friendship and company made a great evening.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020444.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-103" title="P1020444" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020444.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    Next day the wheather looked a lot better, so we got up after very little sleep (too cold for me, so I could not really sleep much), and back in the saddle. Beautiful ride through Winthrop, and then we decided to stop in this little gorgeous Bavarian town called Leavenworth.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0043.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-100" title="IMG_0043" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0043.jpg" width="930" height="1240" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0047.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-101" title="IMG_0047" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0047.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01763.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-104" title="DSC01763" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01763.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    After having a delicious Bavarian saussage, and a very good glass of wine, we are ready for a good sleep, and then the next ride:clap

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01781.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-105" title="DSC01781" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01781.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    And you know what? I realized I didn't come all the way here for nothing. Suddently, when I saw this little thing, it dawned on me:D

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01779.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-106" title="DSC01779" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01779.jpg" width="930" height="697" /></a>

    So this is not just a ride, it's free therapy (well, free might not be the right word).

    As we got back to our time share (I know, we got fancy this time:) Mat and Robin have "relations") we just found an email from Razvan that they got stuck with the G-Wagon in Missoula. Something wrong with their transmission. They are waiting for parts to come from Vancouver. Hopefully they will still catch up so we can meet in Los Angeles.
    #4
  5. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Yesterday we had a nice surprise: Cristian, a very good friend of ours, came to join us in Lavenworth. He will be riding with us for 4 days (Chris, I hope you didn’t quit your job at the bank again:D ). He got here in the middle of the night, making Vasile believe someone stole his bike (Chris is riding the same bike, a KTM 990).

    In the morning, at breakfast, we met this little nice lady, Clarice, who offered us to stay at her cabin, close to Bend, called La Pine. For FREE!!!! We could not believe how generous she was!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020495.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-115" title="P1020495" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020495.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a>

    So we hit the road (zero degrees Celsius outside) and we kept riding through these really nice winding roads all the way to Bend. We found Clarice’s husband, Karl, who was more than welcoming and he invited us inside. The cabin was more than we would have ever expected. This cute little thing with a really old TV, stove and fridge, it reminded me of my grand parents’ house. A really nice cosy little place where we cooked some sausages and we had dinner and a glass of wine. Thank you Clarice and Karl!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0136.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-125" title="IMG_0136" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0136.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0135.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-124" title="IMG_0135" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0135.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0132.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-123" title="IMG_0132" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0132.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020500.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-132" title="P1020500" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020500.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0142.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-126" title="IMG_0142" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0142.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0131.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-122" title="IMG_0131" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0131.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0143.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-127" title="IMG_0143" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0143.jpg" height="697" width="930" /></a>
    #5
  6. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    After a great night at Clarice and Karl's place, we hit the road again, heading to Douglas City. We had a last camping night with our friend Cristian; the next day*Cristian and us parted ways. He turned around to go back to Vancouver (and I heard he got there pretty early, he must have flown back or that bike has more horse power than we think it does).

    We took some really scenic routes (Hwy 3 and Hwy 36) and then into some back roads, coming out into Hwy 101 to Garberwille. We stopped to gas up in that little town, where everyone seemed to be very*happy. We met a guy at the gas station, and after a little chat about our trip, Vasile asks him "So, what are you doing in this little town?" And the answer comes very honest: "I grow weed, just like everyone else in this town" Now this explains a lot:wink:

    Robin, Mat, Vasile and I took the Hwy 1 towards the coast, a beautiful twisty road; we had a lof of fun!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0177.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-148" title="IMG_0177" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0177.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0185.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-149" title="IMG_0185" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0185.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0191.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-150" title="IMG_0191" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0191.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0197.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-151" title="IMG_0197" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0197.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0200.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-152" title="IMG_0200" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0200.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0205.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-153" title="IMG_0205" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0205.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0208.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-154" title="IMG_0208" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0208.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Then we found a nice place to camp on the beach, and celebrated Robin and Mat's wedding anniversary with some cheap wine and expensive cheese.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0213.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-155" title="IMG_0213" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0213.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0216.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-157" title="IMG_0216" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0216.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    And this is what we woke up to the next day:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0215.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-156" title="IMG_0215" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0215.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Next day we got to San Francisco, where I spent a couple of days of quality time with family, and Vasile fixed his leaking rear suspension at Superplush Suspension

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0263.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-160" title="IMG_0263" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0263.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0263.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-160" title="IMG_0263" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0263.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    and went to KTM twins to put a face to the voice with the KTM Twins owner (who is an awsome guy).

    Tuesday we left San Francisco, and I dropped the fully loaded bike right in front of my sister's house, before we left, leaving my sister and mom pretty worried, I think:(:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0273.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-163" title="IMG_0273" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0273.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    We got to San Jose, where we were planning to camp up on the hill, but it got dark, so we had to turn aroud and find a motel. This is San Jose viewed from up the hills:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0279.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-164" title="IMG_0279" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0279.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;
    #6
  7. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    We left San Jose the next morning, and we hit again the twisties, to cross Mount Hamilton.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0286.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-173" title="IMG_0286" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0286.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020620.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-176" title="P1020620" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020620.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

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    Beautiful road, and lots of deers and squirrels on the side of the road (everywhere, not just here), which is cute, but also made us be a lot more careful, since they can jump in front of you anytime. Especially the squirrels, those little things love to cross the street right when you are speeding towards them – crazy adrenaline junkies:lol3

    We stopped at the University of California Observatory, on top of the hill, to take pictures.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0293.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-179" title="IMG_0293" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0293.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0292.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-180" title="IMG_0292" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0292.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020607.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-181" title="P1020607" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020607.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>Then we rode through the desert all the way to San Luis Obispo.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0300.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-182" title="IMG_0300" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0300.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

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    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0316.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-184" title="IMG_0316" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0316.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    We camped at Avila Beach Hotsprings and we watched a movie while in the hot pool (that was a first, and it was awesome!)

    The next day we woke up in the pouring rain, and we decided we didn’t like to be wet, so why not ride to Palm Springs, where it was nice and sunny. The plan was to get going, and get out of the rain as soon as possible. Well, turned out “soon” was 8:30 PM, when we got to Palm Spring. We rode a whole day in the pouring rain! I think someone up there figured our gear needed a good wash.

    When we got to Palm Springs, the wind gusts were so strong there were dunes of sand on the highway!!! I was the lucky one, I did not hit too much sand, but Vasile and Robin danced big time on their bikes. We thought the ride through storms and dark was hard, but hitting the sand in the middle of the highway at 50 miles an hour made that look like a piece of cake.

    But in the end all the efforts were so well worth it! We had a great time by the pool today, and then walking around downtown Palm Springs with Robin.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01841.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-185" title="DSC01841" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01841.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01846.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-186" title="DSC01846" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc01846.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    In the meantime Matt and Vasile went to have the new tires for Matt’s bike installed. They were all excited about this huge biking store in San Bernadino that had anything a biker would ever need, all sizes, all colours etc.

    Tomorrow, another lazy day for me and Robin (this is my idea of adventure - just kidding, but I needed a rest), while the guys are going to play a bit in the sands of the Mojave desert – Joshua Tree State Park.

    To be continued
    #7
  8. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Matt told me that he was going to take me riding in the desert today. A lot of you that know me will know that I get pretty excited about things like this.

    We started off around noon going toward Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. My day changed as soon as I turned my ABS off.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020662.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-194" title="P1020662" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020662.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>
    Once off the pavement, we hit some really nice sandy parts with a lot of big boulders, some paved patches, crossing the San Andreas fault. It took me only a few seconds to warm up in the sand, and then I realized I had to be on the throttle in order to keep the smile round:)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p10206461.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-197" title="P1020646" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p10206461.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We went through a canyon, which was the most technical part of the way.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020644.jpg"><img title="P1020644" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020644.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    Then we got up on a ridge, on more sandy and flowy stuff. That's where Matt kicked it in high gear.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0350.jpg"><img title="IMG_0350" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0350.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0347.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-195" title="IMG_0347" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0347.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    All in all, it was a really beautiful, scenic landscape, with Joshua Trees on both sides of the road. The temperature was just right for riding in the desert (87 F).

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0358.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198" title="IMG_0358" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0358.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We stopped after a pretty fast sandy section for lunch and we met three guys from New York on BMWs 1200 GS.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020655.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-193" title="P1020655" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020655.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We took the highway out of the park and rushed back to our time share to hit the well deserved swimming pool.

    We had a really, really great day, and now we are having stake dinner with our girls, and preparing to cross the Mexican border tomorrow, early in the morning.
    #8
  9. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Today we woke up at 6:30 am, to leave early for the border. Our friends Traian and Razvan came to Palm Springs (at 7 am sharp!) to meet us, so we can cross the border together and spend a few days with us.

    Around noon, we were at the Mexican border. I didn't even have to stop, they just made me sign to keep going ("Ande, ande"). I did not have to take my helmet off (can you believe that! that's what I hate the most each time I cross the border on my motorbike), I did not even have to show them my passport! We passed the border in less than a minute, which was great.

    Then we crossed through the desert heading to San Felipe, where we planned to stay for the night. Incredibly hot! I cannot believe I got to miss the rain in Vancouver! After a few hours of riding through the scorching desert, I was quite ready for a cold shower and a good beer.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0376.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-204" title="IMG_0376" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0376.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;

    And yes, we got to San Felipe, and we found the beer place, a little shop on the seawall!<a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0384.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-205" title="IMG_0384" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0384.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0387.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-206" title="IMG_0387" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0387.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    We asked the locals about a good "campo", and they recommended us Kiki's, on the beach. Went there, liked it, decided to stay.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0402.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-209" title="IMG_0402" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0402.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    We pitched the tents in a palapa (except Traian and Razvan, they had their tent on top of their truck), we had a great dinner, and now we are having a good time and XX beer with our friends:1drink

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0388.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-207" title="IMG_0388" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0388.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0390.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-208" title="IMG_0390" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0390.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    I am loving it! Hopefully soon we can convince Traian to get the guitar and play some good songs.
    #9
  10. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    In San Felipe we stayed until late, singing Romanian folk, accompanied by Traian's guitar. We probably kept the whole campground awake:)

    And this is what I saw from the "window" of my palapa when I woke up this morning:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0404.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-213" title="IMG_0404" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0404.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    Then we went to the beach for another short session of folk singing and a swim. The water is incredibly warm and nice.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0410.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-214" title="IMG_0410" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0410.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0414.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-215" title="IMG_0414" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0414.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>Then we realized that in order for us to cross from La Paz to Mazatlan, we need import permits, which apprently are issued at the border. And we do not have them. So here we are riding back through the desert back to the border. We rode again by this white field of salt flats.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc_0037.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-216" title="DSC_0037" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc_0037.jpg" width="690" height="458" /></a>

    We get to the border just so they can tell us that that's not the right place to go, we have to ride about 10 km to Garita 2. We get there and we spend about 2 hours walking from an office to the other, as they send us, to get our papers. Happy to finally have them (and sad to be a few hundred dollars lighter), around 5 pm we start riding back to San Felipe. It is a 2-3 hours ride, so half of it (parts of it gravel road) was in the dark (against all the advices we've got not to ride in the dark). But we got to San Felipe safe and sound, we had some delicious tacos, and now we get hydrated with some beer (it was again 38 Celsius today, so we all got very dehydrated riding; I have never felt so hot in my life, and those of you who know me, it will probably be hard for you to believe that I complained about being too hot!!)

    Robin decided to return to the states and then back to Canada. So we rode together to the border, said good bye, and parted ways. Thanks for the awesome ride together Robin. We will miss you! Matt will keep going with us for a little while.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc_0042.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-217" title="DSC_0042" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dsc_0042.jpg" width="690" height="458" /></a>
    #10
  11. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Next, we left from San Felipe to go to Guerrero Negro, even though the weather forecast showed hurricane Paul was still there. Our friends Traian and Razvan had left the day before, straight through the hurricane. In their own words "The next day we were surprised to see our truck still had wheels".

    The road in between was about 110 km paved and about 100 km of gravel. The paved one was a lot of fun on the bike. Lots of washouts and great scenery.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020752.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-223" title="P1020752" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020752.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020764.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-224" title="P1020764" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020764.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020765.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-225" title="P1020765" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020765.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020777.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-226" title="P1020777" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020777.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0489.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-227" title="IMG_0489" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0489.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    And then we hit the gravel ,which was fun too....for a while. There was a lot of sand and loose gravel, which made it quite technical.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020784.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-229" title="P1020784" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020784.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020788.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-230" title="P1020788" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020788.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020782.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-231" title="P1020782" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020782.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020787.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-232" title="P1020787" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020787.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020791.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-233" title="P1020791" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020791.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020792.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-234" title="P1020792" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020792.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020794.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-235" title="P1020794" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020794.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Here we passed a military check point, where they searched our panniers, apparently for guns and drugs.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0495.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-236" title="IMG_0495" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0495.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0498.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-237" title="IMG_0498" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0498.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    And then not very long after that, about half way in our journey, the sand and I had a little disagreement, and I lost. I went a bit too far to the side of the road, and I caught a very deep loose gravel and sand patch. I was used by now to the bike dancing on this gravel road, but this time it just went crazy, and I lost control of it and I high-sided at about 50 *km/ hour. After I landed, I could not move or talk for a few minutes (almost giving Vasile and Matt a heart attack) since I could not breath, but then I recovered and I could stand up.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020799.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-238" title="P1020799" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020799.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Initially I thought I was absolutely fine, just a bit shaken, and we were making plans as to how to get out of there, since my bike had a bit of a makeover:)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020795.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-239" title="P1020795" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020795.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020796.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-241" title="P1020796" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020796.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    But as the adrenaline wore off, I started feeling a sharp pain in my chest, so riding the bike out of there was out of question. As we were making plans how to ride two up or something to the closest comunity, we saw a truck driving by.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020802.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-242" title="P1020802" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020802.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    He stoped and he asked us (hoping, for sure, that the answer would be no) if we needed any help. Here was our saviour! An American guy from Phoenix, Arizona, driving through the desert, having a margarita, looking for something fun to do (well, I don't know if he found exactly what he was looking for).

    Turned out he had a pick up truck too (and a ramp for the bike!), so he went back to his place (about 10 minutes drive from there) and brought the pick up truck, we put the bike in the truck, and with me in the passenger seat, we headed back to San Felipe, to the hospital.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020814.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-243" title="P1020814" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020814.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Until then, I did not realize how long the ride had been on the gravel road. But on the way back, it definitely felt like forever, since it was really bumpy and I was in a lot of pain. But we managed to get back to San Felipe, a couple of hours later (thank you, Jacob!)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020820.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-250" title="P1020820" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020820.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    just to find out that the hospital had closed, and they only had a small clinic. We went to emergency, they gave me an IV for pain, took my blood pressure and my pulse, and they told me I was good to go, since I was stable, even though I was in a lot of pain and I could barely breath. I asked them if I had anything broken, and the answer was "I am sorry, we do not have any kind of scans here, all we can tell you is that you are stable". Despite this, I have to admit I was very pleasantly surprised though of how nice and carefull they were, and how preocuppied for my pain . But unfortunately they do not have the right equipment to do more. And one more thing: the clinic did not charge me a penny, even though I went back the next day for another IV. Absolutely free! In BC, if you are not a BC resident, you pay a few hundred dollars just for being admitted into the clinic, before you even see a doctor!

    Eventually they sent me to a private doctor's office to have an x-ray done ($30 for an x-ray!!! We could not believe it. I do not want to imagine how much this would have costed in US or Canada). Took the x-ray back to the clinic the next day, and after a small debate between the doctors there (broken ribs - no broken ribs) they decided I had no broken ribs. Just bruised bones and muscles from the shock, so I need at least 15 days of rest before I start feeling normal, according to them.

    So here I am, like a good girl, spending my time on the beach or in bed resting all day (we had to take a hotel room, since palapas were not good enough for me anymore:D ), eating delicious Mexican food and enjoying the sun . The pain is getting better each day, so hopefully soon I can jump in the saddle again.


    More news to come. Stay tuned.
    #11
  12. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Can't wait for future updates so count me in

    Later
    John
    #12
  13. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    Thanks John!
    #13
  14. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    As I was not able to ride for a while, Vasile and Matt went for a ride togeter, which turned out to be a great ride, that's why I think it's worth posting here their ride report edited by Matt.

    <div>The little" incident" Cami had on the gravel road changed the*loosely planned adventure we had been planning. There was no thought of where we were going next *or what road to try out, it was all about making sure Cami was ok. She needed time to allow the sore muscles and bumps and bruises to heal. Vasile's focus was on making sure Cami was as comfortable as possible. His next challenge was fixing the bike. I thought I*could*help. I looked up the costs on line for all the broken parts.....$900!! Vasile *said ok, but thought he would just start fixing what he could one part at a time. First the turn indicator light, next the glass for the tach was replaced using a broken piece of the plexi windshield, carefully cut and sanded, crazy glued in place and*siliconed* Next the JB weld epoxy and an artists keen eye had the five broken pieces of the plastic front panel carrier back *into one solid bracket. Piece by piece I watched with amazement as Vasile reconstructed the bike, but I kept saying "you need to order that windshield as soon as possible"...</div>
    <div>
    <div id="yiv1263826035">
    <div></div>
    <div>Two days after Camelia's swan dive onto the gravel she was starting to feel better and said that Vasile and I should go for a day ride together on Saturday. The hotel room at the campground was booked for Saturday night so we would need*to be back by one or two pm to move from the room to a tent site. We wanted to leave San Felipe and ride to Coco's corner then on to Mex hwy 1 and come back down the same gravel road to San Felipe (over 400km and 5 hours of riding ) so we agreed to get up at 5am. I was so excited I barely slept. I woke every hour but missed 5am. It was 5:30 when I got up and squeezed Vasile's toe in the next bed who was up and ready to go in minutes. We pulled out of the*campground*at 6am and headed off to find breakfast in the dark. The local corner store had coffee and a sandwich and we picked up a light snack for the day. We hit the road at 6:45 as the sun was just starting to rise.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0500.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-262" title="IMG_0500" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0500.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0501.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-263" title="IMG_0501" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0501.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>I prayed right away for safety and for a great day and that we wouldn't be too crazy. By 6:55 Vasile was stuck up to his*axles*in soft soft sand while playing on the trails beside the road out of town.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020884.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-264" title="P1020884" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020884.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div></div>
    <div></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020885.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-265" title="P1020885" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020885.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>I could hear him on the intercom whooping and laughing as he plowed through the sand, then I heard the grunting, panting and groaning as he wrestled the stuck bike back to the road. All he heard was me killing myself laughing at his*misfortune. The sun cast *a fun shadow of us and the bikes on the desert around us as we headed south.</div>
    <div>The first part of the ride was on pavement but we were both stoked when we*finally*hit the sand and gravel. The gas station we had planned to get gas from*greeted*us with a sign*saying*they were out of gas! No worries... lets go. We passed a gas station that had been closed when we went passed the last time with Cami. We stopped and checked they would be open on the way back. They would be open till 2pm. Vasile said we would be back by 1. And away we went. Me in the lead and Vasile close behind. We rode fast on the unburdened, light KTM steeds.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0540.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-266" title="IMG_0540" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0540.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>Flying over small humps in the road, the*occasional*tank slapping through sandy areas and picking our way though the rocky sections. Off in the distance we saw a*vehicle*leaving a dust cloud behind them. It was the first we had seen since leaving the gas station. As we caught up to them we saw it was an army truck with about 15 gun*toting soldiers standing in the back.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020927.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-281" title="P1020927" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020927.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>The dust was so thick I could hardly see ahead,but after a few minutes he pulled over a little to the right. Perfect...I hit the gas to pass. Vasile had a better view. Through the dust he saw that there was a right turn coming up. He was surprised and impressed that I was going to*attempt*to pass in the corner. As the truck started into the corner he swerved to the left forcing me off the road into the deep soft sand over a six foot drop off through bushes. Thanks to the newly installed steering stabilizer I opened my eyes and was surprised to see I was still on the bike and upright. I spotted a little goat trail alongside the road and managed to follow it about 200 meters before finding a spot to climb back onto the road ahead of the now*startled*truck driver. Vasile thought I had crashed when I*disappeared*off the side of the road and was as shocked as I was to see me still up and riding, pulling ahead of the truck. I am sure my guardian angle was working feverishly for a few minutes moving rocks, trees and pushing the bike up when it almost went down!!</div>
    <div>Somehow we made it to Cocos corner.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0512.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-267" title="IMG_0512" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0512.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0516.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-272" title="IMG_0516" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0516.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0531.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-273" title="IMG_0531" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0531.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>Coco*greeted*us and offered us an ice cold drink from his solar powered fridge. Coco lost both his legs at the knee from diabetes and has been greeting travelers and getting them to sign his guest book in the middle of the desert for 22 years.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0515.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-268" title="IMG_0515" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0515.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020917.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-269" title="P1020917" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020917.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>He entertained us with stories including tales of the Baja 1000 passing by and going through the lake close to MX1.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0522.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-270" title="IMG_0522" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0522.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020921.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-274" title="P1020921" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020921.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0533.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-271" title="IMG_0533" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0533.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a></div>
    <div>We told Camilias sad tail and I said that Vasile had single handidly rebuilt the bike except we needed *to order a new windshield. Coco said that a guy had come through a while back and had taken his*windshield*off his big BMW as it was giving too much air turbulence. We could have it if we*wanted*it .....for free!</div>
    <div>Coco gave us directions to the lake that was now dried up telling us we have to go there. It was only a mile off the road and well worth the effort. We ripped around the lake bed and had a blast.</div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0550.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-275" title="IMG_0550" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0550.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0553.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-276" title="IMG_0553" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0553.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0557.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-277" title="IMG_0557" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0557.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0559.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-278" title="IMG_0559" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_0559.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a></div>
    <div>Passing through Cocos corner we picked up the windshield.*Vasile*strapped*it *to the bike. When we tried it on the bike when we got back to camp, all it needed was 6 holes drilled and Vasile would be done. I now believe nothing is too far broken that can't be saved by a master creator. About 20 minutes after leaving Cocos Vasile got a flat in his front tire. He had it changed in 30 minutes and we were back to flying down the bumpy, sandy, hilly crazy awesome trail. We*eventually*reached the gas station as the clock struck 1. Vasile figured we didn't need much gas and put in 5 liters. There was only one pump and a truck had pulled up between us and it looked like it would be a while.Vasile is*usually*the one to push gas... but this time *I figured I could make it with the gas I had so we blasted off again. My low fuel light came on 65km earlier than normal due to the fast crazy riding and I figured I was going to run out about 15-20km short of San Felipe.Vasile was looking forward to humiliating me by towing me into town.... but my angel was pushing and my engine quit 100mtrs before the gas station and I managed to coast into the pump. 93km with the low fuel light on and 23.4ltrs to fill up the tank!</div>
    <div></div>
    <div>Now that was a true ADVENTURE ride. And I got to ride side by side and share an*awesome*experience with a great friend.</div>
    </div>
    </div>
    #14
  15. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    On this one I needed Vasile's help again, as I know little, if anything, about mechanics. And Vasile did a great job! So I let him edit this report.


    The day Camelia had the little stunt, after putting my heart back in its place and making sure she was alright, I realized the bike needed some work. As we were standing on the side of the road waiting for the guy with the truck to come back, I was scanning the area for parts that came off the bike, and that I could puzzle back together. So I stuffed my pockets with everything I thought I could still use.

    After a quick scan, the right hand turn signal was completely gone, windshield was shattered, the front headlights sub-frame was broken into 5-6 pieces, the tachometer was broken and the headlight was smashed. Plus some other plastic parts had various cracks.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020795.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-239" title="P1020795" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020795.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    At this point I didn’t know if Camelia was willing to continue the trip or not, so fixing the bike was not a priority. Once we got to San Felipe and she got checked by the doctors, and she told me that she definitely wants to carry on, I started fixing the bike.

    Our friend Matt immediately started checking online prices for the parts that needed to be replaced, and he came to the conclusion that the total cost would be around $900.

    I started doing one thing at a time, fixing things, to see how far I could go without replacing parts.

    First was the turn signal indicator. I put all the pieces together, super-glued them, and a little bit of electrical tape, it made it as good as new.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094251.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-288" title="IMG_20121018_094251" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094251.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    Next was the dashboard. I took off the cover and removed all the broken parts. Then I started shaping a new lens from pieces of the leftover windshield. Once I got to the shape I wanted, I super-glued it in place and then put silicone around the edges so no water can get in.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094309.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-289" title="IMG_20121018_094309" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094309.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_105132.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-290" title="IMG_20121018_105132" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_105132.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_113724.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-291" title="IMG_20121018_113724" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_113724.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_125605.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-292" title="IMG_20121018_125605" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_125605.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Then I started working on the sub-frame. Over the next two days I j-b welded the sub-frame together, as it takes 24 hours for the j-b weld to cure.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_105451.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-293" title="IMG_20121018_105451" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_105451.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121019_150836.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-294" title="IMG_20121019_150836" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121019_150836.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121019_150847.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-295" title="IMG_20121019_150847" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121019_150847.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    The headlight was smashed, so I cleaned up all the remaining of the old glass. Then I went to town to a glass repair shop and I had them cut a new piece of glass ($10 bill). In order to glue and silicone the glass in place, I had to trim down the edges of the headlight until both the high beam and the low beam lights were leveled. Thanks to Eugene’s tools (an old marine colonel from El Centro, California, who lives here now in a motor home), it made my job much easier.

    Before:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094303.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-296" title="IMG_20121018_094303" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121018_094303.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    And after:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110727.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-297" title="IMG_20121021_110727" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110727.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    During this time Camelia was resting and as she was feeling better, Matt and I went for a day ride to Coco’s corner. We got there and we told Coco the story and that I am fixing the bike, and he immediately said that he had a windshield for me. My first thought was “it’s not gonna work”. But then I thought “I’ve got to make it work; this is a piece of history”.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020918.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-298" title="P1020918" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/p1020918.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    When I got back with the windshield I was surprised to see that it only needed four holes to be installed. In order to make the handlebar go from side to side without hitting the windshield, it needed some adjustments. So I started trimming on the sides of the windshield, a little bit at a time, until I could turn the handlebar all the way in both sides.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110801.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-300" title="IMG_20121021_110801" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110801.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110749.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-299" title="IMG_20121021_110749" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_110749.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_111341.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-301" title="IMG_20121021_111341" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_111341.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_121741.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-302" title="IMG_20121021_121741" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121021_121741.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    The windshield came with two aluminium brackets that were too short for this bike. So I went to town and I had a guy welding and adjusting the brackets so it would fit the bike. This was a $25 bill.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121022_160005.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-303" title="IMG_20121022_160005" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121022_160005.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    The handlebar was a bit bent from the crash, so I went to the same guys at the welding shop and they straightened it for me. This would complete the list of repairs for the bike. The total bill was $35!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121022_155944.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-304" title="IMG_20121022_155944" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121022_155944.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    The bracket that holds the rear luggage was cracked. So I had to manufacture a new one and I decided to install it on my bike. For $30, same guys from the welding shop made me a new bracket, and that way I was able to swap my rotopax jerycan with Camelia’s rear luggage.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_092613.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-305" title="IMG_20121025_092613" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_092613.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_100058.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-306" title="IMG_20121025_100058" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_100058.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_112734.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-308" title="IMG_20121025_112734" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_112734.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_111619.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-307" title="IMG_20121025_111619" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/img_20121025_111619.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    I am really impressed with how well the Givi plastic panniers hold up!

    Overall it was a really good experience fixing the bike with minimal resources. It made me realize how used we are to replacing rather than repairing.

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;
    #15
  16. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    It looks like I am finally ok to ride again (hopefully). Turned out that not only I had the chest and muscle pain from the shock, but I also had whiplash. The chest pain got a lot better after about two weeks, so I should have been ready to ride, but my neck was killing me. I had really sharp pain in my neck and shoulders, headaches, and I was getting dizzy quite often. I ended up going back to the clinic. They prescribed me some Diclofenac and Naproxen, and they recommended me to wear a cervical collar, to immobilize the neck until the swelling and irritation go away. So I wore the collar for 4 days, and took the pills, and boy, it made a difference! I could actually sleep, and during the day the pain was absolutely manageable, so I could see an immediate improvement. I should have done this from the beginning, not after 10 days! Now obviously these pills have pain killer ingredients in them as well, so as soon as I stopped them, some of the pain was back, so once in a while I still have to take one.
    I have just been very disappointed with my travel insurance company,as they considered all my expenses ineligible. Why, I will never understand.
    But leaving this aside, we finally hit the road again after three weeks of break. I was still quite weak, but I was well enough to get on the saddle again. I was so nervous, I felt like I was about to start a very important exam. Matt and Robin came back to ride with us for a few days.We packed up all our stuff (boy, I did not realize how much stuff we had!), got on our bikes, and headed towards Ensenada. The plan was to take it easy, since it was my first day on the bike after my accident. Ensenada is about 2-3 hours ride from San Felipe, so it was perfect. Robin knew this orphanage about 40 km south of Ensenada, so we decided to go there and have a glimpse of these kids’ lives.

    We left around 10 am, had a break about two hours later just to hydrate ourselves and for me to stretch my neck and then we hit the road again.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030114.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-395" title="P1030114" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030114.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    The scenery was unbelievable: big boulders in the middle of the desert on both sides of the road. I am wondering how they got there.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0951.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-396" title="IMG_0951" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0951.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0952.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-397" title="IMG_0952" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0952.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    The road was in pretty good condition; we had some twisties at some point too which made it more fun. By the time we got to Ensenada, I was already feeling quite week and tired, and my neck was not feeling too good at all. But we had to go through the city though to find a bank and get some cash. Ensenada is the second biggest city in Baja California after Mexicali. The traffic was pretty crazy, and after a while we realized that we had taken the wrong turn too, so we were not going to find the bank. We decided to stop and eat, since we were – at least I was – about to faint, while Vasile was going to go and find the bank by himself (we got better instructions in the meantime). After a well deserved break and food, I was ok now to keep going. We jumped on the bikes again and we headed out of the city. It was getting dark and chilly (I know, I did not think I would ever say that here!). By the time we got out of the city, it got dark, and all we had for map were some hand written directions given by phone to Robin by her friend. So here we are looking for “Caso Bogan” (later on we found out it was actually "Casa Hogar"), that was supposed to be over a bridge. We managed to find the village, but now we had to find the orphanage, and at this time in the day, there weren’t many people out in the streets. We stopped and we asked someone for directions, and we were wondering why no one knew about any “puente” (bridge). We finally got on the right way, and we crossed a little passage over a puddle (that was “the bridge”), and then when there were no signs anymore, we stopped by this building, thinking that this was the orphanage. No lights, no signs, no one to ask. Oh, and by the way, when I stopped my bike and I put my foot down, my food sank about 10 cm deep in sand!!! That was not at all what I had planned for that day. I wasn't planning to do any gravel roads for a while, due to my physical condition now (plus the fear I got of sand now and gravel now), let alone sand! But thank God it was dark and I only realized there was sand when I stopped.

    After walking around the building, we were not sure if that was the orphanage or not. I was so tired I did not want to ride any more on that road to see if it was any further or not, so we were looking for a place to pitch our tents. Luckily a white SUV passed by, and we tried to stop it. When I waved at them, they did not stop, which is quite natural, since you are not supposed to stop for strangers in the dark here. But our friend Robin, who was a bit further down, jumped in front of the car and she stopped them. We asked them about the orphanage, and they were so nice to actually escort us there. Turned out we were only a mile and a half away from it. We got to the orphanage, where a bunch of kids playing outside greeted us with a loud “Hola!” full of joy.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0970.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-398" title="IMG_0970" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0970.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    Then Darrel, the director of the orphanage came and invited us inside, where we met Maureen, his wife. We had a great dinner (Maureen is an incredible cook!), a nice chat about the orphanage and the kids, and then we went to bed, to a well deserved rest and sleep.
    #16
  17. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    You know there is still hope in this world when you see people who do well financially, giving up on all they have in order to help others. And some of these people are Darrel and Maureen Graham, from Southern California (originally from Lower Mainland, Canada), who started going to Mexico just to help people over there in 2001, and then in 2005 built an orphanage in Urapan, Baja. In 2010 they moved there so they can give hundred percent of their time and dedication to those kids.

    The things they've done here are beyond imagination. They've built a whole orphanage from scratch, with all the amenities (as much as the geography allowed).

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030119.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-403" title="P1030119" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030119.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0966.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-421" title="IMG_0966" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_0966.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030128.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-404" title="P1030128" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030128.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030129.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-405" title="P1030129" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030129.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    They now have 21 kids here – little balls of energy, smiles, and need for affection. Here's Darrel, helping the girls to build a castle.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030163.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-408" title="P1030163" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030163.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030166.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-409" title="P1030166" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030166.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030173.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-410" title="P1030173" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030173.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030176.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-411" title="P1030176" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030176.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030182.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-412" title="P1030182" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030182.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1005.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-414" title="IMG_1005" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1005.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    It looks like they liked our bikes, even though they were a bit bigger than theirs.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030183.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-413" title="P1030183" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030183.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1007.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-415" title="IMG_1007" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1007.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1012.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-416" title="IMG_1012" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1012.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    I was impressed how well educated the kids were, how they were cleaning their own clothes and shoes at that age, how polite and caring to each other they were. This proves someone really spends time with these kids, and prepares them for life.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030160.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-418" title="P1030160" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030160.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030175.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-419" title="P1030175" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030175.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    And now they are trying to expand. So while Robin and I were playing with the kids, Vasile and Matt did some real work:)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030132.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-406" title="P1030132" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030132.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    &nbsp;

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030150.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-407" title="P1030150" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/p1030150.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Talking to Darrel and Maureen, it’s amazing to see how their hearts are filled with so much happiness and contentment just to see the progress of their “grand children” as they call them. They dedicate their whole time to making sure the kids have everything they need, and most importantly that they feel loved. And we can see the results in the kids’ faces: smiley happy faces. The stories behind these kids are very touching: most of them come from broken families or parents on drugs. Here they find the family they are missing. And everything is based on volunteer work and donations.

    And not only they help the orphanage, but they help the whole community, by providing food, or scholarship opportunities to those in need.

    While we are complaining about the internet not being fast enough or about not being able to cut on sweets, others need food on the table. And I can only imagine what it is in the heart of a mom who cannot provide for her kids!

    Feel free to visit their website below for more details, and if you can help in any way, I am sure they will be more than grateful.

    <a href="http://www.missions-network.org/">www.missions-network.org</a>

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;

    &nbsp;
    #17
  18. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    After our short and wonderful stay at Mount of Olives Orphanage, where we came as strangers and left as friends, we were ready to hit the road again. Matt and Robin headed back to Canada, and Vasile and I headed South to...wherever:D

    The landscape was unbelievable: forests of cactus trees in the desert.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1043.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-425" title="IMG_1043" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1043.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1050.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-426" title="IMG_1050" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1050.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1054.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-427" title="IMG_1054" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1054.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1056.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-428" title="IMG_1056" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1056.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1058.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-429" title="IMG_1058" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1058.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    The road had a lot of washout sections under construction, sign that the Hurricane Paul damaged it quite a bit. But other than that, it was pretty good, so we did over 400 km that day. Since we heard from a lot of people that Bahia de los Angeles is a beautiful place, we decided to go there and stay for a day, even though it was not quite on our way. And here is Bahia de los Angeles from the distance:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1061.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-430" title="IMG_1061" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1061.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1065.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-431" title="IMG_1065" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1065.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1073.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-432" title="IMG_1073" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1073.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1081.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-433" title="IMG_1081" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1081.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We found a campsite on the beach, apparently the best one in the area, for $10 a night. Beautiful view, but soon enough, as it got dark, I freaked out when I saw the huge cockroaches running around on the beach and in the toilets! I’ve never seen such big cockroaches. And those who know me know about my passion for bugs and arachnids. Thank God I haven’t seen any spiders yet!

    But I guess this would compensate for my little friends’ presence:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1088.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-434" title="IMG_1088" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1088.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1095.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-435" title="IMG_1095" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1095.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1100.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-436" title="IMG_1100" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1100.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1143.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-437" title="IMG_1143" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1143.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1163.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-438" title="IMG_1163" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1163.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1164.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-439" title="IMG_1164" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1164.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    As it was the first night sleeping only on my tiny self inflating mattress since my accident, I have to admit it was not very comfortable, so I did not sleep much. The next day early in the morning Vasile got up and took some picture of the sunrise. According to him, best sunrise he has ever seen, better even than the one we’ve seen on the Himalayas. I let you be the judge.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1109.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-440" title="IMG_1109" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1109.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1116.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-441" title="IMG_1116" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1116.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1133.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-442" title="IMG_1133" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1133.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1140.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-443" title="IMG_1140" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1140.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1159.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-444" title="IMG_1159" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1159.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    The water was incredibly nice and warm, so we could go for a swim. When I was about to get in the water, I saw a little sting fish darting away from my foot. I thought I was mistaking, but then people on the beach told me to be careful not to step on the sting fish, since their sting hurts like hell. I stopped and looked around, and I realized there were lots of them. I almost stepped on one, I touched it with my foot as I was walking in the water. That kinda freaked me out now, once I realized that they really were sting fish! But at the same time it was kind of neat to see these creature in front of me, not on TV. Then I almost stepped on a huge crab! I only saw it when it started running sideways away from my foot. These creatures are so well camouflaged; you can hardly see them in the water.

    One more time, Sea of Cortes impressed me! One day of rest well spent.
    #18
  19. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    We left Bahia de los Angeles at 7:30 am heading south. We rode through deserty canyons*until Mulege, where it seemed as though we entered a different world. It was like a little oasis in the middle of the desert: luxuriant vegetation and crossing rivers. I realized now how much I missed the green!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1201.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-450" title="IMG_1201" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1201.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1207.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451" title="IMG_1207" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1207.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1208.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-456" title="IMG_1208" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1208.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    We decided to stop and camp at Playa Santispac. Best decision! The beach was really beautiful and the water very nice and clear.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1214.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-452" title="IMG_1214" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1214.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a><a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1239.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-454" title="IMG_1239" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1239.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    In the evening I went to walk on the beach, with my feet in the water, and I felt something nibbling on my feet. I thought it would be little fish, since they do that, but guess what: it was little crabs! And as soon as I would move my feet, they would hide in the sand in a second. That was so cute!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1223.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-453" title="IMG_1223" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1223.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    Vasile kept teasing me that I found this cute, but I freak out if I see a bug on me:)

    The next day at 7 am we were on the road again, heading to La Paz. This time we went to a hotel, since we needed internet and to do some laundry. Vasile went into town to find a bank and to buy some oil for my bike. Found the bank, but no oil. Apparently La Paz is really beautiful, with some nice seawalls.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1270.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-455" title="IMG_1270" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1270.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    The next day we left La Paz, to go south and do a loop to see the tip of the Baja Peninsula. We stopped in Todos Santos, and we found the Hotel California, the place that inspired Eagles to write the Hotel California song. Really beautiful and original place. Everything looked custom made and with a lot of good taste. We had the best coffee we had so far over there and a good lunch. Prices comparable to a regular restaurant in Canada, just that this was not a regular restaurant, it was so much more! I totally recommend anyone to go there.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1283.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-462" title="IMG_1283" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1283.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1271.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-463" title="IMG_1271" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1271.jpg" height="920" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1277.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-461" title="IMG_1277" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1277.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1272.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-460" title="IMG_1272" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1272.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Then we rode to Cabos, where for the first time in Mexico we did not feel very safe. We found a place to camp, called Club Cabos Inn, about 3 km on a gravel road from the city's seawall/ downtown area. The place looked alright at a first glance. We paid 20$ for one night, and were thinking to maybe stay there for two nights, since we wanted to do a hike somewhere not too far from Cabos. The owner gave us a remote spot to camp by the fence. Got there, parked the bikes, changed in lighter clothes, and we were ready to walk to town to have a bite to eat, when Vasile started chatting with one of our neighbours, who was staying in a "cabana". They chatted about all kinds of stuff, one thing led to another until the guy (Greg was his name), mentioned that he got robbed in that same campsite, a few days earlier. Apparently he was locking his door every day, but one day he forgot the door unlocked for about 4 hours and he fell asleep. *When he got up, his stuff were missing: computer, passport and other stuff. So it looks like someone had been watching him, otherwise it would be too much of a coincidence. When we heard that, we decided to keep going, since in a tent we cannot even lock anything up, so we could not leave the bikes and go to town or anywhere. Since we did not want to make the owner feel bad, we made up an excuse that we decided to meet a friend in La Paz, so we had to leave, and we would need the money back. She just yelled at us that there were no refunds, and she shut the door on us. We found this so ugly and sketchy at the *same time, that now we really decided it was unsafe for us to stay there, so we jumped on the bikes and left, leaving the $20 behind. Definitely do not recommend that place!

    So we rode to El Barrel, and we found a beautiful place on the beach to camp for free! It looks like it was an "arroyo" (a washout from the hurricane) and anyone can camp for free, since it's no one's land. The only downside for me was that I had to do again *a few km of sandy road, to get to the beach. And since it was close to the beach, it was pretty sandy. In Baja there is sand everywhere! But it was well worth it: on one hand, I am starting to break the ice on sand again after my accident, and on the other hand, the pictures will speak for themselves.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1301.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-465" title="IMG_1301" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1301.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1306.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-467" title="IMG_1306" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1306.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1322.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-470" title="IMG_1322" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1322.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1316.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-469" title="IMG_1316" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1316.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1315.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-468" title="IMG_1315" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1315.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    The next day we woke up early again and headed back to La Paz. We spent hours riding around town, trying to find some oil for my bike, but in vain. Eventually I got tired, so we decided to go and camp somewhere outside La Paz, on the Tecolote Beach. We got there; it was really beautiful, but very windy, and the food very expensive.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1341.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-471" title="IMG_1341" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1341.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    While we were debating what to do, a Mexican guy (Hugo), who was working at the tourist information point there, recommended us a good place in La Paz, a Guest House, very safe, and only 280 pesos a night (a bit over $20). He even recommended us a good place to eat, with good prices and good food. And we totally agree: the food was incredible, and right on the seawall! The guest house was really nice too, and the owner, a really nice guy. Here is their facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/pensioncalifornia?fref=ts

    If you are ever in La Paz and you need a safe, decent, inexpensive place, feel free to contact them.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1343.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-472" title="IMG_1343" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1343.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1351.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-473" title="IMG_1351" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1351.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    They are motorcycle friendly, so we could take our motorcycles inside, to the interior patio. It was more challenging to get them out of there:)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1354.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-474" title="IMG_1354" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1354.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1355.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-475" title="IMG_1355" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1355.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1360.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-476" title="IMG_1360" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1360.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1362.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-477" title="IMG_1362" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1362.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    We loved La Paz - beautiful city, and we felt incredibly safe there.

    The next day we took the ferry to Mazatlan - 15 hours on the ferry. We got to Mazatlan the next day, around 11 am. Nothing special about this city, but we did not go to the tourist area though. Vasile and I were hardly waiting to get out of it. But we had to do the oil change for my bike. So as we were riding around and we kind of got lost in this residential area (we had no GPS and no map with us), an old man directed us towards a motorcycle dealership. So we got there, and Vasile managed to do the oil change on my bike right there. We did not find BMW's 10w-40 mineral oil, but Vasile decided that the Mobil 20w-50 mineral oil was ok for my bike. Nobody uses 10w-40 in Mexico since it's so hot.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1397.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-479" title="IMG_1397" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1397.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1400.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-478" title="IMG_1400" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1400.jpg" height="517" width="690" /></a>

    Then we rode to Tepic and we found a pretty nice hotel here for 260 pesos a night.
    #19
  20. camitzi

    camitzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    94
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    We left from Tepic in the morning heading south towards Puerto Vallarta. The road was unbelievable! Switchbacks on the mountains with great luscious vegetation.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1418.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-485" title="IMG_1418" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1418.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    It made us feel like in Nepal, just with way better roads. By the way, the road was unexpectedly good - nice and smooth asphalt. Just the traffic changed. In Baja we have been spoiled, the traffic was pretty good. Busy in the bigger cities, but still decent. As soon as we hit Mazatlan, we got to know the real Mexican traffic: impatient people, honking at you for wasting a second, not letting you change lanes in front of them, cutting you off etc. We have to be way more alert here. But we are getting used to it, we're originally from Europe:D

    The only downside of this road was that is was quite busy, with lots of commercial trucks that were slowing down the traffic (since it was a one lane road), so we had to keep overtaking them.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1405.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-518" title="IMG_1405" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1405.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We got to Puerto Vallarta and we were planning to spend maybe an hour driving around to see what's all about, thinking that it was just another gringos' resort. Well, we got to love it even just from the bikes' seats, so we decided to stay at least for the night, if not for another day. A nice policeman started chatting with us and he kind of discouraged us telling us that all lodging in Vallarta was quite expensive, and we wouldn't be able to find something affordable. We were almost on our way out of town, when we stopped to gas up, and I asked the guy there if he knows of any decent economic motel or something. There was one, just one minute walk from us:D And they even let us bring the bikes in the interior patio. When Vasile was trying to bring his bike in, he had to ride on the sidewalk for about 5 metres. And here's a police agent stopping him to give him a ticket for that. After a long discussion around it, we got away with buying him a bottle of water and giving him a pack of Canadian Spearmint gum:D

    The hotel was very nice (Hotel Hacienda de Vallarta) and biker friendly, and it is right in the center of the Old Vallarta. But the air was so hot and humid!

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1431.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-486" title="IMG_1431" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1431.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1433.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-497" title="IMG_1433" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1433.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1434.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-498" title="IMG_1434" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1434.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    After we took a shower we went for a walk in town, and we just got to like it even more. I have to admit, I've been very nicely surprised by this resort.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1424.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-487" title="IMG_1424" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1424.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1436.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-488" title="IMG_1436" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1436.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1438.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-489" title="IMG_1438" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1438.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    La Corona de Nuestra Senora Church

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1457.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-491" title="IMG_1457" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1457.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    And then passing *by these guys, we were looking at them and we were thinking "Hey, what's it called what they are doing? Oh yeah, work. We almost forgot":D

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1446.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-490" title="IMG_1446" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1446.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    And then in the plaza by the seawall there was an art exhibition of chalk painting:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1468.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-496" title="IMG_1468" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1468.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1459.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-492" title="IMG_1459" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1459.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1462.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-493" title="IMG_1462" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1462.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1464.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-494" title="IMG_1464" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1464.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1465.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-495" title="IMG_1465" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1465.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    Then we went and had a couple of beers at a bar on the seawall (the Old Vallarta), called Day Off Bar. Nice atmosphere, good beer.

    The next day, we went for a walk in the residential area of the Old Vallarta. Amazingly beautiful, loved it!!! We even saw Elizabeth Taylor's house, but unfortunately we have no pics of it, since we ran out of battery.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1510.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-505" title="IMG_1510" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1510.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1513.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-506" title="IMG_1513" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1513.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1518.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-507" title="IMG_1518" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1518.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1528.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-508" title="IMG_1528" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1528.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1546.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-514" title="IMG_1546" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1546.jpg" width="690" height="920" /></a>

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1549.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-515" title="IMG_1549" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1549.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    Very interesting trees around here:)

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1542.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-513" title="IMG_1542" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1542.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    I wouldn't mind renting one of those little mexican houses and spend a whole vacation there.

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1534.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-510" title="IMG_1534" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1534.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    Here is a beautiful traditional Mexican costume:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_15301.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-511" title="IMG_1530" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_15301.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    And this is how you make tortillas:

    <a href="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1538.jpg"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-512" title="IMG_1538" alt="" src="http://southamericanadventuredotme.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/img_1538.jpg" width="690" height="517" /></a>

    We just found out that the time here changes, which means we will have to wake up earlier now:(:
    #20