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Old 03-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
haket OP
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Baja on St Patricks Day

I took a week long solo ride to Baja from San Jose, my first time riding in Mexico and loved it. My notes are from my road diary so a bit disjointed :-)


Day1
591miles, 10hrs riding
San Jose to El Cajon
Blasted down 5, then usual LA traffic, did 1/2 of Angels crest
but it was closed 8miles after Newcombe's ranch. Back-tracked
to the 205 and away to SD. Too much traffic on the back roads
too.

Approaching the Vine



Dammit Angels Crest, you foil me again:

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Old 03-25-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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Day2. El Cajon to Mikes 208miles
Easy border crossing, trouble finding immigration but nice guy
there. $25 tourist card, and open on Sunday. 80miles of dirt, mostly a few
inches of sand over hardpack. Then onto road, stopped for lunch
in local hut P$68 for 4 tacos, good enough. Tough dirt road to
Mikes, plenty of deeper sand though ok on the GSA, dropped bike
and broke off spot lamp, doh. Thought I was lost heading to Mikes
Sky Ranch, a real oasis and invisible till you are 1/8 a mile
away. Thank fook for gps though the tracks were bad to Mikes.
Met three atvers and had dinner drinks, only 4 there, Greg, John
and Jeeemo, Americans living in san Felipe, $180 prob tax and
$800 hoa for private gated community on the beach. Had a good
laugh.

Not in Kansas anymore !, getting the Tourist card in Tecate


Sandy lean angle


Lots of this stuff, 3-4 inches of sand over hard pack, not too bad on a big bike


Stopped for lunch in a local establishment


Pre-renovation obviously


Dumped the bike just before this pic, those ruts were softer than they looked


Arrived in Mikes for the night


Just the four of us and secure parking
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:51 PM   #3
haket OP
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Day3 mikes to Bay of LA, 318miles. 60+ dirt. Rode with atvs to road,
three military checkpoints, searched bike at 1st. Windy day and was over
95 for much of afternoon. Alfonso's for fish taco lunch, yum, could
have stayed there for a night, met Andrew on a DRZ from portland......
Ride onto cocos, tough dirt road, gravel and rocky, beer at cocos, then
tougher shark teeth out to pavement. Costa del sol for the night, beautiful
views, met a SF dude who was moving down on his KLR. Dinner was 2beers, two margaritas
avocado soup, chips/salsa and breaded fish and rice for $25, noms.


Back out the next morning and headed to the Bay of Cortez, San Felipe



Pic of the view from Alfonsinas, pretty cool dirt airstrip next door also.


And lunch, nom nom nom,


I almost cut the day short and stayed here, maybe next time.


Oops, beached whale while changing lanes . ..


Arrived at Cocos:


Then more dirt onto Bahia de Los Angeles


Room with a view


Met a nice fella from SF moving to Baja on his fully loaded KLR


Celebrated St Patricks day in style
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
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Day4, 278miles, BayOfLA to San Ignatio. Boring desert ride to
start, then nice run into Ignatio and onto santa rosalita.
Saw Gustaf Eiffel metal church and a horrible mineral mine,
now the great highway makes sense to here.
Rice and beans hotel was a pit. Beautiful mission and oasis
of San Ignatio.

A long mostly boring road blast to the oasis of San Ignatio



And spin to Santa Rosalia the most southerly point of my trip



Visited the Mission there designed by Gustave Eiffel



Back to San Ignatio and the mission there



Different terrain on the way to the west coast


Random hotel picked and hit the jackpot ($30/night)


Drunk beardy man pic

Never had Huevos Rancheros before, fantastic !

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Old 03-25-2014, 08:54 PM   #5
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Day5 San Ignatio to San Quintin 430miles.
Back along pavement to west coast.


The ferry is going to be late today


Almost back to California, looks a little more like home now


Day6: San Quintin to LA 480miles

Day 7: LA to San Jose 400ish miles
Took Hwy1 home, perfect conditions


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Old 03-25-2014, 09:50 PM   #6
JoeMongo
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Nice vacation!

That "random" inn photo looks like the outside of the Old Mill Restaurant and bar. You stay at the Old Mill Inn? Or Don Eddies? If Don Ed's, have they rebuilt their restaurant and bar yet? I prefered to stay at the Old Mill and eat at Don Eddies, before their restaurant fell down.

BTW, go back a few more times and you'll eat at a lot of place that make that "before restoration" photo look like "5 Michelin Stars", but the food and service is almost always very good.

Its really hard to have a bad day riding in Baja.
J.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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How was 1 north of Ensenada? Did they repair it already?

Also, did you take the easy (more east) or hard route to Mike's?
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:33 PM   #8
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Yep I stayed at the Old Mill, always a nice experience when you are greeted with a beer at check in

I took the 3 north from Ensenada to cross back at Tecate, that was a nice stretch of road,

Going into mikes I took at road going a south easterly direction from the 3 and coming out, a different road going north easterly. I hear the hard road is more due west of Mikes no ?
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Old 03-26-2014, 06:45 PM   #9
jared1843
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Nice pictures

I just got back from Baja myself with a bunch of buds! Alfonsinas was awesome! We went twice an got the all you can eat fish taco treatment

BULLETIN: Anyone traveling from Gonzaga Bay to CoCo's corner be on the lookout for my Oakley's! They flew out of my front tool bag on the way north from Coco's. They're in a brown cloth bag.... black with green lenses.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:55 PM   #10
JoeMongo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haket View Post
Yep I stayed at the Old Mill, always a nice experience when you are greeted with a beer at check in

I took the 3 north from Ensenada to cross back at Tecate, that was a nice stretch of road,

Going into mikes I took at road going a south easterly direction from the 3 and coming out, a different road going north easterly. I hear the hard road is more due west of Mikes no ?
Yeah, the "old road" heads kinda south east from Mike's to the observatory road. Its a bit more than I'd want to deal with on a BMW GS, but its a lot more fun than the main road if you are on a dirt bike. I believe that there is another route out to the west that was part of the Baja 500 route recently. I haven't figured out that track yet but will keep trying.

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Old 01-06-2015, 08:14 PM   #11
BigNastybrp
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nice thanks Mark
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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Awesome Trip

This is a trip I am planning for October 2015
I have been wanting to ride the Baja for 20 plus years now and it looks like it is coming soon. Any pointers?

Joe
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Old 05-13-2015, 08:55 PM   #13
haket OP
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I'm no expert but lots of reading on ADVrider helped alot. I was probably a little too paranoid about safety (as I was on my own), so would be more relaxed next time.

Bring cash (cards are not a good idea), and find out what an ATM sign looks like (not what I expected), get insurance, stay at Mikes Sky Ranch and visit
Coco. Learn a little spanish, I found podcasts on iTunes that. were genuinely useful, at least numbers, roadsigns and greetings. Garmin topomaps worked well for trip planning.

You'll have a blast !
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:04 PM   #14
Jhafner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haket View Post
I'm no expert but lots of reading on ADVrider helped alot. I was probably a little too paranoid about safety (as I was on my own), so would be more relaxed next time.

Bring cash (cards are not a good idea), and find out what an ATM sign looks like (not what I expected), get insurance, stay at Mikes Sky Ranch and visit
Coco. Learn a little spanish, I found podcasts on iTunes that. were genuinely useful, at least numbers, roadsigns and greetings. Garmin topomaps worked well for trip planning.

You'll have a blast !
Thank You Haket. I am super stoked for this trip!
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:46 PM   #15
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Depends a lot on what type of riding you want to do... as much dirt as possible, mostly pavement, gentle mix of both?
If it's mostly pavement you want to do, then get a BCAA (AAA) Baja California map. It has pretty much everything on it you'll want. If you have a Garmin GPS, then City Navigator North America including Mexico will be helpful as well.
Lots of guys ride solo and do fine, but if you have a buddy to ride with, you'll feel safer, plus, it'll be a memory to be shared.
October can still be a bit warm, also it's approaching the end of the hurricane season. A few roads and bridges usually wash out. Late October to mid November can be busy with pre-running traffic, preparing for the SCORE Baja 1000 (north loop only this year.. starts and ends in Ensenada)
Stay way right of the center line on pavement on all corners you can't see around.... After the first hour, you'll see why.
Get your visitors visa (you have to turn it in on exiting) at the border, and it's now mandatory to carry Mexican auto insurance with now increased minimum coverage.
The usual, don't ride at night..ever.... ...cows, horses, potholes, disappearing roadways, truck aircraft landing light high beams, and it's tough to fix a flat tire in the dark Keep an eye out for chupacabras.
Lots of advice in this forum and lots to gain by reading Baja ride reports.....
I'll be going to Baja again in November for the Baja 1000

haket, great ride report... looks like you've been bitten by the Baja Bug !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhafner View Post
This is a trip I am planning for October 2015
I have been wanting to ride the Baja for 20 plus years now and it looks like it is coming soon. Any pointers?

Joe
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