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Old 09-26-2013, 09:06 AM   #21
Water Bear
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Somewhere in Latin America
Oddometer: 492
7. Finding Cortez

Itís time to leave Ensenada. Itís been real. Itís been fun. Itís been real fun. For any other riders going through Ensenada and wanting a cheap ($18/night) non-camping place to stay, the Ensenada Backpackers Hostel has safe gated parking on the side of itís building. You could fit 2 maaaybe 3 bikes in there. If they arenít busy they have a whole back patio that could fit more bikes too. Bonus, itís a hostel too so somebody is always at the front desk 24/7.

San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez is where I want to go. Depending on when I make it there I may keep heading South as I heard that there are lots of small nice places to camp on the beaches a bit further down past San Felipe.

First though, more tacos.

I didnít realize how mountainous Baja was. This is coming out of Ensenada on Mexico 3, looking east towards the Sea of Cortez.

Awwww yeah, canyon carvingÖ.. good way to start the day.

Catholicism is big here, lots of little Ďshrines?í on the side of the highways. Sometimes they paint stuff on the rocks.

This is saint Ďgator. Patron saint of killiní shit.

Am I in Ohio?

Los Federales are cracking down on the drug running in Baja so there are checkpoints every few miles at strategic spots. One can be seen down at the bottom of this valley. After they went through my stuff and made sure I was only carrying stinky clothes and not kilos of cocaine the soldier questioning me asked to sit on my bike. Sure why not? The captain quickly stepped up swatting him away from the bike and jumped on himself. These guys seem fun. I reached over the captain turning the bike on and gestured him to take it for a spin. Through my broken spanish I confirmed that 1st gear was down, then 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th were up. He stalled it at first but itís pretty heavy. The other soldiers laughed as he swore at them and took off again, this time blasting through the gears down the straight road into the valley. His soldiers laughed again, but this time it was at me, saying that he and the bike were now gone, en route to Tijuana. He did come back though, faith in humanity prevails. I asked if I could hold his machine gun, he did not return the favor.

Pushing on towards the coast, is that the beach??

Nope, some sort of mirage. Still desert.

More checkpoints. I got waved right through this one though, maybe mi amigo radioed ahead saying the ginger is all clear.

Hello San Felipe. Where can I find Mr. Cortez?

Oh, heíll be getting tacos by the beach you say? Perfect.

Mr. Cortez never showed up, but I had some damn fine tacos anyways. I still have some sunlight so Iím going to go find a small beach place to camp.


Never mind, just the sun setting behind a bush.

I found a nice place to camp, if you can call it thatÖ.I guess I was in a tent, but it was pretty bougie for camping. The place is about 50 kilometers south of San Felipe, called Puertecitos. The next morning I woke up on the beach and watched the sun come up, first pushing out the deep dark blues of the night sky...

then shifting to a swatch of rich oranges and yellows.

This camping shit is real tough. Had the beach to myself to get some exercise in too.

Then made some break-y. Huevos sucio.

And listened to some 'practice spanish' tapes. It's the say and repeat type stuff. ďNo hablo espaniol a hora!Ē Nothing planned for today. The olí bizzeard is getting scraggly, maybe Iíll take care of that.

I packed clippers and also wired in a 12v to 100w converter on the bike. Pretty handy piece, picked it up at Home Depot in Joshua Tree CA. Plugged my clippers right into it and went to town. Itís supposed to be able to charge a laptop too but weíll see, it even has a light that glows different colors so you can see if you are draining too much of your battery. Oh technology.

Iím informed that there are Ďaguas termalesí (hot springs) nearby on the beach so I set out to find them.

This looks promising.

Yep, found them.

Holy shit-balls they are waaaaayyyy to hot! I put my hand quickly in one and it almost felt boiling. It was low-tide, pretty sure you have to wait until the tide comes in and cools them down a bit. The ocean water itself was in the mid to high 70ís easily, apparently thatís pretty average for the Sea of Cortez.

I met some other people vacationing in the area too. They confirmed I had to wait until higher tides. They offered me some cold beer instead. It tasted like nectar of the gods.

Where to next? Looking on the map it seems like Cocoís Corner is a reasonable distance away. I hear from everyone else on ADVrider that his place out in the middle of the desert is a must if you are riding through Baja. Maybe Iíll check out what this guy ďCocoĒ is up to.

"In life sometimes you just need to value adventure above security and comfort."
No-Moto-Boundaries, Tanning A Ginger Tip-to-Tip, '04 KLR 688
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