In the morning I walked around the neighborhood away from the malecon and found a cafe. I had huevos de la padron. After breakfast I walked down to the malecon and took some photos of the waterfront. The sandy beaches right in town are pretty nice. I packed and wheeled the bike out of the courtyard into the street.
The ride to Cabo Pulmo was easy. It was hot in La Paz. It warmed up a little more as I got into the hills and mountains. I road without my jacket the entire ride. The mountain section passed through a couple cute little towns and had great twisties.
Less than two hours later I turned off Highway 1 and headed east toward the coast. The road was paved up until 5 miles from Cabo Pulmo. There it turned to washboard sand and gravel. Most of it was rideable at 30 mph. A few sandy sections required a crawl in first gear. Riding with Erika on the back tomorrow was totally doable. I was relieved.
I rolled into town and did a lap to get my bearings. There's only one main road so it was a short tour. I road down a side road toward the water. That was a mistake since it turned to soft sand immediately. I tried to turn around and dug in. Luckily, hard pack lurked a few inches below the sand. It took about 10 minutes but I eventually got the bike turned around by digging little trenches and moving the bike in increments. As long as I kept my speed up the bike would float on the surface.
I rolled up to Baja Bungalows and was almost immediately greeted by Veronica, a cute tattooed woman from Mexico City. She showed me my room and gave the rules for the solar powered property. The place consists of a main house, guest houses, and my little bunk house ($45 US). My room was next to the kitchen palapa. It's thatched roof heaven on a sandy lot with beautiful landscaping. Included in the price is use of their kayaks, snorkeling gear, boogies boards, beach chairs, and umbrellas.
I grabbed snorkeling gear and a wet suit and headed to the beach. The main beach is a five minute walk. A closer beach where the kayaks are kept is two minutes. I had seafood tacos and a couple modelos at the restaurant on the water. After lunch I walked down the beach 100 meters or so. The reef is 25 meters off the beach. The water was warmer than Loreto. With the shortie wetsuit I was totally comfortable.
It was a little breezy so the water was cloudy. I still saw a lot of fish. Back on the beach I talked to a guy who had been snorkeling too. He said one of the local beaches always has good visibility no matter the conditions since they all face different directions. He gave me the low down on all the spots. He pointed to a group of boulders down the beach where all the reef sharks congregate. I guess it's birthing season and that is where it happens. He said there are dozens of sharks you can clearly see when standing on the rocks. I'll check that out tomorrow when Erika and I return from the airport.
When I got back to the bungalows, I grabbed my iPad and walked over to the office. The wifi signal only works there. I checked email and then talked to Veronica for a while. She's been in Pulmo for 11 years. She gave me information on fun things to do too. She knew the expat couple I'd talked to on the beach. She shared her shark story from the spot with the boulders. She also told me you can't rent kayaks since Pulmo is located in a national marine park. She knew I was staying the next three nights at another place that didn't have kayaks. She said I could use theirs if I was discreet.
I bought an eight pack of Modelos down the street and hung out in the garden next to my room. I took a shower and shaved for the first time in a week. I walked to Caballeros for dinner. I had a huge fish filet and beers. It was so cheap and delicious. Too bad I sat next to the most obnoxious four top of Americans. They were in their late fifties, drunk and making fools of themselves. I ate quickly and left. I finished the evening drinking beers, listening to music and updating my trip report in the garden. I went to bed really looking forward to seeing Erika tomorrow.
In the morning, Veronica let me keep my gear in the office while I went to the airport. That was a huge help since I couldn't check into my new place until 4:00. I had a fun ride south to the airport in San Jose Del Cabo. I stopped for gas in Santiago. This is a cool town with lots to do in the nearby mountains. Too bad we didn't have time to explore it. Next time.
Erika's flight was supposed to arrive in the newly built Terminal 2. After paying for parking I learned it was in Terminal 1, contrary to all signage saying otherwise. I rode to the other terminal and met Erika as she came out of customs. She had my ex-sister-in-law's helmet and gloves I gave her and a mesh jacket she borrowed from a friend. Her backpack fit perfectly in my trunk. It was pretty exciting. Erika had never ridden on a full size motorcycle. Plus, we'd only been on three dates and now we were heading off on my bike to a remote beach in Mexico!
On the ride, we stopped for quick photos at the Tropic of Cancer monument. 30 minutes later we were on the beach road. I was instantly relieved when I realized the sandy road was no problem with Erika on the back. In fact, the bike seemed to handle better. I think the extra weight on the rear took weight off the front wheel. I rode it just as fast as before and in no time we were back at Baja Bungalows.
I had a few beers in the fridge still. We sat under the kitchen palapa, drank Medelos, and laughed about how crazy and fun it was that we were in Mexico. We had a couple hours to kill, so we walked down the beach looking for the sharks I'd heard about. We didn't see any. We walked back to town and ate a late lunch at Tito's. We checked into our little house - The Jewel of Pulmo, around 4:00. Later we ate dinner across the street at Caballero's.
The next two days were like that, but even better. We had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at every restaurant in town. We snorkeled, swam with sea lions, lounged on the beach, happy houred, and chilled in our garden casita. The wildlife was incredible. We saw sharks, whales, huge sting rays, needle and trumpet fish, and tons of colorful birds. We even took in the primavera parade which ended at the town's elementary school where last year's queen passed her crown to the new queen. Veronica kept the invitation open to borrow her kayaks, but every time we tried they were in use. In what seemed like a flash, it was time to ride to Cabo San Lucas for our last night together.
I had a little cultue shock riding into the San Jose Del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas area. I was only in Cabo Pulmo for four days but succumbed completely to its laid back attitude and undeveloped natural beauty. All of a sudden we were in what felt like a big city. There was traffic, people, pollution...Walmart. I didn't mind it, I was just caught off guard. Still, I was surprised how beautiful the main bay in Cabo San Lucas was. You see it at a distance from the highway as you descend into town. It's instantly obvious why they built resorts here.
We met our condo owner in the marina, checked in, and then headed straight for Playa Medano. This is the main beach in Cabo. Spring break was in full effect! The bay was absolutely full of multimillion dollar yachts, para sailers, jet skis, kayaks, sailboats, etc. The beach was lined with one bar after another, each with umbrellas and chairs on the perfect tan sand. The place was crawling with partying American teens. It was hilarious and great. We grabbed front row seats and had lunch and drinks. Then we rented a double kayak and paddled to Playa Del Amor (Lovers Beach) and the famous Arch. It was a fun day and seeing these sights completed my Must See list.
Later, we walked the marina boardwalk and surrounding areas. It too was a scene. We had sushi and then drinks with a bunch of kids at an open air bar with a Mexican band covering Rolling Stones songs. That is when the novelty of spring break started to wear off. I love going out, drinking, partying, and music. But doing so with the retarded masses of SE American college campuses isn't really how I role.
I took Erika to the airport in the morning. We hung out and had breakfast until it was time for her to go through security. We said goodbye and each began our journey back to Denver. Hers would take three hours. Mine would take five days.
I rode the rest of the afternoon to Santa Rosalia. This is the town on the east coast with the French colonial influence and the church designed by Eiffel. Most hotels were booked but I found a room at Hotel El Industrial. It's next to the old foundry I'd climbed around in the week before. I walked around town that evening and ate at a taqueria in the 'French Quarter' that didnt sell tacos. They only served burritos and they were so good! I did my best to talk to the owner, her daughter and a customer in Spanish. The daughter was really cute. She was all business until I stepped back and took a photo of the restaurant. She ducked behind the counter. I guess the risk of us having mutual Facebook friends and not looking her best was a concern. I went back to the hotel and drank beers in the parking lot with Bill, an ex-marine/expat married to a Mexican woman in La Paz and doing three month stints at sea cooking for SEAL teams off the coast of Somalia.
In the morning I'd need to make up for my late start today and try to make the border.
Sign in Baja Bungalows' parking lot
Updating ADVR Trip Report outside my bungalow
On the beach with Erika
Swimming with Sea Lions (found out later Tiger Sharks like to hang out here too)
Black Tip Reef Sharks eerily close to the beach
View of Cabo Pulmo from our roof
Leaving Pulmo, heading to Cabo San Lucas
View from the road above Pulmo
Tropic of Cancer
Cabo San Lucas!
We paddled out to the famous Arch
Walking around Cabo we found this place -- Do your banking and buy a couch and motorcycle!
On the way back, I stopped for one last view and pic of Bahia de Concepcion - my new favorite place on Earth
Quick lunch in Loreto
Dinner in Santa Rosalia - note girl ducking behind counter