Screw it, i´m going to post it. Mexico & Central America Trip 05'

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cavebiker, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    I didn't know where to post this, I figure it would end up here anyway. It's not about the bike but it's an adventure trip report. I've been inspired with this site over the last few years and it's been my vehicle into cyber community (Is that scary!). I'm gonna share this with ADVrider with total fear I will be banished for life or worse yet, thrown to jomoma in the future. If you have time, please kick back and enjoy.

    The Adventure: Traveling through Mexico Central America and beyond.

    Adventure Begins: Heidi has been staging for the trip since early Fall at our cabin in northern Wisconsin while I continued to work 4 days a week in the cities. I didn't want to pay for the apartment in the city just to spend three nights so I pitched a big tent on the banks of the Minnesota river close to my job. Fun fun, people I know think I'm crazy but to me this is living the dream already. I'm 3 feet from the bank!
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    Up stream had a lot of rain and the river started to rise above flood stage. All of the campers near me cleared out but I had this little hill on the bank so I stood tight. I had to move the bike when the parking lot started to flood.
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    This spot was at least 10 feet above the river when I first pitched tent. It was an eerie feeling being the only person near the river. I was watching a web site that had measurements just up stream from me and predictions with time bit it was Still Weird! Living on the edge, as adventurers we all get that rush any way we can. Am I OK?
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    Road Update: 01/10/05 Guerrero Negro, Baja Mexico

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    Free Drinks:
    we took off from Wisconsin late Tuesday Dec 28 and made a bee line south. The second night at Wichita we took a cheap room at the motel 6. After getting settled we wandered across the street to a fancy hotel in search of a bar. At the bar I got a couple of cocktails then tried to pay. The bartender says "You need to get some drink tickets at the front desk" I guess The bar is for hotel guests only and drinks are free. I worked the resort hotel business for many years when I was young so I know the ropes, go with the flow and act like you own the place and nobody will notice. It's not that I'm too cheap to pay for our drinks but the bartender wouldn't take any money and to me this is fun! We stood in the bar drinking and met a couple from Austin, TX, Heidi & Dale. Fun people, we had a lively conversation and received and invitation for a New Years eve party and a place to stay in Austin, unreal! The four of us walked to a restaurant next door to have some food. Before we knew it we had a group of about eleven people. Four others I had made some small talk with at the hotel bar while I was getting more drinks and the others I think owned the restaurant. Man we lit that place up! It was like we were all best friends that haven't seen each other for a long time. One of the guys had some unreal stories, I could fill pages. Super, what a way to start the trip, social adventure.

    Well, Austin was out of our way so we had to decline their offer. We had numerous other offers for places to stay from people I met at the horizonsunlimited.com motorcycle event in Creel Mexico. I can’t get over how warm and friendly people you meet on the road can be.

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    Yuma:

    At the motel in Yuma I plugged the laptop into the phone jack and clicked on NetZero. Sweet, it fired up even though I don't have an account with them any more, thanks NetZero!

    Mexico:
    From Yuma we made it to the border in no time. It's only a little over a hundred miles to San Felipe, our first destination in Mexico. In route I saw a few dune buggies cruising next to us in the dirt so of course I had to jump in behind them just for the fun factor!

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    San Felipe is great, it's the first American tourist destination in Mexico I've been to. I didn't like it that most people we ran into spoke English but I guess that's the way it is in the Baja. I've conditioned myself over the years to never speak English when talking to Mexicans in Mexico but it felt weird when they spoke English to me.

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    Heidi & I rented a little cabin with a fireplace, stove and fridge and private parking right outside the door for $35 a night, we took two nights. We had a short mile walk to the malecon, super fun. I've read about the fish tacos being to die for here. It's true, they are unreal.

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    We had a great time playing tourist, walking, eating, drinking and looking at all the shops. I bought a "Baja off road racing" decal and received a free shot of tequila for the purchase, what a deal!

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    Ok, when in Mexico and on a budget here are some things that are often norm. When we got back to out little cabin the temperature dropped significantly, we were frozen. Only being a hundred and some miles south of the border I didn't expect it to be hot yet but a cold front was upon us and there was no heat in our cabin, burr! We had a gas stove so great, a heat source, but NO, no gas. There were 9 cabins and one standard sized hot water heater for all and it was situated just outside our cabin. We were the only ones staying there that night so I went to plan B, blast on the showers hot water spraying it up as much as possible to steam up the room. This usually does the trick to take the chill out of the room but not this time. We had lukewarm water for about a minute then nothing. It was late and no one around to ask about a source of fire wood so go to plan C, get out the long johns and sleeping bags. We were cozy warm in the bed but it must have been 40 deg. F in that cabin that night. Heidi never wined once, what a girl! We had another night to go and I needed to do something, it was not comfortable anywhere but under the covers. First thing in the morning I went to search out the source of gas for the stove. I found a shut off valve crammed behind the hot water heater just outside the cabin. Yes, bingo, I had four burners on the stove going and the bite was taken out of the room before Heidi got out of bed, I'm the hero! OK I'm liken this so I go out to tackle the hot water heater. Instantly I see why we had some warm water, the pilot light was burning but that was it. I fiddle around with the controls then kill the pilot, crap. I get a lighter, stick my hand inside the bottom of the heater where I saw the flame then flick the lighter, BAM! The pilot shut off mechanism was obviously not working, probably because the thing was sitting outside in the rain and salt sea air. I cut my wrist top and bottom yanking my hand out of the thing and singed the sleeve of my long johns. Anyway I got the water heater going full blast and found a ton of fire wood next door in a vacant lot, we were cooking and had a great second day in Mexico.

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    After San Felipe we had two choices for going south into Baja. We could go back 150 miles north on a good road and catch the paved highway 1 south or we could continue south on the Baja 1000 race course for 150 miles of dirt road then connect to highway 1. The word "Baja" has been in my vocabulary every since I was a kid and it meant to me off road racing and tough off road terrain. I always loved going off road in northern Wisconsin and when I hit the rough stuff the word "Baja!" always came out of my mouth. The guide book said you will see a part of the Baja that you can't see any other way by doing the dirt road south. Heidi didn't like the idea of going 300 extra miles just to get to a bland nice paved road, again what a girl! We have the Jeep, I just installed new extra heavy duty springs and shocks and new mud terrain tires. Baja 1000 race course here we come!
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    We're hammer along getting our teeth rattled out of their sockets but great scenery. A new friend, Art who I met at the horizons unlimited motorcycle event in Creel Mexico suggested taking some air out of the tires. It helped but the stiff suspension was a killer. All of a sudden we see a dune buggy racing toward us going super fast. It had what looked like 50" tires sticking way out and springs on each tire at least 5 feet tall. When it passed we could see the driver and passenger had big 70' style head phones on. I imagined them jamming loud rock and roll and having a blast. Heidi & I looked at each other for about a nanosecond, we grabbed our case of tunes and popped in 'Dance Extreme' and cranked it! WOW, in an instant I'm living the dream. We're racing along the Baja jamming tunes and seeing stuff I've only dreamed of. I'm having a difficult time keeping my eyes dry.

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    Memo at the Cowpatty bar.

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    This is Coco at his place in literally the middle of nowhere.

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    Coco lost a leg in an accident years ago and now lives here right on the Baja 1000 race course. Coco serves cold beer and has lots of funny stories and information. We mentioned meeting Memo the day before at the Cowpatty bar. Memo is a big bicycler, every year when it's too hot he shuts down the bar and rides his bike south. Last year he made it to San Salvador. Memo stays with Coco on his way south and helps him out with repairs. Coco was saying how much Tequila he drinks having 3 liters strapped on his bike when he rides with a tube running into his mouth. Funny, I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea. True or false I'm not sure? For sure Memo is a real hard core biker.

    Coco said this is for mosquito control, ha ha ha. :rofl

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    Road Update: 01/15/05 Lareto, Baja Mexico

    Past San Felipe we stayed at Alfonsina's resort and had a room over looking a beautiful bay on the sea of Cortez. A little expensive, $50 US but the service and food great. Antonio? made us feel at home. We woke up in the morning with an unreal orange sunrise filling the bay. I parked myself on the deck with a book and the next thing I see are a half of dozen dolphins playing around the bay where a fisherman was reeling in a giant fish net. I felt like I was in a dream.

    Later that day we continue south through constantly changing scenery, every mile getting more dramatic and exotic, seeing elephant trees and giant cacti.
    #1
  2. Mulekick

    Mulekick 2.7 on Fu Man Chu

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    OMG!!!Dude move it to ride reports quick B4 it gets all dirty and stuff.......:rofl
    #2
  3. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Finely we hit paved highway 1 heading south to Guerrero Negro, a nice little sea side city on the Pacific, about 10,000 people. This is a popular whale watching spot where the whales come every year to bare their young. The whales come into the big bays outside of town and chase out all other fish and guard the bay entrances from any fish coming inside so the young new born calf's can be safe, wow. Fun little town, we stayed two nights and had a ball.

    The guide book said, south of Guerrero Negro, on the sea of Cortez are several campo's along beautiful beaches. A campo is an area where you can park your RV or pitch a tent for a small fee, around $6 a night and there's usually a restaurant or store on the grounds. The first one we pulled into was said to be the most popular for windsurfers. I imagined tons of tents and cars with windsurfers on top but when we got there all I saw were RV's and no surfboards. It was low tide and the beach didn't look ideal so we continued down the coast. The next beach / campo is said to be the most beautiful and popular.

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    The sand was perfect the bay was idyllic but the prime spots were all taken by RV's, many looking like they are permanent. We drove to the end of the beach on one side turned around and went to the end of the beach on the other. I thought the road dead ended at some homes but I could see a small rough looking path leading further over a hill. We have the Jeep, were jacked up with gnarly tires so here we go. We climb over the hill and the view in front of us explodes to the sight of a deserted desert beach on a bay surrounded by colorful rocky hills. The beach was about a mile long on a bay 5 miles long by 5 miles wide, this was the windsurfing bay. We could barely see the first campo we came to on the other side of the bay, besides that nothing. I felt like I just woke up and found myself in paradise. Heidi & I look at each other with a "O my gosh, can you believe this" look. We were loosing sun so I get out the tent while Heidi prepares cocktails.

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    The beach was littered with millions and millions of beautiful sea shells. I was feeling super large and felt this was the time to break out one of the Dominican Republic cigars my brother Pat gave me for Christmas. My next mission was to find the perfect cigar ashtray. It took only seconds to find one. Thanks Bro!

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    Heidi has never been one to rough it much so I was determined to show her how good it can be. I bought an 8 person tent with a 6 foot screened ceiling, enough room for two extra large cots, two lawn chairs with foot rests, a cooler and still enough room to cook. We're liken it!

    That night the moon went down by the time it was dark. We always thought we could see tons of stars at our cabin in northern Wisconsin but here it seemed like there were 100 times more, it was unreal, we felt like we were on another planet. I purposely pitched the tent less then ten yards from the high tide mark. All night we listened to the gentle wave break coming closer and closer.

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    After a little research we discovered this entire bay is a national marine preserve and is reportedly one of the cleanest in the world! We felt like we were watching a National Geographic special. All around us were sea gulls, frigates, pelicans, hawks and blue-footed boobies just feet from our tent. The gulls would pick up a clam, take off flying straight up about 50 feet high then drop it on rocks below. It usually took about 3 or 4 tries before the gulls would start feasting on the clam. We couldn't look out into the bay without seeing frigates or hawks dive bombing into the water. They would start at about 100 feet and go straight in causing a splash that shot up about 4 feet high. The hawks would come right back up out of the water but the frigates would coil back their wings just before hitting the water and stay under water sometimes for a long time. Hawks were constantly circling low around the cactus and shrubs near us, often we would see one carrying a rodent or sitting on the tip of a cactus eating a fish or whatever. I'm not kidding this was going on constantly. We couldn't look up or out without seeing one or several of these sights all at once.

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    The main beach where all the RV's were had some permanent looking structures surrounding an RV or two. This one was for sale for $8,000 US. All you need to pay after that is the $6 per night fee, about $2,400 a year and it's yours for life, as long as you pay the fee. I want to contact my main windsurfing friends Tim and Connie to see if they want to go in half on the place. Two out of the three days we were there the winds were cranking in the windsurf part of the bay.
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    Along the road further south we saw scenes like this constantly.
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    We got an email tip from Warren who just did the Baja 1000 race on a motorcycle. He gave us several recommended places to check out and knowing Warren I thought it would be foolish to pass them up. The first place on our route was Loreto and a gringo happy hour bar on the male'con. What a tip! We meet so many people. We're invited to a goat roast party tonight and meet two sailing couples each on a boat parked just across the street from our hotel. One couple, Deanna and Roy sailed across the Sea of Cortez in a huge storm a week ago surfing down 20 foot waves. They were up for 46 hours straight, at one point for two hours they made zero headway due to the heavy seas. Now that's all one thing but the kicker is they were doing it in a 26 foot MaccGreggor flat bottom swing keel water ballast boat, wow! The other sailing couple, Tammy and Larry just bought a 39 foot something and had their injector pump go out so Deanna and Roy towed them over eighty miles with their 26 footer to where we meet them in Loreto. The six of us connected and are all going to the party tonight.

    Loreto is a quant little town with nice street caf's, cobble stone streets and a university with a gym. We were charged $1.30 to use the gym for the day and I never felt so welcomed in my life to a new gym. Thanks Antonio from Loreto university, your welcoming almost made me choke up.

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    Sunrise from hotel in Loreto.

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    Road Update 1/27/05:
    Party:
    OK, the last update I mentioned Heidi and I were headin to a goat roast party in Loreto with Deanna, Roy, Tammy and Larry. Well the party was a real sleeper.


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    and Deanna, Roy, Tammy and Larry were kind of dull.

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    and nothing real exciting was going on.

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    NOT! Everyone at the party welcomed us with open arms and treated us like family. We stayed till the wee hours and all walked home together and partied at the hotel after, Ouch!

    We all had plans to meet the next day up the coast at Puerto Escondido and Heidi & I had an invitation to stay the night on Tammy & Larry's sailboat, how nice! About half way down at this pull over, we saw both their boats sailing toward Puerto Escondido. Perfect conditions, I was imagining how great it must have been to be out there on a boat.

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    Heidi and I didn't like the idea of staying the night out on the bay on a sailboat with all our belongings unguarded on shore so we planned to pitch a tent on the beach and just have another day of fun with the gang. When we arrived at Puerto Escondido we found it to be nothing but a big sailing community with no hotels, no beach or anywhere to pitch a tent. I'm sure the sailors like that.

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    Tammy & Larry really wanted us to stay on board their sailboat for the night but I’m the captain of my own ship and had to make the call, sail on (drive on) to the next port of call where we will feel good about the jeep. Thanks again Tammy & Larry!

    Luggie Man:
    Shooting for La Paz, we're looking for a budget Hotel. The guide book says La Paz has the cheapest hotels in all of Baja. The way we see it the cheaper we stay in one place the more we can afford to live it up in another. But the number one priority for lodging is always overnight Jeep security. It doesn't matter how cheap or expensive the hotel is, if we don't have a good feeling about the Jeep we don't stay. The first place we check out is Hotel Tijuana, a bit seedy but had great parking security with an enclosed courtyard and we were close to the seaside boulevard or malecon. Felix, the owner of the hotel was extremely pleasant and was willing to do anything to make us comfortable and happy. He was always calling me "my good friend Tomb". We planned to spend just one night but Felix said it would be cheaper to stay longer, $38 per night for one night, $22 a night for two. No brainer, we took two. You get what you pay for! Heidi checked the sheets and said they were dirty and had hairs all over them, not from some buddies head. I broke out the sleeping bags. After the superbowl play-off activities in the courtyard finished the guy staying above us (he is a permanent resident of the hotel) was hacking up luggies for close to two hours. The next night around happy hour time he started clanking bottles together and singing loud to 60's rock and roll that he had blasting. The clanking and singing weren't as bad, it was the luggies that got to Heidi. Glad I was asleep for most of it.

    La Paz:
    we found La Paz to have everything we like. The malecon is the nicest I've ever seen with clean beaches, sailboats and ships in the harbor, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafe's along the street.

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    Heidi and I like to explore new cities while on foot. We enjoy the aerobic exercise and to us it's the only way to get a good feel for a new place. We spent over six hours walking around and had a ball.

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    Keeping with the theme of an inspirational web site I'll keep trying to mention things Heidi and I like to do while traveling. One goal is we like is to return from an adventure in much better shape then when we started. We constantly have our eyes on the lookout for a gym and a way to get the heart pumping. We stumbled on Athons fitness center, a nice little gym and just a short walk from the hotel. I didn't think we could feel more welcome at a new gym then we did at Loreto's University but Luis and everyone at Athons were trying their best. We worked out both days and felt great!

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    Our plan is do the counter clockwise loop around the Baja Cape Region spending a night or two in Cabo then go back and do a week in La Paz. At La Paz we plan to take a ferry to mainland Mexico and cruise down the Pacific coast.

    Todos Santos:
    We left La Paz late and are now looking for somewhere to spend the night before Cabo. Todos Santos sounded like a good place, a small village where traditional Mexican families, artists, surfers and refugees from Hollywood live and hang out. The ride from La Paz was arid cactus desert. We tool into Todos Santos and find ourselves in a lush tropical forest. Palm trees, fruit trees and a big rushing clear stream going through town. We... . Will.... check this out! We found a hotel first try that had good parking for the jeep. It was a little expensive for us but cheap for most, $45 a night and it is fabulous, sea view, a separate bed room, living room, kitchen with stove, frig and it has a good pool! The family who run and own it are friendly and warm people, always asking us if we need anything, Santa Rosa hotel apartments.

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    The grounds around the hotel are like a fantasy from some kind of ancient Roman desert tropical oasis type movie. I keep thinking girls are going to start gathering around offering grapes and stuff.

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    The Unexpected:
    After a little research we discovered Todos Santos is world famous for surfing and the best in the Baja with several surf beaches north and south of town. Our room is less then two kilometers from the ocean. Coming through town on our way in I notice a sign for a gym. OK, what'swrong with this picture? Nothing, this is what we look for. We didn't expect to find a long term destination here in the Baja, but here we are, I can't help it. We're sitting along side the pool the first night having cocktails and likin it. The owner Alberto takes over at about 5:00 PM. I could sense Heidi really liked the whole scene and wouldn't mind spending some time here. Talking like Arnold "I .. Know .. The .. Procedure" excuse myself to Heidi for a moment and go have a chat with Alberto. I come back and say to Heidi "We have a little problem. We're stuck here for a month! Life is tough.

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    Next day we head into town to get supplies for a long term stay. I love eating at Mexican restaurants but I put on a good ten pounds loving all that food on our drive down. I'm behind on a goal. I'm looking forward to doing my own cooking and getting back in shape. We bought an orange press in La Paz, we're always seeing stands selling bags of oranges. The first turn we take in town, bingo, oranges.

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    Our next mission is to find the gym and sign up, $23 for a month, Sweet! That's Wime working out on the left. He's a college student here on break from Guadalajara University studying international business, perfect, he likes to practice English while we practice Spanish. The gym has everything we need. We were given the combination to the lock so we can go any time and it's only a five block walk from our hotel. Please, nobody wake me up from this dream!.
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    The next thing I know I find myself in the back of a topless jeep with two babes in control and we're on our way to the world class surf beach. This is Ruth on the left, she came down for the first time three weeks ago on vacation and has extended her stay because she's buying a home here to live full time..... O......My!

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    The beach:
    The beach extends over 20 miles running north and south of town and no hotels. Hotel development is banned on this beach.

    The wind was up today and wind spoils the waves. Only one person was out. The first time I came here I saw two whales about a half mile away and there were at least twenty or more surfers bobbing in the water. It was like watching a Wide World of Sports TV show. This guy did manage to catch some good long rides though. He may be hard to see, he's the dot on this 10 footer.

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    We waited for the sunset before heading back.


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    #3
  4. Sod Buster

    Sod Buster Llano Estacado

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    Beautiful photo!:thumb

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    #4
  5. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    I didn´t think that was legal, for, ya know, the jeep.
    #5
  6. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    Cavebiker,

    An excellent ride report. I'm looking forward to reading the rest. BTW, aren't the fish taco's in San Felipe excellent? I used to go down there in the 80's and chow down. Mmmmmm....

    Marc
    #6
  7. Road Rash

    Road Rash Infamous Supporter

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    Hey aren't you that crazy FF who rode his Harley from Wisconsin to Las Vegas? to meet up with his sweetheart? I don't know I'm PUI :1drink
    #7
  8. richard cabesa

    richard cabesa The Mayor Supporter

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    Niiiiiize :thumb
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    Now post more pics of Heidi
    #8
  9. Mulekick

    Mulekick 2.7 on Fu Man Chu

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    I didn't even read it B4 I posted that........:lol3 Keep it here if you want but it will prolly drop of the face really quick in here because of the rapid fire new thread starts.
    #9
  10. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Thanks! For sure,the fish tacos rule. I never thought they sounded good but I had to try them. I beet it was so cool there in the 80´s.
    #10
  11. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    For sure that´s me. I did a couple other ride reports but the last Vegas one was super fun!
    #11
  12. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Ya you´r right. maybe I should just post it under ride reports and take my liks? At least I built it in notepad first so I just have to cut & past. I´m in Todos Santos, Baja Mexico, the maid left me in charge of the hotel office and I have internet here so with a drink next to me I thought this was a good place to start and get some fast response, Yo momma people aren´t afraid of my avatar. Thanks Mulekick
    #12
  13. Mulekick

    Mulekick 2.7 on Fu Man Chu

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    Cross post it fuck the mods.Tell em I said so.You getting rain in baja?
    #13
  14. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    I can move it. And leave a link from here too. Just say the word.
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  15. Road Rash

    Road Rash Infamous Supporter

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    That was a great report, I remember you starting to take the Harley off road and I'm thinking this FF isn't going to get to far, well you did :thumb what the hell do I know?
    Oh, this Mexico report is a great one too, looks like you had a great time, and it should have been in ride reports, hell Gravitys Dog put in a report of driving a Miata from Oregon to Texas, It's all about the story's man, it's all about the story's :D
    #15
  16. Mulekick

    Mulekick 2.7 on Fu Man Chu

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    I wonder why mine got kicked to JoMammory ?.......:bluduh
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  17. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    The next morning before sunrise I'm sitting at the kitchen table typing this up, I'm hearing sounds like a storm rumbling in the background then realize the sounds I'm hearing are huge waves crashing on the beach nearby. Now that I''m going to be a wave surfer dude I have to learn the lingo, "The surf is up!" Surfers hit the beach early morning before the wind comes up. Wind is Bad, swells are Good. I down my espresso, grab the camera and head to the beach.

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    Scene at the surf beach:
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    Scene looking out @: I'm using this "@" font to symbolize the thumb and the pinkie sticking out and waging the 'Hang Loose' sign. This is the scene here @. It's hard to see but these are 15 and sometimes 20 footers. Three or four people were set up on shore with cameras with huge lenses sitting on tripods. I have to get Heidi's big dog lens out here and figure a way to digitize the photos.
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    OK, OK, OK, I must have been really tired I still haven't woken up from this dream. I decide to just go with it and see how long it lasts. I couldn't believe the deal we got for staying a month so I go have another talk with Alberto. I ask if he could do anything for us if we commit for two months.

    Home for the next two months!!!!! It didn't show up but I'm looking out at the Pacific Ocean while typing. I strung up a long wire antenna for my short-wave radio and am enjoying listing to the BBC, Cuba or whatever. I didn't think it was possible but I'm dreaming this in color.

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    Today I head to the north surf beach about 6 miles away. This beach is the nicest, it has surf shops renting boards and campo's selling beer. Windsurfing shops were usually the best place to buy used equipment in the Caribbean so I ask around at the surf shops about used boards. I came away with some good options. I'm likin life.

    Mexican people:
    Next morning I head to the south surf beach, about 6 miles away. This beach has the nicest sand, it has surf shops renting boards and campo's selling beer. On my way back I head down a dirt path toward a beach that's closest to our hotel, Heidi and I walked here yesterday. This is an ultimate Baja sand banked and bumpy road with options forking off all going to the same place, the beach. Here is where local fisherman head out and do their thing. It's Sunday so nobody is out. I could see a couple dune buggies up on the lip of the beach. I was parked on hard sand back about 200 yards, near a palapa shelter.

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    A local family walked up from the beach and started hanging around the palapa. I look at the beach, stick it into 4-wheel, growl and blast off. I pull up to the lip of the beach where the scene was perfect, waves crashing on the beach and rocks below. A few fishermen were casting off from the rocks to the left on this pic. Some of the guys were using bare line in their hands and pulling it up. At one point I saw three guys all grab onto one bare line and pull.

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    I looked behind me and see a young girl from the family I saw earlier talking to some people in a dune buggy, I was trying not to pay attention but heard some rapid Spanish speaking from the dune buggy people. I heard a "No". A couple minutes later I see in my rear view this girl carrying a huge bundle of wood from a pile of drift wood on the beach. I think she was asking if the people in the buggy would help.

    OK I'm ready to head back. I noticed I had dug in the sand a lot deeper then those dune buggies floating by, I really had to step it down to keep moving. If you're a 4-wheeler at all you know the feeling I'm talking here, a type of tightness in your chest and throat knowing you have to do everything to keep it going and not stall out. It all went OK but still, wow. I was going to pick up a bigger pile of wood for the little girl and toss it on top of the jeep rack, but didn't. I thought they were only having a bon fire. Heading back I followed the dune buggy tracks, ahhh! I swing right past the wood pile putting the hammer down feeling good just to get out of there. I tool past the family and couldn't even look at them, feeling I let them down just like the dune buggy people. I smell a fire and see out of the corner of my eye the family preparing a fire under a grill. They must be having a Sunday cookout not a bon fire. I feel like crap, those people need that fire wood to feed their family. "Baja" is in my brain and I'm peeling down the ultimate Baja road. I fire on the breaks, turn the wheel hard and kick it down! I made it up to the wood pile and back once, I can do it again! I cruise past the family and out onto the beach, I whip up the sand hill and turn down and out. I load up a big pile of drift wood, throw it on top and fly out. I pull up near the family and use my most polite Spanish and ask if that would like the wood.

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    The oldest man came up and thanked me right away in a super gracious manner, after a dozen or so Spanish words I couldn't understand he would come out with a couple in English, like "Thank..You" then rattle on looking real sincere. He had no top front teeth but always bore a huge smile, he reminded me of a real Popeye, having strong hands like a fisherman. I tried to scram out of there ASAP, wanting to make it look like it was no big deal which it wasn't, then the older women and older man started coming up to me talking and doing a thumb in the mouth motion. I didn't know what was going on, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I said as politely as I could that I understand very little and it was nothing and I had to go. They thanked me some more, I boogied, we all waved good bye. Whenever I figure out what someone is saying to me it's usually much later after I think about it a bit. Thinking on the way back I imagined them asking me for corn, saying they're fisherman and all they eat are fish. I'm like bawling by the time I get home telling Heidi to get ready we have to go back with some of our corn tortillas. Heidi finally settles me down and we talk about what I think they were saying. Daa! They were asking me to eat fish and corn with them, really wanting me to join them. I knew they weren't asking me for anything, I guess I went into hyper overanalyze mode, no, not me, ha, ha. Sunday is a big family day in Mexico and wearing your Sunday best is the norm. What a nice family.

    The surf board:
    We've met a lot of people and got the scoop on where to maybe find a used surfboard. Today we head out early to Cabo San Lucas to get some stuff, have some fun and check it out. Heidi spots a big surf shop along the road between Cabo and San Jose del Cabo.

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    We first hit the big WalMart (Oops, I guess I should say Target) type store up the road and get essentials for long term tropical living, blender, protein powder, fins, wetsuit, rum. We head back to the Costa Azul surf shop and pull out with a surfboard on top, a Gerry Lopez design. I will look up and find out who that is. Ha, ha (I .. Need ... To ... Know).

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    Latest Update 2/07/05:
    Wave surfing:
    The next day after buying the surfboard I can't wait to get out. I windsurfed the Caribbean in huge breaking waves and I like to think I know what to expect and do around them. As a windsurfer it's ultimate to be riding down a large breaking wave, as a windsurfer it sucks to be hit by a large breaking wave, equipment breaks and you're not attached. Often you swim a long time chasing your rig and sometimes finding it disabled. What wave surfers do, bob around near breakers waiting for a big one to come, is counter to all my instincts.

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    I'm off to the so called "beginners beach" where the entire shore is sand, the big dog surfers also come here when the waves are huge. The swells are big today but I have to get wet. I just go with it, strap on the tether line and march out into the breakers. After getting hammered by at least four big ones I get the hang of grabbing onto the surfboard and ducking down just as the breaker is going to nail you. I'm out to sea now bobbing around near where other surfers are bobbing. I practice paddling and catching waves. A wave lands just right, I catch it and go flying. I'm cruising along so I had to try to stand, the board goes flying out from underneath me and I crash backwards in the foam, cool! I'm farther in shore now and farther down the beach. This is where every wave builds and breaks no matter what. I'm getting the shit kicked out of me trying to get back out. Finely I come to my senses and see other surfers walking down the beach toward where I first launched. Lessons learned; paddle out where other surfers paddle out, after riding a wave get on to shore ASAP and start over, that is unless you're still out far enough and feel lucky and think you can paddle back out without getting creamed. The next thing I do is head back out and paddle near surfers further out. Some guy from California saw I was struggling and gave me several pointers. Great, my paddling speed has increased and I'm a little more confident of what to do just before getting creamed. I'm out for a good hour and manage to not get hammered by any more big waves. I'm feeling good but what a workout.

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    The next day we're off to the beach again, same place. I think I know the ropes, paddle out as fast as possible past where most waves start to break. Once there I catch my breath and position myself for a wave. Well, half way out I see a huge one start to build. I don't know what I'm doing and think I have no choice but to ride it. I turned around too soon and didn't see what I was in for. The next thing I know I find myself on the lip of a huge curling wave, I'm up about 8 feet in the air falling straight down with the curl, and I'm lying on a surfboard! The next sensation is hard to describe, if there was such a thing as a industrial size washing machine with a super hyper agitate mode, imagine being thrown inside that, now multiply by ten. After my body stopped being contorted I started to swim up. I swam and swam and swam. It seemed like a bad dream where you struggle and struggle and don't go anywhere. I was swimming under water in foam and not sure I was even swimming in the right direction. I straightened up (mentally that is), got my bearings and slowly swam up. OK, I survived. I don't like where I am, everything is breaking everywhere. I hop on the board and paddle like hell straight to shore. The rip is keeping me out and I'm getting killed by wave after wave after wave. At one point I had the tether line wrapped around both legs while under water, wow! I was glad to get back in. This was all taking place right in front of Heidi sitting on a lawn chair. Being a strong swimmer she said she was seconds from diving out there to save me, I'm glad I didn't need it. ..... Pic below is another day, small waves.

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    Heidi is a smart girl and decides to practice the basics in the pool first. The guy giving me pointers said surfing is 90 some percent upper body. You need to balance on the surfboard on the bottom of your rib cage and do a crawl motion paddle while keeping your feet on top the surfboard.

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    Heidi practices the move you do when a monster wave is about nail you.

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    Cabo:
    Heidi & I needed to go back to Cabo to return a wetsuit. What a bummer, we gotta go back to Cabo. This time we thought we would park near downtown and hang out for awhile. We found tons of shops selling tons of stuff, same tons of stuff! One restaurant had a mime out front harassing people, a Seinfeld episode comes to mind, we don't want to go past him twice. We sat at an open air restaurant, Las Quesadilasss on a busy corner. There's loud Mexican tourist music playing and we're attacked by four waiters before we finished looking at the menu; we looked at each other and boogied. On the way back to the jeep we check out a few more shops. In a one block stretch I was hit on to buy 'dope', 'white stuff' and 'cocaine', three different people. Then in a shop a guy tried to sell me a crack pipe. OK, this is all fun, not really. Not the kind of place where I would order a drink and leave it unguarded. See Ya Cabo!

    Secret Beach:
    We head out again to look for the secret beach that nobody seems to know about, it's said to be between Todos Santos and the main surf beach to the south. We think we found it this time, driving down the road we see why not many go here.

    [​IMG] face="
    The last part of the road is driving across a small creek with big bumps after which you can park. The beach is about a 500 meter walk through an oasis type jungle.

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    Secret beach.
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    Wild Mexican Dogs:
    We dedicate a day for a long hike. I studied the guide book and looked at maps. There's an old trail starting a few miles out of town leading from Punta Lobos at the abandoned canning factory to a hidden bay somewhere south. In the 30's this bay was used for exporting tomatoes and fish and some say hiding Japanese subs. We're headed to the other side of the far hills along the coast.

    Loose dogs are everywhere in Todos Santos. We just reach the outskirts of town and could see a pack of them just waiting and eyeing us up. This is why we got rabies shots before the trip. Well, the first dog to Heidi's left was looking at me like he knew me so I pretended like I new him, I did my "All right dogs, lets all go on a walk together" thing and bingo, our expedition team was formed.

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    Punta Lobos to the left, abandoned canning factory below. We've had 4 dogs with us for about 4 miles now and Heidi is getting concerned for their welfare. She says "They're away from their home, they're chasing rabbits all over hurting their paws on the cactus and they look thirsty". I won't share any of our water and Heidi is getting mad!

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    I say "But they're so cute and they're having so much fun and they love us!". OK, that worked, they're in, we're all on this mission together.

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    Heidi spots two whales just a couple hundred yards off shore near the point. We see them surface several times.

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    The trail is tough and you need to stay focused.

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    Hidden bay. We hike all the way down to the volcanic gray beach below to find nothing but bowling ball size gray rocks. It was a two hour hike from home base to the bottom. We chill on the rocks for a while then climb back out.

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    On the way down we heard what sounded like sea lions, on the way back out we heard it again. Heidi gets out the binoculars and finds the rocky point jetting out on the right filled with sea lions flopping around. Some were huge. Unreal.

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    Heading back. This is the end of Todos Santos beach, it stretches over twenty miles long with no development.

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    Sunset Watching:
    I think I know a shortcut out to the beach without going to Punta Lobos, a place we can be more alone. It's an ultimate Baja road, one where someone would have to back up a long way if two vehicles meet and high clearance is a must. I'm sure we walked this way once before. Finely the trail leads to the beach, yes. We walk out as far as we dare toward the rising tide, lay out a towel and wait to see what happens. I think I caught for the first time the florescent green flash that sometimes happens just at sunset while looking out to sea. I'm not making any of this up! Heidi says she sees what looked like heads of divers, I question her sanity. For the next fifteen minutes we're watching two sea lions surfacing, flipping and popping straight up out of the water right in front us. Heidi says "They see us and are waving at us" We wave the next time they come up. No kidding, next we see a whale blowing and surfacing in front us.

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    To be Continued: -> www.justadventuretravel.net or here if I'm not Xed.

    I hope you enjoyed!
    #17
  18. Mulekick

    Mulekick 2.7 on Fu Man Chu

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    25,744
    Location:
    Tradin' Nachtflug Rookie Cards
    Sorry Marc........:D I didn't see ya!










    :hide
    #18
  19. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,716
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    O wow!
    word

    Thanks a ton Marc.
    #19
  20. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    8,967
    Location:
    AZ
    :wave done!
    #20