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Old 02-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #31
motoged OP
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The last ride for our South Cape lounge act was from San Jose to Todos Santos over the Sierra de la Laguna mountains. This is a sweet ride and is also manageable on bigger bikes. I first rode it on my 800G/S in '94...the road is better these days than it was then, having just been hit with a hurricane.

While there might be different names for this route, I have always known it as the "Rancho Naranja Road" as that is the signage on the highway turnoff. This road heads west off of Hwy #1 about 11 kms north of the San Jose airport...

I had scouted out potential breakfast spots along the highway out of San Jose the day before so our breakfast choice would be an easy one. This strip of highway is very urban with a range of businesses lining the way up to the airport.

We had a typical Baja breakfast ...."Huevos revueltos con machaca y tortillas...si, maize, por favor...y cafe....gracias...".

Ordering machaca is an experiment: sometimes it is a succulent blend of shredded dry beef sauteed with onions and peppers and is the most perfect addition to scrambles eggs....while at other times it is tasteless dry shredded beef than seems like it has just been planed off of some caballero's riding boot....

I believe this place hit the middle of the road mark...



We were quick about it...




And then north out of town for the rest of it.

The concept for the day was to ride over the mountains to the Pacific coast where we would come out on Hwy #19 south of Todos Santos at around the town of El Pescadero...or just a bit south of it, depending on the usual created by my map-reading skills...

The Rancho Naranja road heads due west for several miles and invites some higher speeds as you approach the "foothills"...





Last time there, we had a welcoming committee...this time not...





We stopped for an orienteering session once we found ourselves into the hills...





And once adequately oriented...

We headed off...





And wove our way along a good road with very little traffic....maybe several vehicles in the course of a few hours...



The road can be seen winding westward off in the distance...



My first stop was to take a few pics in an area that was prone to washouts and was sporting one of those road features you find out in the middle of some Baja nowheres....a hand-paved road section comprised of local flat stone and cement. Yhese road improvements tend to be constructed to minimize erosion....

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motoged screwed with this post 02-23-2009 at 08:59 AM
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:01 PM   #32
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Baja has some great exposed roots...




But onwards and upwards until I caught up with los otros pendejos..















At the summit of this route, we passed several small ranchos and a shrine...





The wind was picking up and was cooling things off just a bit...





It was downhill from the summit to the highway....but it was still about 45 minutes or so to pavement. I had initially wanted to ride inland from the highway up to Todos Santos, but the ride pace had us not wanting to spend too much time wandering the maze of roads and tracks between Rancho Nuevo and Todos Santos... so we blasted into Todos for tacos and a quick town tour....sorry to say I have no pics of that .

Once back on the road after lunch, we rode the slab back down to Rancho Nuevo and cut back onto the road we had just ridden out of an hour earlier...



Our plan was to head back eastwards for a half-dozen kms and then south through San Jacinto towards La Candaleria, where we would then head back to San Jose by a series of roads north of the San Jose- Cabo freeway....

A few turn arounds had us pick up the route....some closed gates slowed us down until we noticed fressh bike tracks,,,we powered on...














Went from dry to green...







Saw a few cows...




And where there are cows, there is water not too far away...




And where there is water, there is always a bit of fun...

Vid Link:

http://motoged.smugmug.com/gallery/7...719_ttpzA-A-LB



And then some faster stuff home....




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motoged screwed with this post 02-22-2009 at 11:27 PM
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:10 PM   #33
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Our next task was to pack up and head slowly back north the next day.

While we were headed into three more weeks of riding, heading north from Los Cabos is always a sign the trip is ending...
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motoged screwed with this post 02-22-2009 at 11:34 PM
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #34
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The drive north started early the next day...








No turning back,,,,despite the pleas and secret wishes...





Oh, the horror....the horror....

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Old 02-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #35
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(tech difficulties....)
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motoged screwed with this post 02-23-2009 at 09:06 AM
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:19 PM   #36
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(we will resume our regular programming PFQ...)
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motoged screwed with this post 02-23-2009 at 09:07 AM
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:35 AM   #37
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We drove up to Todos Santos and stopped for breakfast. I found a bit of paradise in the courtyard while waiting for the food...



The destination for the day was Ciudad Constitucion and we made it there by late afternoon. We found a motel at the north end of town and unpacked...



settled...



secured...



and enjoyed a beverage while admiring the cavalry...




I don't recall what we did for supper, but I do remember encouraging Mark to get a trim....we walked around downtown until we found the right salon...



And as it happened, it seemed to be a teaching salon....

I helped Mark explain to the stylist that he wanted a short cut....and Mark wasn't sure what he was getting himself into...



But with a reassuring touch...




The transformation began...






And before too long, a Farmer's cut was emerging...



....leaving Mark the proud guy...



We continued our walkabout in the downtown area. The streets were starting to get busier as dusk set in. It was several days before Christmas and folks were out and about bustling around...

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:42 AM   #38
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We were the only gringo tourists evident in the throngs of shoppers...but that didn't stop us from gawking and acquiring evidence of the experience...

VID LINKS:


#1.... http://motoged.smugmug.com/gallery/7...912_X2ZZY-A-LB

#2 .... http://motoged.smugmug.com/gallery/7...056_ccAaZ-A-LB

#3 .... http://motoged.smugmug.com/gallery/7...114_cewW9-A-LB


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Old 02-25-2009, 01:34 AM   #39
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So, the excitement of the evening culminated with a series of jazz dance routines presented by the crickets back at the motel...


A good sleep followed... the next morning we chatted with a doctor who, with his family, was packing up at the motel. He told us he lived in Cadajue, a small settlement just north of San Juanico. I asked him about the area and asked if there were any other routes from Cadajue to Mulege aside from the San Raymundo valley....he said he was not aware of any.


Some coffee down the street sent us on our way to Mulege...






Just before the Agua Verde turnoff , we pulled over for a break and I pointed out an area that I have always wanted to explore. It is an inviting valley system flanked to the east by the Sierra San Francisco...




And it seemed to be holding more water than I can ever recall seeing there. All of Baja was greener this time ...


Back in the truck and through the twisties onwards to the Sea of Cortez and its delights...






Our destination was Mulege. Rather than stay at the usual Hacienda, we decided to honour our initial plan and reservations made at a great place on the river....Cuesta Real:

http://cuestarealhotel.tripod.com/

It was home for a week... and Christmas was around the corner...




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Old 02-25-2009, 07:11 PM   #40
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The first ride out of Mulege was a loop that I had taken on the 1100 GS in 2002 with some other amigos. The ride begins with the road west out of town that will eventually take a rider to the Pacific via El Raymundo route . After a distance of about 40 kms, the road north to San Estanislao and Guadalupe leads eventually to San Jose de Magdalena and back out to Hwy#1 north of Mulege.

Thge road for the first 40 kms is a mixture of the usual washboard, rocky stuff, and some soft sand here and there.

Heading out was a good feeling..




And as we got into the mountains...




The scenery is spectacular...

















And about 40 kms into the ride, we approached the "y" junction where we wanted to turn north towards Guadalupe...




It is easy to miss it ...











While it might be easy to miss, it is the only junction with such signs...










We proceeded north at a good pace...









We came across a side route that was fun on the 1100 seven years ago



But which was a challenge on the dirt bikes after a few hurricanes and numerous big rains...



At the top of this technical section we took a breather...






The views to the east predicted what we had to look forward to on our way through the canyons towards San Jose de Magdalena...








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Old 02-25-2009, 09:43 PM   #41
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After a short break, we saddled up and headed into some spectacular canyons...



This road wound around the side of the mountain...



After about five minutes, I was looking over the canyon to the road I had just ridden....




and if you look closely, you can see Darren on the other side...


Getting down into the canyons, it cooled off with the shade...


Looking ahead, you could see evidence of previous heavy rains...


But the roads persisted...



To our surprise, a section of a few hundred yards was cement slab....not just the rock and cement versions encountered earlier, but a good cement coating over the roadbed...



The guys were liking it...








The ride to Mulege was noted for its lack of photos....


The evening soiree was sweet but short...




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Old 03-12-2009, 11:36 AM   #42
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Ahh Mulege' probably my favorite place in Mexico.. From my very limited experience anyways.... I don't know how many times I uttered the phrase " I Love This Country!!!" But I now it was repeated several times here.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:18 PM   #43
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Mark, one third of Los Tres Pendejos, just woke me from a deep slumber that slowed down this ride report...thanks Mark...




So now I can continue with our tale...

Mulege is also one of my favourite places in Baja...after Bahia San Francisquito,



any good taco stand...







Mulege is a point from which a variety of riding may be undertaken...and a good "base camp" for those who don't want to do the usual run down from San Felipe or the Pacific side for only a several-day loop.

Our trip was a month long and gave us a chance to kick back as well as ride....a luxury for sure, and my preferred way to do it as getting there is an effort from British Columbia. I would rather do that every several years than do a week or so every year, tempting as that is.

So, more riding around and out of Mulege....

They have a few cool fire trucks...



Sequestered behind the arches...



With all the right stuff...





...that come from a land far away...




They have a river that runs through it...



Crowned by a magnificent mission...





















Now, sometimes this river misbehaves, as it did under the influence of Hurricane Juan a few years ago...









The damage from this flood was very significant, and it took the lives of a few....
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:25 AM   #44
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It is probably the most beautiful place I've been, but then again everywhere we went on this trip was special. Shame about Juan, looks devastating.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #45
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Wow - that looks like a great ride. I haven't been riding in Mexico for a couple of years myself... :(
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