Time on the road

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Loreto to Los Cabos

Chris wrote:
Look, its my love mission at the Mission of Loreto

This we see quite a bit of, a bunch of guys on there 500's cruising from mainland across to Baja and the heading off into the desert with their tents and stuff for a couple of days, coming out to refuel...not a bad life.

This is the view down the "Malecon"(main drag) from our Hotel, La Mision, in Loreto, a fantastic hotel in a wonderful little town.

This dog (look in the water) swam all the way along this bay, about half a mile, and does it regularly and then he heads out to sea even further to try chase the pelicans, doggy style.

I just liked the colors!!

This is the promenade in Loreto. You walk down the road under these arches and go into the shops on either side, where you can buy anything that is authentic Mexican ware, some really nice stuff too, but fortunately we are on a bike.

Another one of the Malecon in Loreto.

This is our hotel in Loreto, La Mision.

This is one of the ocean views on the way south from Loreto. If we could, we would stop every half mile and spend a night.

For some reason, whenever we get onto dirt roads, Missy clamps her knees to my side and her fingernails into my shoulders.

These guys are busy organizing a vintage Baja race, old style, for TV. They invited me and some of my Buddies to go and do the race next September, any takers out there?

Admiring the machine!!!

Oops, the clamped knees and fingernails in the shoulders again. No Pain No Gain.

Notice the "99% inglish speaking guide"

This was a beauty pageant in the center of town on the basketball courts in Puerto San Carlos. One of those things you do and know you will never do it again, but it was good fun.

I would say , maybe 10 years old and strutting her stuff.

Leaving Hotel Brennan in Puerto San Carlos, a nice clean cheap little place, would definitely recommend it.

Another little shack in the middle of the desert with antiques on the walls that must have been worth a fortune and nobody really cared.

Oh, it's the tool.

This is the original Hotel California from the Eagles in Todos Santos, Baja. They used to stay here in there heyday and so they wrote the song about this place, pretty cool.

Ella and Chris, great people, at Marquis los Cabos. I would say that this is the best hotel I have ever been in and I will go so far to say that should anyone out there want to have an extraordinary experience, then come and spend 4 days here, you will definitely come back!

Now for some shots around the hotel...

This is wonderful Carla, who kept us entertained in the evenings and at dinner. She knew the words to every song she sang by heart and we sat there and requested songs all night, she did not miss a beat. A memory like I can only dream about.

Melissa wrote:
We pulled into Loreto after riding through the heat. Our mesh jackets and pants did their best to keep us cool, but it was still a very hot ride. Looking for a hotel, we came to the malecon, the promenade along the beach, and I spotted a beautiful hotel called La Mision. Brand new, with a pool that beckoned us in. The hotel was out of our self-imposed ‘budget’ but I threw caution to the wind and negotiated a good rate. The room had central air (by now a real luxury) and crisp white sheets and duvet. I never wanted to leave. The next morning we were approached by Maribel, the Time-Share salesperson associated with the hotel, who invited us to breakfast to hear a presentation about the hotel. When speaking with her boss, Manuel, it turned out that the new Director of Sales for the hotel was Alfredo Rosas, who used to be a client of mine from my Amex days in Destination Marketing, when he was based in Los Cabos. What a small world. After a nice reunion and chat with Alfredo, the next day we headed south. We had been told to spend the night in Lopez Mateo, a good way-point on the way to Cabo. However, when we arrived there, this small village that subsists on the winter-season whale watching tours was empty. Not a hotel to be found. So…we decided to ride on. The heat was extreme, so we stopped at a small roadside restaurant to get some water. A red truck with Colorado plates was parked there, and when we began to chat with the 2 Americans there, Ken and Michael, they told us they were in Mexico mapping out a course for a televised race they are producing featuring vintage motorcycles and cars. Michael was from Los Angeles, and is a former producer on “The Amazing Race”. He advised us to send a videotape to CBS and audition for The Amazing Race….wouldn’t that be a kick!
The road brought us to Puerto San Carlos, on the Pacific Coast. When we entered this small town we began to look for a hotel. The roads were largely sand and dirt, and when riding down one of these dirt roads, we hit some soft sand. The front of the bike began the now-familiar wiggle, Chris tried to put his legs down but I knew we were going over. As we were struggling to get the motorcycle upright, a car stopped and Raul, a friendly local guy who was on his way to work, stopped to help us. Raul told us about a hotel that was owned by an Irish family, called Brennan’s. He was worried about us getting tripped up again on the roads, so he called his friend who worked at the hotel to come and guide us there. His friend showed up in about 2 minutes and off we went. That night we were walking through the small town, and on the outdoor basketball courts a band was playing, and crowds of people sat expectantly in a semicircle around the stage. We asked what was happening. Turns out that the Sea Turtle is very important to this pueblito, and conservation of the Sea Turtle an important cause. This evening was the crowning of “La Reina de La Tortuga” or the Turtle Queen….a beauty pageant of little girls and teens! We settled in for a great evening, with music, cheering, and lots of fun..including a dancing turtle. The next night we spent in La Paz, an unforgettable experience at the Oasis Hotel. For $30 a night we got an air conditioner with a broken face, one dim light bulb, wild television and a hotel full of Mexican guests cheering the victory of the Mexican soccer team over the Americans.
The next morning we set off for Los Cabos, riding through the cool, artistic surf town of Todos Santos. My friend Ella, whom I met during my Mexico City days, is now the General Manager of a beautiful hotel in Los Cabos called Marquis Los Cabos. Wonderful, zen hotel right on the ocean, with amazing views, great service and so many great details. We spent the first night here sharing lots of laughs and good times with Ella and her husband Chris. Great, great people, and we have so enjoyed being with them. On Friday I head home for a few days to check on things, and Chris will soldier on…we’ll meet up in Acapulco to resume our journey!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bahia de los Angeles to Loreto-July 23

Chris wrote:
Just arrived in Bahia De Los Angeles and got rid of the bags, and now off to go see the town, 110 degrees in the shade and humid as hell.

This is the bunch of guys from the "DLTMYGT" fishing tournament, they kept us very much entertained for a couple of days. You will read more about them later.

Ocean meets desert, makes for great colors at sunset.

I took a ride down a stretch of the "Baja 1000" route. What I would give to have my dirtbike here!

Like being on the moon, with color.

This is Pepe taking us out to see the whale sharks, we later found out that he has a knack for hitting big things in the ocean with his boat . A couple of years ago he ran over 4 girls in a semi-ridgid, no one was hurt and this day he hit a whale shark. Way to go, Pepe!!!

About an 30 foot whale shark, we dived in, carefully, and swam with this guy. Great experience.

"DLTMYGT" prize giving, with lots of Tequila.

A typical day at the beach, and Alejandro would serve us beers right here.

This quiet afternoon at the beach ended up getting a bit louder...

and louder...

and louder

until the tequila was all gone and we ended up feeling sorry for ourselves the next morning in the terrible heat.

This is our breakfast spot at Guillermo's motel in Bahia de los Angeles.

We nearly ran these guys over, our fellow mules.

KFC, below the below the border.

Built in the early 1700's. Its so dry here there is absolutely no corrosion.

Inside the Mission , San Ignacio.

This could be upside down. This lake is in the middle of the desert.

Same lake a little later.

Like a whale out of water.

These roads were in fantastic condition all the way down so far, one does need to watch out for the trucks.

Now Steve in the red was a plmbing contractor that said to Hell with it, packed up and moved to paradise, now he lives in this RV on his own little beach living off the ocean, with no stress, for about $1000.00 a year. He surfs in the morning, fishes in the afternoon and drinks beer at night.

This is his shower, made from stuff collected from the ocean.

Beaches like this are scattered all the way along the coast of the Sea of Cortez

Cool dudes

Cool dudette

We met Sandra at the Patron bar on the beach at Mulege, a sweet fun lady, she gave us some good pointers.

This was the first rain we have seen in a long time and it completely muddied up this road and as a result we nearly saw the shiny side down.

Those are grass shacks that you inhabit for the day or week or permanently, depending on how fussy you are.

Beware of moving objects!!!

What can I say, Missy's porta-gym, keeping fit on the road...

Melissa wrote:
We were scheduled to leave Bahia de Los Angeles at 7am this past Sunday. Up at 6, we were having breakfast, ready to load the bike, sitting under the patchy palapa at Guillermo’s and gazing at the blue water, when we looked at each other and said “Why are we leaving?” That’s when we decided to stay another day. What will we do? We hatched a plan to persuade one of the local fishermen to take us out in his ‘panga’ or small fishing boat in search of the whale sharks that live in the waters of the bay. We walked next door to the cinderblock building that housed “Alfredo’s Sportfishing” and started negotiations with Pepe, an elderly guy, with whom we finally agreed on a price. Pepe rented us his family’s snorkeling gear and off we went. We rode for nearly 2 hours searching, did some snorkeling and finally gave up and headed back. Suddenly a big ‘boom’ and the boat stopped short, nearly giving Pepe a heart attack. Seems after all of our searching we had bumped into a whale shark, and he was right alongside the small boat. He was over 30 feet long, huge, and we could see him clearly through the water. Chris and I grabbed our fins and masks and jumped in. When I opened my eyes underwater, I had landed right near his head, and his huge mouth was open. Looking at his eye and his cavernous open mouth, I must say I got a fright. He was indeed docile, though, and we were able to touch him, and finally to hold onto his dorsal fin and let this huge, gentle creature pull us through the warm blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. It was a truly magical experience. Enjoying another beautiful day in paradise (or as we called it, our own Corona commercial), we relaxed on the beach, and then the last few guys that were part of the DLTMYGT Fishing Tournament stopped by. The margaritas started flowing, and then Pat produced a bottle of Correlejos Tequila, the smoothest tequila we have ever had. Chris and I tried to keep up with the youngsters of 24, and it was a fun and crazy evening. We DID leave the next day and rode through the extreme heat to the town of San Ignacio, home of a mission built in the 1700s. It is a charming little pueblo, with a freshwater lake right there in the middle of the desert. As we pulled into San Ignacio we met a couple from Denmark, both riding KLRs—they had just gotten their bike licenses in Denmark, then flew to California, bought the bikes, and took off for Mexico. The woman was riding a 650cc bike---I was very impressed! One night in San Ignacio at the Desert Inn, and the next morning we headed out for Mulege (Mul-e-hee), which is a very small town near a river. On the way to Mulege, we stopped for some water and met Steve, an American surfer and fisherman who had retired at 40-something and moved down there. He lived in Santa Rosalia in a camper right on a beautiful beach. He had a dirt bike, a kayak, a small boat and was the happiest guy you could ever meet. He invited us to come by, and we went to check out his homestead. He was a plumber and had fashioned an outdoor shower out of a fishing rod attached to his camper. From the fishing rod he hung a paint bucket with some type of net around it—this was his shower. His shaving mirror was an old car rear-view mirror attached to the wall. Guy paradise. We stopped at the first hotel we saw in Mulege, called Brisas del Mar, a shady place with an equally shady owner and some scary dogs which wasn’t very clean, and was basically awful. We walked down to the beach along a dirt road and stopped for something to eat at Bar Patron at the beach where we met Sandra, an American lady who has lived in Mulege for 15 years. She was great, lots of fun, and gave us some great tips for the road ahead. It had rained a lot last night, so the dirt road out of the hotel had turned to slick mud, and when coming up the road this morning we nearly had a spill. Thank God Chris rides motocross, he can really handle that bike. Today we arrived in Loreto, a beautiful town on the coast with a lovely malecon and some great hotels. We checked into the Hotel Mision, a beautiful hotel on the beach..We’re considering staying an extra day to go scuba diving. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!