San Diego in California, Ensenada, San Quentin, Bahia Los Angeles, San Ignacio, Bahia Concepcion, Loreto and La Paz in Baja California Mexico
After the departure of our parents we felt a bit numb, not yet excited about the next part of our trip, especially since all we heard about Mexico were stories about drug cartels and violent robberies. We spend a couple of days trying to get our bearings in a Motel 6 in the middle of the Mojave desert. Hours were spend fixing the laptop (which had completely crashed the day before), repairing clothes, writing blog stories and hiding from the immense heat outside. More importantly we finally managed to decide upon an itinerary for the first part of our trip in Mexico: We would cross the most safe, western border at San Diego and drive south across the Baja peninsula. Enroute to the border we stopped at Knott’s Soak Water city in Palm Springs were we rode the Sea Snake, Pacific Spin, Surf rider and drifted down the Lazy river…. a day of great soaking fun! A little more cheerfull, we arrived at the border, where we were astonished to learn that we had already entered Mexico without passing a US customs office. Clearly leaving the USA is far less hassle than entering! For us this was, however, a bit of an issue since our carnets (import/export documents for the bikes) still needed to be stamped. Fortunately, the friendly Mexican border officials helped us re-enter the USA to get the paperwork done. Two hours later we had the necessary stamps and we were ready for our Mexican adventure.
The Baja is a sparsely habituated area, separated from mainland Mexico by the Sea of Cortez. At the pacific coast it was rather windy and cold while at the eastern coast it was pretty damn hot with only a slight sea breeze to cool us down. Great beaches are scattered along both coastlines, which make for great free camping. The villages have an authentic, drowsy feel to them, are often centered around an imposing 18th century Mission church and have nicely shaded plazas. The riding is easy, as the main highway 1 has excellent tarmac and slowly twist and turns it’s way through cactus-filled deserts, along sea cliffs and through sleepy villages. No need to venture away from it for food, as the roadside fresh fish tacos are finger licking good. What is not to like?
The Baja attracts many fellow adventure motorcyclist from the USA. We had a great time boondocking and drinking some perfect margaritas together with Alex, a single rider on his way to Panama. In Loreto our crowd grew to seven, including Glenn from former Rhodesia, James and Nikki from San Francisco and Mitch from New York. The type of bikes ranged from a BMW touring bike, a Honda 600cc Pig, a Suzuki DR650, a Victory and our two Yamaha’s. We had some fun at the local bar during happy hour, organized a small BBQ (meat this time) underneath the mango trees in the garden of our cozy hotel and exchanged travel stories. It was inspiring to hear great stories about mainland Mexico from James and Nikki and Glenn couldn’t stop talking about the great times he had traveling up and down to Peru. The Baja is also full of people traveling in RVs or pick-ups with boats on trailers. One of the many American retirees offered us some of his own catch: delicious, canned tuna and very tasty, freshly smoked fish.
The last part of Highway 1 up to the ferry terminal in La Paz we rode with just the two of us. Here we could stay with couch-surfers Susana and Frank, and their beagle Auri. We delivered our bikes to the local Yamaha garage for some general maintenance. Meanwhile, we enjoyed ourselves by exploring nightlife in La Paz, drinking Doble Cannalla, eating the famous La Paz hotdog, going to the beach for some spear fishing and arranging our Mexican vehicle permission and a ferry ticket. Susana and Frank were great to hang out with, they were very engaged about what went on in their community. They organized nude bicycle rallies for more cycling lanes, gave talks about the effect of a new law that allows foreigners to buy huge pieces of land including beaches, and were very concerned with the ecological impact of importing non-indigenous animals into the sanctuary of Isla Espiritu Santo. After a couple of days the bikes were supposedly ready, sadly the garage had bad news: Marlieke’s Precious had a torn rubber booth, and there were no spare parts available to reestablish the connection between the carburator and the engine. Apart from that they hadn’t been able to change the front sprocket and had torn some of the plastic fairing. Clearly, we had made a wrong judgement bringing our bikes here. How to solve this with the ferry leaving the next day? With some heat-resistant glue we were able to reassemble the bike and have its engine start, good enough to limp on and off the ferry to Mazatlan, where, hopefully, another garage would be able to fix the problem.
Ik was er al een tijdje niet aan toegekomen om te lezen, maar ook hier ziet het er weer prachtig uit! Hier beginnen de vakantiekriebels ook goed op te komen: van het weekend vertrekken we op onze eerste campingtrip met uk!
Van Chicago tot Los Angeles – Route 66 – the historic road vormt uiteindelijk toch, zij het met lussen en kronkels, de rode draad in jullie toer door the States, van begin tot eind! En nu de Panamericana Highway???? Goede reis in het Latijns America van Christoffel Columbus met Sint Christoffel, San Cristobal, oftewel Christophorus.
Hey guys! It’s amit from sayulita, I tried to find you on Facebook, but with no success! Hope you are having fun in Mexico, looking forward to the next post..
Wederom een schitterend verslag. Ik wens jullie een fijne succesvol vervolg van jullie reis. Liefs en groeten: Corrie
Wat een mooie plaatjes en wat een relaxte sfeer! Dit zijn de zomerse taferelen waar wij ook al maanden op wachten! Geniet ervan! groetjes Simone