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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PJ Bren, Mar 3, 2019.
very nice and thanks...keep them coming.
Why does everyone go to Mike's? it's a dump, and expensive, I'd rather be at Coyote Cal's any day, when we were there, there was a group of German students staying
Of course, you realize some of your routes were pretty ambitious for two guys from WV and riding loaded KLR's. Some of these roads are considered challenging by 'real' DirtBike dudes! Personally have walked out from some of these rides.
You guys are AWESOME. Good Luck in all your travels.
We're glad your enjoying the report. The videos in particular are a pain to put together (for me); the thought that makes them easier to make is knowing that they are memories that we and others might enjoy for a lifetime.
As far as ambitious routes go, we always are just in search of adventure, which in our case is usually in the form of roads less traveled. We aren't looking for pure difficulty (that is obvious with our bikes and travel choices); good scenery and a safe spot to put the tent are sufficient.
We scouted the outskirts of Todos Santos for a place to camp; ended up finding a pretty sweet spot. Todos Santos has a very wide beach with perfect sand, good for killing time with walks.
From Todos Santos we took the ocean path all the way to Punta Canejo. The track is fairly continuous but does require a bit of navigational kung fu. Sand is the prevalent feature for 2/3 of the track, with the last bit being rocky. Many camping spots exist, but we booked it all the way to Conejo. The point itself has no services, so we hit up the fish camp on the hill for some fresh snapper.
The next morning we headed out to the hard road and booked it north to the next town with supplies and gas. After a quick stop to get crash bars welded we headed into the mountains towards Los Burros/Los Dolores. The track get progressively more challenging, but the beauty culminates at the top of the mountain before the road drops in towards Burros. From this point the road is probably less than 2 miles to the beach, but as soon as the cemented hill ends the road gets....... not good. We got about halfway through it before we decided to camp, then retreat in the morning. A shame not to make it down, but about as beautiful of a camp spot as it gets.
After a cautious retreat in the morning we retraced our steps back to the hard road, then headed to San Carlos for the evening. We tented in the mangroves outside of town and it was pretty mellow.
The next day we returned back to Ciudad Constitution, supplied up, then took the "back way" into Agua Verde, a favorite spot of ours from several weeks earlier. The road was great, and Agua Verde didn't disappoint.
This is really great stuff and I've seen great stuff! Enjoying your videos very much!
I'll add to the other comments that I very much have enjoyed your vids. Good combination of riding footage and "interview" pieces, it's great to see all the different areas you've explored. Bummer that you couldn't make it down that pass to the beach beyond in the latest episode, imagine that would have been a killer camping spot. Better to continue the journey than risk something going pear-shaped.
Looking forward to the next installment, thanks for taking the time to put everything together
EDIT - when did you guys pick up the 3rd rider? Didn't see anything mentioned in a previous post, wondering if you found a solo traveler along the way? Pretty neat if so - good on you
We transported our 3rd riders bike out to Arizona on our way out, so we were already familiar with each other. An illness delayed his Baja arrival, but we met up in La Paz and rode for a couple weeks together. Good rider and good sport - I don't imagine it would be easy for most folks to fall in with our travel style but he did so with relative ease.
We spent two more nights outside of Agua Verde. The weather had turned cooler and windy so there wasn't a lot of beach lounging, but the company and scenery was great. After a couple days it was time to move on, so we headed north via the standard road, linking up with the highway, and going to Loreto.
After resupplying in Loreto we headed west via the "missions road (San Javier, Comodu, etc)" back through the middle of Baja and passing the oasis towns on the way to La Purisima. That night we camped again at the falls that we had been at a couple weeks prior.
The next morning we took the relatively short stretch of road between Purisima and San Juanico, which we found to not be in great condition. Some sections of rocks and some of deeper sand make this a bit of a rude wake up. Once to the hard road we found the first sandy track that took us over the dunes and onto the never ending beach back to San Juanico. A couple hours of ripping up and down the beach, along with some eats, and we were done for the day.
The next day our destination was the Exmision de Guadalupe. We couldn't find any definitive information about this route so it was a bit of exploration for us. The first half of the route follows the same interesting riding that would carry you the "backway" to Mulege, but then the road cuts north roughly following a wash through the mountains. The Exmision itself isn't much - a gated lot with not much inside. We camped just after the mission.
The riding for a couple km's the following morning was heads up as it descends out of the mountains through some beautiful but tight canyons and eventually spits you out in a wide wash that leads all the way to the highway just south of Santa Rosalia.
Santa Rosalia itself it a nicer town than we expected and we'd like to go back to stay for a bit; allegedly it has some interesting history as well as a stellar bakery. From here we booked it west across Baja to Laguna San Ignacio to see the grey whales.
According to those who know, grey whales are particularly socialable to humans in a couple zones of Baja (where they calf), so we braved some high winds to get up close and personal. With a little less chop the whales have been known to come directly to the boats to be pet and scratched.
Fantastic trip and report!
Great report. Did you guys think the swimming with whale sharks was worth it? Can you just roll up the night before and get on a boat? Do you have the name of the place you went with? Thanks John
We did think the whale sharks were worth it. I don't think your paying for a guide - your paying for the privilege of the experience. I'm skeptical when it comes to touristy things, and I thought this was worth it.
We did roll up in the late afternoon and got a reservation for the following morning and it seems like that is the norm. The agency we went with was Barbarita Tours. The cost was $50 including wet suit. I would recommend the wet suit because you then are not required to wear a life preserver which allows you to swim with the whale sharks more freely.
The father of the owner of this tour agency owns the only hostel/restaurant/hospitality gig in San Evaristo about 100 miles north of La Paz; that is how we got the whale shark contact. As a side note, any self respecting adventurer should visit San Evaristo if you can.
Hope that helps.
From Laguna San Ignacio we headed back inland, then north to Sierra de San Francisco. Our riding buddy split from us here and headed to the border. Sierra de San Francisco is a UNESCO world heritage site preserving 10,000 year old cave paintings. We visited the most accessible of them, El Raton, but it would be awesome to come back and do the multi day hike to the bottom of the canyon and see what is apparently a much more impressive cave with paintings.
The area is beautiful and we found a secluded camp spot not far off the main road.
The next day we returned back to the highway, then north to take the El Arco/San Franciscitio road back up to Bahia LA. We were warned that the road was exceptionally sandy, but we didn't find it too bad. A couple hours in we stopped at El Carmen, an undeveloped but extremely well preserved example of cave paintings nestled up in the rocks. Very cool and perhaps a bit more special because of its secluded feel.
We were tempted to camp here, but instead continued to the San Rafael fish camp a couple more hours down the road. This time of year the camp is basically abandon, so we treated ourselves to some beach camping.
We took a walk and saw signs for Zona Nucleo around what appeared to be a kind of inland estuary. Clearly this is some kind of a protected area, but all I've been able to find is the literal translation for Zona Nucleo and not a contextual one; if anyone here is a native speaker and knows exactly what this means, please enlighten me because I've been wondering.
The next day we continued to Bahia LA, stopped briefly, then drove the San Borja route back to the highway, north, then west to Santa Rosaliita. We wanted to ride the coastal road all the way to Catavina, so we headed north for a bit until we saw a surf camp nestled between hills and took shelter there for the night.
The next day of riding north was much more pleasant than the stretch from Santa Rosaliita; way fewer wash boards and the tracks get smaller and more scenic. We thought it was good fun took most of the day to get to Catavina, a neat spot that is a bit reminiscent of Joshua Tree. Tons of tracks splinter off the highway so it wan't hard to find a peaceful camp spot away from the highway.
Picture of campsite outside of San Francisco.
From Catavina we headed south and around to the highway 5, then north back to Papa Fernandez to spend an evening with friends. The forecast for the next couple days wasn't great, so we knew we'd be making quick moves towards the border.
The following day we headed up to San Felipe to get our annual dental cleaning. We've not had dental insurance for over a decade, so we've been getting our teeth cleaned in Mexico during our trips south of the border. All of our experiences have been positive (in several different areas of Mexico) and the price is definitely right. Consider this if dental work in the states is cost prohibitive, or you'd rather spend some of that $ on a Mexican vacation!
From San Felipe we headed west to Valle de Trinidad; the weather had turned sour and by the time we got there a very cold rain had us pretty well soaked and ready to take our first hotel room of the trip. We woke up to snow covered roads and mountains - probably a good decision not to sleep in the tent last night!
Our original plan was to take a set of roads directly to Tecate that would keep us off the highway, but given the cold and precipitation from the night before we readjusted. We got the opportunity to see Ensenada, which was prettier than we expected (the area reminded us a lot of Colombia) and then we booked it north through the Guadalupe Valley and to Tecate. An easy border crossing, some snow lined highways, and we were back at our van.
Winter weather had set in hard in the states, so we had 4 nights of camping on the way home ranging from 10-25 F. With the help of some hot springs we warded off the cold, plugged through the miles, and made it back to WV.
That’s all I’ve got for this trip. I hope you guys enjoyed it and get out there!
Fantastic RR! Great vids as always - gonna definitely keep them archived for future Baja travel. So, where next?