Baja – A current take on exploring Baja using paved roads almost exclusively

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Vic5491, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Hey Jonz, when I said 60 miles, I based that on someone saying that the road had been paved about 10 miles below Puertocitos. I looked at my map and estimated that that would leave about 60 miles beyond the 10 paved.

    Actually I just checked it and GoogleMaps shows the miles between Puertocitos and Hwy 1 to be 82. Have they paved more than 10 miles below Puertocitos now?

    Vic

    #41
  2. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    www.rightsure.com I got insurence online from this company.I cannot comment on using it though becuse I didnt need it.FYI-there is a paved highway running out to Scorpion Bay now.
    #42
  3. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks. The reason I asked is that my daughter lives in LA. If I really enjoy Baja and want to go back again soon, I will likely leave my bike at her house at the end of this trip and fly home. Since I have other bikes to ride, this does not leave me without. I'll be going back for Christmas and could easily go a week earlier or stay a week later and go down and do the East coast of Baja then. If Christmas is too cold, then I can go back in the spring and then bring my bike home.

    #43
  4. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    How far is it from Hwy 1 out to Scorpion Bay and what is special about it?

    Vic

    #44
  5. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Gonzaga Bay/Alfonsina's is around 40 miles south of Puertocitos and the pavement runs a few miles south of Gonzaga.As I mentioned, it's 36 miles from Gonzaga to Hwy 1. Right at Laguna Chapels

    Scorpion Bay is a surf spot at the town of San Juanico. Pretty spot with camping and a restaurant on a point. I was there a few years ago right after the 'new' pavement at that time had washed away.
    #45
  6. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    If you said that the road was paved to below Gonzaga, I missed that. What I remembered was someone saying that the pavement ended about 10 miles below Puertocitos. That apparently is how we came up with different numbers.

    #46
  7. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    Road info in Baja is in a constant flux. IMHO, any information that is more than a couple of months old is suspect. That's because Baja is rapidly becoming paved over (well the heavily traveled routes are anyways). Highway 1 is being widened and realigned as is Hwy 3 between Tecate and Ensenada. On Hwy 5 they are hard at work on the large bridge needed to cross the wash about 5 miles south of Rancho Grande (the turn off for Alfonsinas). The road out to BA has been paved. They are rapidly paving the road from San Ignacio out to the Whale watching sites.

    If you want the latest info you should check out the bajanomad.com forum.
    #47
  8. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks! I just spent an hour on bajanomad.com. Good resource for sure.

    #48
  9. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

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    I would brush up on at least some Spanish if I was you .... only Baja once but Mexico many times .... just getting by helps a lot, and the goodwill is of unspeakable value.

    I am fluent in Spanish, and would not travel the Americas without it .... this 'universal language' attitude is crap, learn some Español, for your own sake and theirs :D
    #49
  10. muddyrabbit

    muddyrabbit Lost Boy

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    This sums it up great. My first time I worried EVERY detail. I seriously had a sectioned file folder in the truck with each person's documents for them, their bike, and insurance for the border. The guy at the border paid as much attention to it as the judge did to Officer Opy's 37 8x10 color glossy photographs with the circles and arrows. The third time the wife and I planned out which town and hotel we would stop at each night for 2 weeks. That went out the window when we rolled up to an unbelievably gorgeous beach with people camped on it. Tossed the plan and just winged it the rest of the trip.

    I have never felt unsafe, but 3 of us did have a giggle fit when a young guy who had never been out of Ohio who was with us thought the first military checkpoint was the scariest thing ever (ever said in a valley girl accent). Even he was totally calm by day 3.

    One thing my wife and I totally enjoyed that I have never noticed anyone else on ADV mention doing is we actually spent the night at Coco's. It was amazing despite the weather. It was February 12th, and there was a storm somewhere to the west. It got down to 30deg F. and 40mph winds at one point over night. That was a cold walk to the outhouse that night. Before the wind though we had sat around with a couple other travelers chatting. One was a very nice lady in a Jeep Cherokee who checks in on Coco regularly, can't remember her name, I think she lives in Baja part of the year. The stars were amazing, the random travelers were enchanting, we slept in an old camper (thank gawd, I would not have wanted to be in the tent that night!), another in our group slept in Coco's AMC Eagle, and in the morning Coco made us all coffee. Instant Nescafe never tasted so good. I am surprised how few riders bother to stay over, we all tend to blow in, sign The Book, have a Coke or Pacifico, and blow out. Before sunset Mala Bunny and I walked around the desert, all the beer cans sound different from a distance. It was a beautiful experience.

    Of course I might be biased...
    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. Stonewall

    Stonewall The Wild

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    :lurk Just soaking up info looking to ride down myself :deal
    #51
  12. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    Stayed at Coco's in 1 of his campers last febuary on the way back from Cabo.For some strange reason it gets a little cool there in the winter.I of best nights sleep on the road on the whole trip.Lights out at 6:30 pm and very quiet all night.The price is right.A short ride to Alphonsina's for breakfast .In some of the towns you can get 92 octane premium.its good stuff-no -ethanol added.Seemed to be a little more potent the current california e10 gas-different vibes in the handle bars.
    #52
  13. TommyTomlinson

    TommyTomlinson n00b

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    I'm very glad to see this post. i'm in Virginia and i have a small group going to the Baja at the beginning of November. I have Raced the Baja 9 times but never rode a Big Bike there. Our plan is to ride mostly paved roads but would love to ride some dirt. The last year i was there was 2008 so i too have some of the same questions that you are having people answer.
    #53
  14. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    If you want up to date Baja knowledge join Baja Nomads, much more Baja info available there than on ADV, like I've been to Baja about 100 times, starting in 1957, and there are others with more experience than me on Baja Nomads
    #54
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Here is a nugget on the western side, south of Ensenada...& a million miles from the world of fast pace.
    http://www.coyotecals.com/
    #55
  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I'd go late November, less rain, cooler temps, not cold but we do take the heated vests for those cold mornings.

    Tecate/3/1 is good. It gets nice right after Ensenada, sweeping mountain roads. I have to disagree with those that say you MUST ride dirt to see Baja...you can see plenty by paved road we do. We had ridden From San Felipe to Gonzaga back when it was mostly all dirt for 100 miles, it was a bone shaker and a bike wrecker...It's mostly paved now, but the dreaded SAND after Gonzaga....don't bother until it's finished.

    We have never, ever felt in danger. The cops and hospital and people were awesome when I had my spill Sept 2012.

    Two bikes. Yamaha TTR 250's for the dirt. BMW R1150GS(then)1200GS for road. Yes she rides her own 1200GS.

    Never had a flat on either of our bikes in five trips. Rode to Ushuai Nov2013/Jan 2014 never had a flat on either bike. (Suzuki DR650).

    Just obey the traffic signs, stop early, gas often. Use the same precautions you would in the USA.
    #56
  17. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    I'm not 100% sure but it looks likely that I will enter Baja about 10/24 and will be on the peninsula about 2 weeks. I don't have anyone going along with me and would like to hook up with 1 to a few others if our plans and preferences are similar. I do not plan to camp at all so having someone to split rooms with would be good. I plan to stay on pavement almost exclusively and plan to leisurely see what Baja is about.

    I'd love to go a little later and see some of the races but without connections, I doubt that is possible. I'm sure all of the motels and hotels have been booked solid for a year now.

    Vic

    PS. Your name kept resonating in my head and I could not figure out why so I briefly googled you and holy crap Tonto, I found that you are the real deal! From my quick search, which was not at all thorough, I found that you and your teammates won the Sportsman class in 04 or 05 and have been in the top 10 finishers other years! Wow! Hope you don't mind my mentioning this.

    #57
  18. FakeName

    FakeName Wile E Coyote SuperGenius

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    Thank you sir!
    #58
  19. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks again! You have given me hope and a lot of good info!

    Your mentioning your spill in 2012 reminded me to ask... what have you done on your trips to MX regarding health insurance and Med Evac insurance if you have gotten it? If you could point me to the agency you used, share approximate cost, etc. it would be a great help.

    Circumstances make me think I will have to make the trip in the last of Oct and first of November. I just hope rain is not a problem.

    I have decided to stay on pavement almost exclusively on this trip. When and if I find myself wanting to do more dirt, I'll probably come back on a DR350 or maybe 650 with knobbies and a riding buddy.

    Glad to know you have not had a problem with flats. It's odd but some have none and some have 5 in 3 days. I will likely bring a couple of tubes and internal patches in addition to my usual plug kit. Hopefully if I get really prepared, I will never need any of it!

    Thanks again for your help and encouragement!

    Vic


    #59
  20. TommyTomlinson

    TommyTomlinson n00b

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    Are you shipping your bike? What bike are you riding? We looked into shipping but with possibly 6 bikes we have decided to take van and trailer. Most will fly out and meet us.
    We decided our route today. I will share our plans if your ok with it? I do not want to high jack your thread but it sounds like we are wanting to do about the same trip.
    #60