Down to Mexico on an airhead

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by ricard, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Los Angeles
    I left Los Angeles early on Sunday morning, June 30th. I crossed the border in Tijuana. At 9:30 Sunday morning it was deserted, three or four other vehicles. I parked the bike in Mexican customs and walked over to get my tourist card, I was the only one around and it took about 5 minutes. I had taken care of the vehicle import on line last week. A friendly wave from the customs guy and I was in Mexico. I rode along the "fence" out to the beach and got on the toll road. 60 pesos later I was in Ensenada, on the beach, weaving between tourists. The ride along the coast was cool and foggy. None of the extreme heat hitting Mexicalli and points inland. 335 miles from L.A. I stopped for the night in San Quintin. The dirt road out to The Old Mill had a few sand traps (I'd rather be held up by banditos then ride my old R100R in the sand) but the destination was worth it. A mello spot right on the harbor with a very nice restaurant, "The Molino Viejo" next door. This restaurant is owned by the company that grows tomatoes around San Quintin. Great sleep, quiet and cool.

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    #1
  2. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Day 2, Monday July 1st.
    I left The Old Mill Hotel early and headed south. Again, the weather was cool and foggy. I stopped at Mama Espinoza's in El Rosario for breakfast. All the stickers in the US wind-up in Baja (Cool graphics advertising Trucks, Boats, Bikes.....) stuck to every window in the state. The road headed inland and the temperature climbed higher, but not uncomfortably so. The desert landscape filled with cacti is spectacular here. I found gas in Catavina and continued south. I stopped for the night in Guerrero Negro. This feels like a wild west town with it's one main street and everything covered in dust. Another great seafood diner and a comfortable room at the Hotel Malarrimo.

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    Catavina

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    Hotel Malarrimo
    #2
  3. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile

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    Pacific NW
    Looks like a great trip on a great motorcycle! Enjoy! Lookin for more.
    #3
  4. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
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    Darnestown, MD
    Great looking bike, have an awesome trip!


    Cheers,
    #4
  5. MKJ

    MKJ Married w/ Children

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    Sep 18, 2011
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    Upland, CA
    Warm?
    #5
  6. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Day 3 started cool on the west coast. By the time I arrived in San Ignacio it was warming up, Santa Rosalia was hot, and Mulege hotter.

    San Ignacio is an oasis surrounded by desert. The river rises out of the sand, gives the town fish and shady trees, then disappears back under the sand. The central square is covered by huge shade trees. At one end of the square is the mission, with it's beautiful, cool, interior.

    Just before the coast, going south east, the road passes through the mountains before dropping down to the sea at Santa Rosalia. This road is road bike riding heaven. New, super smooth asphalt, tight and steep uphill and downhill sweepers, and a whitewashed verge to set off the jet black road surface against the grey desert.

    Santa Rosalia was a french mining town. There are huge, disused, industrial revolution, mining machines, wood houses, and french style municipal buildings.
    There is also a church by Gustave Eiffel, fabricated in france and shipped to Mexico.

    Mulege seems to be a laid back little town. It also is an oasis, inland from the coast, and filled with palm trees. The Las Casitas hotel is an oasis in the oasis with a spot for the motorcycle in the courtyard.

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    Santa Ignacio

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    Mission Santa Ignacio

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    Santa Rosalia

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    Gustav Eiffel church Santa Rosalia

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    Las Casitas, Mulege

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    Snug, at Las Casitas

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    Mulege
    #6
  7. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Alaska, Mazatlan. sometimes seattle!
    Looking good so far, I'll be following along...:freaky
    #7
  8. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Hey Going South, was that you in Guerrero Negro, going north?
    #8
  9. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
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    San Antonio
    No, that was Going North

    :rofl:rofl

    Sorry, couldn't resist :lol3
    #9
  10. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Day 4: 300 miles in the sun. Lots of desert and cacti between Mulege and La Paz. Found some delicious shade, water and consume soup at a roadside loncheria in Ciudad Constitucion. And a bed at the Pension California in La Paz.

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    #10
  11. chilango13

    chilango13 Been here awhile

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    I saw you when You first crossed the border. I was with two other guys. I was the one riding the white V-strom...Im currently in Cabo and staying here for a few days. Great to see you posting your report...I'll do mine when I get back home...Great pictures!
    #11
  12. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Hi Chilango13. That was a mighty quiet border on Sunday morning. You made good time to Cabo. Looks like it's going to be a big party down there, judging from all the bikers coming through La Paz and headed that way. Have fun.
    #12
  13. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    #13
  14. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Day 5, 4th of July. After a good breakfast on the La Paz Malecon, I relaxed in the courtyard of the pension.

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    Who is this ADVRider from 2005 who's picture is hanging on the wall here?

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    Buena suerte to these guys from Fontana. We'd been leap frogging all the way down Baja. They're headed for the big party in Cabo.

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    I'm heading east to Mazatlan.

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    Had a hilarious evening with some truck drivers. The Cerveza school of spanish.

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    My "Cabina".

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    Sun setting over Baja, manta-rays jumping in the Sea of Cortez
    #14
  15. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 6:
    I'm sitting in the Hotel Belmar. The sun is setting, the Mazatlan Malecon is getting crowded. There is a brass band playing somewhere nearby, radios are blasting, people are getting drunk and starting to shout. Guys with guitars are arriving, and it's really windy.

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    #15
  16. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Take me with you, vicariously!
    #16
  17. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 7
    Mazatlan to Durango, the road. "Espinazo Del Diablo". Tight and twisted, up through the mountains and into the fog. Narrow as it follows the contours. It kinks and curls around the new, fast and smooth, "cuota" road.

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    The new, over engineered, cuota road seen from the old road.

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    Along the old road.

    Durango. Took some time to find the hotel, circled for a while, then stopped in the middle of an intersection to chat with a friendly female traffic cop. Saturday night and the streets are filled with musicians and the Cathedral full with well dressed parishioners.

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    Durango Cathedral seen from the Hotel Posada San Jorge.

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    Durango!

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    The priest was preaching, everyone in their best clothes.....and you can't buy a drink in this town because Sunday is election day. Durango!
    #17
  18. Bain Dramage

    Bain Dramage Been here awhile

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    Sacramento, CA.
    Terrific RR and pics. I'm following. :lurk

    Hows your Spanish? Thinking of doing similar trip, but wondering if I need to spend a year learning basic communication.
    #18
  19. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Bain Damage, my spanish is pretty bad. I speak in one or two word sentences. It would be more fun to be more fluent, but don't worry too much about that. People here are incredibly friendly, there seems to always be a way to communicate.
    #19
  20. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    July 7, Sunday.
    Start the week out right with a latin mass in the Durango Cathedral.

    The road to Zacatecas is wide, smooth and fast. Zacatecas is medieval! I got lost for ages on crazy cobblestone streets. Up and down steep and twisty side streets, circling the town center looking for Hostal Plaza Del Carmen. The bike decides to fall over, not my idea, at one particularly steep down hill stop. Ooph! Getting it up again on a steep down hill turn.

    I get some relief when I get stuck in a taxi cue. No moving forward or back, so I remove the helmet and hang with the taxi drivers. Finally I find Hostal Plaza Del Carmen, which is closed for renovation.

    So, I pull into the Hotel Meson De La Merced next door. Secure parking and a view of the Cathedral. As soon as I walk in rain starts pouring down, thunder and lightning. Add riding on wet cobblestones to the list of things to avoid on an old airhead, they're a lot harder to land on than sand.

    In my room enjoying the sound of church bells, the rain, and Formula 1 on the TV.

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    Sunday morning in Durango

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    Zacatecas taxi stand

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    Rain on Zacatecas

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    Looks wet, feels wet, but this town is dry, not a drop to drink as it's election day.
    #20