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Old 08-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #1
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Baja - Bad Company

And nobody can deny it.............

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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Six months later..........it's time for my thread...........



and I can only say I mean that sincerely...........

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:53 PM   #3
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What a beautiful place Baja can be for folks who appreciate the when and where..........



A simple sunrise in San Felipe bears witness to that..........
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:30 PM   #4
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And the simple challenges of crossing the boarder.........without problems.......can be enjoyable......in the right company......which excludes the followers of hegemonic masculinity.......

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:45 PM   #5
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You have to be suspicious of Bad Company when they chose to become "inverted" ....... and inverted by choice.....so I'm choosing to simplify this and accept my moniker of The Mayor..........and bestowing the moniker of BSC ....... chosen by a fellow traveler as simply......bat shit crazy.....



And you have to recognize true bat shitted craziness when you watch somebody shoot a beer.....after swearing folks to secrecy........in the course of seconds......

Well, since they've had their say...........maybe it's time for some light from another perspective to be shed........
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:00 AM   #6
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I've been to Baja three times now...........

And there's a toll to pay each time I've gone.

Trip #1

Bike got hammered during the Baja 1000 pre-run. While another rider thrashed it for a day, perhaps the piston cracked, perhaps the bearing went out, I never rebuilt it so I don't know. But it knocked like a pig until the day I sold it. And I sold it cheap with full disclosure.

I got Tourista on Day 1 in San Felipe which quite literally dogged me for the next 8 weeks. Foul smelling and foul......my gut was gutted for 2 months.

Trip #2

Bike got prepped for 5 weeks with a virtual rebuild. I'm not a big mechanic so this was accomplished under the tutelage of the other rider. About the only piece I didn't work on was the carb, in the interest of time and my inherent lack of mech aptitude, I had a moto tech clean/rebuild it. I did rejet it with his assistance. This bike let me down on Day 8 of the trip when that carb malfunctioned. By the final Day 18, it really ran like a piece of shit and.........

I got suckered into a significant wipe-out. Without good throttle control and while riding one of the construction zones, I lost control of the bike and it did one of those donkey kicks. Full luggage and camping gear on an XR650R resulted with me taking the brunt of the fall on my right side. No real cosmetic damage to me with full ATGATT but it turns out that I crushed a nerve in my right arm.....brachial radial nerve to be exact....it's ruined my right hand which now feels like it's being boiled on a regular basis.

So I endeavored to make Trip #3..........Salt Lake to Yuma.........then moto's to La Paz for Carnival......and back....

I bought and prepped an '08 KTM 990 Adventure....it didn't take much prepping by me..........



The bike came from the Original Oregon Owner in pristine condition....I hung Globetrottin luggage on the Happy Trails rack. I swapped out the KTM tank guards for a set of Globetrottin crash bars and that provided the platform for a 4 LED, high lumen driving light. Remind me not to drive after dark in Baja.......even with the secondary lighting, it isn't safe.....the final protection came from the fiberglass skid plate, .... another Globetrottin accessory....that OEM plate is part plastic and suspect to say the least....

Fully loaded with camping gear, a heavy tool kit, extra tubes, Slime pump, 2 liters of spare fuel (not enough as it turns out), personal kit and clothing, the rig presented a significantly heavier beast than the thumpers of the previous two trips.



I pulled the Scorpion off the rear and dressed it with a 908 Rallye since I expected to ride some dirt on the way....and along with those aspirations, I worked on a route and itinerary. This trip was scheduled to take 12 days in Mexico with travel days on each end. I didn't figure I'd ride to Yuma on the bike with the knobbies but that rear would do just fine for the 2300-2500 mile round trip up and down the peninsula. There was never any intent to blast out high mile days and as I talked to prospective riders, they were given the daily destinations and maps.

The plan:

Day 1 - longish truck ride to Yuma with my bike in a trailer. Modified when BSC decided that he would adopt this approach rather than ride with the other two riders/bikes. Due to his lack of commitment/planning, this entailed loading a GS Adventure the morning of day 1. I provided additional ratchet straps and tie downs when the two nylon tie downs were presented to accomplish that. The logistics of inserting the GS became more challenging when the bike's length could not be shortened because of a 'permanent' Pelican/Rotopax combo mounted on the rear. Little did I understand just how entangled with BSC's ego this setup was........



Down the road to Yuma with a serious snow storm....it being February and all.......
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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The trip from SLC to Yuma via Las Vegas entails around 750 miles and 12.5 hours or so.... http://goo.gl/maps/I35gd

Those became hours of tedium as it became clear that there would be no comradery with BSC. The lack of commitment and participation for the trip was demonstrated by multiple affects and disclosures, and many of those turned out to be fabrications and lies. There was an undertone of contention and contempt from the outset with reluctance to share even the basic driving and re-fueling responsibilities. I was relieved to learn that this would be an shortened trip from the set itinerary. He would be leaving the group on Day 3 and would never see Baja Sur.

Arriving in Yuma, I hooked up with my friend Burt who has been a Baja inspiration since the day I met him. He has graciously hosted me, my fellow travelers and my truck and trailer. I spent some time hashing over some route specifics with Burt, had a half a beer and sacked out....long trip and new challenges tomorrow.......I certainly hoped that the anticipation, anxiety and enthusiasm that I've had for Baja would not be lost.......

Day 2

Unload bikes and meet up with the two riders who left SLC two days earlier....as it turned out, the GS had shifted in the trailer in spite of several stops to resecure it during the trip down. The left lobe of the giant tank was scratched and again, little did I realize how significant that would be to the ego of BSC......sorry to see it happen but I requested that we load and secure the bikes a day before leaving....everyone makes their own choices.....

As it turned out, pluric and eric had faced a few challenges on their bike ride to AZ. eric had gotten a flat and was trying to find a fix in Yuma. It turned out that there weren't any fixes on a February Monday in Yuma so after several hours of dicking around, the four of us crossed into Mexico at Algodones.



We all needed FMM's since it would not be a day trip, this entails crossing the border, starting the paperwork, going to the bank to pay the fee and returning for the completed FMM. When that process was completed, eric found the local Llanteria who had no liability issues and quickly plugged the rear tire on his GS.....



It's pretty straightforward to head to San Felipe now...... http://goo.gl/maps/cYbf8

But, once again, I didn't realize the struggle to do anything straightforward........as we were waved off that route because BSC's GPS showed a different route.........No, we'll stay off those side roads as Burt instructed........for quite a few reasons.......we payed the toll at the exit of Mexico 6 and headed south on Mexico 5.....with a stop at one of the southern Pemex's because I'm discovering that the 990 has significantly less range than I thought........



We roll though the big checkpoint without issues and into San Felipe.......where we find the malecon under construction....but we pull in to the southern end and order some food.......



One of us decides to pull out the money roll and give the vendors some business.....good for them.......but it attracts a constant stream of vendors who smell that cash.....no gracias.......I don't need more stuff......



And off to Kiki's where we rent a couple of palapas for the night.....I have a glass of wine and bed down while the group enjoys a portable DVD movie......and here I thought we came to Baja to escape that environment......

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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Day 2.......same set of maps that we all took...... http://goo.gl/maps/P3Lyh



Sunrise on the beach is nice......and this is what I came to enjoy......slight bit of trivia......Baja is the only spot I know on this side of the pond.......where you can enjoy a sunrise over a sea (of Cortez) and a sunset over an ocean (Pacific)......on the same day..........



Time to load the bikes and boogey.....although I'm a bit disconcerted that my grey pouch with my batteries and chargers has been taken from my pack.....and another theme is developing.......nobody else has worn knobbies and there's some agenda building between the S10 and the GSes to run the Mexican roads at high speed......let's say 80-90 mph.....why........

I waved them by but made the attempt to inform them that a number of hazards exist on the roadway south of San Felipe....a notorious strip of Vados.....which has claimed previous ADV folks.....as Burt has related a story of trailer rescue for a disabled bike...

And although the road gets newer as you continue south of Puertocitas, there is also a lot more rockfall through the fresh cuts....it's fresh construction and there are several stories of riders and drivers doing some damage to themselves....

Finally, since there is intermittent construction on this path, the end of the road doesn't always give you much warning....I've seen a trophy truck rolled........but apparently, this falls on deaf ears attached to resentful minds....

que sera.......

We stop for some additional hegemony in the form of wheelie practice.....sorry, I'm not a racer from a previous life....and when I fall down, I tend to break........but the Sea of Cortez in the background sure is pretty........



We hit Alfonsinas for lunch.......which turns into an unexpected treat........the last dinner there wasn't so good but since it's just our party of four, they offer to build a large plate of food........familia style.....and they didn't disappoint.....

And the beach is exquisite......as are many of the folks in the area........if you take the time to stop and engage them in conversation........well, that's not gonna happen with this group.........



Back onto the graded dirt road we go......on down to Coco's Corner......where I have the pleasure of leaving a solar charge controller. Warp9man had ridden this path, 2-up and recognized that Coco had a problem with his system. Because of the missing controller, he was burning up his batteries. Kevin bought a replacement and asked me to deliver it a few weeks after his trip........and yes, that was a cool and enjoyable opportunity to see Coco's response.



As we rode through a week later, Coco insisted that the controller be photo'd and that Kevin would know his appreciation....

The road to Chapala was not as nicely graded as the road north of Coco......but that wasn't going to slow anybody down...... again, I waved the S10 and grey GS around me and enjoyed the terrain.....



Maybe it's just because it was my third trip through this area but it seems that Baja was even drier than previous trips.....even the large cacti seemed a bit wizened and I wonder how much rain they've seen this past year.....

As I cruised to Chapala and the link back to pavement, I also realized that the GS and S10 must have been running pretty fast......I realized this because I recognized a BMW pannier laying off the side of the road without a bike attached....did they stop for it....no.....probably didn't know it was gone......so I picked it up and found them at the pavement.....



Frankly, I was impressed with that GSes ability to handle the speeds and abuse of that stretch of road. Both KTM mirrors were snapped from the vibes and roughness.....and the GSA apparently went down hard enough to cause damage........it's tally included the Pelican topbox mount, signal, crashbars and tank.....more fodder for the BSC.....



Now it's a paved shot to the turnout to BOLA and the stretch into BOLA with a beautiful overlook....lots of traffic stops in this spot...........

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.

The Walrus screwed with this post 08-06-2012 at 10:37 AM
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Riding down into town, the folks at Kiki's had suggested that the only decent spot to spend the night was Casa del Sol...but when we stopped, there were no rooms available.......


so we ended up next door at Vito's Villa.....and in between the two places was a nondescript pizza joint.........Baja pizza has been described as a step down from most pressboard materials so I hastened next door to get a Margie.....surprised that I was encouraged to take the stemware with just a promise to return it.......and the pizza turned out to be a true Roman surprise.........a moto rider who decided to marry and settle down in BOLA.....of all the gin joints in the world...........

Vito's, OTOH, is not recommended.....



One interesting development at Vito's was that my grey case found it's way back to my pack.....games and gamers.....more indications of choices made......
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:57 AM   #10
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Day 3: Bahia de Los Angeles to San Ignacio http://goo.gl/maps/JeVbP



This was my first overnight stay in BOLA, we had ridden through to San Fracisquito last year on the Baja Mil route. I stopped in at the Llanteria to get the tires checked and he just happened to be next to the intersection where you leave town. It was very tempting to take that jaunt down to SF but much different bikes and I seem to recall some deep sand along the way. I don't think it's a good way for bigger bikes.....the 990 would do it but I'm not that rider......

My spare camera battery is gone but now that I can recharge what I have, the pics get more abundant. And while I stopped for the pressure check the rest of the group has gone their merry way. I gas up and head up to the BOLA overlook where I find pluric and the Tenere in poser mode........



BSC has cruised ahead with eric and decided to pursue his personal agenda in Baja.....he had never planned to ride the peninsula. The two GSes wanted to run out to Mexico 1 at high speed.....



There used to be a working Pemex at the junction but these days there's barrel gas being sold out of a truck. It's not high octane and sits in those containers for long periods of time. OK for an emergency/necessity but not recommended for your FI system....

After BSC leaves, eric tells me that BSC really has it in for me........I shrug that off and we head south to Guerrero Negro....as you look at the map, you'll see that this is one of those desolate stretches of highway......and since it's on the western side, it's subject to the wind.....you tilt yourself and your bike and just ride it out.......There's a serious military base on the highway and another checkpoint. That checkpoint often looks at travelers Visa's and will confiscate your passport if you don't produce one......they also attach a fine to that and it can take an entire day to clear yourself. This time, nobody comes out of the office and we drive right through......February Wednesday's seem to be the ticket.......



The checkpoint just north of San Ignacio is another of the more intrusive stops. You have to remember that these guys are looking for contraband and let them see whatever they need to see. It doesn't look like the most pleasant life and they're much easier on you as you head south....riding north is another story.....We pull in to San Ignacio and stop at the Canadian's B&B to grab a yurt. No reservations, no yurt......it's whale watching season and they are full up. There's a quick decision to whale watch tomorrow and the woman calls the Campo at the laguna to reserve us spots in the panga. We head back out to the highway and get a cheap room....the first of several rooms that have 3 beds.....



Back in to the town square to have dinner off the taqueria.......
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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The Mission in San Ignacio is beautiful......it dates back to 1733 which is pretty far back for the "New World"......











Nice garden as well...........



The bikes even look better in the square....gotta get some breakfast......

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #12
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Day 4: San Ignacio to San Juanico http://goo.gl/maps/4spuU

Looks like a short day doesn't it.....but.........riding the Baja route on loaded thumpers in 2011 gave us a very long and difficult day....If you look at that map closely, you'll notice that the route it now shows is known as the Salt Flats and if done correctly, I've been told you can avoid sand and stay on the hardpack all the way to Datil........Datil is a small fishing village 70% of the way down the coast....there's also a stretch of sand on the main road as you get closer to San Juanico....there's a reason the mapping program tells you it will take 5 hours for those 170 km's......

But first, we head to the Campo for a panga ride to play with the whales........





Thumb shot in the panga....pluric and eric obviously not enjoying this.......



They do load up the boats and we had a great crew.......



Well, there are whales in the Laguna today.........this is as close as I expected to get since I had whale watched off the coast of Kauai....

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:37 AM   #13
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But unlike Hawaii, the whales here get up close and personal with the boat and the humans in those boats.....





Apparently, there were over 200 whales that come to this Laguna to spend the winter......they party, mate and have their calves........the calves are like puppies and mom allows some contact but spends a lot of time keeping them from getting too close.....there was also some discussion of the whales knocking over a panga or two......

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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:55 AM   #14
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WOW!!!!!!!! now thats CLOSE!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:56 AM   #15
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After the Laguna whale magic.........

We had a pretty nice lunch of scallops and linguado with all the trimmings.....the boat ride had an added benefit of introducing us to Fred who was heading to San Juanico in his Ford. He graciously agreed to lead us south on the Salt Road....and this was really appreciated by me. He just wanted me to make some GPS trax for him in return. We tucked in behind the F350 and headed out...



Unfortunately, the Tenere rider decided to lead rather than follow and took us all into the sand dunes....I'm pretty used to "the plan" by now so eric and I just followed...I washed out the front twice in the fairly deep sand..........fortunately, it wasn't the deep sand and silt of the high road below the bluffs to the east.....I helped eric get the silver GS up a couple times and finally got out in front of him, waiting at solid spots between the dunes....

I have to tell you that I'm totally impressed at eric's ability to navigate this section at all.....his bike was heavy, although not as heavy as the Tenere......but he also was operating with Distanzia's which have no business in the sand....

OTOH, I was running this section with the lightest bike, a good set of rubber and some previous experience so when I got my speed up, I was able to float the bike while getting up on the pegs.......hell, I was having a bit of fun.....

We ran up on the Ford and Yamaha just before the fishing campo at Datil.....Fred and his crew were done with us, having gotten the Ford marginally stuck a couple times.....the rest of the run to SJ was "self explanatory" according to them and they cut us loose.

We took a break.........when it was time to leave, I rode through the campo, gave out a bunch of the highly prized Alta "Snowflake" steekers.......and headed a mile or two down the salt flat road.... then I realized that pluric and eric had not blown by me.....I pulled over and waited...........and waited.......and realized it was getting late.



Now, I'm alone and a bit spooked....it's still a way to SJ and I decide to keep moving.....there's some rocky and sandy stretches but me and my bike are managing....



I stop and listen for other bikes and expect that the Tenere and GS will come zooming by me at any time, the route keeps me on the coast line until I'm forced to climb into the hills....and then.....a bit of relief as I recognize the main road......



Still a few miles left to SJ and I seem to recall an abandoned check point along the road.....



Another reassuring sign that SJ is ahead.....



Wham...........I hit the final sandy section north of SJ...........and my fuel light pops on.........110 miles on 16 liters.........?

Sheeut! I have not been impressed with the 990's fuel range. Otherwise, it's suffered the least amount of bike drama...

So I pull in to the entrance and wait..........until sunset......when Fred and the white Ford show up........and he tells me that they haven't seen hide nor hair of the GS or Tenere since the campo. He offers me a room at his place which I decline and we discuss the "Ugly American" behaviour of my group, I apologize for not getting the GPS trax, nice guy, beautiful place........I watch the sunset.........drink a Tecate'.........and meditate on the next course of action.......beautiful sunset over the wind farm........



I had told eric and pluric that we would camp at the palapas on the first point above town so I headed over there to get a bed for the night....I check in, then go back to the entrance and leave a note for them on the SJ sign and decide to get some dinner and bed down.......they've got camping gear and should be fine till morn.....I'd better find some gasolina. It's well after dark now, I head to Christy's for a bite to eat and lo' and behold.........after I order my pescado tacos......two bikes pull up and it's the Tenere and GS.....They've already bought a room at Fred's for the night and were looking for me......damn, I know where I am......Where TF have they been.....? Short version is that while they fooled around in the campo, I had followed Freds directions. Now it's time to get chewed out for "ditching" them......oh well....not my issue.....

I'll pick them up in the morn......after I check the weather and we'll have Bfast at the Burro....
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Everbody's preachin' at me that we all wanna git to heaven, trouble is, nobody wants to die to git there.-BB King
Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
I wanna be skinny, but my ass is too big. - Charles Barkley
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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