I'll wrap this up.
Tues. Jan 16, 2012:
At the breakfast riders meeting we decide we are going to Gonzaga Bay. In all the trips he had made to Baja, Brent had never visited there. Gas up and go. We retrace the pavement back to Mex#1 where we split 5 gallons of gasolina. Oops, I'm last in line and get none. No worries, I get way better fuel economy than Brent and Jimmy on their gas hogs.
At Chapala we turn east toward Coco's corner. The gravel road looks deceptively smooth.
Cousin Tom happy to be here.
not a typical sign
After a mile or two it gets a lot "different" from my perspective. Remember, I'm a rookie and the bike is borrowed and on street Battlewings and this will go on for 60 or 70 km before we hit pavement again. I manage well to Coco's.
We drink his beer and sign his book. Cool compound he has there. I call this a "must see" place. Lot's of other riders there. Mostly offroaders.
The stretch to Gonzaga from here is only maybe a dozen miles. It has soft sand though and I had to put a foot down once. Jimmy had waited to see if I was managing and I asked him for advice. Just keep accelerating he told me. It worked for me. Oh, and I was startled when the dirt bikes blew by me. Didn't see them coming. Wasn't looking.
There's a tienda and a Pemex at Gonzaga but the gas station was closed. We stayed at Alfoncina's ($65US) and had a very good meal there. I did the "what ever the chef thinks" order. Great camerones (shrimp) and Pacifico. We could see the shrimp boats moored in the bay from our table. Only one other pair was staying there that night. I rode out to the tienda to call home with the help of the cajero. (remember, Verizon is useless in Baja)
Gonna have our own sticker next time
No gas so we'll have to make it Puertecitos. The road is unpaved for about the first 13 miles. Military check point and we have to open the bags for the first time. Before we hit the blacktop we come to a long stretch of sand. I keep accelerating. Going well but I'm now doin' 70. Thankfully the road stiffened up.
When we hit pavement it's brand new. I'm guessing the next time I'm here it'll be paved all the way to Gonzaga. Then Coco's. Progress. From the new road we can see remnants of the old. What we will ride in a few hours must have taken all day a couple years ago. We miss Puertecitos because it's kinda outta view of the new hiway. But Jimmy knows where he is and pulls over to ask. We backtrack a couple miles and pull into the Pemex just as he's closing for lunch. Closed from noon til two? Anyways we get our gas and go back up to the joint where we got directions, Cow Patty's. Great hot dogs and cold Pacifico.
Now just a short ride to San felipe where we stay at the Hotel Cortez. Big modern hotel, once again very few guests. The manager tells us few Americans come anymore. They were 90% of his business. Went up to town and business was very slow there too. The upside for was everyone, everywhere we went treated us like royalty.
Beach at San Felipe.
The next morning after breakfast Jimmy blasts off for Fresno. He's heard the weather there is forecast to get ugly. Tom, Brent and I take it easy as we are only going as far as Yuma today. A cake walk.
We head north across desolate sand flats. A not so big mountain and then more flat to Mexicali. We head east on the toll road toward San Luis Rio Colorado. We cross back home here. We failed to surrender our FMMs (Immigration cards). I mailed mine to the Mexican Tourist Bureau in San Diego. Tom and Brent did nothing. Maybe no big deal but I didn't want to show up at the border or Cozumel airport next year and get socked with some kinda fine. FWIW we eased seamlessly into Mexico this past momth. Tom, Brent and I.
The officer at the crossing asked if were an American citizen. I replied "Si". "Sir, this is the United States", she said, "and welcome home".
We slept in Yuma, AZ that night and back to Tucson on Friday. Big feast at cousin Julie and her husband Christian's house. Best meal of the trip! I did however gain weight on the trip.
Saturday Jan 20:
Christian picks Brent and me up at 4am and drops us at the airport. Tom will stay and ride AZ with another buddy who is flying out on Monday.