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Old 04-20-2013, 09:01 PM   #151
rockymountainoyster OP
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La Paz, Baja California Sur

The first, and last, time I was here was around this time in 1975, thirty eight years ago...the place has changed a bit. I arrived here on the 50 foot steel hulled ketch, Compass Rose. I was on a National Geographic Television assignment to try to capture blue whales on film. Now I am riding a blue and white whale up the Peninsula. I have been staying for three nights now at the Hotel Yaneka. This place can best be described as a total hoot...not to be missed even if you aren't staying here...it is a hotel with the most interesting rooms imaginable...each has a different theme...the place is cluttered with an amazing collection of "found objects", some might say "junk" Taken as the sum of its parts the place is a work of art, the inspiration of the owner Miguel...pix to follow...stay tuned
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:00 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by rockymountainoyster View Post
The first, and last, time I was here was around this time in 1975, thirty eight years ago...the place has changed a bit. I arrived here on the 50 foot steel hulled ketch, Compass Rose. I was on a National Geographic Television assignment to try to capture blue whales on film...
This explains much of your attitude and great photos
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #153
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4/21/13 La Paz to Loreto

Mexico 1...240 miles of mostly flat, boring, hot, two lane until about the last forty miles and then it gets interesting...you descend from the plains through the mountains on some beautiful twisty road...nothing at Puerto Escondido but a marina. Someone has put a lot of money into infrastructure there recently...concrete roads with street lights...curbs...big leveled tracts...looks like it is poised for development...Loreto is a sweet little town...not going to have time to do it right...some interesting buildings, inns and restaurants. Good coffee this AM at Fandango Cafe (fandango cafe loreto on facebook)
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #154
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4/22/13 Loreto to Santa Rosalia, BCS

135 miles with a long lunch stop in Mulege. The ride from Loreto is nothing short of spectacular. Almost 100 miles of nice windy roads, views of the Sea of Cortez, mountains, cacti, and many many vados. You do not want to be riding on this road during a storm or immediately after one. Torrents of water come rushing down off of the mountains and take the road out or leave debris in it and there a many of these washouts. Most of them are repaired but you can see the evidence of how violent a water and debris flow can be in these arroyos. I think I only crossed two, maybe three spots where the damage had not been repaired. Mulege did not impress me. I rode out to the lighthouse and found a little restaurant. The other two gringos there were from my town. Imagine that. Pretty damn big odds against that. We had a nice talk and great lunch and I rode on. Looked around the town a little bit... maybe there is a beach and I missed it... it was not a place I felt that I wanted to hang out. Stopped at Hotel El Moro just before Santa Rosalia. It looked great and is pretty nice, 480 pesos for a single, but there is no restaurant and they had only one f'ing beer. I look forward to a restful night and early start tomorrow.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:35 PM   #155
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Fotos



La Manzanilla Sunset



La Manzanilla



Figaro Restaurant and Art Garden, La Manzanilla



Does She Look Better the Morning After?



Well, this is about how I felt about all of it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:44 PM   #156
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Maxfield Parrish Sky
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:20 AM   #157
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The female idol is pretty much shouting, "fecundity".
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:39 AM   #158
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Fecundity

Kind of a meso-American theme eh. Especially this time of year.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:53 PM   #159
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Border

Crossed back into US at Tecate...no problems. More later.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:38 AM   #160
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The Last Few Days of El Gran Viaje

4/23/13 - Santa Rosalia to Bahia de Los Angeles

285 miles. The first 30 or 40 miles are a nice ride as you climb up to the high desert on a good twisty road. The road then gets flat and boring all the way to Guerrero Negro, 151 miles. On the day I rode it a cool front had moved in from the North and it was a pleasant ride. For the first time since Veracruz I zipped up the vents on my riding jacket. There is no fuel between Santa Rosalia and Guerrero Negro so make sure to fill up in SR. You don't have to go into Guerrero Negro for fuel, there are a couple of Pemex stations as you head North to the BC Sur and BC border. The state border is the 28th parallel of latitude. You also reset your watch to Pacific time there. I was making good time so I decided to drive the 43 miles (60km) out to Bahia de Los Angeles. I am glad that I did, it is a great place, beautiful... there are several lodging options... I stayed at Costa del Sol where Doña Victoria runs a tight ship. A big shout out to Cameron Steele of Desert Assassins who compacted his crew a bit to make room for me at the inn. Check out his upcoming Baja event at desertassassins.com. He is a knowledgable Baja hand. There are two Pemex stations within 100 meters or so of each other in Bahia de Los Angeles. One of those curiosities of Mexico... they need a station out by the highway... the one that is there is long abandoned. Mexico can have its hazards. I ran into a couple of young airline pilots who had flown down from Dallas in a little Experimental aircraft... they were there to have a few drinks and go fishing... having "a few drinks" with a couple of young airline pilots who have a few days off can be very hazardous. I was not too fit for duty the next morning but got it moving... the road, Mex 12, back out to Hwy 1 is a nice ride through the cactus forest. Pretty extraordinary really. I definitely recommend Bahia de Los Angeles.

Guerrero Negro

BC Sur/BC Border

GN is a windy, and on the day I was there kind of cool, place. Unless it is late and the day and you want to stop there is no reason to go into GN. As you approach the Y in the road that leads to town you will notice off to the right a huge Mexican flag that flies over the Army post that is situated on the border of BCS and BC. There are Pemex stations there and you can fill up and continue North... make sure you fill up because there is no fuel until you get to La Rosaria. There is a guy with barrel gas at Cataviña if you happen to forget everything that everyone has said about filling up at GN. If you do go into GN there is a great place for carnitas, Carnitas Michoacan, right next to the first Pemex that you come to on the right. If you are interested in taking a whale watching trip GN is a good place to do it. "Scammon's Lagoon", (Laguna Ojo de Liebre) is a known site for seeing Grey Whales and their offspring during the calving/migration season. The weather was not inviting and I wanted to book my way North so I filled up with gas, the bike tank and two auxiliary cans I carry on Best Rest peg packers. The range on my fully loaded GS, riding at around 70 mph for hours at a time, is about 200 miles until the reserve light comes on and then I have maybe 40 miles if I am lucky until it runs out.

4/24/13 - Bahia de Los Angeles to San Quentin

226 Miles - There is a mix of nice windy roads through the mountains and long straight stretches. Hwy 1 in Baja has some really nice surprises in terms of scenery and interesting riding. The road surface is in pretty bad shape for much of it, no problem on a GS even with a leaky front Ohlins shock. I fueled up at Bahia de Los Angeles and my reserve light came on right at 200 miles at El Rosario. I stopped and got fuel there. Did not make the obligatory stop at Mama Espinoza's, in fact I did not even see it. There are two towns there, Rosario de Arriba, which is on the highway, and El Rosario, which you have to turn off the highway to go into. I had been told about some hotels further up the road and I wanted to get closer to the border so I went on. When I got just outside San Quentin, at Rancho Los Pinos, I saw a sign for the Hotel Mision Santa Maria and decided to check it out. I had stopped at its related hotel in Cataviña. It is a very nice property out in the middle of nowhere but I found its $97 US/night a bit of a gouge. It is in the middle of nowhere and there is no other option. Fulling expecting the Mision Santa Maria to be similarly overpriced I was elated to see that it was only $500 pesos/night plus taxes of $70 pesos. This was one of the best finds of my whole trip and I highly recommend it if you are up for a beautiful, spacious, relaxing, quiet place with a good restaurant. The hotel is in the middle of a huge area of hothouses for the growing of tomatoes, cucumbers, rasperries... mostly for the US market. The hotel sits on the Bahia de San Quentin right between the 30th and 31st parallels. There are other good hotel choices in the area: back at El Rosario is the Baja Cactus, in San Quentin there is the Baja Jardines and Molino Viejo, a gringo favorite. Still further North, at Colonet is the very new and nice looking Paraiso (Paradise). I was really happy with my choice of Mision Santa Maria. If I had not needed to close the distance to the border I would have stayed there another night... I was tired after two long days in the saddle. I find riding in Mexico to be more tiring than in parts of the US, the necessary level of alertness to changing road and traffic conditions just takes more out of you. I don't recommend riding long miles with a hangover... full presence is important! Damn those young pilots who led me astray from my clean living ways... just because the bottle of tequila is on the table doesn't mean that you have to keep pouring from it!


Hotel Mision Cataviña,, BC Mexico


Hotel Mision Santa Maria, Los Piños/San Quentin, BC



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4/25/13 - San Quentin to Valle Guadalupe, Posada Inn Mision de Guadalupe

158 miles. This was not that long a ride but it was a pretty tough day. The winds were pretty fierce and were moving me around in my lane. When a big doble remolque would come from the other direction the turbulence was something to reckon with. For the most part the road is not interesting until you get closer to Ensenada and there is not much habitation and some great mountain road riding. Some very nice smooth well banked curves and some not so smooth or well banked and of decreasing radius. It is enough to maintain your interest! Getting through Ensenada was easy. That place has changed a lot since I was last there in the seventies and early eighties. I had already decided to take Route 3, the Ruta de Vino up to cross the border at Tecate. The Posada Inn at Rancho Maria Teresa was a very nice stop. Unfortunately, no wi fi.
something that has become important to me. The restaurant is very good but it closes at six, earlier than I like to eat usually. The room was comfortable with a good hot shower. Friday morning (4/26) I met and had a good conversation with Don Jose Joachin Santana the dueño of the rancho. He pioneered the place starting in 1959. He raised his family here and makes some good wines from the grapes grown on the property. He offers a tasting tray of six varietals and one blend in the restaurant. The grounds are beautifully planted with lots of flowers, the vineyards are adjacent, there are two nice swimming pools and a large public room with a nice pool table. A big plus for me was the coffee bar where you can get a very good latte or capuccino. This particular Mexican wine region is probably about where the Napa Valley of California was when I visited it for the first time in the early seventies. It is close to the border, crossing at Tecate is pretty easy. If you are up to a short trip to Old Mexico from SoCal or Arizona I would recommend this place. For dinner I had perfectly prepared quail and breakfast was a really good machaca Sonora style.
Hotel Posada Inn Mision de Guadalupe, Rancho María Teresa, Ruta 3, Valle de Guadalupe, BC, México.






4/26/13 - Valle Guadalupe - Posada Inn to Carlsbad, CA

131 miles. A pretty easy day's ride from Valle de Guadalupe to Carlsbad, just North of San Diego, south of Oceanside. The border crossing was easy for me on a moto, not so easy for the folks in cars and trucks lined up for a considerable distance on both sides of the border. I can only imagine what a nightmare Tijuana must be. It took about 45 minutes to: find Banjerito, have customs and Banjercito look at the bike and clear the TVIP and get back to the line at the border. I was waved on to the front of the line and in minutes had crossed back into the US. Thank you Mexico for 4 and a half wonderful months. My knee is still a nagging problem but is getting better. Will see a Sports Medicine doc next week. Tonight box seats at the Padres v. Giants game at... is it really called Petco Park? For sentimental reasons I will be quietly routing for San Francisco, the New York Giants were a childhood fave and my San Francisco buddies are rabid fans. Nice way to re-enter the homeland and the "safety and security" of the US of A... wink, wink. Dinner last night Flying Pig in Oceanside, a really good menu with a lot of pork dishes, good salads and a great list of microbrews on draft and in the bottle.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #161
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Well done!
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:10 AM   #162
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Thanks

Thanks to all of those who have followed and/or guided me on this journey. It has been a powerful experience that I will spend some time digesting and reflecting upon. It is not that easy to keep a contemporaneous narrative going while traveling, especially on a motorbike. I salute those of you who can do it. I am not home yet and will continue posting here until I get there. There are gaps to fill and photos to share...stay tuned.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #163
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Great RR!

Hey, thanks for the great RR! Really good info for future trips south.
Well done and congrats!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #164
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Thanks

Thanks R-W glad you came along for the ride. Where in New Mexico are you. I lived up in the Four Corners, South of Bloomfield for four years (87-91) and am now in Telluride, CO. Send me a PM with your info. Maybe we can catch a ride sometime.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:50 AM   #165
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rmo, great stuff! I just spent a couple hours going over your thread. You are truly living the dream. That Sara lady sure tugged my heart strings, hope she and her mamacita are doing ok.
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