Posted by: caryandjohn | February 10, 2009

Hola from Bahia de Los Angeles

We rode south from San Fellipe on 2/3 past the three or so miles of new paved road at Perticitos, past the construction zone (hello Mr. Welder on the bridge deck, guess this is where we get off the pavement & welcome to Mexico!).

The road down to Rubin and Alfonsinas at Gonzaga Bay is much rougher then I remember. Norm, the nice man we met when we finally got to Alfonsina´s told us they had pretty much stopped maintaining the road since they started paving in earnest south of Pertocitas. It is still a beautiful ride, however. We met a couple of guys on KTMs (a 640 & a big twin cylinder thingy). Past them later when they got a flat, and beat them into town. Ha. We met Phil, Johnny and Paul from Steamboat who were on a BMW GS650 Dakar, KLR and Husaburg. Nice guys who were heading all the way to Cabo, maybe.

We spent three nights at Alfonsina´s, because we wound up in a nice room on the second floor, where the rooms have private balconys, overlooking the lagoon behind the place. It is right on the water, so the sound of the waves lapping on the shore on the bay side lulled us to sleep in the evening. And the food is fantastic. The second night we dined with Jerry and Debbie on a GSA from Canada. Big respect to Debbie riding two up. Jerry was a retired Canadian Mountie with a law degree, just like Bulwinkle!

Our final night we spent with five bikers from Tenn. & N. Carolina who had ridden 30 hours out of the cold to Mexicali and were finishing a 1600 mile loop on their XR650Rs and KTM 525s. Earlier that day we had taken a hike up Isle San Gonzaga, and walked down the beach to check out the palapas on the south end of the strand.

We woke up on 2/6, loaded the bikes, and took off for Coco´s corner. The good news there is Coco is back after having his second leg amputated below the knee.

Cary and I missed him though, as he was off on a water run to Catavina in the new-to-Coco truck that has been outfitted so he can drive it. We chatted with Rick and Sterling. Rick remembered us from our colors, he`s a Middlegate, NV, type, who works in the US for a while, gets paid, and then heads to Baja.

Sterling was on a GS650 and is involved with making instructional videos for BMW types. He interviewed Cary and I (look for it on Youtube) since we were the first bikers to come through Coco´s since Stirling had arrived the night before. He stayed in the camper shell with one of our old panoramic photos, with our banner right in the middle. Frank took a photo of it when it was displayed, but Coco keeps it locked up now, he had a lot of things stolen while he was in the hospital.

So, anyway, I missed meeting Coco again. Maybe next time.

Cary and I continued on to Catavina down the much better dirt road to Hwy 1, where we turned north to go to Catavina and Santa Inez. Matilda is the nice lady at Santa Inez who makes us breakfast when we go through there.

Matilda rented us a room there at the ranchero, which was about as nice as you would expect, but I´d always wanted to stay there because I find the place charming.

The weather had turned cold and cloudy, but we filled up on barrel gas, said hi to the crazy hippy guy who always asks me for a peso (ask him about the songs he wrote for Elvis and the invention of the hula hoop).

From Catavina we headed west to the Pacific Coast and Bahia Blanco. Kalle and I took this way last year, and it is simply a wonderful trip through the Valley of the Giants, with the boojam trees, elephant trees and of course the giant cactus that give the place its special character.

The dirt road was less sandy than I recall, and the riding was fun. I´ve found that even though I´d been there just last year, I did not remember huge parts of the ride, often felt lost, and in fact got lost a couple of times.

Cary and I persevered through my questionable navigation, however, and were soon rewarded with sweeping views of the pacific, and pristine desert isolation.

I think we passed two trucks the whole day, one of whom we scared the dickens out of (he was flying along when we appeared).

We found a great place to camp at Punta Blanca, under a lighthouse, which, it turned out, didn´t light. We went for a short walk in the evening under the full moon, and marveled in the fact that, for miles and miles, there was not a single man-made light anywere.

We recounted our day of riding and I think each of us said to the other “boy, I´d hate to be out here in the rain!”

The next morning, it started to rain …

So, we decided to head out while the getting was good. I remebered some swampy stuff when Kalle & I passed through here last year, and I made an effort to aviod some of what I recalled.

Now my map reading skill consists primarily of deciding where I`d like to be on the map, and then looking around at the landscape to confirm my wish to be where I think I am … not a recipe for getting along in life.

Anywho, we wound up in a Baja Jackpot, in a boggy playa, and had started up a road ADV´ers call the Devil´s Backbone, before I admitted defeat and consulted with Cary about going back the 20 miles we had “gone out of our way” e.g. been lost. Woe.

Cary saved our bacon by having spotted a white painted arrow that indicated a barley visible track leading more or less the way we´d like to go. It would up bypassing the miles of sticky-clay mud and deep puddles and flooded area of trail we had just slogged through. Joy.

We would up going the way Kalle and I had gone, and of course that way seemed easy with a couple of hours of dry weather and our recent “hard” riding experience. We got to the palapas that Kalle & I stayed in last year, the tree mile approach to which was a completley flooded arroyo with a muddy hill climb thrown in, none of which I remembered.

Cary lead the way on the DR through the deepest puddles (lakes, abysses), when I was ready to lay down and die. Ha.

Anyway, the plapa place is OK in the dry, but is a cesspool of contamination when it rains.

“Pheonix” came out of the darkness to welcome us, a surfer, dirty, hippy- dude from Santa Cruz, who wanted to know how flooded the road into camp was because he was feeling ill from either the mouse poop in his palapa (he´d been there since 1/1/09) or from some other mystery malady.

After Pheonix wandered off we decided to wash the bikes of the pounds and pounds of clay stuck to them in one of the puddles in camp. And then prepared dinner. Big mistake.

We both had Montezuma´s revenge the next morning, having spent the night in a puddle under the leaking palapa roof.

The good news though was we got to speak with surfer dudes, or hippy sufer dudes, or dirty hippie surfer dudes the next morning, in between visits to the outhouse. We decided to head back east to the Sea of Cortez, where there are no surfer dudes. Joy.

So, we were really hurting, wet, and sore, but determined to improve our lot by our own effort the next day, ride to Santa Rosalilita, get gas, and soldier on to Bay of LA. It was just a “we gotta get out of here” ride, but turned out to be one of our best. After getting gas and handing out stickers to the kids in Santa Rosalilita, we chased a rainbow east to Rt. 1, turned north again and took the highway to the BofLA through the high desert. The storm clouds, wet weather (which made everything green) and broken sunlight made the boojam trees and cactus appear to tower over the desert in silloutes against the sky or the distant mountains. Very nice.

We stopped for the moonrise over the Bay of LA, cold, tired and sick (but feeling better since taking the meds Cary brought to make us feel better). We found a cold room and a warm bed at Guerllmoe´s that Slim and Prospect Jen will remember from our stay there over New Year´s Eve recently.

We got hot showers, washed the bikes, washed our clothes, washed the bikes and our clothes again, and headed up here to update this blog. Yay.

Tomorrow, the plan is to head south to the camp at San Rafael, and then on to San Fransisquito, and then on to either Guerro Negro or San Ignacio or maybe both. Then up the Viscano Peninsula. Or not. About a week to internet at either place.

Thanks to David for my wonderful stick-on clock and gloves that he gave me for Christmas and which I use every day, and to Kalle for the loan of a dry bag that isn´t ventilated. And also a fantastic sleeping bag. And watering my plants! Yay Kalle!



  1. Happy Valentine’s Day almost. I miss you, Imiss Molly and I miss the grandchildren during this holiday. Because i love and miss you so much. it is so hard sometimes. I just had to express my feelings. They are so deep. Just like how my Cary’s feelings run. Continue to have a wonderful time. You deserve it!! Thank you John for loving my Cary.:) I learned about a boojam tree. Very interesting.

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