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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.
Plus 1 on the mainland, there is no comparison with Baja
Jamie, I am not too far behind you... heading down in early February. LOVE it if you can name places you stay and places you eat. I spend about a month a year in Mexico but finding decent, cheap, accommodations with secure parking is still high on my checklist for the trip down (and back up). Thanks! P.S. Following and excited for you!
Lots of micro-climates in Baja.
Northern cold winds are a thing all winter all over Northern Mexico. Sometimes it's nice, some times not, no guarantees.
Not until you get far south does it stay more consistently warmer in the winter.
Ps, there have been cold night periods popping up this winter in Puerto Vallarta so it happens. Not every winter but this winter it's happening. Some are caught off guard with the lack of clothing. Always have atleast a warm hoodie.
One of my brothers, lives full time in Rincon de Guayabitos (about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta) and he's complaining how cold it gets in the evenings now. 12 C (54F). Tepic is dam cold now (3000 ft elevation). Very unusual he says. It gave his wife an excuse to go shopping!
During normal years (this time of year) I've always found the temperatures and climate changes dramatically about 150 miles south of Mazatlan. Once you reach San Blas (on the coast) you're in a full tropical climate. Let's hope it goes back to normal when Jamie makes his way through there.
Oh man I bet Tepic is downright cold at the moment.
I know Guayabitos well, visited man times while living in Sayulita...why are you not there now??? Super chill waves.
Our fav was taking a panga out to
Near Islote la Peña, Nayarit, Mexico
Have you done the hike out to Punta Raza via Ayala? I rode my DR once up on the construction road ridgeline above the Raza beach when it was to become a (failed) resort.
How about visiting Chacala (cleanest beach in Nayarit) or hike to Alta Vista archeological area? So many fun things to do close to Guayabitos. Such a fun traditional Mexican beach town.
Hey Eakins.. We used to hang out on coastal mainland Mexico 20 years ago during the winter months, explored most nooks and crannies down far as Manzanillo. We found it way too hot and humid so retreated northerly. My brother had purchased a lot in Rincon de Guayabitos, and he'd spend a few weeks there every winter and we'd meet up with him, so that's how we became connected to Rincon. We eventually settled on Mazatlan being the perfect climate but not being city people, we tried Baja the following year. Latitude wise, the tip of Baja matched up. The next 8 years was spent mostly at Los Barriles.
We usually stayed at Paraiso Del Pescador RV park in Guayabitos way back then. Fishing was fantastic around there!!! Truck and camper those days, and we filled our days by hiking everywhere, including Alaya and Lo de Marcos. Our fav beaches were Tenacatita and Chapala, before they turned the latter into a resort. One had to careful not to park under a coconut tree... hard on the roof! We usually found a spot right on the beach. I didn't find out about the hot springs in the area till much later.. Ah, sigh, those were the days.
We're Canadian so this winter we're stuck above the 49th parallel. Lately we've been spending our winters in Yuma, next door to Baja (best off-road riding in North America) and mainland Mexico. Every 2nd year or so we'll do a 2-up trip to Rincon but last year we finally got the chance to visit a portion of Copper Canyon. Drove to El Fuerte and took the train from there to Creel and back. This had been on our bucket list for a couple of decades. Also did a trip to Los Barriles to our old stomping grounds. If Jamie was doing his Mexico mainland portion later in the spring, I'd be worth his while to take the time to ride in the Copper Canyon region.
Dead heading for the next two weeks to the Yucatan from your position doesn't sound like much fun to me.
I'm of the opinion Cuba can wait, especially while there are so many unknowns.
Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for keeping us updated. I understand how time consuming reporting on a trip can be. I tried on my last 6 month expedition, found that editing pics/videos and attempting to report on the days happenings was too much, it was taking away from the experience. That trip was back in 2018, I'm only about half way through my RR currently. I found I prefer to jot down notes of the days ride and locations in a daily log, so I can match those with picture dates.
I'm thoroughly enjoying your reporting and pics so far. Thank you for sharing.
Something to be aware of , some areas are starting to close down.
I've got San Javier mission saved in my POI file, but I really have a hard time visiting missions. They represent the deaths, torture, and enslavement of tens of thousands of indigenous people, the loss of numerous cultures and languages, and this is barely recognized today. I did notice the mission at San Ignacio did have a sentence on one of the information boards about the cruelty to the native people.
I could go on, but I think my point is clear. I appreciate the historical significance of the missions, though probably not in the same way most people do, and I can admire--in part--the architecture of the structures, but when I see or visit a mission, it reminds me of being at Dachau.
I do find it peculiar that in Baja, there is very little indigenous influence remaining. You don't see any ancient placenames, or significant pre-European cultural sites. The Spanish wiped out nearly everyone and everything here, as compared to mainland Mexico and other parts of Central America. What was here in Baja that they wanted? It's not like there's a wealth of resources as there are in other places, not to mention it's on the opposite coast.
I'm thinking I'll be crossing to Mazatlan in roughly four days, which will give me about ten days to cross Mexico. That's about 200 miles per day, or so. I don't think that's too much of a rush.
As for "Cuba can wait"... well, wait until when? As this is a RTW, my plan is to be on a different continent a year from now when my next opportunity to go might come around. If I decide "someday I'll go to Cuba," then it might not ever happen. Will I go in five years? Ten years? That's my thought process. If I don't go now, there's a reasonable chance it won't ever happen, or that it'll be far into the future. That's the unknown I'm most concerned about.
Right now I think the biggest factor that allows me to keep my trip up-to-date right now is the short daylight hours. Tonight, for example. I had stopped for the day around 5pm, eaten dinner by 6:30 or 7pm. And now I've got some time to sit down to write. If days are longer, I'll have less time in the evening to devote to writing, so hopefully I can keep up my habit.
I've been making more of an effort to specifically name places when I think it's relevant. Thanks for the reminder.
There has been no discount offered.
Gah! More sand?
I should be in La Paz in the next few days.
12 January 2021
I was wrong about my room having heat. I’m not sure. There’s a heat button on the remote control, and the unit inside the room beeped when I press it, but no heat comes out. No worries, as last night was the warmest of the trip so far.
In the morning, I took advantage of my strong internet connection to take care of some adult responsibilities. Made sure my credit cards are being paid on time, and finally got an answer for my massive student loan debt. So far as the woman on the phone told me, I should be good for at least the next year on my student loans. Of course, that’s all going to change in a month or two.
I also adjusted the chain on my bike and noticed that it’s probably going to need to be replaced soon. It’s the stock chain and has about 11,000 miles on it. So much for spending $100 on a chain oiler. I really expected to get significantly longer chain life. I’ve had a long history of short chain life, and I don’t know what I’m doing wrong or how to fix it.
In the past I’ve tried chain brushes, cleaning with kerosene, lubrication after every ride, different tension… The longest chain life I’ve ever gotten was when I basically completely ignored the chain.
I’ve also noticed that my rear tire is going to have to be replaced sometime in the near future, probably before I go to Cuba. It’s got tread left, but it’s wearing faster than expected. I usually get phenomenal tire life. My last ride to Mexico was 18,000 miles on one set of tires. These tires have about 4500 miles on them currently.
So… any suggestions where I can/should get chain/sprockets/tire between Mazatlan and Cancun would be appreciated.
So anyway, about today’s ride. I aimed south out of Loreto, the road follows the coast for a while.
I turned down the road toward Tripui, which is another name for getting drunk three days in a row and posting on ADV. It’s a mostly private community, and there is a gate to enter the marina, but I did stop for a pic of a few of the boats.
I sent this pic to my cousin and asked, "Where's your boat?" That's also the punchline to one of my favorite jokes.
Feliz Viaje indeed!
Modern day Machu Picchu.
Along the way, a group of four riders passed me, the first two (at least) were riding Royal Enfield Himalayan bikes. They all waved vigorously. I got behind them for a while, but I never saw them again after I stopped for a photo.
Away from the coast, the road becomes flat and straight. I stopped for fuel in Ciudad Insurgentes and then saw this baseball park.
The field is immaculate, though the stands and surrounding areas are all dilapidated and in disrepair.
What confused me is that the dugouts appear to be in the outfield, and in play.
I set my GPS for the town of Adolfo Lopez Mateos where there is a gray whale sanctuary. The road to the coast is very long and straight.
Not a big shock when I got to the sanctuary and found it closed up due to Covid.
I rode around town a bit, and down by the dock where a few people were loading and unloading boats.
But there was little else in this town for me.
I backtracked and then continued south to Ciudad Constitucion. It was getting dark, I hadn’t eaten, nor scouted out a place to stealth camp, plus the forecast was near a low of 40F (4C). So… once again, I got a room at the Hotel Oasis. It’s 580 pesos, not a bad price, and is much too nice for a guy like me. Good WiFi, hot water, but again, no heat in the room, so I’m a little concerned it might get cold tonight.
My only complaint is that while the parking area is locked and secure, it’s separate from the hotel. I’m not able to park near my room. So I threw the cover over the bike and brought my valuables with me.
I really need to commit to more stealth camping.
La Paz has a few choices to look for tires, chain and sprocket. Even a Honda dealer.
Honda dealer Ph number: +526121295311
Call ahead as they might have to ship stuff from the mainland..
Cabo San Lucas is another option, if you have time.
Honda dealer ph # +526242473782
I've got a feeler out on a Baja forum for some intel for likely shops.
I can vouch for crazy mileage on 705s and know quite a few people (many of them here) who say the same thing. I had them on my Transalp and went through 2,5 rears and 1,5 fronts during two years and 40,000+ km I had the bike. Mixed surface, half of it fully loaded. I think that’s bearable...
I disregard chains entirely and get 15k plus out of them. Modern o-ring chains are internally lubricated and do not require oiling, except perhaps to keep them from rusting. Hell, they rarely need adjusting after the initial stretch.
Cruel oppression and cultural genocide are what the Spanish mission system means to me.
Enjoyed the update @Jamie Z, bummer about the whale refuge being closed and you not finding much in town. It's good to see you found a solid place to spend the night; hope it wasn't too cold.
Never made it that far south in my travels to Baja yet, so it's cool to see the ground you're covering. I hope you're able to source tires and a chain when you get further south.
Look forward to seeing what your adventure brings next man, ride safe!
I had a lively discussion with someone the other day over just this topic, as well as the memorials for colonial heroes, should they remain or be removed which ever way you look at it, they are all dripping with blood.
We can't undo the past and all we can do is leave them be as reminders of mistakes, acknowledging their misdeeds.
All non natives from all over the world that have colonial roots have benefitted from the blood spilled
This is a very eye opening article
There is a Honda moto dealer in Mazatlan. Been years but I was able to pick up a Tourance 150/70-17 from stock. They didn't mount tires at the time but the shop down the street did. Hopefully they'll have a chain and sprockets.
With 11k miles those should have all been new the day you left. I usually plan on tires at 5k and chain and sprockets at 10k miles. Bonus if you get more. It can be hard to find good chain in the proper size and near impossible for sprockets in CA and SA. Best to be aware of potential sources / suppliers on your route. Better to replace early if they're looking warn unless you're going to carry spares. And while heavy, there may be parts of your journey where you'll want to do that. Just something to be aware of.
The fairy to Topo is much shorter than to Mazatlan. But you get in late at night and camping would be sketchy IMO. Lots of motel choices in Los Mochis. Then a day's ride to Mazatlan. Just an option to the longer boat ride.
Quality of the chain matters. OEM ones tend to be bottom of the barrel. I ALWAYS go with a D.I.D. brand chain and get close to 20k miles. All I use is gear oil for lube. Brush it on in the morning. If you look on the box it even specs gear oil. Every guy I know who tried the auto oilers pulled them off after a bit of time. Either they stopped working or did a great job of oiling the entire rear half of the bike.
Love the shots of sunny beaches as I sit here looking at Colorado snow.......