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

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

  1. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Wandering through Baja is the best way IMHO, so catching 286 to La Paz would be my preferred choice... nothing spectacular, just a different road and scenery. You'll probably see more roadside cows and wild burros (keep a wide berth, they kick sideways!!) between Los Barriles (used to spend our winters there) and the turn-off to 286.

    Tires.... you'll be lucky to find a tire that fits on short notice. A Google search below revealed some possibilities, but searching them out will take away time with your wife.. maybe the Honda dealer can make some calls for you?

    Enjoy the fruits of BAJA!!!

    https://www.google.com/search?q=cab...,[22.894216999999994,-110.12518267333984],11]
    #61
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  2. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Interesting rr ,brings back fond memories of Baja .
    The 286 alternate route is highly recommended. Instead of seeing it as an hour longer detour I would suggest a bit more exploratory approach and at the T-junction turn east for the round trip exploration to its end at Ensenada de Los Muertos before the return run NW to La Paz. It passes over the mountain ridge and you will get a great view of distant La Paz in a way not to be found on Mex 1 3121EFCE-1A46-49FB-9522-0AC015CAEE35.jpeg
    I second that caution by Hill Climber about burros kicking sideways .The same is true for horses which can make that higher and sideways . Best slow down and give them both lanes. A frisky yearling could easily get startled by the sudden noise of a bike speeding past and take your helmet off with a sudden kick or a leap.
    #62
  3. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Baja Friends...

    First and foremost, thanks for all the advice and counsel. It has made this trip even more epic!

    Below is the current planned route back up north. Going to take the advice and cut up Hwy 1 and across 286 to La Paz for the first leg. I am also taking the advice and staying in Mulege for a night so I can explore the area! Hugely appreciate the recommendations. A couple of follow on questions if anyone has an opinion or recommendations...

    On the third leg I am inclined to head back over to Bahia de Los Angeles versus staying in Guerro Negro. Can't put my finger on it but I just did not care for Guerro Negro. I realize this adds ~ 80 miles to the trip but still lean towards doing it. I should be able to still pick up some fruit and vegetables in Bahia de Los Angeles for Coco. Any reason not to do this? Any alternate recommendations? I try and do between 4-6 hours of ride time / day to eliminate the risk of night travel and so I can enjoy the ride.

    Also, the natural default route would put me back across in Mexacali. I loved crossing at Tecate and ride norh from there to La Mesa, CA is pretty cool. Any reason not to cut across and and cross again at Tecate vs. Mexacali?

    Last but not lease love any additional recommendations on places to stay, see, eat along the way. I have some awesome ones for Mulege and know Bahia de Los Angeles pretty well now but love thoughts for San Felipe or otherwise.

    Of course I'll take pics and document and share along the way. Thanks again for everything!

    Mike Cabo_Return.png
    #63
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  4. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    G Negro is a dusty agricultural town and to my knowledge, travelers only stay there if they need a room for the night or are going whale watching. Surrounding locals use the town to shop for necessities and supplies. You're not alone on your instinct not to make it an overnight destination.. Bay of LA is a much finer choice!

    I've never shopped for groceries in B o LA so can't comment on your choice of getting stuff for Coco there although a Google search sez there is at least one store in town.... just up the street (north) from Costa del Sol, Mercado La Isla.

    For lunch, there is a grocery store and small restaurant (think it's called Rancho Grande...?) at Gonzaga Bay. You can't miss it. You could try Alfonsinas, (turn right just before the Pemex then 1 mile east then another mile north) but you have to convince the gate guard that you're going there for a legit reason. I've stopped going there as their attitude is they have conveyor belt that rolls the money in.... a wannabe resort in the making.... it's changed from the great destination place to what it is now. Others may disagree...
    Having said that, be sure to carry some snacks, water and such for a roadside lunch if need be.

    Lots of choices to stay at in San Felipe.. I usually stay at Kiki's Motel as he's an avid supporter of the dirt bike/adv bike/race crowd... rooms are great and he's on the water (rooms don't face the water though). Downside is it's a mile walk or ride into town . I've also stayed at Costa Azul and have heard good reports about El Capitán.... they're both in town. All places had a night guard on duty to watch their parking lots.


    San Felipe.jpg


    I personally try not to cross at Mexicali.... way too busy and they've upgraded the crossing and access to it... it can be confusing to get into the correct lane to find the "motos only" kiosk. I'm referring to the west crossing.. See my earlier post and map about turning off at the southern end of town and doing the La Rumorasa hill. Tecate is so much easier and less busy... they close mid afternoon though... La Rumorasa town has a fantastic restaurant, if you're so inclined. You'll have to get of the toll road to get into town. It's name is La Cabaña Del Abuelo, right next to the Pemex. You'll have to weigh your timing options of getting to the Tecate border crossing though. You could carry on to Tecate on the free road or get back onto the toll road....
    #64
  5. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    I concur with Hill Climber on BOLA vs. Guerrero Negro. GN is fine if you just need a place to crash for the night, but it's not especially interesting or scenic. Sunrise in BOLA is glorious; in GN, not so much... If you want to stay in a simple, inexpensive room on the waterfront in BOLA, find Hotel Raquel y Larry's north of town on the road to the military base.

    If you're staying your final night in Mexico in San Felipe, you should have no trouble getting to Tecate before the northbound crossing closes (2:00 p.m. weekdays; 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday). If you're running behind schedule, the Mexicali West (downtown) crossing is still open 24/7. I'd second Hill Climber's recommendation to cross at Tecate because it's just plain easier (and probably 20 degrees cooler than Mexicali), and you'll get to ride up La Rumorosa which is really a treat.

    But if you find yourself crossing at Mexicali, just head for the Centro on Calzada de Los Presidentes and follow the signs for the Sentri Lane until you're almost at the CBP booth. Just before the CBP booth, there will be a gap in the concrete divider on your right. Squeeze through the gap and into the regular lanes. One of the CBP booths will be labeled "Cars/Motos". This is your lane. Just be sure to exit the Sentri Lane before you reach the CBP booth or else you'll get the lecture and probably be sent to secondary inspection as punishment, which will eat up any time saved by cutting to the front.
    #65
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  6. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Most drivers will let you filter past them to get to the front .. a common courtesy but only in Mexico !! My first time crossing north here I was told of this method and could hardly believe my eyes as I got to the front very quickly... and it was hot as blazes. I must've said "Gracias" a couple of hundred times to those who had their window rolled down!
    If I remember correctly, the Mexicali "Cars/Motos" booth is on the far right (East) side. You'll have several lanes of lined up autos to weave through.
    But, as @MufflerBearings said, Tecate is at a higher elevation and a lot cooler.
    If this helps... S Felipe to Mexicali West crossing - 125 Miles (one military check point)
    S Felipe to Tecate crossing - 200 miles (via the toll road and two military check points) .... bring lunch munchies with you
    Either way, if you're on the road by at least 7:30 AM you should be in the USA well before 2 PM.
    #66
  7. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Guys, HUGELY appreciate appreciate the guidance. I owe you both beverages and a nice meal!!! Packing up and heading out of Cabo at 12P via 1 to 286 to Ciudad. Will try and stop and get some pics along the way and post. HUGE thanks again!
    #67
  8. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Ahh... Good morning Cabo and Adios! Has been an Epic couple of days!

    Cabo Sunrise.jpg
    Back on the road!! As always we had an epic time in Cabo. Seeing old friends, having a bite, and generally getting away from the hectic day in, day out of life.

    For those who have never been or are looking for recommendations while in town I cannot say enough good things about The Office. This is a Sunday morning tradition for us, and the food and service are always the best we experience in all of Cabo. Not cheap but not crazy expensive by U.S. standards… $10 for Huevos con Chorizo (my go to), my wife’s was around $10 as well and cocktails (great margaritas) should someone want to imbibe a bit were also around $ 10. I’d also call out Mi Casas. In full disclosure the food was good but not exceptional but the environment is very, very cool. I bit pricier though – check before you go and see if it’s worth it to you.

    Beautiful bride and I at The Office.
    office1.jpg

    It probably sound corny but I love how even things like the plates and tiles in the restroom are creative, festive, and interesting at The Office.
    office2.jpg office3.jpg ]]

    View at Mi Casa. A very cool indoor/outdoor place with a great atmosphere.
    mi casa.jpg

    Perhaps others have seen this promotion we saw at Mi Casas but we had not. In short they stop by your table with a cage with two birds. They dance happily around in their cage and tweet. You pick which bird you want (Pepe or Tony) and he/she comes out and picks a 'fortune' paper out from a box with hundreds. Would not likely do again (no cost but tipped $5) but was interesting. Have to believe this would be huge hit with kids!
    mi casa1.jpg

    On to the riding! I headed toward San Jose and as always enjoyed the views of the surf beach as you get closer to San Jose. Cabo Surf Hotel has always been our list to check out both for the incredible views and the awesome surfing that often exists right there. Anyone else every stay there?

    Surf Beach.jpg

    I did make one tactical mistake and I know better! At the roundabout before San Jose I screwed up and did not take the toll road and instead cut thru San Jose. The toll road is super cheap and straight thru to the airport vs. thru San Jose which is stop and go and it was already but mid 90s. This added ~ 30 minutes to the trip and I was already getting a bit of a late start.

    I took everyone’s advance and did the run up one out of Cabo and up thru Buena Vista and then across 286 to Hwy 1 at La Paz and up. The upsides… it’s a new road I have not traveled, and I would always prefer a new path to retracing an old one. There are miles of wonderful twisties with good pavement! And the Sea of Cortez view dropping into a Buena Vista is spectacular. The two downsides I would call out is the section from San Jose to Buena Vista can be loaded with construction vehicles which are often traveling at ~ 30 MPH with limited option to pass so it can slow you down which is the second downside. I had budgeted going this route would add an hour to the trip per google. In reality between my screw up coming thru San Jose and the slow vehicles it added almost three and given I got a late start it made the push from La Paz to Ciudad Constitución more of a bullet run w/ some stretches nearing triple digit MPH speeds to make up some time. The 103 degree temp may have also contributed to speed ;-]. Final comment… given the choice again I would probably take 19 back up out of Cabo towards Todo Santos primarily because I love the water views and you get a lot of them on this path and it’s shorter but I am glad I checked out the other route.

    Sea of Cortez view dropping into Buena Vista (borrowed this one!).
    Buena Vista.jpg

    As referenced above the route from La Paz to Ciudad Constitución is mostly long, straight, and hot. I returned to Hotel Victoria (referenced earlier) and once again would highly recommend this place. 800 pesos and it’s new, secure, clean, has great AC and beds, and excellent showers. Could not ask for much more.

    Tomorrow is off to Mulege. Can’t wait!

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    #68
  9. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Bummer you missed the SJ del Cabo toll bypass... this town is always a crawl to get through.. and too bad you had to deal with construction rigs on hwy 286 to La Paz. I wonder what their building/constructing? You mentioned earlier your first day destination was La Paz, but of course now realize when you wrote "Ciudad" (translates to town or city) you meant Ciudad Constitucion! That's about a 270 mile day and with traffic delays, you had a long afternoon. Oh well, different route, road, scenery and it all makes for an interesting ride report!

    Tomorrow, it's a 175 mile day to the village of Mulege, although once you drop down next to the sea of Cortez, the scenery will again slow you down. The section where you start dropping down (KM marker 70 ish) to Santa Rosalia has always been the highlight of every trip I've taken through Baja, whether it's been on a bike or 4 wheels. If you find Mulege isn't to your liking, Santa Rosalia is only 40 more miles up the road.

    Dam, your pics make me wish I was there again!!!
    #69
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  10. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

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    I've been loving the good number of Baja RRs lately and this one is no exception. Great stuff, thanks for taking the time to post it.
    #70
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  11. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks! Any day riding beats a day or working :jack. Highly likely going to stay in Mulege and explore the area. I was blown away going thru there on the way thru. Quick question... are the rroads/paths down to the beaches in Bahia Conception knarly. If I was on the GS I would not think about it but the LT is a pig in the sand/loose dirt/gravel and while I have never dumped it I don't want today to be the first :lol3. Thanks again!
    #71
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  12. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Every year the hurricanes will change up the roads so with an LT, I wouldn’t risk poking your nose down any road. You might consider walking down a promising looking road a ways and make a decision then...
    Enjoy!
    #72
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  13. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    67BFC3AE-6ACE-4D60-A8F7-797BFECA04F0.jpeg
    Anyone use a bike lock? I did this trip for the first time mostly as a deterrent. A big hammer would likely toast it but it added a little assurance when leaving the bike alone for 4-5 days and even overnight. I did pull the battery that sounds an alarm with movement as the last thing I wanted was the thing going off in the middle of the night in error.
    #73
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  14. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    Check out the mission on the west side of the highway, and the old territorial prison on the hill above town:

    https://www.bajabound.com/bajaadventures/bajafever/mulegeprison

    Also, last time I was there, one could climb up into the lighthouse for a view.
    #74
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  15. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Note: Realize there are some spelling and grammatical errors below. Will clean up within 24-48 hours but wanted to get draft out while I was working on it.

    Where to start… what a beautiful day to ride! Got a bit of an earlier start this AM and was super happy I did. The trip coming out of Ciudad and across over before the drop was cool, the sun was bright, and the clouds beautiful. In the past I have worked for a bit in the AM and then took off. Going to switch things up and start leaving earlier to try and beat the sun and enjoy the early morning cool temps.


    pre loreto.jpg

    The drop into Loreto is otherworldly. I tried to capture the twisties in the video below and then pulled over to the side of the road and captured a beautiful shot looking over a golf course into the Sea of Cortez. It does not get much better than that… but it does!!

    Golf.jpg

    As you drop down the hill the first place you see after the twisties is signs for the Tripuí and the Marina. I did not make the trek all the way down but it looks like a great place to explore. Next comes Loreto Bay (see pics). One of my goals on this trip was to look for places we could spend a few months exploring in the future and while Loreto Bay may not be exactly ‘our thing’ after talking to a gentlemen at the Pemex in Loreta I did decide that we need to come back and check this area out further. He was an expat and mentioned that he lived in a place called Puerto something or something like that and was 60’ feet from the sea and it was reasonable. Does anyone know the town/area he was referring to? He moved down from the states ten years ago and said he never plans to go back. He said the only downside is that there were so many expats and tourists that despite his best intentions he has never learned to speak Spanish as everyone speaks more than enough for him to get by and communicate.

    PLACEHOLDER - Loreto Bay

    The first part coming out of Loreto is nothing overly special but there are some good views about halfway between where on the left you see large mountains that feed down into a valley where you can see a fair amount of Agriculture. I suspect that they get some run off from the mountains to feed the Ag in the valley in front of the mountains.

    From there things get absolutely spectacular. I could almost do an entire ride report on the last 20-30 miles coming into Mulegé. Mile after mile you have views of the Sea of Cortez with crystal clear blue water broke up by beautiful beaches. I could have stopped ten times to take pictures and explore but would have never made it to Mulegé. Below is just a sampling of the incredible views and beaches. Definitely worth coming back and checking out more!

    One of the many bays beaches.
    beach 2.jpg

    Beautiful blue green water. Pictures don't do it justice.
    blue green.jpg

    Another beautiful bay.
    Bay.jpg
    Another awesome beach.
    Beach.jpg
    Beautiful water as far as the eye can see!
    pre mulege.jpg

    Last but not least is Mulegé. When I rode south I was intrigued about this area but really did not have the time to stop and check it out. This time I made it happen. It has an older downtown (as it should) but does some very interesting and intriguing features including a narrow inlet that runs from the Sea of Cortez all the way into town which is lined with homes, a few RV parks, and a few hotels. It’s a pure guess but the waterway looked like it was only 300-400’ wide at the widest point and on the Mulegé side it is paved all the way out to the lighthouse. The other compelling element of Mulegé is you are very close to Bahia Conception which is georgous. And I learned at dinner that one of the other big selling points is this is one of the few places that has an abundance of natural fresh water which is a precious commodity in Baja.

    Welcome to Mulege!
    Mulege_sign.jpg

    Houses along the water in Mulege
    Mulege2.jpg

    I had originally planned to stay at Las Casitas but there was not a great place to park the bike. Checked around a bit and found Hotel Mulege which has secure parking, good wifi, good air, and a strong shower for 650 pesos.

    mulege hotel.jpg mulege secure.jpg

    I have a few other shots from the gopro I will try and get loaded including getting chewed out at military checkpoint for my Spanish not being better (deservedly so!) and the incredible twisties dropping down towards Loreto. Will try and get up in the next 24 hours.

    As always, I welcome others corrections and suggestions especially those that know the area far better than me!

    Tomorrow is off to Bahia de Los Angeles (BDLA) via Guerro Negro. This will be a repeat of trip down but I wanted to make it significantly past Guerro Negro and there are not a lot of other options. Plus it’s a beautiful town with lovely people!

    Attached Files:

    #75
  16. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Ah, the Baja bug has bitten you hard!! I keep telling my friends, Baja is addictive!!
    The guy you chatted with in Loreto who mentioned Pureto something could've been Puerto Escondido? It's 15 or so miles south of Loreto. It's a failed attempt by Fonatur (an arm of the Mexican government to develop tourist destinations... Cabo is one of their creations) complete with subdivision lots and marina that lapsed into weeds and broken streets.... but a while back some money was poured into the marina and a small portion of the subdivision and a few houses went up. The bay is known as a "hurricane hole" for sailors. It's the only Puerto in the area (Sea of Cortez side) that I'm aware of.

    Heroica Mulegé (Mulege) is a town that's had a few catastrophes in the past, all due to hurricanes that dump a foot or two of water inland... the amount of water that came down Río Mulegé has flooded the town several times... the last biggest one was hurricane John in 2006. Downtown was completely flooded, in fact I think you can see the old high water mark under the highway bridge.. it's fairly close to the bridge deck. The most recent flood closed the school downtown.

    After you climb out of Santa Rosalia, you'll enter a lava strewn area.. Las Tres Vírgenes volcano is responsible for the lava beds and the mountain is visible from mainland Mexico, on a clear day that is. Also there's a geothermal plant in the area that turns volcanic steam into electricity.

    Tomorrow is a 300 mile day to BOLA and sadly won't have the vistas and scenic byways you traveled today.

    Thanks for posting pics.. I have a yearning to get back to Baja sooner than later!!
    #76
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  17. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Thanks! Loading now and will share more hopefully later today. Going to roll from Mulege to just North of Guerro Negro and fuel up and eat and then roll into BDLA. More soon and thanks again for the comments!
    #77
  18. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    He
    #78
  19. Adventure_Mike

    Adventure_Mike Adventurer Supporter

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    Baja friends... quick question. Any issue getting to Kiki's on an LT? I realized as I heading up today and saw car after car loaded down that it is Memorial Day weekend and places are filling up fast. Sending this BDLA and Costa Del Sol was full. Found another place but my sense of urgency just got cranked up and want to get this locked down. If Kiki's supports riders, I'm there! Just trying to figure out if I can get there ;-] and if they have spots. Thanks, thanks, thanks!
    #79
  20. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

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    Pavement to Kikis
    #80