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Old 02-16-2009, 08:49 AM   #16
motoged OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarkmych
BTW.... Alphonse is the Hotel Mulege owner, not Baja Cactus....Its ok, I understand the memory lapse now.
Mark,
While my advancing years renders some of my functions a bit less operational, I must clarify:

Alphonse is the name of the elderly gentleman who owns La Hacienda in Mulege and is also the name of the owner of Baja Cactus motel in El Rosario....two distinctly separate individuals, but both with a gracious spirit.

I think that the place we stayed at the northern entrance to Mulege was "Hotel Mulege"....and we never met the owner.

For riders ever headed that way, the range of good places to stay in Mulege is more than adequate.....more on that later



La Hacienda is the very "rider-friendly" hotel near the zocolo...while Mulege was quieter than I have ever seen it over the years, it is still my favourite town in Baja...

Some improvements happening at La Hacienda... just don't take a running dive quite yet:




Before the improvements:



As I indicated earlier....we had the place to ourselves that one night...some rum and coke assisted in our segue into the MATRIXof Baja ...

It was all ours for the taking:r icky



Darren offers a salute with his "salud"...



Mark....just that relaxed look...





The next morning we headed for San Jose where we could finally unleash the beasts and do what we came for...

Darren indicated his position for the first shift...




Once on the road, Mark was astounded with the jaw-dropping scenery of Bahia Concepcion...





A race to the South Cape landed us in La Playa (a few kms east of San Jose del Cabo) where Mark and Darren stayed at La Playita Hotel....now called La Marina Hotel...





While I stayed up the hill a few blocks at El Delfin Blanco....a lovely quiet spot run by the most delightful Swedish woman, Osa...











Now, You FF's are probably wondering if we rode motorcycles on this trip


After five days as truck prisoners, we were fully stoked for a ride ...

Mark couldn't get saddled up soon enough...


A ride east along the East Cape road was in order for the introduction...








The short ride landed us back at Buzzards for some refreshments...

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motoged screwed with this post 02-16-2009 at 08:55 AM
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #17
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great pics. love these baja reports
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:43 AM   #18
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Man, with the snow on the ground here and the ruts frozen solid, your sunny photos are . . . dang
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:32 PM   #19
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So, this is when and where the riding started. Our plan was to be located in La Playa for a week or so before we started to partition our way north.
Mark and Darren had some Xmas gift-buying to do, we all had some riding to do, and we even got some of that in.

The exact chronology of our rides in that area may be a bit scrambled, but I will tell it like I remember it.


My interests were to ride the East Cape road up to Los Barriles and back, ride the Las Naranjas Ranch road over to Todos Santos, and to explore a bit north of the highway between San Jose and Cabo San Lucas as there are a myriad of roads there through beautiful countryside.


Planning back home tends to be more grandiose than the actual rides done

One of the first rides was just west of San Jose. Heading west to Cabo San Lucas takes one along the crazy freeway, but just on the western outskirts of San Jose is a canyon running north. You see it when crossing one of the first bridges on the highway...the canyon runs off to the right. This canyon hosts a zip-line outfit for those so inclined (at least $90 for a few hours of wishing the line was longer)...



The canyon is mostly hard-packed coarse sand that has a bit of water here and there, the usual compliment of basura, and some folks dumping stuff or taking sand....so there is a clear double-track to follow.



We did this for a half-dozen kilometers before we came to the part of the trail that would make a trials rider drool...but ended our exploring further into the canyon...






We didn't do the zip-line thing as we were having too much fun zipping around on our own...



After some backtracking to the zip-line area's rappelling wall, we found our way north to a series of roads that were delightful....hard-packed sand that encouraged steering with the back wheel along roller coaster roads.



No technical stuff, but a fun day of exploring...







Back to San Jose and home to La Playa...











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Old 02-17-2009, 11:48 AM   #20
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La Playa used to be a sleepy little fishing village until the scourge of development thought it would be a good idea to build a huge marina which destroyed the ecology of the estuary that separates San Jose from La Playa.

The La Playita Hotel has been renamed La Marina and has seen a slight improvement as it now has a small restaurant in the courtyard.

Some of the local sights...










One of the concessions made when building the marina was to establish several fish-cleaning stations which were rather impressive..








Each of these buildings had marble tables that served as cleaning stations. Commercial plastic cutting boards, spray hoses, and drains made for efficiency....and the fishermen maintained the areas well...








These buildings were well made and attractive...








A small bit of beach had been retained and was being enjoyed by some locals...








The area was kept fairly clean by these hungry Basuraderos...







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Old 02-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #21
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El Delfin Blanco was a sweet spot to stay. I was the only guest there, it was at the edge of the town but only a few blocks from where Darren and Mark were. It was good to have some alone time between the rides...

Osa, the owner, is a kind woman ...a world traveler from Sweden before settling in Baja. I would have liked to have spent more time visiting with her as I enjoyed her rebellious spirit.

Her current project was hassling the local jefes to get a street light reconnected at the front of her place. I thought that this might have been a project that would be at least weeks in the planning, but woke up the next day to see the municipal guy hard at it...



I walked over for a closer look and to see if the guy needed a foreman...






He seemed to have it under control. He was attaching a lamp assembly to two bolts on the pole....and was using a crescent wrench and vice grips to screw on the nut....it was slow going....before long he dropped the crescent wrench....I picked it up and waited for him to look down (he was doing a good job of pretending to be unperturbed) so I could throw it up to him.

I secretly knew that it would likely be a comedy show watching me throw the tool a number of times before the arc intersected with his grasp....but he had a rope he threw over the edge of his bucket so that I could tie the tool to it, and he could then retrieve the tool by uphauling the rope.

Evidently he had dropped tools before in fron of willing spectators

He eventually spun those two nuts tight enough that I figured the job was done. My supervision was no longer required...



So I meandered back to my private estate...





Once back to my room...




I caught my room-mate in the act...




He was a pleasant fellow, despite his tendency to hog the bed at night.

Clearly shameless about his flexibility...he just gained a bit of composure...




As the day was young, we decided a "Beach Day" was in order...so it was off to the East Cape road...
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:32 PM   #22
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For those of you who have never done it, when down at Los Cabos (The Capes), there is much more to the experience than getting drunk in Cabo San Lucas and depleting the local fisheries by keeping the billfish you catch. San Jose del Cabo is the city where the airport is (just north of town) and is much more of a "typical" small city than is Cabo San Lucas....but as some experienced Mexico travelers have pointed out, all of Baja is a different beast than is the mainland.

I like to leave a very small footprint when riding...and as a traveler I try to get a feel for the local zitgeist, rather than blast through collecting miles.

But, again, I digress

It's off to the beach

Heading east out of La Playa, one follows a series of traffic circles that are part of a huge development plan for this area.





The road is paved for several miles until it heads down to the ocean....at this T-junction, you turn left (east) for the East Cape Road...
















.... or turn right (west)....and if you turn right here you will go a hundred yards or so and find a Restaurant/B&B called Buzzards....
http://www.buzzardsbar.com




Once headed east we stopped for a safety meeting....just to stay clear of the occasional "Quad Tours"....you know, the ones where a guy leads a bunch of inexperienced gringos along roads at unsafe speeds, all wearing bandanas and polo helmets...



We waited forthe dust to settle and took off...





The ride to the beach had been scouted earlier and we found a few beaches which appeared to be public (a bit difficult to find along the ECR as much of the property is "private" and has recently begun to be "guarded" by small "security" campos....)



The area we decided on had easy access and the palapas said "C'mon down"...



We accepted the invitation...



No one to bother us to the east...



....and no one to the west....

So we plunked ourselves down and went at it...



This was a virginal first for Mark, so that was a treat for Darren and me almost as much as for Mark...as he had never jumped into the ocean before...

He had to scout it out for a bit at first...."just to figure out how the sets were forming"



Darren kept a watchful eye...doing his best lifeguard thing...




Before long, we were all in the water playing in the 3-5 foot waves having the time of our lives....

Playing around like a bunch of kids....it was great spending the afternoon in the water, sipping beers, and catching rays...

















As the shadows began to get longer, we took the hint and slowly packed up for the ride back...








Truly, one of the best days of the trip....:jk am



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Old 02-18-2009, 05:24 PM   #23
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Enjoying the report and pics. Man you guys really know how to milk the relaxation end of it!
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimzuma
Enjoying the report and pics. Man you guys really know how to milk the relaxation end of it!
Yeah, it's hard to be Ride Heroes every day

Our plan was to spend our first week of four in Baja relaxing on the Cape, doing some exploratory rides and redoing some previous routes we liked before.

After 5 days as truck prisoners, it was imperative to get our ride legs on, but also to catch up with old friends, new beers, and aged tequila

Our ride plans for more challenging riding would kick in farther north...and that part of the RR is around the corner

In the meantime, the order of the day was cervezas, colitas, and no culero attitudes...

Rides every day, some with ATGATT...and other days were easy putting around....


And sometimes just kicking back relaxing in the best ways we could:

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Old 02-19-2009, 05:11 PM   #25
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The next day was an exploratory ride farther up the East Cape road.

An early morning start...




and we were off...

The ECR follows the coastline fairly closely in some areas:











and in others, it goes inland a kilometer or two...





...all of it is photogenic...



Within less than an hour, we were approaching Los Frailes, a distance of about half-way to Los Barriles, a tentative destination for the day. Los Barriles is known for its primo windsurfing and kitesurfing due to frequent high winds.

I was using the Baja Almanac as my map source, while Darren and Mark had GPS units. Unfortunately the GPS did not appear to have base maps for the area that seemed to coincide with my paper maps....so there were a few stops and varied opinions as to where we were. The confusion was solved by asking a local....who ended up confirming that we were at Los Frailes. He encouraged us to head west through the mountains (Sierra La Trinidad range) rather than proceed up the coastline as he said the scenery was better....

So we backtracked a kilometer and headed west towards Cerro el Venado on the road heading to Rancho Garambullo, where we were to turn left at the "T" and make our way through the mountains towards the town of Miraflores (... to the right takes you to the ranch, but also likely hooks up with a road system that comes out on Hwy #1 north of Miraflores at the town of Santiago).

Before long we were absolutely thrilled with the road conditions, scenery, and high speed capacity of the route....it is a pity I didn't take more pics...











There were not too many "alternate routes", but some deliberations were required at some intersections...



The road was another rollercoaster ride...





Coming down out of the highlands we crossed some arroyos with the usual conditions...





A brief refreshment break at one...




Darren's endless and ubiquitous supply of Halls Cherry cough drops were a treat...



And as the GPS seemed to be indicating we were approaching Hwy #1 where we would cross into Miraflores, Darren suggested we explore a wet arroyo heading north....it was a hoot....fields, wet sand, some goop, and soft sand, and lotsa fun...







Riding through Miraflores, we searched for an eatery....but as three guys can sometimes not agree on anything, we rode around for a bit before deciding on a spot that was the last chance to eat at that end of town. It ended up that, despite the "bare" appearance of the place, the guy readily and enthusiastically offered to make us some tortas ..."no problema!". As it turned out, he had just bought the place a few days earlier....we may have been his first customers.

We were hungry, thirsty, and enjoying the shade and some cool refreshments we bought down the street at the corner tienda...



Our presence was monitored by a local teen waiting for something to happen...



The tortas were very good....we gobbled them and headed out of town hoping to find a dirt route back to San Jose, but after another conclusion that we were not going to find it, we blasted home on the slab....maybe a 45 minute ride...

A delightful area to ride is certainly that whole East Cape area south of Los Barriles and east of Hwy #1 all the way down to San Jose...at least two or three days of exploring. The nearby town of Santiago has a zoo, thermal hot springs, and some interesting riding into the hills west of Hwy#1.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:28 PM   #26
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Ged,

Those roads west of Los Frailes are some of the best fun down that far, IMHO. You can continue all the way across to Todos Santos on those tracks.

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:40 PM   #27
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GP,
Yep....the Rancho Naranja road is next in this RR...

I first rode it in '94 on my 81 R80 G/S....before I ever heard of the term "dual-sport"....

The stuff up top is interesting as the road seems to change every year around the settled areas.

It was cool to see a sign and road leading up to a Buddhist monastery....and , according to Baja Almanac, there is a spiderweb of roads on the west side of "the pass" spreading south and southwest...

Again, a few days worth of easy exploring in that area....




Quote:
Originally Posted by gaspipe
Ged,

Those roads west of Los Frailes are some of the best fun down that far, IMHO. You can continue all the way across to Todos Santos on those tracks.

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Old 02-21-2009, 04:32 PM   #28
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So that's who I saw...

Motoged,

My wife and I were northbound on Mex 1, you 3 passed us (in a cage), headed back toward San Jose. My wife, seeing me drool, asks "why didn't you flip them off?"

Thanks for the report.



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Old 02-21-2009, 06:59 PM   #29
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Great stuff Ged! Always a pleasure to read one of your RR's. Keep it coming!
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:07 PM   #30
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Good stuff!! Keep er coming
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