Baja again: Dos Pendejos

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by motoged, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Back in Bay of LA....as the San Borja jaunt was our first ride from this base, we decided to take a little puff north of town...past the open Pemex...the paved road took a few right and left handers....the pavement ended but the road continued....as it was approaching Happy Hour, I suggested we ride down to a new resort I had heard mixed reviews about..."La Ventana...The Winds" is an appropriate name as it is on a windy section of the beach (not uncommon here)....a nice place for a beer...no one else there but us and two staff...

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    And as the afternoon light was getting close to "PERFECT", i snapped a few...

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    In the meantime Darren was grokking it on the beach...

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    Schmoozing the jefe...

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    ...and like that they disappeared...

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    And I just kept snappin' .....
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    Swim up bar.....

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    Like a deer in the headlights....:lol3:lol3

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    And then a pleasant scoot back to Victoria's ....with nothing much else planned except a beverage before dinner....after a shower and the usual, we were chillaxing....but another story presented itself....the STEALTH TRUCK....:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1 :deal:deal

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    More on "THAT TRUCK" later......:freaky:wink:
    #81
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  2. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul and Old School ADV

    Joined:
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    There's some 'gaspipe' memorabilia at Victoria's place in BoLA. A day or two after I got hit by a buggy and busted my hand in Puertocitos, I ended up there. Great food and a fantastic host. For the last few years, about the only good thing about Bay of LA was the view when you decended from the pass, and a fish taco and a beer for lunch at Guillermo's. I stopped staying there overnight. I about gave up on BoLA until that place sprung up.

    Same deal on San Francisquito. I used to like that place, but it's just run down and the prices keep going up. Only there's no Victoria to re-up the ante.

    Last year, Ricardo [Rice and Beans] has told me he was opening up a new place on the coast north of San Ignacio. Any intel on that? Since I love the Vizcaino Peninsula and exploring out there, I'm thinking about taking the bike over on a ketch to Cedros and riding there for a day. I don't know anyone who ever has.

    Great ride. I hope you bastages left some caguamas for me. :lol3 :freaky
    #82
  3. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Gaspipe,
    That gang of riders from Kamloops in that pic from Victoria's did a ride up the east coast from San Ignacio to San Francisquito last year (killer hard ride, apparently...they ran out of gas, drinking water, and low water in rads....Shawn had to ride out for gas rescue ride....saved the day) and Al told me last year that part of a road recently pushed in to part of that area was washed out in hurricane Juan in Sept/06....he was re-riding it recently and will be doing it again this coming week....so I will get intel in about three weeks...

    Just north of Los Barriles is a high class hacienda in the middle of F'in nowhere....you can see it on Google Earth....Shawn rode into it that night he was searching for gas for the group....tricked out 4 X 4's , quads, bikes, boats, and all that.....no one around but the marine radio was on and transmitting....spooky wierd he said....siphoned some gas and got outta there:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1...

    Ensenada Trinidad might be the general location of Ricardo's new plan, but I am just guessing...
    #83
  4. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC

    Cedros....take pics:freaky:freaky

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedros_Island

    And I do believe there is a caguama in the cooler back in the room :lol3
    #84
  5. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Nicely gone Ged. Quick fact : the gent on the right is Floyd (group photo) we dropped a tire for him @ Rice and Beans. The Borja trip was a nice one and our host, whose name eludes me as well, filled in alot of blanks for me and was a genuine nice guy. His description of the trail we should try was to turn at the "broken van"" which highlights the quasi communication that filled my trip as my spanish really doesn't exist. The turn was at the completely stripped wreck of a cargo van, unmistakable but comical. Keep up the good work. As well, Al's technique of teaching new off-roaders to stand rather than sit is still effective isn't it ? (see husky photo):1drink
    #85
  6. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Darren (DRS),
    Yep, that Husky without a seat would encourage ANYONE to be on the pegs...

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    My proctologist encouraged me to install the seat for most rides....:lol3:lol3

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    ....and that San Borja trail was the closest we came to a rocky challenge....I believe I was on my pegs for the first half mile....

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    As I was saying earlier, Darren and I came out of our respective rooms at Costa del Sol after that San Borja / Las Ventanas day to see this STEALTH TRUCK parked in front of our rooms....

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    Walking around it a few times to examine the nature of this beast, we wondered whose was it ???? ....and what the hell was concealed inside....

    During the trip we had both wished we could see some UFO's (why, I don't know, but it seemed like a reasonable adventure-travel request)....and considered that perhaps this rig was somehow involved with that request...

    We didn't mind that it was bravely parked at our doorstep...

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    ....and I needed to make contact with the alien ship just to confirm the veracity of our ocular experience.....as Darren was FULLY aware of my propensity to locate phenomena in context with the full realm of .......

    THE MATRIX .....

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    Establishing tactile resonance with the perceptual realm, it was not more than a few minutes when two guys appeared....almost as if from nowhere:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1

    We greeted them in our best Spanish and were pleased to hear them respond in English...

    Establishing the notion that they were indeed earthlings, we entered into a most rewarding conversation there in the parking lot, later in my room examining the Baja Almanac, and , after that, over dinner....

    One of the guys was a wirey gentleman who appeared to be in his 60's, while the other was a younger man likely in his late 20's or a bit older.

    It seemed that these guys were initially drawn to Darren and this was because of their mutual appreciation for Husaberg motorcycles...

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    it seemed that these guys were not a father & son team (something that folks often assumed about Darren and I....), but were riders who themselves were exploring parts of the Baja....and were both Husaberg riders.....and their bikes were inside the STEALTH TRUCK...as the conversation spun, I mentioned that we were planning to ride down to San Francisquito and base out of there for a few days....and possibly looking for the killer ride our Kamloops buddies had done the previous year....and I innocently referred to that ride as being on the "Malcolm Smith Trail" from San Ignacio up the coast of the Sea of Cortez to San Francisquito....the older gentleman seemed to sit up in his chair with that comment and said,

    "Who called it the 'Malcolm Smith Trail' ? "

    Sensing some level of transgression on my part, I apologetically reworded my attribution , "Well, that's what one of the guys called it....I don't know why...maybe it has another name...."

    When in the Baja, you meet a range of riders with varying riding interests, skill levels, and attitudes....

    They range from poorly prepared folks who mistake "Adventure Riding" with what ends up sometimes being "Misadventure Riding", to adequately prepared and skilled riders who explore the mid-range of routes (double-tracking mostly), to those who you rarely see because they are doing SERIOUS trail riding.

    Continuing with the elder's piqued interest, it was not long before the younger fellow, Greg, piped up with some frames of reference to this conversation.....

    It seems that we were enjoying the company of the Baja legend, Bill Nichols.... Baja 1000 winner of his class on "more occasions than you have had hot meals"...

    Bill, known by some as 'The Rock Man", not only because of his Arizona business of having a "decorative rock quarry", but more likely because he develops Baja trails that make Malcolm Smith wince with trepidation.

    Greg went back to his rom and returned with a photocopied article from the May, 2000 edition of Dirt Bike magazine....."The Rock Man and the Legend"....an article describing a "Pacific-to-Cortez" ride over previuosly unridden terrain that Bill had been scouting by bike and airplane over a period of years....That particular ride also included Malcom (The Legend??)
    Smith and his son, Joel Smith, Jim O'Neal, Gene and Sam Dempsey, Danny Ragland, Ron Lawson, Tom Webb, Jimmy Scones, Scott Burrus, Jim Sims,.... and an ADV Rider, Corky Berle, another Arizona desert rat with his own Baja cred.....some of these names might ring more bells for readers here than they do for me....but Corky had briefly responded to some of my earlier Baja queries on the "Baja Nomads Forum".....and is a contributor to this forum...:clap:clap:clap

    It seems that Bill may have figured Malcolm was his guest on that ride.....but I'm not gonna mess with Bragging Rights between those two guys....

    Set back on my heels a bit with this revelation, I let Bill know that it was Al Perrett and his crew who had described their extreme challenge on that San Ignacio - San Francisquito ride....Bill said, "Oh yeah....I know Al..." and a new level of "Six Degrees of Separation" took form...and when I shared this story with Al after our return from this trip, he indicated that he had learned of that trail having ridden it with Bill a year or so earlier....

    Bill said that he had not been in touch with Al for a handful of time or so and wasn't sure how to get hold of him....Darren volunteered the info that he had Al's phone # in his laptop...and returned with it for Bill....who surprisingly whips out his sat-phone and dials Al....back in Kamloops...

    "Al, it's Bill Nichols.....Biil Nichols....yeah....I am down here in Bay of LA with a couple of your riding partners from KAmloops having dinner.... yeah, .......Bill Nichols...."

    While I have very few regrets regarding thsi Baja trip (a few rides planned but not taken ...."next time"), I DO REGRET passing on Bill's invitation to join him and Greg the next day exploring a new bi-coastal trail he is developing (he bluntly refused to indicate even roughly where it was located:lol3:lol3:lol3 ).

    It may have been my shyness, sense of "I am not worthy", too many beers, or the illusion that we already had a plan for the next day's ride....but I turned it down:cry:cry :eek1:eek1 :cry:cry

    We swapped more ride stories, talked bikes, and eventually headed off on our respective ways ....

    The truck was gone by dark-0'thirty the next morning.....a silent early morning departure with nary a sound....vanished as if it had never been there.....a spectre....a moment of privilege....pure STEALTH :clap:clap:clap


    The plan for the day was to change the oil and filters, do a laundry, and prep for a ride south to San Francisquito the following day....[​IMG]
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    #86
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  7. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Before we could head out for San Francisquito, we had some chores to attend to....bike maintenance....laundry....breakfast....stuff like that...

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    Darren found a place in the morning shade behind the motel....an area which was home to some other heavy machinery...

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    While I preferred to work in the sun....Behind me is a stack of used Pirelli MT 21's....good enough for a desperate rider in need....

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    A late morning brunch at Guillermo's ....

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    .....gave Darren a chance to establish a meaningful relationship with the pelicanos...

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    Hanging around waiting for a fish or two, I suppose....

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    The focus of interest shifted to a returning panga...couple of gringo's with their guide....they tried to haul the trailer out with the guys in the panga....

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    But that didn't work as the trailer wasn't really hooked up on the hitch ball...

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    So after some jockeying, fancy rope work, and tire spinning, the gringos were hauled up on the beach....all the while ignoring the pelicans feasting on their catch in the back of the panga....great entertainment...

    Peace and calm returned to la playa....

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    As the day developed, more riders pulled up to Victoria's....in a hurry to find rooms and not much into conversation at that point...

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    Some A-Type room searching was going on...

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    As just before these bikes pulled up, a large truck arrived and a story developed...

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    A tall, lanky fellow emerged from the beast and proceeded to ensure that previous room arrangements were in order....

    Sitting with a cerveza and a glow, I asked if this meant that a bunch of noisy bikes were to follow....and he assured me that was the case...

    And that is how the story of The Trail Boss Gang began....

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    #87
  8. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    I think his name was Dan....(but Darren will point out later it is Tim)....I had the number of letters in his name

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    The tall and quiet support truck driver was a hard-working guy for the Trail Boss....he was silently efficient, polite, and got it all done without a word...

    He drove the truck in almost an hour before the tour's first rider pulled in to Victoria's....he had the rider's gear bags out of the truck and arranged for pickup, a table of refreshments set out, and a hundred other details on the go....

    The first rider to pull up was a guy in blue.....blue Yamaha 450....with a new BIG Acerbis tank (a feature which was added to my 450 EXC just for this trip and which had a list of "Pros & Cons" about THAT long), blue riding gear....

    He walked by and without much more than a nod, acknowledged out loud that "That tank is way to F'n big !" I didn't disagree and figured it was as good an opening comment as anything.....within a handful of minutes, a few other riders pulled up to the front of the motel and Blue Guy directed them to pull around by the back....one of them got to chatting a bit and he seemed like a friendly sort...

    About 20 minutes or so passed and the Blue Guy headed out on his bike again and headed south....the direction from whence he came....I continued my conversation with Friendly Sort and learned that, while he taught road racing and did some other work for testing motorcycles (in a way which wasn't clearly described), this was his first Baja tour.....

    With the hubbub of some riders arriving and trying to get rooms and arrangements sorted out, I sat back a bit and tried to stay out of their way.
    I had operated some GS tours in BC for a few years and appreciated the myriad of things going on when a group arrives at a destination....and it was relaxing to watch the OTHER GUY have to "herd the cats"....
    While part of me just wanted to jump in and converse, another part of me respected that their group didn't need me underfoot....

    Before too much time passed, Friendly Guy came up to me holding his 2-way radio....he was talking to someone he kept referring to as "Trail Boss" on the walkie-talkie in a manner that seemed serious....and then said to me...."We need somebody like you" ....as he was looking at my truck parked there....

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    "Strange...", I thought ..... "he isn't wall-eyed or anything like that, but he is talking to me while looking at my truck...???"

    Friendly Guy was interspersing his dialogue with whoever Trail Boss Guy was (something I was beginning to look forward to figuring out) with glances at me and then my truck....

    "We have a rider injured 5 miles up the road....can you go and get him and his bike?", was Friendly Guy's clarification of expectation.

    "He is five miles back south of town....he is OK but he has a broken collarbone or something. Can you take your truck?.... We will pay for the gas or buy you beers or something...."

    I quickly considered the situation and asked Darren if he would come to assist....he was willing to return in the back with the bike as Injured Guy would likely need some room in the cab with me.

    I told Friendly Guy, "Sure, let me go get my keys and rearrange the crap in the truck...." I put my beer on the ledge of the stone wall, went to get my keys, and got in the truck with Darren....."Ready For Action Guys", we were !!!!:wink:

    We pulled out and drove around onto the street....we were in second gear when Friendly Guy was waving at us as he was running towards us....walkie-talkie in hand, confirming with Trail Boss directions and info....

    "hey, you guys don't need to go...he's getting here okay"....

    I was disappointed a bit to not be needed (family of origin issues, most likely :lol3 ), but also a bit relieved that the truck was spared some bad road...

    We drove back into the parking lot and resumed our location....but with a new sense of connection to this group ....Friendly Guy appreciated our lack of hesitation in responding to his request for assistance.

    As Darren said...."Rider Down....that's what you do...."

    I found my half-finished beer on the front wall and sipped as the commotion progressed....

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    This group seemed tight and a few were clearly energized in their solving the challenge of helping their injured partner....sat phones were humming and plans were developing....and before long a local doctor had been procured and it was agreed that he would drive the Injured Guy to Ensenada from where he could fly back to the US of A....and the fee of several hundred dollars seemed reasonable after all the variables were considered....

    As the dust settled a bit, Blue Guy seemed to be a central figure to the commotion....and it became evident that Blue Guy was Trail Boss Guy....

    "Solved that mystery". I thought....and that was good.

    Friendly Guy and I chatted some more and he identified himself as a friend of Trail Boss Guy and that he was helping out with the ride as assistant slave and sweep.....

    The plot thickened as it was presented to me....

    Blue Guy = Trail Boss Guy = Chris Steward....head of the company (more on that later).....


    And Friendly Guy = Thad Wolfe ....road racer and riding/race instructor, and the face behind the helmet on many a motorcycle mag test article or motorcycle company test project....

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    And I have to say....a pleaseure to have met them.....

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    As we talked, it became apparent that this was the group of riders I noticed leaving Cabo several days earlier .....

    This group was a gathering of friends from Pennsylvania who had ridden with Chris previously....they were all experienced riders and seemed to be a tight group.....but not tight enough to want to hear from one of their members every time he extolled the virtues of Noxzema cream...
    "It's great for monkey butt", he extolled. "I just smear it on in the morning"...at which point other group members would start to moan and leave the vicinity...."I have even cured my athlete's foot with it .... It's great stuff....!"

    While I was willing to appreciate the medicinal value of our grandmother's favourite salve, not all his friend were.....:lol3:lol3:lol3:clap:clap:wink:

    I now have a jar of it in my cabinet at home.....:eek1:deal

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    Chris's Big Tank with killer Baja Designs light....

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    The place where their guy crashed was a washout vado at the entrance to Camp Gecko and is exactly the obstacle that caused Travis Pastrana to crash and burn his rig in November/06...

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    While it might not look that sinsister here, there are two of them about 50 feet apart....hit them at speed without knowing they are there .... and yer gonna get hurt....

    In the pic above, the "dark strip" just beyond the vado is the scorched remnants of Pastrana's buggy....the stuff that they didn't trailer out....

    During the period of time between Chris first riding up and the rescue truck cancellation....another show was on the road....

    We heard and then saw some buggies/rails...whatever they are ......coming into town from the north end of town....a few came by at a reasonable speed and a few of us commented on them as they passed....

    Before long one was arriving with....get this.....:lol3:lol3:lol3.....a local guy with his beater pick-up racing beside him....louder than hell and having a good race at that:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:lol3:lol3:lol3:clap:clap:clap

    You would have to see it and hear it to get the full effect of the humour in this situation.....a $500 truck passing a $$$$$$$$$ race vehicle....:lol3

    Darren wandered to the next door motel to take a boo....

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    Darren has the story on this bit.....one of the rigs was a class winner in Baja 1000 '06.......they also had a truck with a trailer carrying a spare buggy....and spare motor....:evil:evil:evil:evil

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    Details.....

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    #88
  9. hitanshu

    hitanshu Free-Rider

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Delhi, India
    In one word - FantastiC!! :D
    #89
  10. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    The day the Trail Boss Gang left, Darren and I were hanging out....a few more riders showed up and, after conversations unwound, they indicated that they were riding around for a few days to get a Baja taste.....as they had to return to San Diego.....To go on a Trail Boss Tour !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:clap:ear

    Go figure....LESS than "6 degrees of separation"

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    The plan to go to San Francisquito was delayed a day or so when we decided to ride up to Coco's Corner first....

    The day was a gorgeous sunny repeat....I was about 20 kms out of BOLA when I realized why I felt so "free-and-easy" riding that day....I had forgotten to put on my pack w/ camelback and camera....always being THAT GUY, I did not dare tell Darren I wanted to go back and get it....so I have no pics of that day....Darren does....

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    The ride from downtown :lol3 BOLA is on pavement for 55 kms to a turn-off heading north at km 11 (in from the HWY #1)....

    The 5 pics below are from my '05 ride ...

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    This delightful hardpacked sand lasts a very short while and becomes deeper sand, whooped out sand and hard-pack, and twists and turns with enough surprises to keep a rider on their toes....

    Approaching the Calamuje wash, a rider will notice a sulphuric odour in the air....as this often wet stretch has some hotspring action somewhere.....

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    Darren pointed out that some day this piece might just slide right off that hill....

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    The wash tends to consist of the following elements:
    1) deep sand that worries a motor and begs for a steering damper;
    2) wet sand that can be your friend after #1;
    3) "stream bed" conditions that may hide ruts and rocks...or holes;
    4) stinky muck that you don't want to fall into;
    5) algae "hair" that clings to the bike for days afterwards and becomes a conversation piece with other riders :freaky:deal:clap:wink:



    Arriving at Coco's, I see that once again he is redecorating....it is either floods, windstorms, or ennui that lead to his frequent redecorating binges....this is the most spartan I have seen his place out of the 4 times I have been there

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    Some other Good Ol Boys were already there....

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    ....sipping cervezas when we arrived....

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    ....on the patio....


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    :cry:cry:cry:cry But Coco wasn't there....he was "On vacation in Ensenada" according to the hospitable fellow corner-sitting...

    The panty collection has been diminished somewhat from previous sightings..

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    But a glimpse inside Coco's home ....

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    ....let's you know just what kind of company he keeps...

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    And Darren noticed that this babe had her legs autographed by Chris Steward and Thad Wolfe a day or so earlier.....hhmmmm....this "6 degrees of separation" thing gets distorted in the Baja it seems :eek1:eek1

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    Coco just doesn't seem to have enough pussy around...

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    And Darren maintains that when he took this next pic, he was totally focussed on the teeth on this sprocket...

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    HHmmmmmm.....that's not what I noticed :eek1 :eek1:clap :lol3 :wink: :evil

    I suppose Coco has used this chair at some time....but judging by the tires, he has been doing some smoke-shows...

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    After a few Pacificos, el bano is a short walk away...

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    and for those who like to sit....

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    Coco's Pemex...

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    Coco's limo....

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    The ride back to Bola was a fast one....out to the highway to pass Calamujue and then back into the whoops before the paved stretch back into Bola...


    San Francisquito was next....for real....

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    #90
  11. DRS Canada

    DRS Canada Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Hey Ged. The chase guy for Trail Boss is Tim and you're right he works his ass off. I was impressed by the professional approach of the Trail Boss experience, these guys put in the effort to allow their guests a worry free trip and by the fact that the 2 groups we met are both return customers, well that speaks volumes.
    The buggy group was another tour which looked pretty cool, I was snapping photos @ sunrise and met one of the guys on the tour. He was stoked and could not impress upon me enough that these things are "the real deal". They look like fun but I can only imagine the price of that ticket !
    BOLA and "Costa del Sol" brought some real interesting people and sights to the forefront of the trip. Bill Nichols and Greg (40 yrs old) were funny as they played me like a banjo regarding the Husaberg. As you had mentioned there was a glow permeating my existence and as they pumped me for Husaberg info (not really) I responded enthusiastically and basically tried to convert them prior to them showing us the inside of the alien spacecraft. Lotsa laughs after that and a good meal with great company. By the way the spacecraft contained an 06 FE 550 and an 05 FE450. So much for little green men ...
    Keep up the great work Yoda, I look installment to your next forward ...:deal
    #91
  12. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Darren,

    Thanks for the update .....between the two of us we should piece this together....:deal

    The ride to San Francisquito was one we were saving for the last part of our trip....but not for any particular reason.....it just worked out that way...

    We respectfully inspected the Danger Ditch....

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    Riding in Baja offers such a range of opportunities, one can develop a large list of places to explore .... and sometimes you can knock most of them off.

    This ride was planned to be a vacation that included lots of riding, some kick-back days, and some "let's see what happens" days....

    Something happens for me when I am there that is difficult to articulate well, but goes something like this: The expectations that develop with research and planning (one of my favourite parts of any trip) seem to run the show at first.....and a bit of a frenetic pace is la sopa del dia for a while....reason starts to set in and the original plan starts to adapt to reality and what's in front of me.....sharing the trip with Darren was a pleasure as he is very easy going and has a refreshing point of view....and this was the first time I had travelled with a friend for that period of time....and we got along remarkably well.....so being in the Baja was exactly where I wanted to be and I had a chance to share the experience with someone who had never been there before.....I could offer some tips or ideas based on my previous experiences there and that seemed to work well enough of the time....so, in a sense, I was having much of the trip in the way I envisioned it....and watched as the "itinerary" took its dips and doodles....

    I had built San Francisquito up quite a bit as it has been a special place for me a few times.....it was out in the middle of almost nowhere....it was not full of tourists....it was a beautiful setting, and it took some effort to get there....and it was in an area with lots of riding variety available....

    South of Bola, the road is rough with washboard and some rocks of the smaller sort....but also had, as much of Baja does, a parallel road that tended to be smoother and more fun to ride....so not long after Pastrana's nemesis, we followed the old Race route for a handful of miles weaving in and out of bermed corners and deeper sand, passing some stone buildings along the way...

    ('05 pic):
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    This section of terrain is the Valle las Flores, and earns its name, especially when some rain has blessed the valley...

    ('05 pic):
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    Darren and I were keeping our eyes open for a renowned trail known by some as "The Green Door Trail" which heads due south of this road at about km. 30 south of Bola....we found it (no pic) and thought we might ride it on the return.


    Now here is another thing about riding in Baja for me.....I have some ride ideas planned and will bypass them as I am "destination-bound" and some of these side trips remain undone....there seems to be a ride momentum at times that gets in the way of dinking around and/or even stopping long enough to snap a few pics...and that is why some of the best photo-ops go undone....its about riding sometimes and....sometimes about the pics...

    Darren and I promised each other numerous times that we would set up parts of days to focus on doing some cool ride pics....you know....the ones where the wide angle shot catches the Other Guy blazing past or catching air or crashing.....or whatever.....you have seen how we captured this ride through these pics....there are 1000 times more pics NOT taken than have been kept on disc....so it is an interesting dance....trying to be in the moment....and trying to capture it....it is a bit of a lesson in attachment, letting go, appreciating the moment, BEING there....and fighting the urge to have the coolest ADV ride story or pics for the folks back home....


    So I have come to accept that "Ya can't do it all".....

    Sometimes the drudgery of the ride (Yes, sometimes it is not fun: you're tired, worried about flats or gas or daylight disappearing....) erodes the clarity of opportunities presented ...but not taken....mixed feelings float around....as might stomach woes, thirst, sore knees, hangovers, cactus slivers, and a host of other conditions which turn paradise into a dusty rough road that you wish would just end.....and when it does, you wish it had not sometimes....

    It gets confusing when you are there long enough to be aware of this ebb and flow of consciousness....not fully understanding quite all what is happening, yet responding to it in ways that determine the next hour, the next day, or the next whatever...

    A guy in Dust to Glory says it well when he suggests that Baja sets up a love-hate relationship....and when its all over and the dust settles....you can't wait to get back....

    As I said....we didn't take the Green Door Trail...

    but here is what we DID do.....we rode to San Francisquito:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Looking back to Bola about 1/2 hour from town...

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    Passing the Green Door Trail turnoff, we sped eastwards through the Llano la Laguna, a low flat plain that leads to the rise of land overlooking Bahia San Raphael....

    This pic is from part of that rise and is looking westwards from whence we came...

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    ...and from the same spot, the Sea of Cortez is visible at the distant Boca Grande (Big Mouth)....

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    and the road continues to curve upwards and then southwards...

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    The road winds around, up and down, and if you stop long enough to look around, you can catch another view of where you just were....somewhere in the Valle San Raphael....


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    I was happy to get off the rougher road and approach the sandy-road junction where there is usually a military checkpoint....

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    I stopped to look around for a moment, saw no soldiers, waited for Darren, and a few minutes later he pulled up....we nodded and I ripped off, excited to be so close and on such a soft carpet ride....90-100 kph smooths that road out a bit....:lol3 :wink: :clap:clap

    Within a few minutes, some dust coming from the east gave birth to the buggies Darren had photographed the day before in Bola...so he did more of the same here as I raced ahead for a while...

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    Every time I met up with one, I would hold up my left hand with and indicated that "One" was yet to come, hoping they appreciated the signal and wasn't suggesting they were #1 :lol3...and Darren later reported that each buggy driver returned the signal to him with diminishing digital indications as each approaching buggy lowered the count...

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    Before we got into the last section of curves leading towards San Fran, I found a primo spot for a pullover....for a smoke and some pics, Ya know...
    the sand was pleasantly hard-packed and there was not a lot of chollo cactus nerds laying about....

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    And as I was busy rolling a smoke out of the wind, Darren heard an approaching vehicle and caught sight of the military Hummer going by....the soldiers oblivious to the terrorists lurking nearby...:clap:lol3:eek1:evil:evil:evil:evil:evil

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    and just like that....they were gone....

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    And once again, we had the desert all to ourselves..:freaky:wink:

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap



    We took the long way into San Fran via the airstrip and found the place to be suitably free of other gringos...

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    A cerveza or two christened Darren's virginal arrival and all was good...


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    We picked our accomodations....

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    Darren getting first choice as I had that call at Costa del Sol in BOLA....

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    I spread out my stuff, trying to make it look like home....

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    Before noticing a blond waiting for me on the door mat....(poor pic, sorry:cry)

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    We settled into a sunny afternoon and grokked San Francisquito...and made a few friends...

    Heathcliff approaching La Cantina...

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    And a sweet girl with no name...

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    And the day was in its golden hour....

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    We shared the glow....
    #92
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  13. svwayne

    svwayne Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    945
    Location:
    Lawrenceville, Jawja
    Thanks for taking the time to share your story.

    Snakes, spiders, ticks, all pale in comparison, in my mind, to these little f'ers. Never been stung by one but I understand it is quite unpleasant.
    #93
  14. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    SV,

    I have been fortunate enough to always see the little buggers before I get stung....I have heard folks say that the small ones are as bad or worse a sting as the larger ones....I have only seen the smaller blonde ones in Baja and mainland Mexico, but have seen reddish ones 4-5" long in Costa Rica....

    My Baja experience, especially camping, is to shake my clothing well before putting it on, turn my boots upside down and smack 'em, as do the same for helmet and gloves....

    Scorpions seem to also like to hide out in just the place one might look for firewood , so I give wood and cactus innards a kick before picking up stuff for a campfire...

    Some surfers near Los Cerritos once were passing the doldrums by overturning rocks near the beach, finding scorpions, and embalming them in fiberglass resin "pucks" formed in the bottom of Tecate cans.....performance art:lol3
    #94
  15. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul and Old School ADV

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,443
    Location:
    Pillbilly, Tennessippi
    Ged, how was San Franscisquito this year? Seems to be degrading at a steady pace. Last time I was there the beer chest (dog coffin) was out of ice :uhoh

    Food was still decent and the folks are always friendly.
    #95
  16. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Gassie,

    I gettin' there :lol3:lol3:lol3...it is a bit haggard and they had no fish when we were there:cry:cry:cry....that part of the report is next:freaky

    Ged
    #96
  17. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    As Gaspipe wondered....how IS San Francisquito these days???

    [​IMG]

    iIt seems to have new "managers" every time I have been there....since first time in 2002....this year, it seemed to be in good hands....and the two young women cooking were good at it and were pleasant, although we didn't spend too much time in La Cocina...


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    When we arrived, the manager, the two women and a few family members were in the kitchen ....we indicated we planned on staying and they cleaned up the cabins (can't really call them palapas, I don't think) and made the beds.

    Now, the beds are mostly large cots which are surprisingly comfortable and have sheets and blankets that were adequate. The temperature had begun to drop and i was prepared for a cold night....so with a 200 weight fleece and climbing tights (my camp pyjamas), I was warm and had a good sleep....Darren got the bed with a mattress and I didn't hear him complain....

    The southern bano had running water....VERY basic shower and toilet facility, so don't expect much....

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    But it means you don't need to squat behind a cactus....


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    The cabin interiors are as usual, as well, and each cabin has a different bed/cot set-up...each being able to accomodate 3-4 folks...and each rented for $20....Darren and I took one cabin each....two sharing would cost $25....

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    The windows and doors consist of heavy vinyl sheets/tarps which are adequate....

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    ....there are enough nails and hooks that you can hang your crap off the floor and let them air out....

    The floors are cement....the walls are wood....the roof is corrugated metal with palapa palm frond on top....for that aesthetic....

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    Darren and I lazed around the afternoon we arrived....watched the seagulls while we sipped cervezas by the cantina....

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    Darren attempted to establish rapport with a gull that was brave enough to approach the kitchen/dining area by offering his hat.....apparently an Albertan tradition having something to do with submissive behaviour in that animal kingdom...

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    ...and a compromise was established, with his hat indicating the DMZ...

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    And after a while, we moved down to our cabins ...

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    ....and enjoyed the warmth of the late afternoon sun ....dismantling souvenir Baja 1000 marker signs.....with the company of our quiet friend...

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    Requiring more refreshments, we returned to the Cantina and had a chance to review the interior decorating....seasonal as it was...


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    Now.....you have to appreciate the sense of humour displayed...as this is a fishing paradise....

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    and also appreciate the hard-core off-roader contingent that pulls through on two and four wheels....

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    ...and the Al Perrett Gang whose stickers were ubiquitous...

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    But the antics of some gringo drunks made us just go..."Huh??":huh:huh:huh


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    While other images made abit more sense...

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    And just in case you needed to get your bearings and location figured out...

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    The afternoon was wearing down.....our friend was finally finding something to eat....

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    and supper, sad to say was machaca as they didn't have any fish:cry:cry

    But the machaca burritos were muy grande y muy sabrosa...and we were too busy eating to take any pics.....:freaky
    #97
    advrockrider likes this.
  18. evil

    evil n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1
    it looks like a great ride,very different to oz
    #98
  19. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    So there we were....stuffed after a simple but great dinner of machaca burritos....

    Machaca is shredded beef, and often is shredded DRY beef....when Darren first ordered it in San Bartolo, we were both impressed with how it was prepared: tender "pulled" beef (ie. shredded, not ground beef) which was sauteed with peppers and onions, with a touch of seasoning....all to be rolled up in tacos (maize o harina)...when we tried it in a place in Loreto, the beef was like shredded shoe leather and was barely edible....and here, in San Fran, it was simply tender shredded beef....

    As the sun went to sleep at about 5 or 6 pm (depending on which time zone we considered....knowing that San Fran sits on the time zone line), we followed suit shortly thereafter....

    I checked my bed for scorpions, found none, and settled into a good sleep...

    When I awoke, the sun had not yet peeked over the horizon. Knowing that most Baja sunrises are worthy of getting up for, I rolled off the cot and put another fleece on, grabbed my camera,

    [​IMG]


    ......and poked my head out the tarped doorway....

    THE DAY BROKE GREY AND DULL......a suitable end to the nearing end of our month-long journey....it was ending as it began.....sort of...

    OUR FIRST OVERCAST DAY IN A MONTH>>>>>:cry:cry:cry

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    And as my eyes opened a bit more to take it all in, the information they began to gather synchronized with the barely audible tapping sounds and the kinesthetic reality of moisture doing a small and gentle jig on my head....

    IT WAS RAINING.:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1

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    Now, being the intrepid international adventure traveller who is not deterred by climatic issues....:cry:cry:huh:huh, I muttered something that even I did not hear and proceeded to walk around and evaluate the storm potential.

    Chris Steward (remember the Trail Boss Gang ?) had indicated a few days earlier that his wife, Nancy, had informed him over the sat phone that a front was moving in with a big bit of bad weather....

    And so here it was....dirt riders tend to rationalize...."It'll keep the dust down...".

    Off in the distance I could hear an outboard motor and was reminded of the early morning starts that scatterd pangas delivering fishermen to their favourite spots....

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    The fisherman were heading north beyond the point...towards a light rain...

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    So, the other early morning risers were practicing their rituals.... a little clean-up....

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    .....a little warm-up...

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    .....and a bit of visiting before looking for something dead to eat....

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    My early morning tour was guided by a quiet but attentive local girl...

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    Her choice of jewellry was a tasteful understatement....even simpler than a single strand of pearls....and perhaps a bit more functional or practical for the occasion and location...

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    She led the way...checking out the details as she went...

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    ....sometimes not being sure of which part of her domain to share first...

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    ...she decided to point out the remnants of a cabin which, with the help of termites, had been blown away in the September '06 tropical storm Juan...

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    A pan of the locale indicated that I was the only person up and about...

    No heavy traffic at the airport...

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    Or evidence of the rest of the locals...

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    ....the kitchen was not open, so the coffee hit would have to wait...

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    And while my guide had her ups and downs...

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    And what appeared a bit desolate...

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    ....showed signs of previous residents....


    .... lazing around...

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    And while some might say nothing was happening here....


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    there was some evidence that some other life forms were stirring...

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    Darren glumly announced that his camera battery was dead, and this put another gray cloud over his head...

    But once the cocina was cooking, huevos con machaca put a glint in his eye....

    [​IMG]



    We decided to return to Bahia de los Angeles later that day....the ride to El Barril and area would have to wait for another trip....:cry:cry:cry

    We needed gas, but the woman in the kitchen indicated that the jefe was gone to Vizcaino to pick some up and would be a few more hours before he returned.... We discussed our options and decided to head towards El Barril, a fish camp, and see if we could buy some gas there. We figured that if they had some...we were in luck...as we would have seen that area after all and would have enough gas to get back to Bola...and if not, we would return to San Fran and by that time, the jefe would be back with gas.


    We packed and saddled up...about 8 kms down the road we encountered the jefe with a truck full of gas barrels...spoke briefly to confirm the nature of their contents, and returned to San Fran for a fill up...

    This was the best "Before and After" test as to how a full 25 liters of gas compared to 6 liters in the monster tank....as I could ride the same piece of terrain within a short period of time....

    [​IMG]

    The outcome???? A full tank sure makes a difference in the deep sand and whooped parts of the double track..:cry:cry

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    Its good to have the gas....on the hard-pack stuff, it is not really an issue....in the soft and whooped stuff. it sure makes for some harder work riding....

    The ride back to Bola was industrial...

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    A short side trip into San Raphael did not produce much other than a brief visit with the resident...a handful of years ago I had been led to believe that food and beer was available here....maybe so....but that would have been a handful of years ago...

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    The beach to the north would be fun some other time...

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    Bahia de Los Angeles was a welcomed sight...

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    And after a debrief at Victorias, we decided dinner at Guillermo's was in order...

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    And after a bit....

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    .....the focus became altered ...

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    Some apres dinner T-shirt shopping.....

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    #99
    advrockrider likes this.
  20. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    70,729
    Cheers Ged!! :beer You sure know how to enjoy life :thumb Thank you for the updated pics and reports. Those sprockets should be framed and hung on a wall!!