Los Tres Pendejos en Baja: Tires and Tribulations

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by motoged, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    El Delfin Blanco was a sweet spot to stay. I was the only guest there, it was at the edge of the town but only a few blocks from where Darren and Mark were. It was good to have some alone time between the rides...

    Osa, the owner, is a kind woman ...a world traveler from Sweden before settling in Baja. I would have liked to have spent more time visiting with her as I enjoyed her rebellious spirit.

    Her current project was hassling the local jefes to get a street light reconnected at the front of her place. I thought that this might have been a project that would be at least weeks in the planning, but woke up the next day to see the municipal guy hard at it...

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    I walked over for a closer look and to see if the guy needed a foreman...

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    He seemed to have it under control. He was attaching a lamp assembly to two bolts on the pole....and was using a crescent wrench and vice grips to screw on the nut....it was slow going....before long he dropped the crescent wrench....I picked it up and waited for him to look down (he was doing a good job of pretending to be unperturbed) so I could throw it up to him.

    I secretly knew that it would likely be a comedy show watching me throw the tool a number of times before the arc intersected with his grasp....but he had a rope he threw over the edge of his bucket so that I could tie the tool to it, and he could then retrieve the tool by uphauling the rope.

    Evidently he had dropped tools before in fron of willing spectators :clap:clap

    He eventually spun those two nuts tight enough that I figured the job was done. My supervision was no longer required...

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    So I meandered back to my private estate...

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    Once back to my room...

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    I caught my room-mate in the act...


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    He was a pleasant fellow, despite his tendency to hog the bed at night.

    Clearly shameless about his flexibility...he just gained a bit of composure...

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    As the day was young, we decided a "Beach Day" was in order...so it was off to the East Cape road...
    #21
  2. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    For those of you who have never done it, when down at Los Cabos (The Capes), there is much more to the experience than getting drunk in Cabo San Lucas and depleting the local fisheries by keeping the billfish you catch. San Jose del Cabo is the city where the airport is (just north of town) and is much more of a "typical" small city than is Cabo San Lucas....but as some experienced Mexico travelers have pointed out, all of Baja is a different beast than is the mainland.

    I like to leave a very small footprint when riding...and as a traveler I try to get a feel for the local zitgeist, rather than blast through collecting miles.

    But, again, I digress:huh

    It's off to the beach:clap:freaky

    Heading east out of La Playa, one follows a series of traffic circles that are part of a huge development plan for this area.



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    The road is paved for several miles until it heads down to the ocean....at this T-junction, you turn left (east) for the East Cape Road...

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    .... or turn right (west)....and if you turn right here you will go a hundred yards or so and find a Restaurant/B&B called Buzzards....
    http://www.buzzardsbar.com

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    Once headed east we stopped for a safety meeting....just to stay clear of the occasional "Quad Tours"....you know, the ones where a guy leads a bunch of inexperienced gringos along roads at unsafe speeds, all wearing bandanas and polo helmets...

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    We waited forthe dust to settle and took off...

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    The ride to the beach had been scouted earlier and we found a few beaches which appeared to be public (a bit difficult to find along the ECR as much of the property is "private" and has recently begun to be "guarded" by small "security" campos....)

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    The area we decided on had easy access and the palapas said "C'mon down"...

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    We accepted the invitation...
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    No one to bother us to the east...

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    ....and no one to the west....[​IMG]

    So we plunked ourselves down and went at it...

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    This was a virginal first for Mark, so that was a treat for Darren and me almost as much as for Mark...as he had never jumped into the ocean before...

    He had to scout it out for a bit at first...."just to figure out how the sets were forming" :rofl:lol3:clap:clap:wink:

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    Darren kept a watchful eye...doing his best lifeguard thing...

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    Before long, we were all in the water playing in the 3-5 foot waves having the time of our lives....

    Playing around like a bunch of kids....it was great spending the afternoon in the water, sipping beers, and catching rays...

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    As the shadows began to get longer, we took the hint and slowly packed up for the ride back...

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    Truly, one of the best days of the trip....:freaky:clap:deal:bow:rayof:wings:poser:jkam:bubba:ricky:beer:kumbaya:super

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    #22
  3. KMA

    KMA KicksMyAss on BDS

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    Enjoying the report and pics. Man you guys really know how to milk the relaxation end of it! :D
    #23
  4. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    Yeah, it's hard to be Ride Heroes every day:rofl

    Our plan was to spend our first week of four in Baja relaxing on the Cape, doing some exploratory rides and redoing some previous routes we liked before.

    After 5 days as truck prisoners, it was imperative to get our ride legs on, but also to catch up with old friends, new beers, and aged tequila:freaky:wink:

    Our ride plans for more challenging riding would kick in farther north...and that part of the RR is around the corner:deal

    In the meantime, the order of the day was cervezas, colitas, and no culero attitudes...:clap:freaky:thumb:bueller:rayof:wings:jkam:ricky:ricky:ricky:bubba:kumbaya:slurp:webers:dg

    Rides every day, some with ATGATT...and other days were easy putting around....


    And sometimes just kicking back relaxing in the best ways we could:

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    #24
  5. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    The next day was an exploratory ride farther up the East Cape road.

    An early morning start...

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    and we were off...

    The ECR follows the coastline fairly closely in some areas:

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    and in others, it goes inland a kilometer or two...


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    ...all of it is photogenic...

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    Within less than an hour, we were approaching Los Frailes, a distance of about half-way to Los Barriles, a tentative destination for the day. Los Barriles is known for its primo windsurfing and kitesurfing due to frequent high winds.

    I was using the Baja Almanac as my map source, while Darren and Mark had GPS units. Unfortunately the GPS did not appear to have base maps for the area that seemed to coincide with my paper maps....so there were a few stops and varied opinions as to where we were. The confusion was solved by asking a local....who ended up confirming that we were at Los Frailes. He encouraged us to head west through the mountains (Sierra La Trinidad range) rather than proceed up the coastline as he said the scenery was better....

    So we backtracked a kilometer and headed west towards Cerro el Venado on the road heading to Rancho Garambullo, where we were to turn left at the "T" and make our way through the mountains towards the town of Miraflores (... to the right takes you to the ranch, but also likely hooks up with a road system that comes out on Hwy #1 north of Miraflores at the town of Santiago).

    Before long we were absolutely thrilled with the road conditions, scenery, and high speed capacity of the route....it is a pity I didn't take more pics...

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    There were not too many "alternate routes", but some deliberations were required at some intersections...

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    The road was another rollercoaster ride...

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    Coming down out of the highlands we crossed some arroyos with the usual conditions...

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    A brief refreshment break at one...

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    Darren's endless and ubiquitous supply of Halls Cherry cough drops were a treat...

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    And as the GPS seemed to be indicating we were approaching Hwy #1 where we would cross into Miraflores, Darren suggested we explore a wet arroyo heading north....it was a hoot....fields, wet sand, some goop, and soft sand, and lotsa fun...

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    Riding through Miraflores, we searched for an eatery....but as three guys can sometimes not agree on anything, we rode around for a bit before deciding on a spot that was the last chance to eat at that end of town. It ended up that, despite the "bare" appearance of the place, the guy readily and enthusiastically offered to make us some tortas ..."no problema!". As it turned out, he had just bought the place a few days earlier....we may have been his first customers.

    We were hungry, thirsty, and enjoying the shade and some cool refreshments we bought down the street at the corner tienda...

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    Our presence was monitored by a local teen waiting for something to happen...

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    The tortas were very good....we gobbled them and headed out of town hoping to find a dirt route back to San Jose, but after another conclusion that we were not going to find it, we blasted home on the slab....maybe a 45 minute ride...

    A delightful area to ride is certainly that whole East Cape area south of Los Barriles and east of Hwy #1 all the way down to San Jose...at least two or three days of exploring. The nearby town of Santiago has a zoo, thermal hot springs, and some interesting riding into the hills west of Hwy#1.
    #25
  6. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

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    Ged,

    Those roads west of Los Frailes are some of the best fun down that far, IMHO. You can continue all the way across to Todos Santos on those tracks. :thumb

    :lurk
    #26
  7. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    GP,
    Yep....the Rancho Naranja road is next in this RR...

    I first rode it in '94 on my 81 R80 G/S....before I ever heard of the term "dual-sport"....

    The stuff up top is interesting as the road seems to change every year around the settled areas.

    It was cool to see a sign and road leading up to a Buddhist monastery....and , according to Baja Almanac, there is a spiderweb of roads on the west side of "the pass" spreading south and southwest...

    Again, a few days worth of easy exploring in that area....




    #27
  8. Conner

    Conner Charlie Ringo

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    Motoged,

    My wife and I were northbound on Mex 1, you 3 passed us (in a cage), headed back toward San Jose. My wife, seeing me drool, asks "why didn't you flip them off?":rofl

    Thanks for the report.



    Conner in Sacramento
    #28
  9. d0gWateR

    d0gWateR Goat Stuntaz DSMC

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    Great stuff Ged! Always a pleasure to read one of your RR's. Keep it coming! :lurk
    #29
  10. redpillar

    redpillar Been here awhile

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    Good stuff!! Keep er coming
    #30
  11. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    The last ride for our South Cape lounge act was from San Jose to Todos Santos over the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. This is a sweet ride and is also manageable on bigger bikes. I first rode it on my 800G/S in '94...the road is better these days than it was then, having just been hit with a hurricane.

    While there might be different names for this route, I have always known it as the "Rancho Naranja Road" as that is the signage on the highway turnoff. This road heads west off of Hwy #1 about 11 kms north of the San Jose airport...

    I had scouted out potential breakfast spots along the highway out of San Jose the day before so our breakfast choice would be an easy one. This strip of highway is very urban with a range of businesses lining the way up to the airport.

    We had a typical Baja breakfast ...."Huevos revueltos con machaca y tortillas...si, maize, por favor...y cafe....gracias...".

    Ordering machaca is an experiment: sometimes it is a succulent blend of shredded dry beef sauteed with onions and peppers and is the most perfect addition to scrambles eggs....while at other times it is tasteless dry shredded beef than seems like it has just been planed off of some caballero's riding boot....

    I believe this place hit the middle of the road mark...

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    We were quick about it...

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    And then north out of town for the rest of it.

    The concept for the day was to ride over the mountains to the Pacific coast where we would come out on Hwy #19 south of Todos Santos at around the town of El Pescadero...or just a bit south of it, depending on the usual created by my map-reading skills...

    The Rancho Naranja road heads due west for several miles and invites some higher speeds as you approach the "foothills"...

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    Last time there, we had a welcoming committee...this time not...

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    We stopped for an orienteering session once we found ourselves into the hills...

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    And once adequately oriented...

    We headed off...

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    And wove our way along a good road with very little traffic....maybe several vehicles in the course of a few hours...

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    The road can be seen winding westward off in the distance...

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    My first stop was to take a few pics in an area that was prone to washouts and was sporting one of those road features you find out in the middle of some Baja nowheres....a hand-paved road section comprised of local flat stone and cement. Yhese road improvements tend to be constructed to minimize erosion....

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    #31
  12. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    Baja has some great exposed roots...

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    But onwards and upwards until I caught up with los otros pendejos..

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    At the summit of this route, we passed several small ranchos and a shrine...



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    The wind was picking up and was cooling things off just a bit...


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    It was downhill from the summit to the highway....but it was still about 45 minutes or so to pavement. I had initially wanted to ride inland from the highway up to Todos Santos, but the ride pace had us not wanting to spend too much time wandering the maze of roads and tracks between Rancho Nuevo and Todos Santos... so we blasted into Todos for tacos and a quick town tour....sorry to say I have no pics of that .

    Once back on the road after lunch, we rode the slab back down to Rancho Nuevo and cut back onto the road we had just ridden out of an hour earlier...

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    Our plan was to head back eastwards for a half-dozen kms and then south through San Jacinto towards La Candaleria, where we would then head back to San Jose by a series of roads north of the San Jose- Cabo freeway....

    A few turn arounds had us pick up the route....some closed gates slowed us down until we noticed fressh bike tracks,,,we powered on...

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    Went from dry to green...

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    Saw a few cows...

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    And where there are cows, there is water not too far away...

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    And where there is water, there is always a bit of fun...

    Vid Link:

    http://motoged.smugmug.com/gallery/7338507_AHD3Z#472506719_ttpzA-A-LB



    And then some faster stuff home....

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    #32
  13. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    Our next task was to pack up and head slowly back north the next day.

    While we were headed into three more weeks of riding, heading north from Los Cabos is always a sign the trip is ending...:cry:cry:tough:tough
    #33
  14. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    The drive north started early the next day...

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    No turning back,,,,despite the pleas and secret wishes...

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    Oh, the horror....the horror....

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    #34
  15. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    (tech difficulties....)
    #35
  16. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    (we will resume our regular programming PFQ...)
    #36
  17. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    We drove up to Todos Santos and stopped for breakfast. I found a bit of paradise in the courtyard while waiting for the food...

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    The destination for the day was Ciudad Constitucion and we made it there by late afternoon. We found a motel at the north end of town and unpacked...

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    settled...

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    secured...

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    and enjoyed a beverage while admiring the cavalry...

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    I don't recall what we did for supper, but I do remember encouraging Mark to get a trim....we walked around downtown until we found the right salon...

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    And as it happened, it seemed to be a teaching salon....

    I helped Mark explain to the stylist that he wanted a short cut....and Mark wasn't sure what he was getting himself into...

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    But with a reassuring touch...

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    The transformation began...


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    And before too long, a Farmer's cut was emerging...

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    ....leaving Mark the proud guy...

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    We continued our walkabout in the downtown area. The streets were starting to get busier as dusk set in. It was several days before Christmas and folks were out and about bustling around...

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    #37
  18. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    #38
  19. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    So, the excitement of the evening culminated with a series of jazz dance routines presented by the crickets back at the motel...
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    A good sleep followed... the next morning we chatted with a doctor who, with his family, was packing up at the motel. He told us he lived in Cadajue, a small settlement just north of San Juanico. I asked him about the area and asked if there were any other routes from Cadajue to Mulege aside from the San Raymundo valley....he said he was not aware of any.


    Some coffee down the street sent us on our way to Mulege...

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    Just before the Agua Verde turnoff , we pulled over for a break and I pointed out an area that I have always wanted to explore. It is an inviting valley system flanked to the east by the Sierra San Francisco...
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    And it seemed to be holding more water than I can ever recall seeing there. All of Baja was greener this time ...
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    Back in the truck and through the twisties onwards to the Sea of Cortez and its delights...
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    Our destination was Mulege. Rather than stay at the usual Hacienda, we decided to honour our initial plan and reservations made at a great place on the river....Cuesta Real:

    http://cuestarealhotel.tripod.com/

    It was home for a week... and Christmas was around the corner...
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    #39
  20. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

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    The first ride out of Mulege was a loop that I had taken on the 1100 GS in 2002 with some other amigos. The ride begins with the road west out of town that will eventually take a rider to the Pacific via El Raymundo route . After a distance of about 40 kms, the road north to San Estanislao and Guadalupe leads eventually to San Jose de Magdalena and back out to Hwy#1 north of Mulege.

    Thge road for the first 40 kms is a mixture of the usual washboard, rocky stuff, and some soft sand here and there.

    Heading out was a good feeling..

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    And as we got into the mountains...

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    The scenery is spectacular...
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    And about 40 kms into the ride, we approached the "y" junction where we wanted to turn north towards Guadalupe...

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    It is easy to miss it ...

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    While it might be easy to miss, it is the only junction with such signs...

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    We proceeded north at a good pace...

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    We came across a side route that was fun on the 1100 seven years ago

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    But which was a challenge on the dirt bikes after a few hurricanes and numerous big rains...

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    At the top of this technical section we took a breather...

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    The views to the east predicted what we had to look forward to on our way through the canyons towards San Jose de Magdalena...

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    #40