Page 6: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
Guerrero Negro: We make it out of Bahia de Los Angeles to Guerreo Negro without incident. The temperatures are cool the entire ride so we don’t anticipate any problems with the bike (theory).
The plan is to spend 2 nights in Guerreo Negro, then continue on to Bahia de Concepcion and then Scorpion bay. The TV in our room is reporting hurricane Ivo is heading straight for southern Baja, just where we are. The expected landfall looks like Scorpion bay. Hum… sleeping in a tent on the beach in +75 mile an hour winds doesn’t sound like a good plan, so the new plan is to hold-up here in Guerreo Negro until the storm passes, ‘Can Do’. We’re in a nice little motel with wireless internet, coffee and HBO plus for $36 a night, and we love this village. Dirty job but we are staying put until the storm passes....
Guerrero Negro is a small Mexican town famous for its whale watching boat tours. That’s the window to our room on the left.
Tacos carne de asada (grilled beef), tacos de pescado (fish) and all the fixings.
I am busy on the internet trying to figure out what is wrong with the motorcycle. I am getting a ton of help from the advrider.com community (Motorcycle Adventure Rider forum) and the help is huge. I have a theory as to why the motorcycle fires right back up after a short rest after killing. This theory was confirmed by several people on advrider.com, and there are several other ideas as to why the bike may be killing. Before getting all this help from the internet community Heidi and I were planning on shooting for Texas after reaching mainland Mexico to have a Harley mechanic look at the bike. Now we are again continuing on our original route with just one additional stop at a Harley shop in Cabo San Lucas to get a new ignition sensor part, a possible cause to our problem. While in Guerrero Negro I stop at an auto parts store and get a handful of auto fuses. I replace the motorcycle ignition system circuit breaker with a fuse. The more I think about it the more I’m convinced that that is the heart of all our bike problems. Three times the bike just killed while riding along in extreme heat. Every time it started right back up after just a one or two minute rest, as if nothing was wrong. If the bike problem was a faulty ignition sensor or a faulty ignition module or a faulty ignition coil, the probability of the bike firing right back up after resting just two minutes in the blazing sun and heat I think is minute. My theory is a faulty circuit breaker inadvertently tripping and killing the bike while riding in the extreme heat. I’ve had at least five people agreeing with this theory without me mentioning it. I guess it’s a known problem on some bikes and a couple people know people who have had this exact problem. Still, I’m stopping in Cabo to get a new ignition sensor just in case my theory is wrong. Dirty job.
We are on the road before noon shooting for the Sea of Cortez and some beaches with camping.
Volcano Tres Virgenes:
Sea of Cortez:
We tool through the town Santa Rosalia. There is a ferry here that sails to the mainland. We were considering taking this ferry before we had the plan to fix the motorcycle in Cabo. Before hitting mainland Mexico we need to have customs clear the motorcycle. I see a customs office (Aduana) and try to get the bike cleared here. A very friendly, healthy and helpful young woman informed me that I can’t clear the bike here. She writes down on some paper where I need to go in La Paz, the phone number and the office hours. It’s a good thing we changed our plan about the ferry here, because we couldn’t clear customs here anyway.
Lunch stop in Santa Rosalia:
Tostadas de pollo:
While driving in Mexico we see a lot of these little religious memorials along the side of the road, usually at a sharp turn. They are usually filled with little religious statues and candles. We think they are locations where someone has died in an auto accident.
Entering the town of Mulege. It feels like another world here. After riding along in dry desert and cacti then bam, palm trees everywhere.
Before leaving town we see a sign saying “Villa Maria Isabel - RV - Camping – Pool” We gotta check this out.
$13.50 a night. Looks good to me!
The tent is up in no time:
The pool is huge, clean and in a tropical paradise setting. We are the only guests here. Life is good…..
Heidi finds her spot.
Figs drying in the sun to become dates. I didn’t know figs came from palm trees. This place is loaded with them.
We were going to spend just one night here but it soon became apparent that we needed at least two nights to do Mulege right.
A forty minute walk along the river to town.
We felt like we were in a scene of some tropical jungle movie or something.
Mulege really seems like it is trying to be tourist friendly. At a restaurant the waitress keeps asking me if I want more coffee. This has never happened to us in Mexico before.
We have a small cabin in northern Wisconsin with an old septic system. We tell family and friends to apply third-world rules to the toilet. They never know what we are talking about. Where Heidi and I travel we see signs like this all the time….
We see electrical wiring like this all the time also. Not very child friendly.
This place is a real score. We enjoy late night dips in the pool under a clear sky with a full moon shining through the palm trees.
We are always trying to figure out ways to lighten our load on the bike. I have vivid memories back in high school of stories my father and sister told of their three and a half month backpacking adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail. This was their first big hike like this and they had way too much gear they said. I’ll never forget the story of them chopping their toothbrushes in half just to lighten their load. Funny, but when you are carrying everything on your back, every ounce counts. Well, this photo is of the same pot my late father carried on all his thousands of miles of backpacking the Appalachian Trail. I’m paying homage to the pot by cooking in it one last time before we ditch it to lighten our load. I remember cooking with this same pot with my father on one two week leg of the trail we backpacked together. Sitting around the camp after a strenuous days hike, listening to my father’s stories never told before of being a frontline solder in WW2 in the Philippine islands, storing the beach, seeing friends killed by booby-traps, getting shot in the face. This is a poor quality photo but it’s absolutely priceless to me.
Again we are on the road before noon, and it is hot. Two days of riding in the heat and the bike is having ‘no problems’. Heidi gets freaked whenever I pass a vehicle, worrying that the bike could kill just as we pass, a valid concern. I never pass when I have another vehicle behind me. An engine failure in that situation could be fatal.
Bahia de Concepcion. This is where Heidi and I camped when we drove our Jeep here two years ago. The place is like out of some National Geographic show with birds and marine life everywhere. When we were here two years ago the part of the beach in this photo was filled with RV’s permanently parked under palapa houses, some were for sale, now they are all gone. Where did they go? Did the Mexican government decide that permanent RV’s are not allowed on the beach and hauled them all away? That’s my guess.
Another beach with camp palapas.
We’re shooting for a village called Loreto today. That’s where we will stage before our last leg to Scorpion bay. From Loreto, Scorpion bay is under 200 miles but the last 30 miles is a dirt road. With our heavy load and knowing how Baja dirt roads can be this last 30 miles could take us three hours or more. We hope not but must plan accordingly.
Loreto is a nice friendly small town with a lot of tourism. We tooled around town looking for a place that looked like we could afford with good parking. The first place we went to looked new and over our budget but it had a pool and we were planning on staying only one night, so went in to inquire. The guy said they were booked up. I asked for a recommendation of another place. The guy said most places he knows of are closed up until October. He gave me a feeling that we were not going to find anything. After a long pause he did give me one suggestion but said “If they are open” WTF. We zigzagged around town and never found the place he recommended. Down a side street I see a sign half tilted resting along side a building on a corner “Hotel Palmas Altas ½ block -->” On it...
The office is right at the entrance and has a woman sitting there. I didn’t even have to get off the bike to talk with her. I asked if she has a room available for tonight “?Tiene una habiticion para esta noche?” “Si”. Then I asked, how much does it cost. Under twenty bucks. She shows us the room. We take it.
Hotel Palmas Altas. I park the bike right in front of our room.
After surveying the grounds and thinking about the price, I go to the office and pay for three more nights. Oh Yeah...
At 2:00 PM we are in the room hanging out. It’s a small room with just enough room for a bed and if you are sitting on the throne, there is not enough space to shut the door. Well, we hear someone enter the room next to ours. Heidi says she thinks someone is Doing-it. I say “No, that’s just the maid bumping her mop against the wall” Then we hear a female voice moaning in rhythm. 40 minutes later they are out of the room and the maid is in there cleaning. I guess this hotel rents by the hour also.???
The courtyard here is a tropical garden surrounding a pool. We set up for a day of hanging around the pool. I-pod boom box, cocktails, beans, tortillas and avocadoes, life is good. We have fun watching the couples come and go. It looks like some girls live here. The guys know just what door to knock on.
We saw this gym on our way into town. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel, perfect warm-up.
The guy who ran the gym, Manuel, was super friendly and made us feel at home.
Stay tuned! Much more to come….
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