Posted by: caryandjohn | February 26, 2009

Santa Rosalía

Cary here..

We left our campsite at Clambey just south of Bahia Tortugas on Sunday the 22nd. We had Carne Asada for dinner that I´d picked up at the local store and listened into the night to the music and festivities across the Bay in Tortugus from a fishing tournament celebration they were having. John was recovering a bit from being sore after having run into the back of me the evening before when we were coming into the road for camping. 😦 I had stopped to point out a campsite and JOhn hadn´t noticed when he plowed right into the back of me, swerved and caught a pile of gravel and went down. He was OK, but the other givi sidebag got ripped off…

After the short dirt ride out from the campsite, we pumped our tires for the pavement and headed off. The road out from Tortugus is paved for about 40 miles, then it turns to grated gravel super highway for about 30 miles and then unimproved/sorta rough pavement all the way to the town of Vizcaino. About 15-20 miles into the road out, John and I came across a guy standing next to his truck (relatively new, business truck) which appeared broken down. We slowed and stopped to see if there was anything we could do to help. He pointed out that his rear tire was flat and then asked John in Spanish how far it was back to Tortugus. I was like, I think its like 10 kilometers or something (I was a little off..) and asked if he wanted a ride back to town on my bike.. kinda thinking he would most likely turn me down — me being a girl on a small dirtbike, he may have been a bit more comfortable with putting his bets down on the catching a ride with the next car/truck coming– but no, he must have been pretty desparate because he was like `OK´.. John noted that his bike was busted and wouldn´t be the best bike to carry him- but the guy didn´t seem to mind- he crossed his chest with a prayer and turned his ballcap around and hopped on. We putted down the road, a bit awkwardly, passed a police checkpoint (where we got a couple of big smiles) and dropped him off in town – no problem.

We turned around and headed down the long road.. it was getting hot now that we were getting away from the water. This road goes through a pretty good amount of desolate desert, with an occasional rancho. We passed three trucks broken down on the road.. which was a bit disconcerning, but no problems for us.
We got to the town of Vizcaino, passed by the first Pemex gas station (it was packed with a line of cars), and opted for the other one about 10 miles south down the road on our way to San Ignacio. We got it San Ignacio (again- people are starting to think we´re moving in) and got a room at Hotel Posada. After 4 nights camping on the Vizcaino Penisula, we we´re pretty beat and ready for a shower and a bed (at least I was). We went into town for our favorite carne tacos for dinner. We slept well for about 12 hours.

We woke up for JOHN´s BIRTHDAY on Monday the 23rd. He opened a present from me – a copy of Steinbeck´s The Pearl and a local embroided decorative tapastry I picked up for him in town on our previous visit. We went into the town square, had coffee and sat around. We found out about a local baseball game happening later that afternoon to innagurate a new baseball field with the Baja California Sur Governor coming, etc. We met Ken on the GS 800 from Britain who we stopped and chatted with, sharing all of our tips that we had picked up along the way. He walked back to the hotel with us and chatted some more. We also met up with him for tacos that night.

We rested for a bit and then had a big lunch at the cafe down the street with newly built cabanas for rent (@300 pesos/noche). We were pretty full and tired so, down for a siesta and then on to the ballgame. We decided to walk which was about a mile down the road out of town. On the way out we met Craig who was on his big beemer from Chicago and was planning on heading down to Santa Rosalia for the night. He passed us while we were walking down the road to the baseball game and then passed us again, heading back into town. The sun was setting and he hadn´t realized it. So we turned him on to Hotel Posada for a nights stay which he took.
The game held our attention for all of about 30 minutes.. We headed back to town and met Ken for carne tacos and hung out in the Plaza for a bit. This is where we met Brenda, from Colorado who took the bus from La Paz up to San Ignacio – she was here to see the whales. She was super excited about the whales and spoke wonderful spanish having lived in Mexico for some time. She too was at Hotel Posada.
While sitting in the plaza, Tyler (?) and Will from Oakland walked up, who we had seen earlier on 2 dirt bikes – a dr650 and a wr450. We got to talking and Will was in need of a front tube. They had been doing all sorts of rough riding all over Baja, going thru tires and tubes and he was presently riding on a 21 inch tube (for his 17 inch? wheel). John and I decided that these guys were most likely in more need of our spare tube than us, so figuring we could get a new one from the SFMC folks heading down, we gave Will John´s spare front tube.. (We later found out from Brenda who we ran into out at the whale whatching place at the Laguna San Ignacio that the tube didn´t end up working out for them and so they were going to have to head back north to where there truck was in Santa Inez.. oh well)

Getting up the next morning (after some lovely fresh brewed coffee from Craigs camp stove) we thought we´d head on down to Santa Rosalia, but we decided to go check out the road to Laguna San Ignacio where the whale whatching is. The road is paved for about a mile and then mostly graded gravel (we passed the road grader- twice!) for about 35 miles. Upon arriving to Antonio´s Whale Whatching we got their wonderful lunch of fish and scallops (the size of your hand) sauted in butter and garlic! Soooo good! We decided to camp in one of the palapas for $20 night ($10/person- a little pricy but with toilets and hot showers and a nicew view of the lagoon). There was a cot that John the gentleman he is, let me have and we camped under the palapa with no tent. We read, relaxed and took in the sunset.
Up the next morning, we were greeted again by the WideOpen and 20 or so of ther pre-runner cars- These are the guys we saw up in Guadlupe Canyon. They were doing another run and this was one of their stops. We figure we´re getting to all the right places if we keep running into these guys. We also chatted with a nice guy Eddie from San Diego who was on vacation and a phototographer here to take some pics of the whales. No whale whatching for us this time. I think we´ll wait until Cousin Liz gets here.

Now we´re in Santa Rosalia and are staying at Hotel Del Real, which is a bit of a step up for 350 pesos- there´s cable TV which we have been enjoying. We are walking around the town today and taking pictures and we´ll plan on staying another night. This was once a French Colonized town- so the architecture and feel is a bit different- super charming. Next stop the famous French bakery- El Boleo.

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