Me & Mrs Trip we got a thing going on

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thanks for this excellent update, the perfect thing to kick off a dreary Monday in the salt mine :thumbup.

    I remember walking by the hotel you stayed at during our visit to Loreto, looked like a really cool place (and great at only $35/night). We didn't have a chance to eat at MezzaLuna, but we enjoyed two fantastic meals at 1697 - highly recommend stopping there the next time you're in Loreto. Granted, we brought our own fish from our day out on the water, but they prepared it perfectly and we had lots of appetizers and then dessert to boot.

    Such great pics @Rhode trip, I really want to throw my bike in my truck and just head south. The tracks look a bit tricky here and there, but what an awesome ride from Scorpion Bay. Yep...I'm envious :ricky:ricky

    Keep them coming...need the fix :thumb
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  2. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, liv2day. Loreto would be great for a little longer stay... but we only spent 1 night there. Looks like lots to do.
    It was an awesome day riding from Scorpion Bay.... I'd describe it as "fun" wink, wink ...which as far as I can tell means "I am lucky I made it alive" in ADV-speak.
    The funny thing is, Google thinks that road is Mex Highway 1. :imaposer

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  3. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thursday, January 25th

    We packed up our bikes, parked in the courtyard, just a little ways from our room.

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    Uh-oh! Now we have to ride out.......

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    "Hey, Mrs Trip... try not to smash any furniture, or take out any potted plants...OK?"

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    "OK, wise ass...." We made it... no damage.... and down to the corner and across the street. Parked the bikes on the sidewalk, and we sat in the restaurant on the outskirts of the Plaza.

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    Café Olé... I have an actual food photo... and mmmm, it was pretty good. Huevos con jamon, frijoles, chilaquiles... must have been some tortillas too.

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    Then we gassed up, rode through town, and out the north end on Highway 1. Pretty straight and flat.

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    Until we finally caught up to those hills ahead and wiggled our way through.....

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    From the top, there it is.... Bahía Concepción spread out beyond....

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    The highway follows the side of the bay north, closer... further away, rising and falling along the hillside. I have to stop every 100 feet and just take it in. Bahía Concepción is one of those places... so perfect that it doesn't look real...

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    The bay is over 20 miles long, and varies between 2 and 5 miles wide. The water is so calm... it looks like glass...

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    The shore is dotted with secluded beaches.

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    Nice ride, too. The road veers away from the water and twists though some hills....

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    At the north end of the bay is the town of Mulege. There's more development as you get close, then over the Rio Santa Rosalia. It is one of only a couple of year-round rivers in Baja.

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    The year round water supply is the reason that Mulege is such an oasis. It's been inhabited for thousands of years. The highway crosses over it on a bridge...

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    and on the north side meets the old town.

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    The town earned the appellation 'Heroica" during the Mexican-American war when the people resisted the Yankee imperialists, and kept their area of Baja California from falling into US hands. The Mexican legislature awarded the title in recognition of the towns defense. There is an old mission there as well... but no time for that nonsense! We kept riding north.
    We're going to Santa Rosalia to find out about the ferry from there to Guaymas. The twice weekly ferry will cross in the morning. The question is...do we want to go?

    Further along, off to the side of the highway is a building that looks like a prison....

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    Cereso Santa Rosalia BCS. Probably not a place we want to visit.

    Not too much further, and we're in the town of Santa Rosalia. The ferry terminal, the bus station, and the local offices of the federal government all share the same building. The ferry office is closed... they only open at certain...kind of off-beat, hours. We want to find out if we can cross on the ferry without having TVIPs...Temporary Vehicle Import Permits. It's a long story, but basically you don't need one if you stay in Baja, but if you cross to the mainland...you do.
    We rode this ferry once before a few years ago, and I remember waiting a long time to get through customs on the other side... and we had TVIPs then. There's no one to ask. We decide to skip the ferry... and go looking for a hotel instead.

    Santa Rosalia was the site of a French mine, and was a heavily industrialized area. There's lots of memorabilia spread around town, and lots of French architecture left intact.

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    The library "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    There's the Hotel Frances up on the hill...in the old Mine Company Hotel. Its considered very nice... although it's very old.
    The last time we were here, we stayed in the Hotel el Industrial. It was decent and cheap. But this time, we came across the Las Casitas Hotel...just south of town.
    Like Goldilocks... we decided this one was..."just right"

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    Each of the little casitas hangs over the edge of the bay.

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    The views were spectacular.

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    We pretty much had the place to ourselves.

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    A little ways from town, though. That's the ferry dock, and the terminal building on shore.

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    We walked into town, and along the Malecón.

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    Had the best tacos of the trip for dinner.

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    Then back to Las Casitas as darkness settled in.

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    "Buenas Noches"

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  4. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Woohoo, great update @Rhode trip! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the drive up 1, seeing Bahia Concepcion come and go. We stopped at a couple of beaches, but never made it as far as Mulege (regret). Just means we need to get back down there.

    Cool shots of Santa Rosalia, another place I look forward to visiting.

    Thank you for the pictures...perfect!
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  5. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I picked just one but awesome pictures of the Bay.
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  6. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Just picture perfect, thanks!
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  7. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, liv2day! It would be cool to spend more time in that area. I'd like to get out on the bay in a kayak.

    Thanks, Admiral. It really reminds me of Crater Lake... another place to take your breath away....

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    Thanks, roadcapDen! Glad you're enjoying it!
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  8. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Friday, January 26th

    I was up early, stalking the sunrise. Color slowly spread over the Sea of Cortez.

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    But the sun was centered, not over the sea where I expected it... but off to the south ...

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    and I had to wander around a little bit to find the right spot. The colors intensified, and then burst above the horizon.

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    We still had the place to ourselves...or almost...

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    Despite the early rising, we were in no big hurry to leave. We brewed coffee in the room...shared a couple of cups. Took our time packing and loading the bikes....
    For such a nice little hotel, the Las Casitas doesn't look like much from the street.

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    It was just a short ride into town. We walked this way last night... no sidewalk, along Mex 1... not the best scenario..... but we made it there and back.

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    We cruised around Santa Rosalia, looking for a good prospect for breakfast. One of the sights that the town is famous for is the metal, prefabricated church, that was designed by Gustave Eiffel... the architect of the Eiffel Tower. The church was built in 1887 for an exhibition in Paris, and then moved to Brussels in 1889. From there, it was purchased by the Boleo Mining Company... French, remember.... and moved to their mine in Baja in 1897.

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    Down the street is the Panaderia El Boleo... a French bakery, started in 1901... and still baking bread in the original brick ovens....

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    We settled on the Café Boleriano for breakfast.

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    Everywhere you look there's industrial infrastructure left in the town...slowly decaying in the Baja sun. It lined the sides of Mex 1 as we headed out of town.

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    and a whimsical fantasy façade... with what looked like a scrap yard inside.

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    The road ran along the sea north from Santa Rosalia. Looks like a small boat just off shore.

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    A most unusual craft, on closer inspection....

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    It's built from blocks of Styrofoam, with a chair lashed on top, and a cooler aboard. He's paddling it with a piece of board. I think he's looking for lobsters in the shallow water.

    Once we got to the mountains the road climbed quickly in altitude. Sharp corners and steep drop-offs are plentiful.

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    Here's a memorial to a trucker who didn't make it. There's still wreckage spread over the hill side below....

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    Through the mountains, the road straightens, runs flat. Off to the north is the Volcan Las Tres Virgenes... the three virgins... standing prominently in the desert.

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    We cruised westbound... through miles of desert...

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    and not much else... judging by the lack of photos. We went past the turn off for San Ignacio, back the way we'd come on Mex 1 a week or so before. We ended up in Guerrero Negro again.... this time at the Mallarino Hotel.... the restaurant was good, so we figured we'd give the hotel a try.
    There was a group of Canadian riders staying there as well, on an annual ride... a friendly bunch of folks....

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    That's about it for Friday, just a cruise up Mex. route 1. with a little time to just kick back. Tomorrow, we're heading to Bahia de los Angeles.
  9. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Thank you for my Monday Baja fix :D:D
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  10. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I hope this guy doesn't try the lawn chair strapped underneath a bunch of balloons. His craftyness appears to be lacking some stability.
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  11. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    :thumb Happy to oblige!

    Ha, ha! Two guys with the same disregard for convention! :jkam
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  12. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Saturday, January 27th.

    We left Guerrero Negro heading north on Highway 1. Just outside of town is the border between Baja California and Baja California South... 2 different states.

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    The highway runs straight and flat...

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    Keep an eye out..... not only are there potholes....there's livestock...

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    We rode the highway all the way to Rosarito... with a stop in Villa Jesús María to top off the gas. Turned off, rode the dirt streets through town.

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    a small rusted sign was the only indication this was the way.

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    Rode along an escarpment, towards the flat top hills beyond.

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    The desert's amazing here.... imagined by Salvador Dalí.... or Doctor Suess....

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    "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose."
    -Dr. Seuss

    We steered ourselves through this really fantastic landscape...

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    We're on our way to the Mission San Borja... it's about 30 miles from Rosarito. A few spots were a little rougher as we went on....

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    but most was smooth sailing.....

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    There's a last rocky wash as you approach the mission....

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    And then there it is. The first thing that strikes you is how big it is... and solid. An imposing structure out here in the middle of nowhere.....

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    A single family lives out here... maintaining the mission....

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    ...these days, I think, it's just a father and son....

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    We weren't the only ones there... there were 3 or 4 mountain bikers who were planning to camp. The father was showing them around. He asked us to wait while he went to get his son to give us a tour. A pickup truck with a couple of guys arrived while we were waiting, and they joined us.

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    The view from the roof.

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    the catretakers live on the left side... on the right are palapas and baños, and campsites under the trees. They grow olives and pomegranites.

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    The view from the choir loft.

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    They have done a lot of rebuilding and restoration to the mission. They put the small black stones in the mortar to delineate the new.

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    Under the metal canopy is the ruins of the original, adobe structure that preceded the stone mission.

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    Priests robes: the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and finally the Dominicans all tried their hands at maintaining the mission. By 1816 the mission was abandoned... when the indigenous people died out....

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    Our guide, Gabriel, and his brothers were the only students in a one room schoolhouse that operated here. He said his brothers have moved into town, to work other jobs. He stayed to help his father.

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    A ceiling in the kitchen room... still darkened with soot from cooking fires long ago....

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    A wooden lintel still preserved from the original construction.

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    Some new construction in the camping area. I think they are adding a couple of cabinas to the site. They already have a few palapas.
    We gave $20US for his excellent tour, and because we were really impressed with the dedication he and his family have shown in maintaining and improving the beautiful old church. They said they've lived here for 8 generations. They were disappointed, though, that they couldn't wring a few extra bucks out of us for a campsite or a guided tour to the
    hot springs or the rock art sites in the Sierra San Borja nearby.

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    One more cruise around the dusty mission, and then we were on our way.

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    Back through the rocky wash.

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    Out of the little valley that cradles the mission.

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    ...to where the road divides.

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    Left is back the way we came. Right is the way to Bahia de Los Angeles.

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    Rollicking through more Seussical desert.

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    From San Borja, the road runs north through the mountains.

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    Mixed conditions persist... some sand, some rocks... some smoothly graded.

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    Wheee!

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    The cool cacti continued.....

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    It's a great ride through here if only for the fantastic variety of desert flora....

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    It's about 25 - 30 miles from the mission out to the paved road to Bahia de Los Angeles.

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    East on the paved road.... 10 miles or so?

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    and the beautiful bay opens up... cobalt blue under the turquoise sky.
    We rode up to a hilltop overlooking the bay. A couple of guys on bikes pulled up and we remarked on the view. You can see one of the guys on the left, riding down for a closer look.

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    We rode around Bahia LA for a little while, looking for a hotel. We settled on the Costa del Sol.... looked good and I'd heard good reviews... and it turned out there were other riders staying there. Here's Aria... she's doing some touring on her DR650, and had been riding with the other guys... they insisted on a picture of her with Mrs Trip.

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    And we met Deacon Telerover. https://www.facebook.com/deacontelerover/
    He's quite the adventurer...rides a KTM690, but he wanted to check out the TW200's

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    Oh sure, Deacon lets his personal assistant Mike come along, but he's definitely the celebrity with over 2400 followers on Facebook!

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    The guys we met at the overlook were there... from Florida....

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    Hansi and his better half down from Oregon.

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    We had a great time hanging out with those folks, and Mike worked a deal for a family-style dinner that may just have been the best meal we had in Baja.

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    (no picture of the Oregonians... just their bikes!)

    A twilight picture looking over the bay.

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    And a picture of the Costa del Sol.

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    We were lucky to get the last available room, because we really enjoyed the people we met there!
  13. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Great photos. The first view of Bahia de L.A. as you crest that last hil always gets me by how beautiful t is
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  14. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Phenomenal pictures of the desert landscape and I really dug the Seuss quote :thumbup. Really neat shots of the mission too; what a cool structure to be able to get inside and experience.

    I bet it was great to run into fellow ADVers at the hotel and get to spend the afternoon/evening hanging out, telling stories, and enjoying a nice dinner. Riders from Florida, Oregon, and other locales all at the same stop for a night - lets you know we're part of something special.

    Thanks for the update @Rhode trip, much appreciated :thumb:thumb
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  15. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Love the old Mission. Simple yet awe inspiring. Nice meeting the other riders. Deacon has a few more miles than Georgie ever did. Great update.
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  16. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Tom.
    Yeah, the bay with all the islands is amazing. You're surrounded by desert, crest the hill, and there it is!

    Thanks, liv2day!
    Truth be told, Mrs Trip looked at those photos of the desert, and said, "they don't do it justice" ...and she's right. It was very cool...and unique. Maybe it was all the boojum trees...
    You need to put San Borja on the list when you get back down to Baja!
    It was definitely fun hanging out at the Costa del Sol... when its a bunch of riders, everyone's got a good story to tell....

    Ahhh.... I won't forget meeting Georgie... coming to bail us out of a jam!

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    Awe inspiring.... you hit the nail on the head. (ha, ha...you'll need a hammer...inside joke I guess!) but that is something that occurs me when I see these old missions. The indigenous people must have found them awe...and faith...inspiring just from the grandeur of the show. They were living in huts and rough shelters, and here come the priests with oil paintings and silverware and bells and gold altars...in huge stone churches...sure would be impressive.
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  17. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Sunday, January 28th

    You're going to get the impression that I'm an early riser. I'm not. But I was up again this Sunday morning, waiting for the sun to rise above the eastern horizon.

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    Bahia de los Angeles is looking a little worse for wear after a few storms that have rolled through here in the past few years, but the Costa del Sol is well maintained and the accomodations were great.

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    It only takes a minute to chase the last shadows away.

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    Lots of packing up, getting ready... all at the same time. Then a few good-byes... we're all heading in different directions...

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    Lynn and I rode west, paved all the way... back to turn north on Mex route 1.

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    Somewhere along route 1. A singletrack heads off into the desert.

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    The thing I enjoy about doing a ride report... is looking through the photos, remembering the day... and putting them into some kind of perspective. Memories flood back.
    I had forgotten until I saw these photos.
    It was insanely windy as we rode north. We had to stop here for a rest. A headwind like that is really tedious on a small bike like the TW... the powers just not there, and you're fighting Mother Nature the whole time. You never win a fight like that.

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    For a long ways, we were bucking the head wind. The desert photos just don't show how hard its blowing.

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    If anything... it was getting stronger. We're heading towards a low pass and we stopped for another breather. The wind is being funneled between the ridges... its speed increased by being constricted.

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    Finally through... it abates a bit... still windy, just not as intense...

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    Just ahead... a brown smudge on the roadside... is the turnoff for Gonzaga Bay... it starts as a straight gravel road across the dry Laguna Chapala.
    Lots of construction in progress. But not today. It's Sunday.

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    We turn, ride the gravel road heading north. There's the new construction, and the old road, both heading in the same general direction. We took the newer towards a new bridge.
    Damn. When we got there, this way was blocked with a dirt and rock berm. We'd have to double back. I'm riding back the way we came... off to my right, a dirt track turned towards the other road... a short cut. I cut down the embankment, gave it some gas.... Ooof.... Air.... and Dust.
    What I thought was dirt, I now realized, was a giant pit of Moon Dust. Cleverly disguising the big ruts left by the construction equipment. At least I had a soft landing.

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    I picked myself up.... picked up the bike. Rooted around in the dust, and found my camera.... airborne out of the tank bag. One mirror twisted off in an awkward angle... the mount cracked and loose.

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    Mrs Trip is gleefully snapping photos. "You've hardly taken any pictures the whole trip!" I'm wiping dust off my glasses and spitting it out of my mouth. She thinks it's amusing.

    I feel like a powdered donut. I think there's dust in my underwear.

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    The wind whipped a little more around... just for good measure.

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    We backtracked some more... and got on the actual road.

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    Camera problems... you can see the lens cover has not fully retracted... I'm afraid my camera might have literally "bitten the dust!"

    The road cuts through the hills.

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    Comes out the other side... and there you are. The famous Coco's Corner.

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    We admired the, well... I'm not sure what it is. Toilet conversation pit, I guess.

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    We headed inside, looking for The Man himself.

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    Bought a couple of Cokes. We gave Coco a TW200 lapel pin. To say he was excited is an understatement. :lol3 He's modeling it for us.


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    He was telling us about the last batch of riders that passed. They wouldn't come inside. "I think they don't like Mexicans" he laughed. Then we signed "the book".
    He's got 11 of them, he said, all full of motorcycle travelers. Had us stick a sticker where we signed, and another one on the front. I think that means he liked us. :lol3
    He's very specific about "the book".

    Coco kept us entertained as we slurped the sodas we'd bought. Leaned back in the chair and admired the ceiling...festooned with countless bras and panties.... it's quite a collection.

    As we were getting ready to leave, Coco winked at Mrs Trip. "You must bring me a souvenir next time..." he said..."I know you're probably not wearing any today." He cackled with amusement at his joke, and I had to laugh along. Mrs Trip just smiled... shook her head... and pretended she didn't hear him.

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    Past Coco's, the road winds through some low hills.

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    ...and then the new paved road starts. The last dirt of our Baja trip gets left behind. It's all paved from here....

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    We only rode as far as Gonzaga Bay. Stopped at Alphonsina's and we got a room. There was construction going on at the hotel...enlarging it, adding rooms. Under new management.
    We'd stayed here once before... a few years ago. It was friendlier then.
    We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging... went for a walk on the beach....

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    The sun flamed out.... sank behind the western hills.

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    We sat out on the porch... watched the fishing boats bobbing on the bay.

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    I probably won't stay at Alphonsina's again... its expensive, and I thought the restaurant was a rip-off as well. But it sure is a beautiful spot.....
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,902
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Very well said @Rhode trip! I'm right there with you, it's amazing to look back through the images captured and enjoy those memories. I often get interesting looks when relating how many pictures we've taken over the years; believe our online gallery is up near 80k now (and that's just since '04...lol). There's nothing like looking back through pictures.

    Sorry to see this section of the report come to an end, but sincerely appreciate all the photos and story of your journey. I cannot wait to get down to Baja and ride, formulating a plan where I haul down to the border, then ride and meet my family in Mulege (they'll fly into Loreto). Not sure if the riding part will happen, but we're planning to be down there this fall...time to introduce our boys to Baja.

    Safe travels :ricky:ricky
    Rhode trip likes this.
  19. dcwilcox

    dcwilcox Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    Oddometer:
    663
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Hi Rhodie, finally got caught up on this thread. To say Baja is incredible is such and understatement! Awesome report and photos, much appreciated!
    Rhode trip likes this.
  20. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,944
    Location:
    Coventry, RI
    Monday, January 29th
    Sunrise and Baja just seem to go together.

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    and Gonzaga Bay is a beautiful place to enjoy it.

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    We left Alphonsina's and rode along the sandy street/ airstrip behind the houses.

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    and then onto the highway heading north.

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    There's a pull-off where the road climbs up onto the mountainside, and offers a look out over the Sea of Cortez.

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    I just pause for a moment. Whoa. That bike looks like its been to Baja.

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    Coming into Puertecitos.

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    South of San Felipe the road has a long series of Vados.... dips where the water will flow when there are floods.

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    ... including the "Oh Shit! Dip" that is infamous for launching the unsuspecting speeder...

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    You start to see development as you approach San Felipe. Concrete shells of never finished condos. Grand archways that lead nowhere....

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    As we rode through town, we found this truck parked along the street. I have followed this couple's adventures for many years. This is the truck they drove across Siberia.
    In the winter! https://turtleexpedition.com/

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    We stayed at the Posada del Sol Baja this time.

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    which was 'good' but is really redeemed by how good their WiFi is. And it's proximity to the Malecon.

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    I bought some 2 part epoxy at an auto parts store, and spent some time trying to fix my mirror perch. There wasn't much to work with.

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    but I got it reattached with a little duct tape helping out.

    We went for a walk to go and get some dinner. We had the place in mind...into town, the opposite direction to the Malecon...there's a little shop with barbequed chicken dinners....

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    a whole chicken, chopped up.... tortillas, macaroni salad, beans, salsa, and a 2 liter soda... all for about 6 bucks. But best of all.... it's not seafood!"
    Baja's great... I love the seafood.... until I don't. 1 more shrimp and I would have hurled!

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    Nice and quiet around the Posada del Sol.... I think we were the only guests...

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    and I must say, security was pretty tight. In fact, I think they had us locked in!

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