San Ignacio to El Rosario

Seriously, we couldn’t have had a better time at Ignacio Springs B&B. 

Indeed, “An Oasis of Hospitality!”. Sunday evening we watched the Seahawks WIN eating a fantastic homemade dinner of lightly breaded Yellow Fin Tuna, homemade rye bread, fresh beats, mashed potatoes and salad. Just as the Hawks WON our host, Terry brought out homemade date ice cream to help in the celebration. Wow.

I have to comment on my friend Joe Smith’s comment on the last post about “Glamping.”

Here is what I read from www.glamping.com:

“Recently, a global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a tent, yurt, airstream, hut, villa or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.”

Thanks for sharing this Joe, Yes, we were Glamping and I hope to do more!

Here are a few more pictures from our glamping, the outside dining area. 

Drinks are on the honor system, write what you took on the white board. 

Monday morning it was time to go so after some more homemade sausage, scrambled eggs, homemade rye bread toast with homemade jam and fresh squeezed orange juice we said goodbye and pointed the bikes north, towards home.

We rode about 300 miles through some boring straight sections

And some nice twisty sections through cactus forests. 

Big  boulders were everywhere including this boulder mountain. 

There is about a 200 mile stretch between Pemex stations going into El Rosario, to be safe we bought a gallon for each bike at the Gasolina roadside stand in Catavina. 

We got into El Rosario about 3:00 PM and we debated continuing on but we already had nearly 300 miles in for the day and we knew from experience there weren’t many good places to stay in the next 100 miles. We ended up at the Cactus Hotel on the north end of town near the Pemex. This hotel was highly rated in the Moon travel book and only cost $35, wow. The room was fantastic and is a mainstay stop for motorcycle riders. Right next door was Mama Espinoza’s diner which is a world famous stop for the Baja 1000 race. We went in for dinner and the walls are covered with signed pictures and jerseys from Baja racers.

We hung out for a while with some other bikers at the hotel, a Wee Strom, a honda 650 thumper and a guy on an 510 Husky trading Baja stories and getting caught up on the latest rumors and half truths about road and trail conditions.

So…. tomorrow we will cross the border back into the US and I’ll be wrapping up the blog until the next adventure. If I have time I’ll write a final post but unless something happens this will pretty much be it.

I hope you enjoyed the 2014 Baja adventure, it was different from some of our other trips but now that I’m hip to this glamping thing maybe we might try it again.

Thanks for following.

Donn and Deby

San Ignacio Springs

Here is how to spend a day at Terry and Gary’s place. Start by reading another vacation novel at the patio along the river. 

Get on a kayak and paddle down the river. 

Take pictures of birds…. 

I don’t know what a lot of them were and Deby had some idea. We’re pretty sure this is a night heron. 

Egrets

Pelicans were everywhere. 

It’s amazing how well these pictures turned out. Deby took them with my small Nikon AW100 point and shoot camera while I paddled. 

Not sure what this was. 

M R Ducks….

Did you ever wonder where dates came from? Not THOSE kind of dates, the kind you eat…. palm trees. They were everywhere. 

That about summed up the day, paddle, read, nap hang out. In the evening we went with another couple staying at San Ignacio Springs into El Centro San Ignacio to have dinner at Tootsie’s Bar and Grill which is run by Tony, Terry and Gary’s daughter. The food was excellent and we had a great evening hanging out with a couple on their honeymoon.

The next morning after an excellent breakfast that included homemade sausage, eggs, special pancakes and plenty of coffee we saddled up the bikes for the 35 mile ride to Laguna San Ignacio to go whale watching.

Deby and I rode this road two years ago, it had some pretty nasty sand back then. That particular part has since been “improved” and we made the trip without any dirt-naps.

I grabbed a couple of pictures from my GoPro camera of the new road.

Still a few tricky parts, especially around the road construction. 

On the recommendation of Terry and Gary we had reservations for a boat from Antonio’s fish camp along the Laguna so we suited up and went out on the boat. 

First we saw dolphins swimming around us. 

Then finally……thar she blows!

Suddenly we were surrounded, Deby was in charge of the camera so she gets full credit for all the pictures. Here are a few.

They do this thing called “spy eye” where they stick their head up and look around. 

Then they dive in and show us their tail fins. 

Otherwise they just hung around 

I could have stayed longer but time was up so we pointed back towards shore. They have these little cabins for rent. 

And a nice restaurant where they fed us lunch…. fish and pasta, yum. 

The local welcoming committee was waiting for us when we got off the boat. 

After an amazing visit we changed into our riding gear and got ready for a road back.

But wait… what’s this? 

Piles and piles of big shells along the road, what are these? 

Not sure but a couple of them ended up in Deby’s pannier.

Big smile in that helmet. 

With a fun day behind us we easily traversed the tricky parts of the road and were back to the yurt well before dark.

Let’s see… should we stay another day? Hmmmm, “Gary – do you have satellite TV?”, “Yes”. “Do you have a really big TV?”. “Yes”. “Do you think you can tune in the Seahawks game?”. “Of course!”. That did it, we reserved for another night…….. what could be better.

Donn and Deby

Bahia Concepcion to San Ignacio

Barking dogs………… that’s what filtered in my mind as I slowly regained consciousness in our tent on the beach. This wasn’t exactly the remote, peaceful camping experience I half expected when we packed our tent, but then again, we purposely picked a spot with a restaurant that attracted the dozen or so giant RVs. The main highway ran directly behind the beach and all night long the truckers used compression brakes through the twisty mountain road keeping us (me) from a solid night’s sleep. Still, it was a beautiful morning with warm temperatures and the sun glistening on the smooth water. The first (second) order of business was preparation of instant Starbucks coffee to kick start the day. Deby and I eased into the morning drinking coffee at the shoreline watching the shore birds scavenge for their morning breakfast.

Eventually we decided to pack up the tent and move on. We had an easy travel day ahead of us since we only wanted to go as far as San Ignacio. On the way we stopped in Mulege and rode to the mission. 

A little bit about the mission here from Wikipedia:

Mission Santa Rosalía de Mulegé was founded in 1705 by the Jesuit missionary Juan Manuel de Basaldúa at a ranchería of the local Cochimí which was known as Mulegé, in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The site lies near the entrance of Bahía de Concepción, on the Gulf of California coast.

A few odd details of the mission’s history are known. A hurricane in 1717 devastated the agricultural fields that supported the settlement. Construction of a stone church was begun in 1766. In 1768, when the Franciscans took over responsibility for Baja California from the Jesuits, there were reportedly still some 300 Indian neophytes at Mulegé. However, by 1770, the mission was virtually deserted. The Dominicans, who succeeded the Franciscans in 1773, began rebuilding, but the population remained less than 100. The mission ceased to function in 1828. The present church buildings have been extensively restored.

We liked it because of it’s wonderful stone construction. The door was open so we wandered in and took a few pictures.

A nice stop, I think Mulege is kind of growing on me. 

Back on the road we continued north and made a random turnoff into a small fishing village along the Sea of Cortez, San Bruno? It seemed like a spot that didn’t get many touristas but we continued to the marina and hung out and watched some of the fishermen and their catch.

Catch of the day.

Back on Mex 1 north we stopped in Santa Rosalia for lunch and gas. The highway runs perpendicular to the main road into town. In the past we’ve always just rode past but this time we needed to run into town to extract some money from the only ATM before San Ignacio. On the way through town we passed the metal church that is supposed to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower fame. It’s a working town that supports the huge copper mine that literally surrounds the city. There were old mine shafts exiting along the highway and the remains of a huge smelter still stands along the highway out of town. Traffic was crazy so I didn’t take any pictures but have some good GoPro footage I’ll have to sort through. Here is a link to the Wikipedia page on Santa Rosalia and the controversy about the church. Santa Rosalia. I did like the picture they had of the working waterfront. 

With replenished fuel for our bodies, motorcycles and wallet’s we settled in for the 45 mile ride to San Ignacio. The road weaved east from the Sea of Cortez into the Sierra San Pedro mountains. On our right we watched the Volcan las Tres Virgenes the local 6,300 foot volcano of three virgins. In the background were two more volcanos explaining the miles of old lava flow that followed the road.

San Ignacio is a small town roughly midway between the Pacific and Cotez side of the Baja peninsula, I had heard of a popular stopping point for travelers called the Ignacio Springs resort so we decided to check it out.

Yes, that looks like a tent to me, and I would say it qualifies as camping! As you may recall I had a problem with my sleeping pad…. not a problem here. 

Oh wait…. is that a bano with a shower and hot water?

Private outdoor patio? 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do like camping and getting away from it all in a secluded camp site but this looked like some luxury camping that we couldn’t pass up. Oh, did I mention breakfast included? Free use of the kayaks? Our hosts Terry and Gary who moved here from Canada 12 years ago couldn’t be better. Here is a link to their web site: http://ignaciosprings.com/

We just might have to stay a few days…..

Preview of what’s to come and I promise more pictures and less blah blah….

Donn and Deby

 

 

Puerto Escondido to Bahia Concepcion

Sipping morning coffee at the poolside restaurant at the Tripui resort we discussed…. camping. For over two weeks we’ve been hauling a tent, pads, sleeping bag (one dual Big Agnes – nothing like it), coffee making equipment and extra water. We mulled over a map and decided we should camp. Less than 100 miles away was Bahia Concepcion where we were told are some of the best beaches to camp in all of Baja. 

You can read more about it by clicking HERE.

We were coming from the south so we checked out the locations one by one. The entrance to El Coyote didn’t seem too appealing so we continued on…

We finally came to Santispac beach located on the northern edge of the beaches. Our Moon guide book said it was the most protected from the wind and had a small restaurant, sounded promising. Santispac, like most of the beaches along Bahia Concepcion was a strip of sand between the highway and the Sea of Cortez dirt or gravel roads run down to the beach and people camp along the water. We turned onto the playa and found an unused plapa. 

Setup our tent, yes we really did, and decided to call it home for the night. 

Nice and protected laguna. 

I wasn’t too sure about the neighborhood though…. 

These guys were “camping” near us and we hung out most of the night. They live there most of the year and don’t really seem to need to work.

Before dark we walked to another section of the beach where a caravan of huge RVs had pulled in for the night. There must have been 20 or 30 parked in a row. As luck would have it we were just in time for happy hour at the beach restaurant. 

Everybody was there… the place was packed with RV people and their dogs. I’m totally bummed I forgot to carry my camera, it was an amazing scene. There was one woman with a short skirt and spike heels walking on the sand floor in the bar. The margarita’s were flowing, two for one and slowly the place was getting pretty rowdy. Everyone was friendly and talked to each other, we joined in too easily and began to wonder if an RV was a better mode of transportation than a motorcycle! That was the clue that we had enough and we ambled back to the tent where our neighbors has a ginormous bon fire waiting for us. We sat around swapping lies and stories well into the night before dragging our sorry bodies into the tent and collapsing into our sleeping bag. Ten minutes later I realized I didn’t pack the new inflatable sleeping pad but the old one with a leak. Oh, well, it didn’t really matter too much and we drifted off with the sound of the surf and the soft sand under our bags.

Tomorrow…. more camping.

Donn and Deby

Buena Vista to Puerto Escondido

Even thought there wasn’t a restaurant we talked the bartender into having a coffee pot going for us in the morning. We met Ricardo at the prearranged time of 7:00AM and watched the sun rise over the bay drinking fine Folgers drip coffee. By 7:30 we were itching to leave so we skipped showers and decided to get some breakfast on the way. We knew of a great roadside breakfast place in the small town of San Bartolo on Mex 1 so we headed there. In less than an hour of nice twisty two lane riding through the Sierra de la Laguna mountains we were seated on plastic chairs eating huevos rancheros and drinking more coffee. Somehow I forgot to take some pictures….

We decided we would try to put in a few hundred miles through the flat, long and straight sections from La Paz to Ciudad Constitucion, Ciudad Insurgentes and finally back east over the mountains towards Loreto. If we weren’t too tired we would try to make it to Bahia Concepcion to camp on the famous beaches.

It was windy through the desert and we were in full “blast” mode on the bikes, just putting in miles through the most boring part of Baja. As we approached the Sea of Cortez the road became more interesting as we wound along the coast line over the cliffs. About 3:00 in the afternoon I saw a sign for Puerto Escondido and a small road the dropped to the east towards the water. Wanting to explore somewhere I’ve never been we turned off and rode down to a pretty big marina full of boats that seemed to be waiting out the high wind in the protected harbor. We explored for a while then on the way out I noticed a sign for Tripui Resort. We circled in and checked it out, restaurant – check, pool – check, clean and modern – check. Hungry, we stopped and decided to have lunch at the poolside restaurant. By the time we were done we decided to ditch camping for the night and book a room.

Nice room with a patio. 

Clean and spacious. 

Secure parking. 

And….. actual FAST WiFi right in our room. A perfect chance to catch up on e-mails, download some more books and upload some pictures for the blog which is the most bandwidth intensive thing. After dinner we even had enough bandwidth to watch a short show on Netflix. A night and day different experience from Rancho BV, we really liked this place and they said they had a special rate for motorcycle travelers (yea, right).

Tripui Resort: http://www.tripui.com/

Ok, so batteries recharged – literally and figuratively – maybe tomorrow we camp….

Donn and Deby

Todos Santos Buena Vista

We made a decision to ride the southernmost loop around the Baja peninsula to get to the small town of Aqua Calienti where we wanted to visit “Gringo Doug” of Doug’s Baja Norton fame. We had avoided this part of Baja in the past because of the traffic and commercialness (is that a word?) of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. This part of Baja is where all the big resorts are and it’s more like Waikiki than anything Mexicano. On the other hand at least we could say we rode to the southern tip of Baja and check it off some imaginary list. To make matters worse, the whole route is a new 4 lane highway, hardly an adventure road but we would make good time.

Noting that we would be going past Pescadero again and the Baja Beans roasting company we decided to stop there for some good coffee and breakfast only to find out they were closed on Mondays. Somebody came out and recommended we try Marina’s restaurant a short way up the road.

It seemed like a nice place, clean and spacious. 

One of the patrons at a nearby table told us to look at the vine like branch above our heads. A humming bird nest was balanced on a stick and a leaf. 

The humming bird flew away for a minute and Deby got up on a chair to take a picture, what was in there? Eggs? Baby birds? The nest was too high to see into so she just held the camera and hoped for the best.

The second picture turned out better…… baby hummingbirds! Wow, that’s something we’ve never seen before. 

After that it was south to the big city. The ride was actually somewhat enjoyable, light traffic, sweeping turns, views of the ocean and nearby mountains. The day was sunny and warm but not too hot, a perfect day for an easy ride. 

Once in Cabo the highway became a four lane boulevard with topes, stop lights, construction and bumper to bumper traffic. Not much picture worthy except when we stopped at a shopping center to visit an ATM and notice the parking lot security. 

I suppose what ever works…

We followed Mex 1 around the southern tip of Baja where eventually the road turns to the north on the way to the Cabo Airport. We wound through heavy traffic dodging the tourist taxi-vans taking resort goers to the airport. Once north of the airport the road narrowed to a country two lane road and virtually all the traffic disappeared, nice. 

After about 20 miles we came to a marker for the Tropic of Cancer, we had to stop. 

From Wikipedia:

“The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith. This event occurs once per year, at the time of the June solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun to its maximum extent. As of 2014, it lies at 23° 26′ 14.675″ (23° 26′ 16″) north of the Equator.[1]

They had a nice little visitor center with some shops which were all closed. We managed to take a few pictures and eat a little snack before moving on.

The next stop was the hacienda of our friend Gringo Doug in the remote outpost of Agua Caliente just west of Santiago. We first met Doug on our 2012 Baja trip when we were encouraged to visit because of his connection to Norton motorcycles. For a little background – I’ve owned Norton motorcycles for most of my life since buying my first one when I was 18. Some years ago I restored a Norton I retrieved from California and did a complete restoration of it. During that time I joined the Northwest Norton Owners NWNO www.nwno.org and the International Norton Owners Association (www.inoanorton.com). For the last few years Deby and I have attended the INOA rally including the 2013 rally last July in Wyoming where we annually reconnect with other Norton aficionados, Doug is always there so we reconnected. The other thing I have to say is that only I call him Gringo Doug, but the name seems to be sticking. It comes from our last visit when in his e-mail instructions on how to find his casa he told us to go to the only tienda in town and ask for Gringo Doug, since he is the only gringo in the whole town.  Doug makes a living restoring old Nortons out of his small shop attached to his house, his workmanship is superb and well known in the Norton community. Recently Doug updated his website http://dougsbajanortons.com/ to read more about it.

Doug gave us a warm welcome and a tour, he doesn’t get many visitors and seemed genuinely glad, and surprised to see us.

Home sweet home

Doug’s outdoor shop

Doug rolled out one of his restoration projects from his “inside” shop.

A beautiful work in progress, still in the design stage as he works out the lines and plans the final product.

Excellent detail finishes.

Deby waited in the outdoor kitchen while we talked Nortons.

Here’s a Norton he just took in from a customer he met at the 2013 rally. I look forward to seeing the final result.

We posed for a final picture before Deby and I got ready to move out.

It was great to see Doug and hang out for a while, I look forward to seeing him this summer at the INOA rally in Oregon.

From Doug’s it’s a relatively short ride to Los Barriles, one of the kiteboarding capitals of the world. Every other person there is from Hood River Oregon, seriously. We stayed there in 2012 and sort of had a place picked out on the beach. On the way there I saw a sign for Rancho Buena Vista. I remember reading about that place and thought we would ride down and take a look. It was getting late in the day so we decided to spend the night at this resort on the beach. It ended up being an interesting choice for a place to stay……..here is an excerpt from the Moon Baja Handbook:

“In business since 1952, Rancho Buena Vista opened to host Hollywood celebrities for fly-in sport fishing vacations. Today the scene is much less glitzy – downright worn down in many ways – but the fishing tradition continues and longtime guests appreciate the simplicity of the accommodations and the quality of the food.” 

They were correct about the “much less glitzy and downright worn down” parts. It was actually kind of sad. The famous restaurant was closed, maybe for good and as far as I could tell we were the only guests. We went to the bar that was conveniently located about 20 steps from our well worn cottage and chatted with the bartender who had worked there for over 20 years. He was nice enough and helped us order a pizza from a local delivery place to be brought directly to the bar. Not too bad. After a few minutes a gringo came in for his usual rum and coke. Cliff, had been going to the Rancho Buena Vista for nearly 30 years and ran down the whole history of the place. Indeed it was at one time a stop for the rich and famous and he regaled us with tales of grand parties in the great dining hall and bar. He proceeded to give us his opinion of the state of tourism and the ex-pat community in Baja, it wasn’t very positive.

Casita on the beach.

Beachside bar.

Nice beach lined with vacation homes.

We watched the sun set and continued with easy conversation lubricated by beer, pizza and an evening with nothing urgent to do or anywhere to go. An interesting guy Mr. Cliff, and an interesting place, Rancho Buena Vista, I hope it works out for the best.

Tomorrow: We threaten to actually use our camping gear!

Thanks for following.

Donn and Deby

Todos Santos

Our day off in Todos Santos happened to be a Sunday, it was recommended that we ride a little south and check out the Sunday market in Pescadero. The market wasn’t too big but had a good selection of craft from local artisans both Mexican and Ex-pat Americanos.

The market was obviously geared towards the visiting gringos from Todos Santos and the vacation homes and resorts along the Pescadero cost. I stopped and talked to one guy selling what looked like bootlegged music CDs and found he was a recording engineer from the Seattle area and had produced one of Badd Dog Andy Cook’s CD’s. Andy is a good friend of mine, we’ve played a number of gigs together. Small world.

Next to the market is the world headquarters for Baja Beans so we went over for some coffee and breakfast. The popular thing to get seemed to be the fritatta con papas special.

It ended up being a lot of food so Deby and I just shared a dish.

While we were eating a large family sat down at the table next to us and asked us to take their picture. Of course we started talking, the usual stuff about where we were from and since we were wearing motorcycle gear the conversation drifted to biking.

The guy next to me was Jerod Kitchel who was from Snohomish, Washington, ha.., even smaller world. He runs Coyote Offroad (www.coyoteoffroad.com) . His company does dual sport conversions to make bikes street legal in Washington among other things. Check out their web site. Even though we’ve never met I found out we had many riding friends in common.

Slowly we were introduced to the rest of the family and found out they were from Preston Washington, where we live. Really? I mean, Preston is a really small town with only a gas station and post office. They live in the main part of town and I drive past their house every day. Yikes, I didn’t get their names but the father Jim, just retired from Boeing and moved to Gig Harbor. (Chris R. – they said they know you… names?)

Later we went back to town and walked around some more looking in galleries and being typical tourists. 

We kept seeing this dog at one of the corners, he made sure everyone knew that was his spot by chasing cars, sniffing people and keeping the sidewalk safe from rodents. 

We stopped in a gallery called Galeria La Poza and talked to the artist who had lived in Todos Santos for 14 years. We loved her art and had a nice talk. Lilly and her husband also own Hotel Posada La Poza and she invited us to have dinner at their terrace restaurant overlooking the ocean. After a futile attempt at getting a cab we rode two up down the dirt sandy road the couple miles to her hotel. I was wearing sandals and Deby a skirt. Not totally safety conscious but we made it. It was even more adventurous riding the route back in the dark. I was glad for my dual LED lights but wish I would have remembered my GPS so I could follow my track back because of the crisscrossing dirt neighborhood roads.

It was a nice place and the food was great.

Tomorrow – back on the road and a visit with Gringo Doug.

Stay tuned.

Donn and Deby

Villa del Faro to Todos Santos

As it turns out, once dinner is finished at the Villa Faro patio restaurant and we’ve made our way down the long path in the dark guided only by the stars and flashlights and we retire to the stone cottage, build a fire to add some additional ambiance and warmth and recline on the only piece of indoor furniture, which is the bed, there is not much else to really do. That, of course, is exactly why we went there. Night five was no different except for being the last night of our stay. I started into reading my third Kindle novel by John Sandford called Heat Lightning after reading Shock Wave and Rough Country over the last few days. They are all crime stories set in Minnesota solved by an outdoors-man type person named Virgil Flowers. A perfect series of vacation books with no redeeming value whatsoever. At 8:30 I had enough and turned off the single 12V light bulb, powered by a car battery charged by the sun during the day and fell promptly asleep. I didn’t move again until 6:30 in the morning when I sensed Deby moving around making coffee on the single burner propane stove. Ten hours straight! Seriously I don’t think I’ve slept that long in one stretch since becoming a parent 28 years ago.

The first order of business which directly follows the pre-first order of business which involves a hike to the outhouse is to sit on chairs on the beach to watch the sun rise.

We were lucky, this wasn’t any old boring sunrise but some clouds moved in to make it extra spectacular on our last morning on the east cape. Sorry but every travel blog is required to have a few of the following pictures.

Besides, it’s not the kind of thing we see everyday in the Seattle area.

Deby seemed to like it.

9:00 is the official breakfast time at the main house so we trekked up the winding path to the patio for more coffee and a fantastic breakfast prepared by our hosts. There were some other guests from Switzerland and a guy from England but they left the day before so Deby and I were the only people at breakfast that morning.  

We did have a visitor, look closely just to the right of the coffee pot. 

I can’t believe this humming bird hung around our table long enough for me to get a picture with my iPhone.

After saying goodbye it was back into our riding gear and back on the sandy road. The plan was to get to Todos Santos in time to check into a hotel and find the Seahawks game at a local establishment. As usual the plan was to ride fast through the loose stuff which really improved our time. 

Ok, I know the above picture doesn’t look too bad but trust me, I’m not stopping in the really nasty stuff for a picture unless it involves a dirt nap, which we managed to avoid.

The road went east to the very small town of Paulo Escopeta and eventually to Mex 1 near the Cabo airport. From there we decided to take the much more scenic mountain road to the north back through Los Barriles through El Triunfo and finally connecting with Mex 19 south to Todos Santos. Along the way we saw a number of retaining walls made of some kind of pink rock. Of course, Deby needed to stop to acquire some specimens for further examination. 

Running a little short on time we decided to return to the same boutique hotel we stayed at on our 2011 visit Hacienda Todos los Santos. We ended up at the same Casita,  Casita Del Encanto, parking on the patio in the same place.

We loved the stone cabin on the beach with the drafty shutters, single 12V bulb and outdoor bano but it felt really good to have a full casita with modern windows, power, hot shower, kitchenette and two private patios. Ahhhhh, after a couple of long hot showers we decided we would stay two nights.

Walking into town to seek out the game we came across this sign. 

“Real Phony Mexican Art”, now that’s advertising. Too bad Carlos Carlos de Carlos wasn’t around, we may have bought something.

We found the game on in the bar of the “famous” Hotel California. It’s actually a pretty nice place except for playing the Eagles song with the same name every 15 minutes and the cheesy gift shop profiting from the association with the song. The fact is, it’s not the same hotel, click HERE to read more about it. Oh well, the touristas up for the day from Cabo San Lucas seem to think it’s real and almost everyone left with a t-shirt or shot glass with the hotel name. I was just glad to catch the game with a cerveza, nachos and guacamole. Into the 4th quarter the Hawks had what looked like a comfortable lead when the network feed went out. The screen went to the score and that was it. Ah, such is life in Mexico. At least the Wifi still worked and I followed their win on my iPhone.

Tomorrow, a day about town.

I want to thank everyone for your comments, Deby and I really enjoy reading them and are glad the blog is at least slightly interesting. Like I said earlier we are going slower, exploring more and recharging our systems. Just so everything doesn’t end up too cushy we are planning more dirt back roads, hopefully a visit to Gringo Doug who builds Norton motorcycles nearby and to eventually use our camping gear we’ve been dragging along with us. Or…… maybe just spend a few more days in Todos Santos gringo ex-pat artist community where everyone speaks English.

Donn and Deby

 

Loreto – LaPaz – Villa del Faro

This trip is going at a much more leisurely pace than the MotoRaid romp last year when we blasted the length of Baja in three days. After a late start we left Loreto for the short ride to the capital city of LaPaz. We met an Italian guy in Loreto that recommended the LoriMar hotel just off the malecon in downtown.

Not a bad place for $35 dollars a night. Secure parking right inside the main door. 

We arrived early enough for a walk along the waterfront. It was a warm Sunday night and everyone was out enjoying the evening. As the sun set we strolled the length of the malecon dodging kids on every kind of bicycle and skateboards before settling in at an outdoor cafe for a light meal.

Monday morning we were on a mission to get from LaPaz to Villa del Faro where we had reservations for 5 nights in a beach side cottage. Villa del Faro Is on the coast road south of Cabo Pulmo (click here for a link to their web page). The road south of LaPaz starts out easy on the way to Los Barriles. 

But soon after Cabo Pulmo we were in the loose washboard sandy stuff. 

It took a little while to get our sand mojo going where the correct procedure is to stand on the pegs, shift weight back and go fast! The secret to success is to give it gas whenever the front tire starts getting squirrelly in the sand. The wrong thing to do is slow down which shifts the weight forward and digs the front tire deeper in. It’s counter intuitive but works. 40mph seemed to work about best for us. 50 might have been better but crash consequences go up exponentially with speed so 40 seems to work pretty well.

We arrived, in one piece, and were shown to what would be our casita on the beach for the next 5 nights.

Parked the bikes where they wouldn’t be moved for nearly a week.

Stashed the helmets with care.

Lit a fire in the fireplace.

Eventually we found our way to the restaurant for a gourmet meal.

The next 5 days were variations on the same thing but generally involved drinking coffee in the morning watching the sun rise……

Walking the beach and climbing rocks….

Sitting at the pool, reading books and taking naps.

Tomorrow we are leaving Villa del Faro for Todos Santos where I hope to be able to catch the Seahawks game.

Still having fun,

Donn and Deby

 

Bahia de Los Angeles to Mulege to Loreto

The only way to start the day.

Next

we moved on to this:

And this for Deby:

The road to Mulege had some long straight sections. There is an offroad route south and then west to El Arco but we have reservations near Cabo Pumo for Monday and I don’t want to take a chance with any breakdowns. We just settled in and enjoyed the ride. It was slightly less than a year ago we followed this route on the Motoraid trip. I kept looking ahead wondering where Keith, Dave, Jim and Michael were. 

But in my mirror I still saw my favorite Motoraid riding buddy. 

The view from behind bars – cruising at about 70mph.

Last year we stayed in Mulege at Serenidad, but this time we thought we would try something different. We read about Casa Granada in the Moon Baja book and decided to check it out. The advertise it as “A Classic Stone B&B” how could we pass that up? 

Our hosts Lena and Kristian were made us feel at home in their casa.

After we settled in the first order of business was a walk along the estuary in front of the hotel. 

As the sun set the birds were out hunting. 

Shells were everywhere including this natural shell mosaic. 

Deby’s treasures. 

Casa Granada is literally next door to Serenidad so we walked over there for an excellent dinner of fresh fish. At the table next to us was Dale and Maria the couple from Washington state that we met at Coco’s.

Jock told us to look for the pictures of John Wayne, evidently he was friends with the owners. There were about a half dozen signed photographs of the Duke. 

When we got back to our room the Wifi was still down so we entertained ourselves the old fashioned way, with books.

Saturday morning we awoke to an overcast sky and cool temperatures but magically the Wifi was working! After our mandatory coffee and a fantastic breakfast provided by our hosts Deby went off to scour the estuary for more shells and I got to work uploading pictures, videos and three posts. It was close to noon when we finally started loading up the bikes to ride south. Destination????

We weren’t sure, it was late in the day and we were a little ahead of schedule so we decided to attempt the whole 85 mile ride to Loreto. 

So why not get to Loreto early enough to park at our favorite hotel (Hotel Oaisis) right in front of our room. 

Spend some time walking around the town square.

Check out the oldest mission in all of the Californias. 

Stroll the tree arched walkway. 

Stop for a local Baja Cervesa. 

Take a stroll on the malecon (don’t fall over the edge – safety third).

And generally enjoy the view.

And that is what we did.

Next south! To where? Stay tuned.

Donn and Deby