Well my goodness, the last three days sure have been different. Wonderful each in their own ways.
I will start with what started great, then turned to shit, followed by great. That would be Saturday the 27th of April. We were all fired up to get on the road again after 7 nights in Cabo using Gaila’s timeshare points. Let’s hear it for top-shelf stay way past our normal budget. After gearing all up and packed up Gaila went to start her bike but had no luck. All the lights came on and stuff, but it would just not fire. A dreaded EWS code popped up on her bikes computer screen and that gave us lots of reason for worry. Like no way to start the bike without this unique BMW specific immobilizer key antenna. Hard to explain…
Fortunately, this error code triggered in error ultimately. But not before we search all through Cabo for the people who USE to own the now defunct BMW dealer hoping they might have the spare part in old unused inventory. No luck. Then we started looking for a truck to give Sassy Pants a ride back to San Diego, as there are no other easy ways to get this particular part. When I ran a diagnostic on the battery it showed red, so figured it might be low too. Too confirm it wasn’t the battery we found a cool shop – Baja Motos I think, through our new friend Mark who we met at the hotel. Charged it up fully and then went looking for rental truck, stop for lunch and called RideWest. Gaila talked to Ben there and he was confident it wasn’t the key immobilizer and suggested it should be the battery. Well, now fully charged up I dropped it back into the old girl and guess what? She fired right up. Hurray! And no EWS code either. Yeah!!!
With Sassy Pants now running, it was 4 pm and we figured the ride to San Jose del Cabo would confirm the charge and such. After a little (OK, a lot) of searching we found a quaint little hotel downtown. Guess what? El Jeffe – aka Presidente of the California Sur state was in town so they had the whole place blocked off. We walked down to the festivities and really enjoyed seeing some of the “local” goings on. Not to mention some pleasant coffee beverages and even a little Tequila tasting in a cigar bar shop that has served many famous people like Brad Pitt and others based on the pictures. This place was tiny, like 10 x 10 and the owner was a cool and interesting guy. With the stress of her bike addressed, we were able to sleep like babies.
Waking on Sunday one day behind our envisioned travel schedule we were now on a mission. And that mission for me was to find some dirt and make miles at the same time. Heading due east out of San Jose del Cabo we found exactly that. Well, that and sand. I had seen on the maps, GPS and Google Earth what looked like a very decent road heading along the coastline up towards Buena Vista and then La Paz, our hoped for minimum destination. Oh and what a great road it was!! So much unspoiled coastline and what colors to boot. Yes, there were some private residence, but way more beach and dirt than homes. It was a spectacular road for our big GS bikes. For the most part, very manageable and quite pleasant. Yes, a few spots were very sandy and some of it deep and treacherous. But overall really good. Unfortunately one sand filled turn caught Gaila out and she went down pretty hard. Not as bad as broken ankle in Wisconsin or the dirt filled face in UT but hard enough to bruise her hip and ring her bell. Not to mention pushing the right side handbar in a bit. Oh well, she is better for the outing. While we weren’t breaking any land speed records it was a great learning and practicing day. Should server us well for other upcoming roads. 🙂
Parking the bikes on the beach twice and splashing around in the water was perfecto. Hell, Gaila stripped down and jumped right in once we got to Buena Vista. A pleasant little slice of heaven were we met more folks from WA and Canada. The Pacific Northwest is very well represented in Mexico and Central America overall. Maybe it is the rain that makes us travel or just good open minded people wanted to see and explore the world. One more good stretch of real sand out of Buena Vista was pretty exciting too. This time deeper and longer. Perhaps the funniest part was when the local Policia Municipalia (or something like that) put his truck lights on as he approached us in this deep sand. He asked for my license and I in turned asked what I had done. This knowing full well nothing. He kept asking and so did I. After a couple minutes of this his partner looked at me with a little wave of the hand and glance that said “just go” so that is exactly what I did. After a few “gracias” of course. Gaila was bit surprised and just followed along. Halfway expecting him to turn around and follow I was very pleased when he did not. Whew! Making it into La Paz late on Sunday afternoon we found a pleasant and cheap hostel. Too tired to look for camping and we really needed a shower. At first it did not appear we were going to find any dinner as everything was closed. This is typical on Sunday nights and we need to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there were places open a few blocks away on the malecon. Which is Mexican for boardwalk – this on the Sea of Cortez. Another well deserved shower, this one with hot water even and we called it a night.
This morning we popped up bright and early and smiled again after Gaila’s bike started right up. Looks like problem fixed. For now at least. Since we were in La Paz again – we were two Saturday’s ago after disembarking the ferry from mainland Mexico that brought us to Baja – I wanted to get back to Sound Cafe a most excellent Beatles themed coffee shop. Not only did we find it, but they remembered us and treated us to a free slice of morning cheesecake. Not a bad way to start the day. Today was yet another different day of riding. There isn’t too much between La Paz and Loreto except 250 miles of one lane highway or what surely must be really rough river wash sand. We chose the former having had an awesome day of dirt on Sunday. Ends up this was a very pleasant and surprising treat. No, there really isn’t much out there except for Mother Nature’s handy work. Overtime must have been paid. Millions of cactus, rolling hills, small but impressive mountains and incredible blue oceans. Most of the road was boring and straight but was intermixed with some excellent and fast twisties. Especially as we first dropped down into a valley and then back out as we climbed the mountains outside of Loreto.
As we dropped into Loreto we could see something was up. And not just the argument Gaila and I had been having about when and where we were going. As usual, she wanted to stop more and I wanted to keep moving. Sometimes, the tensions run high over that topic… Anyway, orange cones, barriers and police were directing traffic. As we came to a blockade the officer asked if we were with the race and I sort of nodded and he waved us one. As we got fully around the corner, I could see that a full Baja-type rally was in swing. We found a front row spot to park the bikes and then started checking it out. Ends up it is the Mexico 1000 off-road race. Lots of bikes, buggies and seriously cool cars and trucks. Oh and for us, a free dinner. We crashed the party after meeting Jim in Comms and John one of the support guys riding a BMW 1150 GS down here to help out – all the way from Vancouver WA. Hoping he might ride with us tomorrow or later in the week. After we got checked into the hotel and before dinner we decide to sprint up to San Javier about 25 miles away where there is an awesome church built in 1744 – 1758. This after the San Francisco Mission launched there in 1699! Dang. It was indeed special as was the 300 year old olive tree out behind the church. Thanks Donn & Deb Harvey for the suggestion. While surprisingly the road was officially paved, we had to dodge wash outs, bits that had simply fallen away down the cliff and one water crossing. A great ride in my book!
Well, there you have it – a slice from 3 very different days. Sunday was frustrating but ultimately satisfying after all was fix up. Yesterday in the dirt was perfect, as was all the ocean views we had. Today was a just a simple pleasure. Nice riding in ever changing vistas. Hard to ask for much more.