KC to Newport Beach to Cabo and back. Wahoo!!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Adventure_Mike, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    HUGE thanks for the counsel! Especially on fuel at El Rosario! This has been one of my concerns as I am not carrying an extra bladder. I can do 280 to 330 on a full tank but have been trying to locate the Pemex's along the way. I did buy my form online before reading this but hopefully will be ok. Worst case I'll pay for another. Did Baja Bound for insurance so good on that front and no illegal contraband :jack. Thanks again and have an awesome day!
    #21
  2. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    You're welcome! There is barrel gas available at both Catavina and the Bay of LA turnoff (usually) but I prefer to fill up at gas stations.
    There's a fellow, David Kier that has made maps of Baja that includes the locations of gas stations. Maps don't include large cities as it's obvious that there will be gas stations there.
    Link: http://forums.bajanomad.com/viewthread.php?tid=88771
    The http://forums.bajanomad.com/ site is a fairly good resource for Baja info.

    When paying for gas, the odd time an attendant will try to scam you with incorrect change or swap a bill for a smaller bill when you pay him ..... senior... you didn't give me enough ..... The gas stations near Cabo are famous for this trick. The self serve stations will have a cashier cage where you tell them the gas pump number, give them enough pesos to fill your tank and retrieve your change afterwards. I've never had a problem with these stations. Most gas stations accept credit cards, but to eliminate any potential problems, I always use pesos. (Paying with US cash will in result in poor exchange rate and confusion with the conversion...)
    Cheers!!
    #22
  3. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Made the trek from Southern Cal to Ensanada via the Tecate crossing. Excellent ride with the exception of the trip from Costa Mesa, CA to north of San Diego which was stop and go for 20+ miles. The trip from La Mesa, CA down to Tecate was especially beautiful. The Tecate crossing was SUPER easy. Huge thanks for all the counsel on this. Was in and out and down the road in less than five minutes. I had preprinted and paid for my FMM form which in this case worked out well although others have recommended against doing so. GoPro was not working correctly so no ride pics.
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    Stayed at bed and breakfast on the Southern end of Ensanada called Playa Hermosa Bed and Breakfast. Loved the place. Secure parking, nice room with super comfortable bed and great breakfast included. Not the cheapest but cheaper than anything else I could find with secure parking.

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    Did take $3 uber ride downtown to check out. Big time party zone! Not my cup of tea these days but did find a little place called Tequilas a block or two off the main drag that was nice and good mix of locals and expats with couple of tv's with both US and Mexico sports. Cool place.

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    Now on to El Rosario! Staying at Baja Cactus. Quick question for the veteran Mexico riders... I have been traveling 10-15 kilometers over the speed limit and it's like I am standing still compared to the other traffic. What is the general rule and where is the line that you risk getting pulled over and shaken down for a 'fine'?

    Thanks as always for everyone weighing and following!

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  4. bigdog99

    bigdog99 Weaned and neutered

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    Why did that LT have to ride on a trailer to SoCal? It was made for the open road! ;)
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  5. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    @bigdog99, agree on the LT! Had heart procedure on the 4th and they told no activities for weeks so five days later I jumped in the car and drove to the west coast and started towards Cabo on the 15th. I figured eleven days is close enough to two weeks and now we are rolling South!
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  6. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    @bigdog99, agree on the LT! Had heart procedure on the 4th and they told no activities for weeks so five days later I jumped in the car and drove to the west coast and started towards Cabo on the 15th. I figured eleven days is close enough to two weeks and now we are rolling South!
    #26
  7. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Quick question before the update... Currently planning to ride from El Rosario over to Bahia de los angeles tomorrow. Any recommendations on best place to stay? Saw someone once recommended Costa Del Sol but having a hard time reaching them and don't want to make the run without a place to crash.

    Awesome ride down from Ensanada to El Rosario. Weather was mixed sun and clouds with temps about 70 degrees with ever present winds. Was cool to ride thru the mountains and then thru the valley to see the agriculture. I have never traveled this part of Baja.
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    The last 50 miles or so as you drop into El Rosario are beautiful with the constant ocean view off to your right. Had a chance to stop and take a quick few pics.
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    Staying at the Baja Cactus hotel which seems to be a regular here and like others wish I had known that it was under MAJOR reconstruction. As Jamie Z, mentioned the internet is really spotty even right next to the hotel. Next time I would stay at the hotel next door that is associated with Mama Espinoza restaurant. It looks nicer (concrete to park on) and more secure (you can keep an eye on your bike. Had they been referenced on google I would stayed there.

    Appreciate anyone's thoughts on Bahia de los angeles. Welcome to other suggestions on places to stay/see on route down. My current back up is Guerrero Negro. Thanks again!
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  8. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Can't help you on advice for other hotels as I only stay at Costa del Sol... never had a reservation and they've always found me a room.
    But, Bay of LA is only 40 miles from the highway so take a chance (great photo op top of the hill when you see the Sea of Cortez) and check it out. If you decide not to stay due to non approval of accommodations, then top your tank up at the Pemex there and carry on to G Negro.

    On your way north, I'd suggest not stopping overnight in El Rosario but go a bit further up the road towards San Quintin. Hotel Mision Santa Maria is highly recommended.... it's not on the highway but on oceanfront, so ask on this forum for directions.
    #28
  9. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Awesome and agree! Rolling the dice and heading that way this AM. Worse case as you mention is head back to G Negro! Thanks and will let you know how it goes!
    #29
  10. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Took your advice and rolled into BDLA and got a room at Costa del Sol. Great recommendation! Thank you!
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  11. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Bit of a longer update today. Will start with a request and then jump into the update.

    Headed to Santa Rosalia tomorrow. Welcome recommendations on places to stay, eat, see while in the area tomorrow night!!!

    First, I want to update my comments regarding Baja Cactus. The room itself was nice with a comfortable bed and it was very clean with a nice shower. In hindsight I am guessing they started a major expansion/renovation and then Covid hit. When it’s done I think it will be very nice but in the interim the parking lot is dusty and the it’s a bit of a construction zone. If I had to do it again I would check out Mama Espinoza Hotel (have to call the restaurant to book or show up) and/or Motel Turista as additional options in EL Rosario.

    Speaking of Mama Espinoza’s… I had two awesome meals there. Carne Asada tacos with awesome refried beans last night and huevos con chorizo this morning. Both were awesome! I love good, simple, super flavorful Mexican food and this was as good as it gets from that perspective.

    chorizo_epinozas.jpg tacos_espinoza.jpg

    The trip from Tecate over to Ensanada and down to El Rosario had been cooler (upper 60’s) and it dropped into the 50’s last night so I put my rain gear over my riding gear to stay warm. By the time I got to the exit for Hwy 5 it was hot and I started shedding. I made the final trek into Bahia de Los Angeles (BDLA) and was ready to get into shorts quick. At Hill Climbers suggestion I am staying at Costa del Sol. Nice, clean, cool, and great location.

    The ride down from El Rosario to BDLA was mostly uneventful. For those that have not done the run it is a desolate ride of knarly twists and curves followed by long stretches of straights. Be a great ride on a sport bike if you wanted to go fast and run the twisties but I could encourage folks to be careful. Some of the curves sneak up and are super knarly with no forgiveness (DEEP ditches). The road was 80% smooth, 20% rough with no pot holes until the final 15 miles or so into BDLA which was pitted up pretty good. The other notable item about the ride was the massive wind bursts coming across the lake bottom. You’d be riding along and all of the sudden be hit with a 40-50 MPH burst from the side and then 30 seconds later another burst from the other side. Only happened for about 20-30 minutes but it was two hands on the bars tight for that section.

    Leaving El Rosario
    G0133124.JPG The great wide open on Hwy 1 South.
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    As others have mentioned the ride down into Bahia de Los Angeles is BEAUTIFUL. Awesome water front town that is protected by multiple islands. Going out exploring a bit more tonight and will post a few more pictures.

    Gateway into BDLA
    BDLA1.jpg
    Same roundabout
    BDLA2.jpg Dropping in and seeing the sea of Cortez. Beautiful!
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    One other note about the trek down from El Rosario and BDLA. There is NO cell service the entire trip down or in town. I have Verizon international plan an no go. Talked to several others and they said the same. Costa del Sol has good internet so can FaceTime, etc. but I would hate to break down half way between El Rosario and BDLA. Few passers buy and no service.

    Headed to Santa Rosalia tomorrow. Welcome recommendations on places to stay, eat, see while in the area tomorrow night.

    Thanks!

    Mike

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  12. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Couple more to close out the night...

    Had awesome dinner at the hotel - tostadas!
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    Served by these lovely ladies (I believe one is the owner)
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    and of course the local mascot Scooby!
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    And then for a quick walk at sunset by the sea
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    Closed by watching these kids play a pick up soccer game. No refs, no uniforms, no parents, no fighting or yelling. Just kids playing a game that they love. Beautiful!
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    #32
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  13. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    It's great to see Victoria (owner - center of pic) again, even though it's only a pic... last time I was there she was not well and wasn't able to take care of business. And Scooby? The one eyed Great Dane? Gosh, he must be 15+ years old now!

    You really should stop in and have a look around San Ignacio ( turn right at the gas station..... town is a couple of miles off the main highway) The town square is really small with the signature attraction being the church. If you decide to stay there, I'd suggest the Hotel La Huerta. It's a couple of hundred feet past the church, on the right. I can't remember what their wi-fi is like as been a while since I last stayed there.

    Santa Rosalia... I've only stayed there once, a long time ago, at the Hotel el Moro, just out of town, south end, water side of the highway.. I just needed a bed.. arrived late and left early.. it was quiet and I remember the wi-fi was dial up slow. There are other places in town that look promising though....

    Next cell service will be at Guerro Negro. Verizon coverage map here: https://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/overlays/international-travel-coverage-map.html
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  14. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Thank you on all fronts! Mapping final plan for the day now. Below was final pick of BDLA - sunrise. Taken from front steps of Costa Del Sol.

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  15. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    Hotel El Moro,south end of town,and Piasanos tacos,also south end of town.End of the malecon,and across the street.Al Pastur or Chorizo tacos.Enjoy.
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  16. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Starter request… headed to Ciudad Constitución tomorrow. Welcome any suggestions on places to stay, eat, see. Thanks in advance!

    Quick follow on recollection of Bahia de Los Angeles… If you were ever looking for a place to regroup, truly relax, or ‘get away from it all’ BDLA would be ideal. It’s a super nice little town on the water with beautiful sunsets, sunrises, and people. The lack of cell service changes the dynamic of a town… it’s a bit quieter, less populated and people do something really interesting… they talk. I loved BDLA and would go back in a heart beat. Not sure I could live there but did love the town. Sent the following to Jen and she said no Bueno ;-].

    BDLA house.jpg


    Let’s start out with the number one question I get asked offline and on the road… Are you scared traveling thru Mexico? The honest answer is I was a bit nervous before and in the early stages of the trip. And I have to tell you I have had some near miss run ins with really scary Mexicans. I mean they were big and if we crossed I have every confidence that I would not live to tell about it. Each time I was SCARED. These were some bad hombres! The first time I was traveling around a corner and there was a Mexican… cow RIGHT next to the road!!! Now granted I had passed 100+ signs warning me that this was a risk. And in each case the speed limit was 60 Kilometers per hour (that’s 37 MPH to us gringos). But after traveling hundreds and hundreds of miles in these zones the average speed is more like 60-70 MPH for me and everyone else. The other group of bad hombres were… horses. This is a reality in the rural regions of Mexico and something you have to keep your eye for and has only occurred four or five times with only two being unexpected. They give you all the warning in the world and though I have never actually seen one on the road it is scary passing either one at 70 MPH.

    Cow.png

    In reality every single person I have engaged with has been beyond sweet, polite, and helpful. I grew up in a very Hispanic area of Southern California and I learned to love some of the core Mexican values… Hard Work, Simplicity, Utilitarianism and most of all… Family. Small towns and large, in business or on the street, everyone has been beyond nice.

    Back to the riding discussion… It was an awesome and crazy day of riding. I took off out of BDLA and it was beautiful, sunny, and warm (low 80s) so I was in shorts and a t-shirt. As I climbed out it cooled a bit (low 70s). By the I got to the corner of Hwy 1 to go South I stopped and put on a long sleave shirt. As I headed South the temperature again dropped some more and as I crossed from Baja Norte to Baja Sir and waited in the military check point I stopped again and pulled out a super heavy duty hoody and threw it on hoping it would warm up. And… it didn’t. I pulled off in Guerro Negro to check out the town and fuel up and threw my jeans back on along with my rain gear to try and warm up. At this point it was 69 and overcast with a strong breeze. I was cold. I took off South out of Guerro Negro and… it started to heat up! I guess when you essentially cross the peninsula twice in the same day you are going to see some change. By the time I got to San Ignacio it was 89 degrees and pulled off and started shedding. Back to shorts and t-shirt. A twenty degree swing in less than an hour. Crazy but cool.

    Bundled up in Guerro Negro
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    The actual riding between BDLA and Santa Rosario is pretty non eventful with a few noticeable exceptions and observations. The first stop between the two was at the military check point between Baja Norte (North) and Baja Sur (South). Every other one of these I have been thru there has been no line and they simply waved me thru and there was no line. In this case it was about a 20-30 minute wait and they were checking every vehicle. I used the wait to get everything ready… passport, registration, FMM, insurance, you name it. And when I get to my turn… they simply asked where I was coming from and where I was going and waved me thru which I was grateful for. I did take the opportunity to use the roadside restroom. This is the men’s side about 50’ off the road. There are signs for a urinal… this is it. There were signs for a toilet as well. I did not check that one ;-].

    Roadside sculpture at the checkpoint. Real? Saw others like it along the way.
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    'Urinal' at the checkpoint.
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    Snapshot back at the checkpoint. Do I look cold? I was!
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    I mentioned Guerro Negro as a place I cruised thru (it’s off the highway) and got gas. I have to admit it was not a great looking town. Maybe others feel differently but if I had to do it again I would have kept on rolling and fueled up at what I believe was Los Bombas or Benito Juarez which was a cool little town with tons of shops, nice people on every corner waving, lots of nice gas stations with concrete entrances (vs. gravel) and smiling and clean (especially compared to Guerro Negro). Live and learn!

    Cruising on down Hwy 1 past I took Hill Climbers recommendation and stopped in at San Ignacio. What a great recommendation! This is like a hidden paradise in the middle of the desert. I had not made hotel reservations in Santa Rosalia yet so I had to keep rolling but I did stop and walk around the square and the church for a few minutes. What a beautiful little oasis. Would definitely go back and spend some time (days) here.

    Riding into San Ignacio (after riding in the desert for hours).
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    Mission church in San Ignacio.
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    Last item of note on the riding was the last 30 kilometers going into Santa Rosario. There are some epic views as you start to drop into the valley. Unfortunately I did not have the gopro running so no shots. I did have it running as you go thru the twisties dropping down into the valley. We have taken the RV all over the US and Canada and wouldn’t take these for all the money in Texas. Easily 10-12 % grade (after some research I learned they are closer to 35%) and super sharp corners. Fun on a motorcycle but I am glad I was not in the RV. For those going thru the first time… have fun but BE CAREFUL. These are knarly and a good way to have a really had day.

    The last interesting shot was seeing the Sea of Cortez as you drop into the valley. This shot does not do it justice. It is absolutely beautiful.

    twisties.JPG cortez.JPG

    More updates on Santa Rosario tomorrow…
    #36
  17. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    Visciano is the town south of GN,and I agree,much nicer.
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  18. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    You will love the run south of Loreto.Mexican Alps.
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  19. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    I forgot about the steep decent into Santa Rosalia.... there's a sign or used to be at the top of the hill which loosely translates to "the hill from hell". Being familiar with the hill in previous trips, I was very cautious towing a 12,000 fifth wheel with my 4x4 3/4 ton truck, with an automatic transmission. I put the transmission in low range and crawled my way down. Later that year, I bought a 1 ton truck, 4x4, standard tranny with a jake brake... problem solved. The accident rate on this hill is evidenced by the large wrecker lots at both ends of town!

    The scenery of Bahia Conception is second to none (@princess jamaica lives here). The sandspit and beach at El Requeson has been featured in a few travel magazines. Yes, princess jamaica nailed it with the Mexican Alps ... awesome stuff .... Sierra de la Giganta range. You'll be torn between looking up to the right at the mountains or left to the water side..

    Once you climb out and through the Mexican Alps, the scenery changes to agriculture flat lands. Heads up in Ciudad Constitucion.. As there's not been a lot of travelers making their way through this town due to Covid, latest updates are few.... Local police have been known to pull foreign plated vehicles over and attempt to extort $$$ with made up charges. Stop at every red light (amber is considered red), if a pedestrian looks like he/she wants to cross the road, stop and let them cross... Mind the speed limit... it's I think 20 mph.
    No recommendations for a hotel for this town... we used to stay at an RV park that had one room to rent, but the story goes the owner had to go back to Germany due to health reasons so I don't know if the place is still in business or not.

    Oh yeah, making a left turn... Don't. Get into the lateral lane and get into the left lane and stop at the stop light. When it turns green, turn left and cross the road/highway. (I think there's a bunch of sadistic engineers in Mexico City dreaming up the 7th way of how to make a left turn.. :-)
    #39
  20. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Huge thanks for the comments and recommendations! Can't imagine taking the RV w/ trailer down that path but it is beautiful! Will also follow guidance re Ciudad! Thanks again!
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