Barbarian Diaries - A Moto Surf Journey from LA to Patagonia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by runtxc, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    In four short days on August 1st, I begin riding south from Los Angeles, my home for the past 8 years. The plan is to spend the next year or so riding from LA to Ushuaia, and surfing, eating, hiking, and living all along the way. My name is Tony and I'm 25 years old. The past four years of my life have been spent working in the corporate world. Growing up the dream was sold to me that going to college, getting a comfortable job, and building wealth was the path to success, happiness and self-fulfillment. Over the past several years I've come to realize that this isn't necessarily the case. Life is what you make it and this journey is my embodiment of that phrase. I don't regret any of the decisions I've made in the past, and am grateful I was able to work a job that allowed me to save enough money to take a trip like this. I understand this is not an opportunity that everyone is allowed and that I'm fortunate to have this freedom.

    Me (and my dog Bolt):
    IMG-1589.JPG

    The bike I'm taking is my trusty 2011 KLR 650. The bike is outfitted with a surf rack and I plan to bring along my 6' 0 bonzer board. The bike has been upgraded with Cogent front and rear suspension, an oversized rotor, and various other farkles that I can't be bothered to list right now. Some pics of the bike and board below:
    IMG-1972.JPG IMG-1973.JPG IMG-1974.JPG IMG-0966.JPG IMG-0031.JPG IMG-0030.JPG

    A lot of you are probably asking right now why in the hell I'm taking a surfboard on a motorcycle trip. Let me start by saying that by any objective measure I am a kook at surfing. For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, a kook is essentially an amateur or put more candidly, a shit surfer. Despite being in LA for 8 years, I've only been surfing regularly for about a year. Since that time however I've been hooked on the sport. Something about moving along the surface of the ocean is so addicting and I'm frothing at the idea of uncrowded lineups south of the border.

    Joining me for the first month through Baja is my girlfriend Nataliia. She's originally from Ukraine but has spent the past 5 years living in the States, first in DC and more recently LA. The plan is for her to fly home after Baja and join me again sometime in South America. We'll be riding 2-up on the good ol' KLR. Here's a pic of me and her a couple weeks ago on top of Mt. Whitney:
    IMG-1859.JPG

    This trip has been in my mind for quite some time now and now that it's really happening I'm filled with that giddy nervousness you always get before a big trip. I wont be making daily posts here but I'll try to stay as updated as I can. Thanks for tuning in and I'm hoping to meet some of you along the way.
    #1
    mb300, Juan Cruz, Plebeian and 6 others like this.
  2. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    First week in the books and its been fun. Day 1 I turned in my keys to my landlord and Nataliia and I rode out from LA and stayed at my buddy's place in Encinitas. I hadn't taken the fully loaded bike with the board on any sort of long ride until now (not the best idea, I know), but the bike held up really well. It's a KLR so its never going to win you a race but she feels stable on the freeway - max speed is about 65 fully loaded.

    IMG-2043.JPG

    Day 2 was August 2nd, which also happened to be my birthday. Nataliia and I grabbed our US last breakfast in Little Italy. I had a bomb ass hash at a place called Herb & Eatery. After that we picked up our Mexican insurance and crossed the border. I had been told about the border crossing itinerary where you get waved across the border and then have to track down the immigration office but it still tripped me out. We stopped and a tourist information building and they told us to get our FMM and vehicle import permit in Ensenada. Once we got to Ensenada we went to the immigration office where we got our FMMs but the office in Ensenada told me to go to La Paz for the vehicle import permit. Can anyone confirm that I'll be able to get this in La Paz or did I fuck up big time by not getting it at the border? Anyway once we got to Ensenada we got some food, hit up Hussong's Cantina and went to bed.

    IMG-2075.JPG

    By this point I was itching to get further south and hopefully find some surf. My guidebook mentioned a hostel called Coyote Cal's which was near a few breaks so we headed there. Fun riding from Ensenada to Coyote Cal's with twistys and easy dirt roads. We decided to save some dinero and camp at the hostel campground once we got there. The reports were saying that a swell was moving in and I was pretty excited to check the area out in the morning. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans and there wasn't much surf the next morning. I ended up surfing some sloppy beach break a little north of K181 just to get wet. It felt good to be in the water but I was hoping for better quality. Nataliia and I weren't really feeling the vibe at Coyote Cal's so we decided to move on the next morning.

    The next day our destination was a right pointbreak with a campground and hostel further south. I followed google maps to the location which took us down a seemingly good road that turned into sudden drop off with some gnarly moguls and gravel. Summoning my inner Baja 1000 rider, I sent it down the cliff 2-up and rode out the hill.... Just kidding Natalliia and I humbly walked the bike down the hill. Gotta calculate your risks when you're 2-up with a fiberglass wing on your side. Once we got to our spot, I immediately knew this was gonna be good. The campground was situated on the north end of a bay. Right in front of the campsite you could see solid sets of south swell coming in and wrapping against the point. Offshore winds blew morning to night, primping each wave as it came into the bay. The waves were about shoulder to head high and fairly forgiving, perfect for someone as out of surf-shape as myself.

    We ended up camping 3 nights here. Each day was fairly similar: wake up, cook breakfast while waiting for the tide to come in, surf for a few hours, come in, eat, chill, surf the evening session, campfire, then bed. All of the other campers and travelers I've met so far are in vans or cars. Once we set up camp I'm definitely a little jealous of their setups. When it comes to moving however, I think us motos have the leg up. Because we are on a moto we need to make runs into town to get supplies after we drop off our cargo. We probably looked pretty funny with a huge watermelon strapped to the top of the bike.

    IMG-2109.JPG IMG-2117.JPG

    Right now we are in El Rosario in a hotel. Tomorrow we plan to check out another surf spot and potentially camp a few more days before heading to the Sea of Cortez side. Besides the vehicle import question, I had a few other questions I was hoping someone with a little more Baja/Mexico experience could answer:

    - Is there anywhere to buy fuel for a backpacking stove? We are using a jetboil and are having trouble finding a canister that will fit our stove. Right now we are looking into getting some sort of adapter shipped but its looking tough
    - What oil do you all use in Mexico? I'm not seeing any of the brands I would normally use and not sure if the oil at gas stations would work for a motorcycle

    Anywho, thanks for tuning in.

    IMG-2104.JPG
    #2
    mb300, Zubb, Plebeian and 1 other person like this.
  3. Alexmitkus

    Alexmitkus n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Hey Tony, you don’t need a vehicle permit for Baja but will need one for the mainland... La Paz is one spot where the ferries go to the mainland and vehicle permits are available there. Are you going to check out the surf at Santa Rosalillita? Natalie will start liking Baja once you get to San Ignacio, Mulege, Loreto, La Paz and San Jose... I think
    -Alex
    #3
  4. Alexmitkus

    Alexmitkus n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I’m pretty sure you can get your vip at the ferry office at Pichilingue (the ferry terminal outside of La Paz). They will put a deposit charge on your card that is taken off when you leave Mexico.
    #4
  5. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hey Al, that’s what the office in Ensenada said so it’s great to hear you say the same. Don’t think we are heading to the surf by Santa Rosalita as it needs north swell to work so it’s more of a winter spot. Right now we are in guerro negro but planning to go to Asunción/abreojos next to hopefully catch some surf
    #5
  6. Alexmitkus

    Alexmitkus n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2019
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Sounds great Tony. When you get to San Ignacio, you should take the KM or two into the village and have lunch, see the mission... It's truly an oasis in the desert , dry Baja.
    #6
  7. SlowMovinDream

    SlowMovinDream Not All Who Wander Are Lost

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    143
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Be sure to visit Pavones in Costa Rica. Beautiful left handed point break.
    #7
  8. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Wrote this 5 days ago on 8/12 in Guerrero Negro but didn't have wifi to post so this is a little dated. Currently in Punta Abreojos and will post a more recent update later. No pictures for now because wifi isnt the greatest.

    After El Rosario we headed west to a point about 10 miles outside the town Called Punta Baja hoping for some surf. The bike had been running really well so far and I was feeling good. The road out of town was a little confusing to follow as it crossed a dry riverbed and forked and intertwined with itself. I knew which general direction I needed to go, and hoping to learn from my previous Google maps experience, I decided to take the best looking road rather than follow the map to a tee. Taking a turn on what I thought looked like a good road, I immediately knew I made a mistake. Deep sand. I tried my best to keep the bike upright and maintain speed but the bike began to bog. I downshifted to first which caused the bike to fishtail and with all the weight it was game over and she fell on her right side. The bike landed on Nataliia’s foot but luckily her boots saved her from any serious harm. The KLR is built for falls and Nataliia and I picked up the bike together and took it slow until we got through the sand section. The road the rest of the way was decent enough and about 45 minutes later we pulled into the fishing village by the point. The road led us down to a sandy beach in a protected cove. This area of Baja has a lot of wind so we were thankful for the little cove, which kept our campsite muy tranquilo. The wave was 50 feet away from our tent and was a beauty, wrapping around a jetty into the bay, held up by constant offshore wind. Unfortunately we got to the point in the late afternoon at high tide and the swell was only about waist high and fading fast. Camping by us were Tim, Paula and their daughter Julia from LA with a super tricked out Sprinter. I’m talking kitchen, bathroom, washing area, awning, tricked out. Tim was a Baja veteran and gave us a lot of good info.

    The next morning we awoke to fishermen launching their pongos off the beach. Most of the boats here are looking for arrisos, or sea urchins. This area of Baja produces some of the world’s best urchins. After they are caught, urchins make their way to Ensenada, LA, and then straight to Japan. Not really one for urchins I was hoping to link up with one of the few fishermen catching pescado. Since the surf was so small our plan was to chill until the late morning when the fishermen returned, buy a few fish, eat lunch, and then hit the road. When I talked to the Pescadores in the morning, they said they would be back around 11 or 12. True to their word the majority of them returned around noon, but only the urchin boats. Around 2:30 the fish boats still hadn’t returned and Nataliia and I were trying to get to Catavina that night so we began to pack up the bike. Just as we were about to bungee the last bag to the bike, Nataliia yelled that she spotted a boat with rods sticking up pulling into the bay. “Stop messing around with me and help me get this bungee on.” I said. Nataliia insisted she was serious and lo and behold a pongo was pulling into the beach. Sweet, I thought, buy a few fish, cook quickly, and high tail it out of here. As the Pescadores pulled in, they worked in a pair to back the truck and trailer into the surf in order to pull the boat out of the water. As the boat was pulled onto the trailer the driver gave the truck a burst of gas to get it out of the deep beach sand. Clunk! The truck pulled off but the trailer and boat stayed behind as the hitch became disconnected. It took the boys several more tries to finally load the boat onto the trailer and out of the sea. The guys had been out since around 6 AM and it was about 3 PM at this point. They had been in the sun all day and had just manhandled the boat onto their trailer. I expected them to be tired and dismissive of the gringos camped on their beach. We sheepishly approached the fishermen and used our pigeon Spanish to buy some of their catch. To our surprise, they enthusiastically greeted us and asked what kind of fish and how many. They kept on showing us different types of fish and we were clueless on what to pick but Tim made the choice as he’s been fishing in Baja for many years. When we asked how much we owed them, the guys wouldn’t take a dime. They were so friendly and asked us if we needed anything else as they would be going into town and heading back the next morning. Tim and Paula gave the guys a chocolate bar and a cerveza but otherwise we got 5 huge fish on the house. With Tim and Paula’s kitchen we cooked up a feast of grilled fish tacos. Paula made an amazing fresh salsa from tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic, limes and olive oil. Pretty much all the fish tacos here are battered and fried so it was amazing to eat grilled fish as fresh as you can get. Deliciouso. By the time we finished cooking and eating it was about 5 PM at this point. Catavina is about 2.5-3 hours from where we were located so I knew we’d be cutting it close to the cardinal rule of Mexico travel: don’t drive at night. We quickly packed up our stuff and hit the road.

    Feeling more confident on the road I moved through the offroad section quicker than when we had arrived. As we were pulling into town the locals had wet the road and now it was deep mud. Taking a bad line the bike fishtailed and I dropped it again, this time on the left side. 2 out of 2 days. Again the bike fell on Nataliia’s foot but luckily, no harm no foul. A local stopped to help me pick up the bike and Nataliia and I rode into town and into the paved section. Taking the 1 out of El Rosario, the flora really begins to open up about a half hour outside the city. Huge, 20 foot Seguro cactuses, Joshua tree, and various yucca plants dot the terrain. The ride was serene as the road twisted through the mountains and the sun set over the landscape. Google maps was telling me we would arrive at 7:45 PM so I figured we’d be good for daylight as the sun doesn’t truly set until around 8 PM. We pulled over for a few minutes to take a break. As we pulled back onto the road I noticed that my headlights weren’t really showing. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing a trick on me as it was still light enough to where the headlights wouldn’t be doing too much anyway. Knowing that every minute could be important I decided to gun it rather than to stop and check. I’d know in a half hour anyway. As the sun continued to set further I went through the 5 stages of grief and loss over the headlights. First, Denial: “Stop tripping, it’s light out still! You just cant see the headlights right now but when it gets darker you’ll notice them”. Next, Anger: “Shit! I can’t believe my headlights aren’t working. And it’s dark. Why didn’t we leave earlier?!”. Bargaining: “Well I guess if I ride faster than Google maps is suggesting I’ll get to town sooner”. Depression: “This is fucked, it’s pretty dark now.” Finally, Acceptance: “Well guess I gotta just ride. I should probably stay on the right side of the lane since trucks can’t see me.” Trucks here in Baja love to hug the center line and because we were invisible there were a few harrowing moments when a truck came barreling by with one wheel in my lane. If you’ve driven Baja you know that the road south of El Rosario on the 1 is riddled with potholes. With the gun to my head and no headlight however, I had no choice but to take whatever the road had in store for me.

    We limped into town at about 8:05 PM. Last light. Catavina is a town located within a beautiful boulder field. The landscape here is world class. Giant boulders, easily on par with Joshua Tree National Park, combine with giant cacti to create an out of this world arena. I have no doubt that if this area were in the U.S. it would be a national park. Our plan in the morning was to camp in Catavina but given the situation we pulled into the hotel in town and got a room. The hotel was really nice but cost me a few more bones than I wanted to pay. And their wifi was pay by the hour… It’s the 21st century guys, get with it.

    We pulled out of Catavina the next morning headed for Guerrero Negro, a salt mining and whale watching town located at the north/south halfway point of the Baja peninsula. Baja California is split between Baja California Norte, and Baja California Sur and Guerrero Negro is the first major town in Baja California Sur when you drive south. Nataliia and I had linked up with Fernando from Couchsurfing to stay at his place for 2 nights. Fernando is a local in his late 50s and like most of the locals here, works in the salt mine. Our stay with Fernando was really amazing. He brought us with his family to the lagoon and sand dunes just outside the town, and showed us how to dig for clams. Pablo, his son-in-law used a net to catch crabs while we trawled for clams. The next day Fernando and his wife Amelia made a delicious soup with the clams and crabs. The locals here in Guerrero Negro have a high quality of life when compared to most anywhere in the world, but especially so when compared to towns in Baja California Norte. The salt mine has brought in a lot of economic growth and it shows. The town feels safer, more residential, and more enjoyable overall than most others we’ve crossed so far.

    Fernando also arraigned for us to take a tour of the salt mine. The mine brings in ocean water from the lagoon and divvies up the water into multiple ponds where the water evaporates and the salt crystalizes. Most of the salt here is sent to Japan and used for industrial purposes where it is separated into sodium and chloride, and then subsequently used to make plastics and various other items including camera lens. As part of the process, waste brine, which contains mostly magnesium chloride, is generated by the mine. In the past the company would flow the waste brine back into the lagoon where it would stagnate. Because of conservation efforts in recent years, the company is no longer allowed to dump the waste brine back into the lagoon, which serves as a nursery for gray whales. Our driver took us to the area where the waste brine is currently being held. A huge, deep pool with mud dykes contains about 20 years of waste brine. A large pipe continuously flows the green waste brine into the pool. At the edge of the pool is the lagoon. About 200 meters from the edge of the waste pool is where the whales come each winter. Our driver told us that the company is running out of space to put the waste brine. Since the company hasn’t been doing as well financially recently, management has taken a kick-the-can strategy towards the waste brine, delaying long-term solutions and opting to increase capacity of the waste pool. The edge of the water looks perilously high to the edge of the pool – about a foot and a half of clearance. Fernando told us that there have already been two dyke breaches, albeit small ones. Both Fernando and our driver mentioned their concerns to us separately as tropical storms threaten to release the waste brine into the lagoon, creating environmental damage.

    Standing at the edge of the gigantic waste pool with a pristine lagoon directly on my left, I felt extremely small in the face of such a large scale problem. Most of my problems day to day here felt so insignificant. “What am I going to eat today? Where am I going to sleep? Where can I find water?” What did any of it matter? I’m both fascinated and terrified by the collision of humanity and nature and this slice of Baja epitomizes the clash. On one hand a plant that generates salt used in plastics, on the other a whale and nature conservatory. Seeing Fernando’s and the other worker’s attitudes of concern for the lagoon gives me hope for the future. There is quite a lot of litter in Mexico but it seems that awareness on environmental health is growing rapidly. At Punta Baja a beach cleanup crew came by to take trash while we were camped out. This has been a recent effort and brings me great joy to see. There is no easy solution to our problem but I remain optimistic about our planet’s future despite our challenges.

    Nataliia and I ended up extending our stay with Fernando one more night and I’m typing this from his house now. I had thought the headlights were a blown fuse since both the high bean and low beams went out at the same time, but turns out it was just the bulbs (Murphy’s law I guess) so I’m back on the road with new lights and even picked up a spare. Tomorrow morning we will head to Bahia de Asuncion looking for more surf. Adios for now.
    #8
    mb300, Zubb and roadcapDen like this.
  9. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It’s been almost 2 weeks since I last put fingers to keyboard and a lot has happened. After Guerrero Negro we headed over to Bahia Asuncion. Leaving Guerrero Negro also meant leaving any semblance of cool weather, potentially until South America. Guerrero Negro is overcast, windy, and cool in the mornings and evenings and I figured the rest of Baja’s pacific coast would be similar as well. Boy was I wrong. Pulling into Asuncion, I immediately was hit by a wave of heat and sun. Taking the suggestion of a few local construction workers N and I took shelter in the first and only restaurant in town. The owner of the restaurant was super friendly and let us know of a good camping spot on the bluffs just outside town. As the name suggests, Bahia Asuncion is a big bay with a point and beach breaks inside the bay. The swell was really small so the point wasn’t really breaking and the beach breaks were 2 foot closeouts. We camped out by the bluffs and watched a gorgeous sunset. Since there was no surf, limited internet connection, and not really much going on in town, we opted to head out the next morning to Punta San Hipolito taking the coastal dirt road and then to Punta Abreojos after that.

    The road from Asuncion to Abreojos is about 60 miles of dirt and tracks along the coast. We were told by locals in Asuncion that the road was no problem. The next morning N and I stopped by the local grocery store and loaded up supplies. We’ve developed a new system for loading our bike that lets us carry about 2-3 days of food and water on board. This was definitely the most loaded the KLR has been all trip – just in time for some offroad. Leaving town the road seemed really nice but about 15 minutes in the road dipped into a little basin filled with deep sand for 300 ish meters. I probably sound like a broken record by now but deep sand is definitely the Achilles heel of the bike. I tried my best to keep the bike moving with speed but eventually she ground to a halt. N and I spent about 30 minutes with me on the throttle and her pushing and we had gotten about halfway through the section. At this point the sun was beating down on us and the weather was easily in the upper 90s. Not sure what the road was like the rest of the way we debated whether to turn the bike around or keep pushing forward. Soon enough a truck with 2 locals drove by and asked if we needed help pushing the bike. “Este calle… es bien or mal?” I asked in broken Spanish while holding a handful of sand. “No mas blanda!” they insisted. Taking their word, we decided to push forward. One of the guys in the truck and N together helped me push the bike and I rode the bike out of the section. While we were stuck I lowered the tire pressure to 15 PSI in the front and 18 in the rear and this seemed to really help the rest of the way. We rode until Punta San Hipolito which is about halfway between Asuncion and Abreojos. The road the rest of the way had a few patches of soft sand but nothing too bad.

    The only signs of human life at Punta San Hipolito were a few old fire pits and an abandoned lighthouse. Winds here billow southeast and were no joke - anything that wasn’t secured would be lost to the wind and sea. The barren landscape, surging winds and rocky volcanic reef made the point feel more like a frontier than a surf spot. We pulled up to the point in the afternoon and opted to camp under the old lighthouse for sun and wind protection. The point was a rocky reef to the north, with a bay to the south. Because of the wind, the reefs out front were completely blown out and the only option for surf would be in the bay to the south. Because the swell was small, the surf wasn’t really working and the waves that came around the point into the bay weren’t really breaking. As the winds died down in the evening, a more competent surfer probably could have surfed the reef out front, but the remoteness of the place combined with the retreating tide over the rocky reef had me sitting it out. That night, N woke up in the middle of the night and heard some rustling outside our tent. Turns out a coyote had caught wind of our food box and had come by to investigate. I stumbled out of the tent to scare it away and secure our food box under the bike cover.

    The next morning we opted to move on to Punta Abreojos. Abreojos means “open your eyes” in Spanish and the name was given the to place by Spanish sailors who had had enough of the volcanic reefs that ate their ships. The road into Abreojos was mostly dirt but in really good condition. I’ve definitely gotten better at riding through sand and have been feeling confident letting the bike walk and do what it wants through the sand while maintaining steady throttle. N and I camped at the top of the point just outside of town. The campsite was really exposed to both wind and sun, but you can’t beat camping right on the beach in front of the wave you want to surf. The town of Abreojos is less than 5 minutes away from the camping spot and is mostly a fishing village. It only has a handful of restaurants and grocery stores but has all the supplies you need. Also, you can stop by the fishing coopertivo and pick up lobster tails, abalone, fish fillets and other seafood goodies for a fraction of the price they would cost in the States.

    The wave at the top of Punta Abreojos is named Burgers and is a tricky wave. Burgers is a right hand point over volcanic reef that can be sketchy at lower tides. The point itself juts out in a southerly direction. In the morning the winds blow west creating onshore wind for the point. By late morning the wind switches to blow hard to the west creating heavy offshore wind into the evening. The takeoff zone is really small and the area has high wind and strong currents. When the wind is low the current pulls strong northwest and when the wind is high the current pulls southeast, so you’re constantly paddling to maintain position. The paddle out isn’t too difficult as a channel runs west of the point but is deceptively long relative to what it looks on the beach. Because the paddle out is far, the waves feel bigger than what you think you saw on the beach. After you take off the wave has a few sections that stand up and give you some nice walls to ride. My first session out there I had a hard time staying in the take off zone but after a few sessions I was getting a better hang of it.

    N and I stayed a total of 4 nights in the Abreojos area. For one of the nights, we decided to camp at Campo Rene, which is an estuary about 10 miles southeast of Abreojos. The estuary is a lagoon with dense mangroves and incredible marine and bird life. While we were camped there we met a guy named Steve who has been living in Abreojos full time for 12 years. Steve is in his 70s and had a friendliness and love of life that immediately drew us to him. We ended chatting for a while at Campo Rene and Steve invited us to stay at his place the following night. Getting to know Steve and hanging with him was a great experience. Despite being in his 70s Steve wakes up every morning before the sun gets up and spends his time working his garden and creating environmental based art. His art includes shaping marine life out of old surfboards, creating cabinets out of old lobster traps, and doing paintings of the Baja peninsula. Steve’s approach to life was to make the most of each day and to continue learning and building and growing. When Nataliia asked Steve what keeps him going each day and he responded to the effect of “Well I’m excited because I get to see the next day”. Steve recently got his first smartphone, an Android, and despite not knowing how to work all its functions, Steve approached the phone with curiosity and humor rather than frustration. Nataliia and I told Steve about Couchsurfing and he was really eager to join as a host to meet and help other travelers. If you’re ever in Abreojos give Steve a shout, you wont regret it. N and I were really grateful we got to meet Steve and hear his perspectives on life. People that move to Baja from the states are an eclectic bunch of people and the ones in Abreojos were no exception. In addition to Steve, a special shout-out to Andy, Ray, and Jerome who welcomed us into their town with open arms and made our experience in Abreojos amazing. Abreojos was mine and N’s favorite spot in Baja so far. We have visions of one day moving a camper down here for a few months to live and surf.

    After Abreojos we rode east across the peninsula. Whenever anyone we met caught wind of our plans, the first thing they’d tell us was how hot the east side of Baja was going to be. They weren’t wrong. The wave of heat I experienced in Asuncion was paltry in comparison to the heat we faced crossing the peninsula. We made our first stop in Mulege where we spent 2 nights. During that time we saw the mission and snorkeled in the bay. We also backtracked to Santa Rosalia where we had bought and shipped ourselves a multi-fuel backpacking stove – gas problem solved. We then rode further to Loreto where we spent one night in town. The road from Santa Rosalia to Loreto is stunning – twisties over coastal mountains overlooking the calm tortoise waters of the Sea of Cortez. N and I had planned to camp along this stretch but given the heat and humidity we opted for a hotel in Loreto. Not much to write about here as the weather was in the 100s with 60-70% humidity and we spent the majority of the day taking shelter in our AC’ed hotel room. After Loreto we rode to Ciudad Constitution where I’m writing now. N and I arrived to Ciudad Constitution yesterday where we spent the day eating tacos, having a few beers and talking about life and plans.

    Nataliia’s time in Baja is coming to an end. We split this morning as she took the bus to La Paz, where she will connect to Cabo and fly back to the states. The plan is for her to rejoin at some point but we are still figuring it all out.

    Since I left my job I’ve noticed a lot of changes in my perspective on things, many of them for the better, but I also noticed a change that hasn’t been so good. While I was working I made the most out of my free time because I felt that I had so little of it. I’d wake up around 5:30 each morning and surf or play basketball, and when I got home from work I’d carve out time to cook, read, do yoga, or hang out with friends and family. Since leaving my job I think my mind has shifted to taking the new abundance of free time for granted. I find myself sleeping in because, hey why the hell not. While on this trip I read a book called “All Our Waves Are Water”. In the book the author made a point that really stuck with me: too often we take for granted the good things in life because we think there will be many more. We think there will always be another sunrise, or will always be another day with those we love, or will always be another great cappuccino on Sunday morning. N and I discussed this and realized that we were even taking the time we had with each other for granted, thinking there will always be more. With me on my own for the next while I’m making the effort to shift my mindset to be more like Steve’s where no day is taken for granted.

    N and I have been traveling together in Baja for almost a month now, and prior to this trip we hiked the JMT and did a road trip to Colorado. That’s almost 2 full months with each other every day so it was definitely hard and feels a little strange to be separate. That being said I think we’re both excited to take a step back and get into our own routines and work on ourselves individually for a bit.

    I had initially planned to leave Ciudad Constitution today but tropical storm Ivo is roaming in the area and I’ve been bunkered up in my hotel room this evening avoiding the rain. The plan for me is to ride early tomorrow to Scorpion Bay where I’m hoping to catch the incoming swell. We’ll see how mother nature cooperates with hurricane season in full swing here in Baja but I’m super stoked to see the legendary Scorpion Bay.

    Long post so thanks for reading if you made it this far. Hasta luego.
    #9
    Zubb, Saso and Richarde1605 like this.
  10. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,084
    Location:
    Inside the Orange Curtain
    any updates?
    #10
  11. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    update incoming!
    #11
  12. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Your boy is riding solo now. Feeling inspired I set me alarm for 6:30 AM in order to be on the road by daybreak at 7. The road to Scorpion Bay is all paved so I wasn’t anticipating any problems and was hoping to be at the wave by 9 or 9:30. Heading north for a change, I noted that the roads looked to be holding up pretty well from the previous night’s rain. After about 20 minutes of riding I got to Ciudad Insurgentes and continued north. At the end of the city, I rode up to a huge traffic jam with a lot of people standing outside their cars. My first thought was police checkpoint or major accident. As I rolled up to the front I saw a huge river flooding the road in front of me. A van and a hatchback had been swept by the current and looked to be in bad shape. I spoke with the locals and they said that the arroyo should die down in a few hours. So much for waking up early. As I was waiting around watching the arroyo two other moto travelers pulled up. Not only was one of them carrying a surfboard, he also had a dog riding shotgun on the gas tank. We decided to head back into town together and grab breakfast while we waited for the water level to drop. When we returned to the arroyo about an hour later the road looked to be in a little better shape but was still moving quickly. A passing truck offered me a spot in his trailer for 200 pesos to cross and I took him up on the offer. The other two riders walked across the river to feel out the ground underneath and decided to try to ride across. Eventually we all made it across and continued to Scorpion Bay. The ride to San Juanico, the town where Scorpion Bay is located, was picturesque with fun twisty roads and canyon views. We got a little rain on the way there but it was more refreshing than anything.

    Scorpion Bay is a series of 7(!!) right hand points located within a big bay. The points can connect but need big swells. 2nd and 3rd point were the two points that most everyone surfed with 2nd being a bit smaller than 3rd. The bay itself is break-takingly beautiful as huge lightish-brown mesas drop straight into the blue ocean. The drop-offs feel like you are witnessing an oxymoron created by Mother Nature as parched, lifeless desert descends into fertile ocean teeming with schools of baitfish and the always accompanying osprey, pelicans and seagulls. Because of the road delay we arrived in the afternoon and I went to the local restaurant to grab some tacos. The swell was fairly large but was short period hurricane swell and was a little choppy and inconsistent. We set up camp at 2nd point next to a local gringo (how’s that for an oxymoron) named Larry who used to run a windsurfing business in Hawaii and moved here to surf and retire. Here in Baja shade is a valuable commodity and when you are moto camping you can’t bring much of it with you, so we were extremely grateful Larry let us hang out in his camp and take shelter from the sun. Over the next few days I hung out a lot with Larry and chatted about work, life, goals, and priorities. His approach had been to run the windsurfing business, which by his account did not make much money at all, but let him enjoy his life doing what he loved doing the most. He said that he had to grind a little more later on in life after the windsurfing business and didn’t have a whole lot to his name anymore, but that he didn’t regret anything. Larry also mentioned he had friends who put their nose to the grind but lived frugally and were able to retire earlier than most and had more than him now, but had used their early 30’s and 40’s working. Neither approach was better than the other and Larry noted they were both happy but just took different paths to the same end goal. It’s a question that I wrestle with a lot: do I go back to the corporate world and grind it out or figuratively speaking, dick around and have fun and then deal with life as it comes? I’ve always believed balance is the key to everything so I’m hoping I will be able to find some of that here.

    I stayed 4 days at Scorpion Bay and my schedule was roughly as follows: wake up with the sun at 7, make breakfast, surf for 1-2 hours, rehydrate with a few cervezas, get some food at the restaurant, hide from the sun, surf in the evening, make dinner, bed. The winds cleaned up after the first night and the surf over the next 2 days was very solid with sets in the shoulder to head high range. The water here was insanely warm. My first session I made the mistake of wearing my 1.5mm wetsuit shirt and I felt like I was going to boil. On the evening of my 3rd day I was out at 3rd point for my evening session and caught the longest wave I’ve ever ridden. The wave took me roughly 300 yards and I was on it for what felt like 30 seconds. Coming from LA where I mostly surfed El Porto, known for its world-class closeouts, this wave felt like an eternity. I did milk the shoulder for a bit at the end just for the novelty of riding a wave for so long, but nonetheless it was an amazing wave. By the 4th day the swell had passed and the waves dropped to about knee high and were unrideable to all but the longest of boards.

    I had initially planned to ride out to a remote point about halfway between Scorpion Bay and La Paz but at this point I was getting a little weary of camping and was in desperate need of both a shower and laundry. In addition there was more rain in the forecast and the swell wasn’t forecasted to pick up for another 3 days so I switched plans and headed to La Paz the next day. The two other moto travelers were heading north back to the States so I was riding alone again. In La Paz I stayed with a local named David who I linked up with through Couchsurfing. David’s place had a pool which felt like heaven on earth after 5 hours of buzzy, KLR freeway riding in 90-100 degree heat. I spent 3 days in La Paz and used most of the time to run errands and generally get my shit together. I got my vehicle import permit, bought a pair of jeans that I desperately needed as I had been riding in shorts ever since it got too hot to wear the Aerostich one piece, got a haircut, did laundry, and picked up a few other items that weren’t available in smaller Baja towns. (paperwork sidenote: I would encourage anyone traveling to the mainland to get their FMM tourist card at Ensenada and then the vehicle permit at La Paz as we had zero lines at either spot. I heard of some very long waits in Tijuana. YMMV). La Paz was the old capital of Baja and has all the comforts of a major city and the bougie LA side of me enjoyed getting a proper cappuccino.

    From La Paz the next stop was Todos Santos. The ride wasn’t much to write about as its only about an hour from La Paz across the peninsula to the Pacific side. About 10 miles south of Todos Santos is a smaller town called El Pescadero where I linked up with another host from Couchsurfing and where I’m writing this now. Kevin, my host, is a 60-something year old gringo who used to work as a bird conservationist in the states before moving to Baja. When I got to Kevin’s place he was preparing to leave for the weekend for an ayahuasca ceremony but let me crash at his place without him. Throughout my trip I’ve been constantly amazed at the trust and generosity I’ve been given by total strangers and Kevin was no different. Kevin keeps his house open air and never even closes, let alone locks, his doors. His place is located about 500 yards from the break El Cerritos which is a sand bottom point/beach. In the winter, north and west swells hit the point making it a right point break, but with summer south swells it is exclusively a beach break.

    My schedule here is similar to that at Scorpion Bay, surf in the morning, ride to Todos Santos where I’d refill on coffee, tacos and cervezas, come home, surf again in the evening. Since I got to Baja all the breaks I’ve ridden have been rights, which is great since I’m a regular, but here at El Cerritos the beach break has been mostly lefts so it’s been nice to switch things up. Todos Santos is a really cool little town that has an artist colony so there is lots of art and culture to see. September is the offseason here and many locals take September off so some of the art galleries and restaurants were closed. Nevertheless I ate some bomb ass food there and really enjoyed the town. Another highlight of my time here was checking out the Baja Beans Café where I met Alejandro who was working there. Alejandro and I chatted about motorcycles, desert racing (he was a support rider for the Baja 500), and life in Todos Santos. The café has a grove of mango, coconut, banana, guava, and passionfruit trees growing and Alejandro let me have my pick of the fruits to take back home with me. He also invited me over to his dad’s place where he said we could pick avocados. I’m planning to head there tomorrow afternoon.

    Overall my time here in Todos Santos/Pescadero has been really peaceful and I’ve enjoyed having the time and space to myself. At Scorpion Bay I was hanging with other people most of the time but here I have had lots of time to be with myself which has been a nice change of pace. Much like surfing lefts, being alone puts me a little more out of my comfort zone and forces me to reach out to make new connections with people such as Alejandro. I’ve traveled a good bit solo before so it’s not entirely new but each place is a little different and tackling it alone is something that pushes me a little more. I can’t say I prefer traveling along vs. with someone; its just different and each are enjoyable in their own ways.

    I’m leaving here the day after tomorrow and heading to the craziness that is Cabo San Lucas. I’ve never been before but I’m expecting high rises, tourist hawkers, nightclubs, and all the circus that typically accompanies places like these. Baja as a whole is one of the most remote places I have ever been to so it will definitely be a 180 when I get to Cabo.
    #12
    Zubb likes this.
  13. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    Zubb likes this.
  14. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Some pics from the last few weeks DSC01279.JPG DSC01205.JPG DSC01418.JPG
    DSC01474.JPG DSC01444.JPG DSC01397.JPG
    #14
    mb300, Sandspit, Zubb and 1 other person like this.
  15. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Some more pics:

    Casita at El Pescadero
    IMG-2755.JPG

    Sunset at Mulege
    IMG-2604.JPG
    Nataliia somewhere on the road
    IMG-2644.JPG

    Lobsters on the beach
    IMG-2444.JPG
    Clams we dug for outside Guerro Negro
    IMG-2278.JPG
    N's turn at the wheel
    IMG-2184.JPG
    #15
    mb300, Sandspit, Zubb and 2 others like this.
  16. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,463
    Location:
    San Diego
    Holy cow have you burdened that poor KLR! I say that with the highest respect of course.

    I'm really enjoying your story here and hope you'll keep posting. I'm a San Diegan, used to surf Encinitas 2 or 3 times a week, then bought a motorcycle and only surf a couple times a year now. I miss it.
    If you don't break your board in the next few sand crashes I'll be amazed. Good luck and please keep sharing.
    #16
  17. Sandspit

    Sandspit Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    174
    Location:
    Fl
    Hey Runtxc...Great report...did not know you were an El Porto local...do you know McShots? (Brian - a local surf photog in the area), I frequently visit him in El Segundo where he has lived for decades, also Mark who owned Kahanamoku Swimboat? I think he closed shop a while back...really liking the pics, more surfing shots please, you do not have to name the spots if you do not want to. Looks like the SPAC is slowing down through much of next week BUT there is a new disturbance located a few hundred miles SSW of Acapulco, Mexico, that looks to become the next named system during the middle of the week. Good chance of a modest SE/S swell...keep the updates coming in...
    #17
  18. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Love Encinitas. One of my favorite places on earth. You jinxed me on the board! I got a minor ding in fall but I got it patched and all is good now. Thanks for reading
    #18
  19. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Hey Sandspit, thanks for following along! I only lived in El Porto for a year so can't say I met either of them. I'm actually heading inland for a bit but will be back on the coast in Oaxaca. I'll definitely try to get more surf shots. Its gotten a bit harder since my personal photographer (read: girlfriend) went back to the states but I'll do my best haha
    #19
    Sandspit likes this.
  20. runtxc

    runtxc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    “They are who we thought they were!” – Dennis Green, October 2006

    The above quote was part of an epic outburst by Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green in a post-game press conference. It pretty much sums up my experience and thoughts on Cabo. Menus in English, gringo prices, trashy nightclubs. I stayed at Ocean Tigers Dive Hostel and was planning on stay 1 or 2 nights but instead I decided to take a freedive course and ended up staying 4 due to the course. Freediving, and spearfishing especially, have always appealed to me and despite not really digging the city I really wanted to take the course. The key to freediving is to stay relaxed. When your head starts to tell you that you need to go back up, you need to take a moment to turn inward, re-center yourself and continue your dive. It’s very similar to motorcycle riding. When you’re in the corner thinking you’re going to run wide, the only way you’re going to make it is to chill out, recenter your mind, and lean harder. The freedive course was really eye opening on what the human body is able to do on one breath. According to my instructor a static breath hold of anything less than 4 minutes is purely mental. I only got to a little over 2 minutes static and a 60 meter dynamic swim so I was no where near my physical limits.

    After Cabo I had initially planned to go to Cabo Pulmo, taking the East Cape coastal route there. The road is entirely offroad but I figured I’d take it slow and I’d be fine. Right from the start of the offroad section I started to question if this was a good idea as the very start of the road was heavily rutted and rocky. The area here is desolately remote and the weather incredibly unforgiving with the sun and heat beating down. About 10 miles in I came to a fork in the road with 3 branches. One way led due west straight to the beach. Another way, which is the branch Google maps suggested, seemed like the most logical route directionally but was blocked with 3 massive boulders. The last branch went hard east inland and away from the direction Cabo Pulmo was in. At this point I weighed my options and decided to call it on the offroad route and turned back to take the inland interstate route to Cabo Pulmo. I had already dropped the bike once and decided I’d live to ride another day. Shortly after I got onto the interstate it began to rain; light at first and then very heavy. I was cool with the rain though as it lowered the temperatures a little bit and the evaporation on my clothes from the wind cooled me down. As I was cruising the road I rolled through a town with a bunch of roadside vendors with signs they were selling “Patayas”. I decided to stop and investigate and turns out they weren’t selling cites in Thailand but rather a red cactus fruit that’s sweet and has a kiwi-like consistency. Eventually I reached the interstate turnoff for Cabo Pulmo and headed west. About 10 minutes in I came across big line of stopped cars similar to the one in Insurgentes – another arroyo flooding the road. It was about 3:30 PM at this point and I didn’t really feel like waiting for the arroyo to die down. I had wanted to go to Cabo Pulmo to dive and see its coral reefs but I felt like this was a sign that I should move on. One thing I’ve come to realize when traveling is that you don’t need to see everything and in fact, you wont be able to see everything. Turning around I decided to continue riding to Los Barriles which was around an hour away.

    Some of the offroad to Cabo Pulmo:
    IMG-2796.JPG

    Patayas:
    IMG-2799.JPG

    Once I got to Los Barriles I was pretty tired from the all the riding. The rain had let up at this point but the sky was still dark and threatening. I had initially planned to get a cheap hotel, but I quickly found out that this doesn’t exist in Los Barriles. Even the campground in town was charging $17 for a tentsite! I opted to take my chances with the rain and snag a free beach campsite north of town. This spot turned out to be one of my favorite campsites on the trip so far. The beach was really quite and the sun setting with clouds in the sky made for a beautiful view. After a night in Los Barriles I continued north to La Paz. It was September 9th at the time and I needed to be near Mexico City by the 18th so I was feeling a little crunched on time. I had been told about an offroad route from Los Barriles to La Paz, but at this point I’m ok to admit that I prefer the pavement to offroading. With all the luggage, anything more intense than fire roads is more stressful than it is fun. The pavement from Los Barriles to La Paz certainly didn’t make me regret my decision with lots of fun twisty sections through lush mountains.

    My campsite in LB:
    FBDC368F-7756-4032-B4CA-1E26F305B912.JPG

    IMG-2809.JPG

    The ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Arriving in La Paz on Monday the 9th, I was hoping to catch the ferry the next day which left at 6 PM. While I was in Cabo I had ordered a few things off Amazon to my stay in La Paz and they were scheduled to get there on the 10th. One of the packages arrived early on the 9th, but the other said it was delayed in customs but still scheduled to arrive by end of day the 10th, so I was played a game of chicken with DHL and hoped my package would arrive in time for me to catch the ferry. I stopped at the ferry office in La Paz and asked about ticket availability and what time would be the latest I could arrive at the port in La Paz and still be let on the ferry. “Yes there are tickets and 4 PM” was her response. At around 2 PM my package arrived and I quickly packed my things and rode to the ferry terminal and was there around 3 PM. I walked up to the ticket desk at the terminal and asked for a ticket for the day’s ferry. “No tickets” was the response. Ummm… what? I told her that I had spoken to the office in La Paz around 3 hours ago and there were tickets. “Nope no tickets, sorry. And the next available ferry isn’t until September 17th.” I was desperate to get on the ferry, and hoping to grease the wheels I rubbed my thumb and fingers together in the internationally recognized money sign and said “propina…?”, hoping that a strategic tip would get me across the finish line onto the ferry. “Nope sorry, look at all these people behind you, their all waiting standby for the ferry. There’s no space.” To her credit there were about 4 families hanging out in the waiting area. Well shit, I thought, I might’ve screwed this one up. As a last grasp I said in broken Spanish “I have a motorcycle, its small”. Getting impatient, she held up a slip of paper from customs and asked if I had it. I hadn’t gone through customs yet and told her I didn’t have the paper. “Go through customs, get the paper, come back and you can wait in line with everyone else if there’s space” she said. I rolled through customs where they checked my papers, weighed my bike, charged me taxes, and gave me my slip of paper. I was about to go back to the original building when I noticed a small Baja ferries booth located inside the customs area. I decided to go into this building and try my luck. “One ticket for today….” I asked trying to seem nonchalant. The lady working this booth immediately started printing me a ticket. I was expecting to go through the same exercise as I did with the previous lady and was a little shocked for a sec. “Wait… so… this is my ticket?” I asked. “Yes, the staging area for the ferry is that way, have a nice ride.” Once I got out of the booth I let out a victory scream “F*** yeah!!!”. I’ve come to realize that in Mexico what one person says isn’t necessarily the case and you really need to ask around to figure out if what you’re being told is the truth.

    Baja overall was amazing. I originally had planned to spend a month there but ended up spending 6 weeks. The remote camping, surf, and seafood all combined to create a sense of adventure and discovery. The people of Baja were really friendly and I felt very safe camping in the open. Outside of the handful of cities in Baja, the peninsula is remote and sparsely populated. Because the land is so rough, the people have adapted to it and have a rough exterior as well. But beneath the rough exterior the people here have adapted to the necessary collaboration required to survive in remote deserts. Waves are met with waves back, nods met with nods, and smiles met with smiles. I feel like I’ve gotten a good feel of what Baja has to offer but I know that there is so much more left to explore. Baja is one of those places that’s so out of the way that it looks and feels pretty much the same now as it did 50 years ago. One thing I’d consistently ask travelers and locals I met was “How has this place changed?” and for the most part people would say “Not really all that much to be honest”. Although more and more paved roads continue to be built in Baja every year, the fact is that most of the peninsula will continue to be linked with dirt roads whose conditions change with the season and the peninsula will remain a remote playground. I hope it stays that way for years to come.

    The ferry to Mazatlan was 16 hours but felt shorter since it was overnight. Damn does it feel good to be on the mainland. Nataliia joked to me that she thought I might never leave Baja (don’t give me any ideas). In Mazatlan I linked up with Irene, a host on couchsurfing to stay for a night. Even though I was only there for a night, I really enjoyed Mazatlan. I went out for drinks with my host and a few of her friends and ended with night with some of the best tacos I’ve had so far on this trip.

    Tacos, Mezcal (with grasshoppers and peanuts), and a Mazatlan sunset:
    IMG-2848.JPG IMG-2844.JPG IMG-2842.JPG

    The next day I rode 5 hours south to Sayulita where I spent 2 nights. The ride from Mazatlan to Sayulita was gorgeous, twisty, and was a stark contrast to the scenery in Baja. Dry desert has been replaced by dense jungle. There are even jaguar crossing signs every once in a while on the highway. The scenery reminded me a lot of when I rode through Vietnam, except then I was pinning a 150 cc “adventure scooter” and now I’m pinning a 650 KLR. Sayulita is a really cute little beach town that has quasi-Bali vibes. Fresh coconuts, craft coffee, barefoot hippies with dreads - you get the picture. Sayulita is known for its surf, but unfortunately there wasn’t much swell while I was there. I took out a wavestorm (rasta colored for extra style points) one of the days to a reef break further south around the point and had a fun time messing around but it was only around waist high slop. While in Sayulita I took my board out to get the ding I put in it at Scorpion Bay fixed for real since I had only used a bit of solar-rez to temporary fix it. When I pulled it out I realized that I had dinged the board again on my fall on the road to Cabo Pulmo. Nothing too major though and I was able to get both dings fixed professionally for 200 pesos – a bargain and now the board looks like new again.

    After Sayulita I rode another 5 hours to Guadalajara where I am now. The ride itself wasn’t too much to write about as I took the cuota, or toll road, and it was mostly straight and I had my wrist locked down in 5th gear (note to Kawasaki engineers, please put a 6th gear on whatever replaces the KLR). Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city but you wouldn’t expect it to be so large based on its tranquil atmosphere. Weather here has been a godsend after the scorching heat of the past month. Highs in the low 80s during the day, and lows in the 60s at night. I’ve been here for 2 nights and have one more to go. Mexican Independence Day was yesterday and the Plaza de Armas was filled with locals enjoying the holiday which was cool to see. Most of my time here has been relaxing, drinking good coffee, and reading. I mentioned earlier that I need to be outside Mexico City on the 18th. I’m doing a 10-day Vipassana meditation course which starts on the 18th. The course is 10 days of silence and around 10 hours of meditation each day. I’ve never done much meditation in the past so I’ve both nervous and excited to see how it goes. Tomorrow I ride east toward Mexico City. Not exactly sure where I’ll stop as its about 6 hours to the course but I may split that up into two days of riding if I feel like I need it. Since I got off the ferry in Mazatlan the past week has felt a bit rushed and I’m looking forward to 10 days to unplug and explore my mind.

    That’s all for now. Thanks amigos.

    Somewhere on the road to GDL:
    IMG-2872.JPG
    #20
    squadraquota, Sandspit and mb300 like this.