VENTURING SOUTH on DRZ's

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Romanousky, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. ontheborder

    ontheborder Been here awhile

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    I have no idea. You should have hit the brakes and stopped and taken pictures with those guys. Maybe they were vigilantes or actors rehearsing for a movie. Either way the photos of you with them would have been a highlight of this report! Keep it coming and good luck.

    #61
  2. CaseyB

    CaseyB Adventually

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    So where are you guys at?

    Be safe and have a blast.
    #62
  3. warp9man

    warp9man Gravel in my Travel

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    Hey guys meet you in mulege. Glad you liked playa santispec. Funny we stopped ate and chilled in insurgents and didnt get the privilege of meeting the cartel as the wife would have definitely asked me to get the f#@k out of there. Glad to see you got some fresh rubber on as those front tires look shot.

    Ride safe guys we will be following your report.
    #63
  4. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Currently holed up in San Blas where the gnats are eating us alive. You can always check the spot location in my sig line for current local. Thanks
    #64
  5. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    If you are really that crazy I would love to meet you some day.
    #65
  6. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    It was a pleasure to have lunch with you and your family. I think we just seriously lucked out on the Cartel thing. Yeah, I'm happy to have new shoes on I just hope the Maxxis doesn't cup like the MT21. I ran into another ADVer in Los Barilles that has the MT21 on the front that looked just like mine....take care Kevin
    #66
  7. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    A short bit of riding along the "Highway" just north of Cabo Pulma. The camera angle sucks....this was my first video with this helmet and camera position....will improve in future.

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    #67
  8. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Today we decided to go for a ride…..about time huh? Locked all the goods in the villa and headed up the east side……bike feels like my old CR250 after dropping 80+ pounds. We ran about 30 miles (80% offroad) to Santiago to see a waterfall (vid above). The ride was great but being from Oregon and all the waterfall was lacking…..until you realize you’re in the middle of the desert and it’s about 105* and there is a continuous flow of crystal clear water exploding from boulders with cacti sprouting up all around.

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    A steep hike down:

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    Hiked back out of the waterfall zone, suited up in gear, and went to check out Los Barriles. On the way out of the waterfall park I had a large 4’ snake that was yellow and black slither in front of me across the sandy washboard road.
    We have had a number of dogs try to take us down in small cities and Santiago did not disappoint.

    Since I have the GPS I am usually out in front when entering the cities so I get to awaken the dogs with the loud exhaust and they run for Alex. At the last turn out of town a large white mutt comes hauling ass after me and I’ve got an Alto sign right in front of me. I touch the front brake and then scoot through the intersection. As I’m blowing the Alto the dog turns for Al. Alex hates dogs and is constantly bitching about them so I get a kick out slowing down and watching the seen unfold. Alex slows wayyyyy down and the dog is barking and pawing at him while he has one foot of the peg jumping around try to keep the dog’s face away from him while he is revving the engine attempting to scare it away. I’m just waiting for his hand to slip off the clutch and watch him wheelie over and try to fend off the mutt….never happened but it was still a good show. I’ll turn on the GoPro next time we roll through a city and see if I can capture one of these moments.

    Made it out of Santiago and rolled into Los Barriles. Met some nice folks who pointed us to the best Tacos Pescado (fish tacos) in town. They were probably the best in all of Baja with its own salsa bar to add any toppings you want.

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    Los Barriles is about half/half Gringos & Hispanics. A little touristy but not bad. We found a good campground right in town that we decided to come up to the following day. Rode back to Cabo Pulmo; a few beers and dinner and it was lights out at about 7:00 PM.
    #68
  9. emilymariaa

    emilymariaa tinygiant

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    definitely going to subscribe to your thread- have an epic ride south!
    #69
  10. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Woke up at 5:00 AM and went for a short 2 mile run down the coast line and watched the sunrise as all the wildlife woke up. Crabs were swarming the beaches while the birds dinned in paradise (sorry no camera on the jog). Back at the villa I met up with Alex and we headed for coffee at Maribelas’ mothers place just down the way. Truly fantastic coffee. Back at the room we packed up and headed for the exit but had to stop and get a photo with Maribela. She is a very fine host that took great care of us and I hope to see her again one day. Cabo Pulmo is known for its snorkeling and scuba diving on the reef less than a mile off the beach (only living reef off of Baja)…..maybe next time because the $40/day budget doesn’t allow scuba diving.

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    Arrived in Los Barriles in the morning and secured our campsite. The wind is blowing like crazy and the wind and kite surfers are soaking it up. We are just relaxing catching up on a little typing as we sit and envy the adrenaline junkies. And also debating how we can get a petcock and an upper chain roller shipped safely into Guatemala…..who f*ckin knows??

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    First day in Los Barriles we meet a few people:

    A man named Tom from Oregon whose wife is staying in Cabo with girlfriends while he tent camps in a calmer neighborhood. Tom is into geocaching so talked me into signing up and passed off a “travel bug” that originated in Germany. I have strict instruction to deposit this “cache” at the Panama canal. No problem Tom.

    Rinn and Sammi were our next door neighbors at the campground. Rinn is from Georgia, lived in Colorado for 6 years, and comes to Baja for fishing 6 months out of every year. Very nice guy and showed us around town for a bit.

    Sammi is a Taiwanese woman who has been backpacking through Canada and US for the past 2 years. She is headed for Argentina and then Africa while she will learn the drums and hitchhike to Paris and become a street performer to pay for her travels through Russia/Asia back to Taiwan…..now there is an ambition plan. She speaks NO Spanish and is a beginner in the English language. Mandarin is no problem. Very cool girl but I think she is a little crazy :norton

    Kirk Russell, aka “Captain Baja”, owns Baja Tours MX and will gladly take you on a wild ride through baja on his badass KTM SXF’s. Laid back welcoming kind of guy that you would expect from a tour guide. Actually used to live in Medford, OR a while back before becoming a permanent resident on the Baja. After a few nips of whiskey we told him about Alex’s disintegrated upper chain roller and he jumped on the issue and wanted to help. Him and Alex hopped on the quad and zipped up to his place on the hill where he located a replacement part. Back at the campground the new part fit great and is working a charm. Thanks a ton Kirk….we won’t forget it.

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    In the evening met up with Rinn at Smokies for happy hour and nachos. Then Rinn wanted to take us out to a bar. Super seedy place called the Dolphin up out of town off the highway. Filthy smoky place but they had a decent pool table where we played like shit and drank ourselves under the table.

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    Rinn driving us back to camp:

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    #70
  11. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    Your in luck I will be in Antigua on Saturday if you need some stuff imported in just pm me we will figure it out and I'll bring it in. Problem solved. I leave Friday from Portland so let me know quick
    #71
  12. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    You are awesome! The offer is very much appreciated but I have already located someone flying into Antigua on the 14th. Not sure if you are busy/working/etc but we would be happy to buy you a beer for your generosity. Let us know. Cheers!
    #72
  13. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    I :raabiaMexico. I have only been there vicariously in RRs, but know I do.

    Fish tacos, huevos rancheros, quesadillas al pastor... :freaky I would never stop eating if I lived there.

    Carry on gents, and if Alajuela/Central Valley, Costa Rica is on your ADV trail, hit me up. Free room and board.
    #73
  14. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    I'm never one to turn down a beer, I'm in language school to prepare for my own epic trip like yours. I am out by noon every day so ill scout it out for ya. See ya then
    #74
  15. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Your like me. I love food and it is great here. I just wish my daily budget was bigger because I wouldn't stop eating.

    If we pass through your area we would love to stop for an evening. in fact, we may pass through the area just to be able to stay with a local! Thanks so much for the offer, we'll be in touch. Should be in that area in about 3 weeks.
    #75
  16. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    That is some serious preparation....wish we would have done the same. What language school are you doing?....and for how long? I haven't even booked one yet. totally unprepared, plan to roll into the country in a week.
    #76
  17. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    With head pounding I peak out of the tent to see beautiful pink/purple clouds on the horizon as the sun tries to peak over the edge of the world. I know it is going to be a beautiful day and I’m not going to waste a minute of it on the sidelines. Strap on the Nikes and hit the beach for a rough 3 miles to the far north end of town.

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    Back at camp I wash up and organize gear and then check some emails. Rinn spots a guy rolling through the campground and says “Hey, that’s Matt and he sells Empanadas if you’re hungry”. Shit I’m always hungry and haven’t had one yet so Matt busts out a cooler full of hot deep fried Empanadas from the Isuzu….one beef, one pollo, 30 pesos later I’m eating well.

    Not much to do with little money so I sit and watch the kite surfers and try to spot some whales (only saw one).
    Received an email from my mother with news that one of her friends is flying into Guatemala in 2 weeks. Perfect!! I call up Pingle and order a petcock and a vacuum operated fuel valve and have it sent to my folks. Jump on ebay and buy Alex two additional chain rollers (he has lowering links and apparently this causes the rollers to get eaten up much faster).

    Feeling better about life already we jump on the bikes and Rinn takes to a lookout point just out of town where you can see a huge portion of coastline with the little town of Los Barriles just below you.

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    Then Sammi wanted a ride.....rolled down the hill in neutral with her.

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    Back at the campground we change and get ready for dinner. Heading down the road Rinn picks a taco stand and we place our orders. Dos Tacos Pescado y Una Taco Camaron on Maze Tortillas….Delicious. The restaurant is on the side of the road and our table is 25’ from the centerline in the street. Only our group of 4 and another table with 6 older gringos. Kathump!....everyone turns and stares as a car is moving way to quickly down the little street….bump bump….a dog comes shooting out from under the car directly in front of the restaurant. Immediately welping unable to use its rear legs laying in the center of the street as the car speeds onward. A woman and two men jump up from the table next to us and run to the dog trying to restrain and comfort it. A Hispanic street vendor just up the road comes running and screaming…..her dog is dying. :cry

    I have no doubt this is a common incident with the number of dogs running around but as an animal lover (especially dogs) I can’t help but feel a little sick to my stomach. About 5 minutes later the gringos determined that the dog had expired but the whaling in the street continued.

    When the woman returned that ran out to help the dog her hand was covered in blood. She seemed very unconcerned and ask the waiter if she could wash it in the sink….thus I figured it was from the dog. Until it was rinsed and I saw them pouring hydrogen peroxide into a series of puncture wounds. OUCH!!

    With an appetite that up and vanished we walked further up the road to open mic night. A number of talented gringos performing mostly cover songs the entertainment wasn’t bad but we were beat. Walked back to camp and passed out….didn’t even make it to Baja Midnight (9:00 PM).
    #77
  18. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Time for a boat ride. Packed up and said Audios to all of our campmates. The first 20 miles to La Paz was great. Twisty mountain curves through small towns built on hillsides engulfed by tropical vegetation.

    We took the Baja Ferry out of Pichilingue. After arriving a few hours early we got our TVIP’s from a very cute and helpful Hispanic woman that spoke great English…..this seemed like a very positive start. Then off to another booth where we secured our tickets for the ferry (from another attractive woman) but they were sold out of cabins….no big deal we’ll sleep on the deck tonight. Still very early we hit the Pichilingue Playa and had drinks at the cabana.

    Time flew by and we found ourselves in line for the boat loading process…not exactly organized.

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    Waiting at the entrance to the boat we watched the load the semi-trucks. These guys were hauling ass doing this. This one particular truck was turning sharp but clearly wasn’t going to hit the ramp with both tires….the guy on the ramp continued to wave him on clearly unconcerned about any consequences. As you can see he came up short and knocked the massive chrome bumper off the truck….everyone just laughs and carries on as usual…..no wonder everything is beat to shit around here.

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    Another biker rolls up on a Honda African twin loaded up. I figure this guy has a tale to tell because these bikes are few and far between in the states. His name is Marnix and he is from Holland traveling around the world with his girlfriend Lisan (Lee-zon). Finally rolled the bikes onto the boat. Right between nice tie down points for motorcycles. Did they have tie downs….they claim not to have any but I suspect a case of laziness. Ropes were much closer at hand and that is what we were given. I’m sweating this after the first tie down gasoline incident but what can you do?

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    After tying down the bikes we head to the elevator for the lobby. It is small and my bags way too much and the damn thing won’t take me up. I’m sweating crazy and the boat is full of diesel exhaust fumes and I am not a happy camper. Head for the stairs….5 stories up near vertical carrying 80 lbs of gear plus my fat ass in full ride attire and MX boots on. Seriously thought I might black out before I got to the top.

    Onto the deck I take a seat, catch my breath, and look around. Disgruntled truck drivers starring at the gringos. I am feeling rather uncomfortable and Alex is sweating this scene pretty good. Definitely not going to get much sleep tonight. Al races to the lobby and puts our names on a list for a cabin in case of a cancellation. 90 minutes later we disembark and learn that we scored a cabin…..Thank goodness, Sleep is possible!

    Make it to the room. No dinner….grab a few beers. Boat starts rocking like a suburban at a drive in theater. I’m not too prone to sea sickness but up on the 6th floor this thing has me feeling shitty quickly. Luckily a little forethought was used and we picked up Dramamine in Los Barriles. That calmed things down.

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    Invited Marnix and Lisan over for a couple beers and talked traveling for the better part of an hour. They started in Holland, rode through Europe, Turkey, Iran, India, Malaysia, Laos, fill in the blank for a number of others until they shipped to LA, rode down Baja and met us in La Paz. Pretty incredible!!
    #78
  19. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Slept okay but the boat was shifting us from one side of our bunks to the other. Oh well, at least all I have to do is ride a dirt bike for the day. Free breakfast was terrible…cafeteria style with all the truckers…runny beans and powdered eggs.

    Down in the hold the bikes were still standing to my amazement. Got off the boat and could feel the humidity had jumped 10 fold and we immediately had cross through a military check point. Questions that I don’t have answers for is the name of the game.

    We paired up with the Dutch couple and made our way to San Blas. 170 miles of pavement pounding on toll roads that we were charged an arm and leg for however everyone recommends it as it is much safer. Primarily rolling hills with lots of farming happening. Finally some tropical vegetation (Agave, Cocoa Trees, Jackfruit, etc…).

    San Blas is made out to be some kind relaxed surfer’s paradise however we didn’t see this at all. Rather run down with a major lack in tourism. Find a cheap spot at an RV park and setup for the evening.

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    Pretty poor conditions with the gnats eating us alive until a few hours after dark. Alex and I picked up our standard dinner of tortillas, refried beans, salsa, and a couple beers. Ate on my fancy tarp as we watched the real travelers cook up a delicious meal of macaroni with onions, tomatoes, garlic, eggs, and probably other good stuff. But we had more beer…they should take notes.

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    #79
  20. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Got up in the morning….wet….damn! I don’t like the rain fly because the wind blows through the tent and feels niiiiiiice. Well, we were right under some palm fronds and the dew dripped on us half the morning. Strung up a line in the sun and took a shower in the filthy bath house thing.

    Then packed gear as the gnats began feeding again. Stopped in town and got fuel and more air for the tires. They have sweet air filling stations. Just type in the desired pressure and inflate.

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    Finally on the road with the wind in our faces we pounded on the Tequila. Mostly just Agave fields along the roads with the tropics deteriorating as we drove inland (higher elevations and no gnats). We were riding around 4500 ft. most of the time.

    Entering Tequila:

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    The home of Jose Cuervo, Sauza, Don Julio, you name it they are here. After wandering aimlessly though town for an hour or so and sweating profusely we found Hostel Viejo. After a little haggling we landed in a room for all four of us.

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    Change clothes and get our on the streets for some taste testing.
    We took a tour of the El Gran Jubileo distillery. Quite interesting, but won’t bore you with the particulars. However they do get there white oak barrels from Kentucky (used).

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    Tour was great, tasting was great, felt obligated to purchase something so the Dutch couple purchased a nice bottle for $8.


    Off to the town square it was quite the happening place. Little to no tourists so we stuck out like a sore thumb but no worries on our part. The scenery is much much nicer on mainland than on Baja if you know what I mean.

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    After our stroll we grabbed ice, grapefruit, bananas, oranges, and juice. Back at the Hostel Alex and Lisan whipped up some Tequila daiquiris. Not bad but nothing to write home about.

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    Then the Americans learned a new game that was a hybrid mix of poker and WAR. The booze didn’t last long but Alex and I gained a lot of valuable information in regards to traveling from these great folks. Salud! To Marnix and Lisan. We hope to meet up further south. :freaky
    #80