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Old 10-27-2011, 05:44 AM   #1
Widow OP
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My Baja Mexico Ride Report October 3rd-14th 2011

1st ride report I've posted of all the rides taken, but it's one of the most epic..so here it goes. The cast includes: myself, Jeremy and Steven. I'm riding the KLR, Jeremy on the DR650SE and Steven on the DRZ400SM. My KLR is definitely loaded down with all the gear to transverse the world, so is Jeremy's but Steven kept it simple. Now my original intent was to ride to California then drop down, Steven and Jeremy's bike would have made the trip from Tulsa OK to Baja just fine I'm sure, but they would readily admit that their rear end is not up to the challenge and their bikes are not as road friendly as mine..so we decide to trailer to El Centro, CA and store the SUV and trailer at Crocker's Lockers (which was a great secured storage place by the way) and drop into Baja at the Mexicali crossing. Now the first day of crossing the border into Mexicali, I will readily admit that you couldn't have pushed a toothpick into my bottom because of the apprehensive reports from others I've read on all the forums about traveling as fast as possible through the border towns and hope you make it through with your head intact. IT WASN'T A BIG DEAL. We spend about an hour getting our tourist cards accomplished and head south towards San Felipe on Mexico 5 and make it to Pete's Place and make camp under a palapa on the beach.


We break camp and go across the street to the Pemex to fill up and a guy across the pump from me on a Honda XR asks where were headin..I advise we are just heading south as far as we can before coming back up the west side..his name is Kay and he asks if we rode the trails right behind the gas station or made our way to Mike's Sky Ranch..I advised him no..were on some loaded down bikes and not sure if they would do very well in that environment..he then asks if it would cramp our schedule much to stick around another day or two by staying with him at his house and we can ride a couple of his other bikes and he'll show us some great riding..."hell yes"...wow..what a nice guy..retired Egyptian Air Force jet pilot that moved to Baja to try to realize a dream of his since being a teenager of being a dirt bike racer and giving tours.

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:47 AM   #2
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So Kay allows us to crash his pad which is located on the beach right next to Pete's Place, we take a couple of his XR's which are running the right suspension and tires that work perfectly on these trails (I had a D606 rear but Jeremy had touring tires..so we took 2 of Kay's bikes and Steven's DRZ400 was setup well enough already) and we proceed to ride across Diablo dry lake bed on the way to the long driveway leading up to Mike's Sky Ranch






Cool Dude Kay

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Old 10-27-2011, 05:50 AM   #3
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Next day we part company with our new found hero Kay and head down to Bahia San Luis Gonzaga. Beautiful mountain scenery mixed with views of the ocean at times..the last leg getting down to Gonzaga there was about 10-15 miles of dirt/rock roads that are still under construction down to Gonzaga..which is no problem on these bikes..we get down at dark and pay for a palapa then proceed to try and find the proper route to get down to them...take a wrong turn and end up riding the beach and Steven and I bury our bikes up to the top of the engines in sand..nothing another hour of grunting won't cure.

A look out the window of Alfonsina's at Bahia San Luis Gonzaga


Waking up at Gonzaga Bay, my trusty JetBoil and I bonded often over morning coffee
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:54 AM   #4
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Next morning we head to Coco's Corner (sorry no pic's, I actually have more video's than pic's so maybe I'll post another with the video's). Ride some fairly rugged dirt/rock/washboard roads to get to Coco's and take a break at some cacti.


Had to take a pic of Steven's hair cul-de-sac first..he's good natured about it.


Jeremy and Widow


my KLR and there's Steven checking out a potential pissing spot.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:57 AM   #5
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We spend about an hour with Coco..we climbed up on his ladder at his request to help him to wipe off his solar panel attached to the top of his office and he tells us that the helper he had staying with him had stolen from him while he was away at the doctor getting his leg attended to and noone was there when he got back..so basically left him high and dry..he seems to be doing ok now..he is a great guy and if you make your way down in this area you should plan on stopping by and signing his book. He enjoys having company. We proceed to keep heading south towards Bahia De Los Angeles...this is an absolutely beautiful place..we spend more than were used to spending for a room-$75/night but they had a good shower and 3 queen beds for all of us to stretch ourselves out on and wash off the stink to return another day. We eat well at Guillermos and watch the sailboat owners coming onto the beach..help them load supplies..chat with ex-pats and fishermen..then we decide to rent a boat the next day to go out whale shark searching.

I indulge in a recurring habit when on vacation...local margarita's!


again..I have a killer video of a whale shark but I may post the video's in a different thread..so apologize for that...Jeremy actually jumps in the water and rides the shark for a few seconds holding onto his fin.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:58 AM   #6
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We've been messing around and taking our time enjoying ourselves during this trip so we realize that we had better make our U-turn and head up towards the west coast..We head over to catch Mexico 1 and hit El Rosario to stay the night..it's about 7:30pm and it's dusk..cannot make up our minds where to stay and we take a turn down a dirt road that LOOKS like it might head off towards the Pacific Ocean so we can make camp..but to no avail..we just end up traveling down what seems to be an endless road sandwiched between hills with cattle strung here and there. We decide to bed down in the middle of who knows where..break out the JetBoil and have some good ole DintyMoore Beef Stew and ponder.
Next morning head out early, we believe were going to head all the way up to Ensenada and just spend a few days poking around but end up turning off about 78 kilometers south of Ensenada and stay at a wonderful Hostel called Coyote Cal's in Ejido Erindira. We are sure glad we did. Coyote Cals is located on a cliff against the Pacific Ocean with a great view, it's a 5 story home built by an American that vacationed there with his family every year..once he passed his kids turned it into a hostel that caters to many bikers, dirt bike racers..etc. I went down and harvested fresh mussels and steamed them in the kitchen...wow...nothing tastes better than fresh...nothing like the crappola mussels I usually get at the Asian buffet.


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Old 10-27-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
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We stay a couple days soaking in Coyote Cals, meet lots of visitors popping in, we spend $15/night with a bar on location, plenty of Cerveza. Next morning head to Ensenada and stay at a hostel there called Backpacker...compared to Coyote Cals this place is dumpy but for bikers on a budget..it works well..we stay in bunkbeds for $20/night and walk into downtown to check out the bar scene at night and find all the commercialism you would expect from a town located so close to the border. Despite the obvious letdown of having all the creature comforts afforded to you for being close to the border..we do enjoy ourselves at the beach..meet some interesting characters at the hostel and imbibe in some male activities downtown that will not be documented by pictures here or anywhere else. In summary, GO TO BAJA...do not listen to naysayers...if you hear of a naysayer...shut them down immediately. All of the locals are struggling here due to the rhetoric in our USA media. We did NOT have anyone in our party that spoke much Spanish and we got by just fine..we did NOT feel threatened in any way and were treated just like any other tourist in a foreign land..actually better I think because we were on bikes. I will make a plug on here..if you go and are going to pass through San Felipe..please look up Kay and allow him to show you around..he's a good guy and help support his cause...we may be going back next year to work on his crew assisting in his dream of racing in BAJA in 2012.

www.mobilekayracing.com

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Old 10-27-2011, 07:52 AM   #8
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I'm glad you had a great trip... I've gone to Baja almost every winter from the past 10yrs and free camp for months at a time as you found out it's safe and people are super friendly.

Don't let the media BS about Mexico get you down Baja is a paradise for:

- DS MCs
- sea kayakers
- surfers
- wind surfers/kiters
- bicycle toursists
- fisherman
- sailors
- etc...

The only problem with Baja is you hear a ton of stories from wrinkled old men down there like "...ya I came down for 2 weeks with a friend on a lark 25yrs ago....I think I've been back every year since then!..." It's dangerous 'cause she'll lure you back time and time again!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Widow View Post
1st ride report I've posted of all the rides taken, but it's one of the most epic..so here it goes. The cast includes: myself, Jeremy and Steven. I'm riding the KLR, Jeremy on the DR650SE and Steven on the DRZ400SM. My KLR is definitely loaded down with all the gear to transverse the world, so is Jeremy's but Steven kept it simple. Now my original intent was to ride to California then drop down, Steven and Jeremy's bike would have made the trip from Tulsa OK to Baja just fine I'm sure, but they would readily admit that their rear end is not up to the challenge and their bikes are not as road friendly as mine..so we decide to trailer to El Centro, CA and store the SUV and trailer at Crocker's Lockers (which was a great secured storage place by the way) and drop into Baja at the Mexicali crossing. Now the first day of crossing the border into Mexicali, I will readily admit that you couldn't have pushed a toothpick into my bottom because of the apprehensive reports from others I've read on all the forums about traveling as fast as possible through the border towns and hope you make it through with your head intact. IT WASN'T A BIG DEAL. We spend about an hour getting our tourist cards accomplished and head south towards San Felipe on Mexico 5 and make it to Pete's Place and make camp under a palapa on the beach.


We break camp and go across the street to the Pemex to fill up and a guy across the pump from me on a Honda XR asks where were headin..I advise we are just heading south as far as we can before coming back up the west side..his name is Kay and he asks if we rode the trails right behind the gas station or made our way to Mike's Sky Ranch..I advised him no..were on some loaded down bikes and not sure if they would do very well in that environment..he then asks if it would cramp our schedule much to stick around another day or two by staying with him at his house and we can ride a couple of his other bikes and he'll show us some great riding..."hell yes"...wow..what a nice guy..retired Egyptian Air Force jet pilot that moved to Baja to try to realize a dream of his since being a teenager of being a dirt bike racer and giving tours.

Widow- good to see a fellow okie going to Baja. I went down for last years 1000, went thru Tecate--No issues whatsoever.I remember seeing Kays house next to Petes place and have read his RR also a while back. Sounds like a stand-up dude. You may want to read my baja report if you have time Nothing but great times. Glad you enjoyed Baja. Help spread the good word. You can't believe the one-sided media anymore.

Robert
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Check out my crash report:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=500314
Baja report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641219
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodzrider View Post
Widow- good to see a fellow okie going to Baja. I went down for last years 1000, went thru Tecate--No issues whatsoever.I remember seeing Kays house next to Petes place and have read his RR also a while back. Sounds like a stand-up dude. You may want to read my baja report if you have time Nothing but great times. Glad you enjoyed Baja. Help spread the good word. You can't believe the one-sided media anymore.

Robert
Thanks Woodzrider..I read your report..very nice!
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Old 10-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #11
Widow OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VikB View Post
I'm glad you had a great trip... I've gone to Baja almost every winter from the past 10yrs and free camp for months at a time as you found out it's safe and people are super friendly.

Don't let the media BS about Mexico get you down Baja is a paradise for:

- DS MCs
- sea kayakers
- surfers
- wind surfers/kiters
- bicycle toursists
- fisherman
- sailors
- etc...

The only problem with Baja is you hear a ton of stories from wrinkled old men down there like "...ya I came down for 2 weeks with a friend on a lark 25yrs ago....I think I've been back every year since then!..." It's dangerous 'cause she'll lure you back time and time again!
Thanks VicB, after visiting I am quite sure I may end up following in your path..returning every year! And if I happen to screw up my retirement funds at least I know where I can go to retire and live very well for less than $2000/month..HA!
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:09 AM   #12
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Your front wheels and sand?

Nice writeup Widow. I'm about to do the same thing in December. It looks like you built a smaller, yet fatter front wheel for your KLR. Firstly, how were the sandy wash crossings past Puertacitos on the way to Gonzaga, or beyond. How did you and the others with the more dual-sport front wheels do in the sand? Could you ride the deep sand or help each other push through? I'm leaning towards my first knobbies and rim locks.
Thanks, Brent

quadrabike screwed with this post 11-11-2011 at 11:11 AM Reason: miss-spellings
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:00 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by quadrabike View Post
Nice writeup Widow. I'm about to do the same thing in December. It looks like you built a smaller, yet fatter front wheel for your KLR. Firstly, how were the sandy wash crossings past Puertacitos on the way to Gonzaga, or beyond. How did you and the others with the more dual-sport front wheels do in the sand? Could you ride the deep sand or help each other push through? I'm leaning towards my first knobbies and rim locks.
Thanks, Brent

Thanks Brent. All 3 bikes did well on the sand..the one that did the best is the lightest one..the DRZ400. However Steven will attest that his giggling in the sand soon ended as soon as we got on the road to do anything over 100 miles..that's when he wanted to switch bikes. Mine with the same size front/back did better than I thought it would. The thing that hurts is the weight your taking through the sand..if someone is taking 500+ not including rider through the sand, your sand experience and confidence should be pretty good. We each had a fall over on our bikes but it was because we slowed down to turn around and fell over due to lack of good footing. Once you have your speed up say past 25-30 mph and are used to running the sand ruts it's easier to deal with. Easier as well to deal with on lighter bikes, ones not carrying all your gear for 2 weeks of living...but still doable. Enjoy Baja!
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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Thanks Widow. Very useful reply. I will go there soon, if not this December!
Brent
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:07 PM   #15
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Thanks for the ride report!

How was gasoline availability? I have heard that you should never pass gas in Baja. Also, any problems getting rooms where you guys stopped?

A friend and I are going after Thanksgiving, probably the same route. We will be prepared to camp but hotels will be nice.
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