Saturday, November 01, 2014

Day 19 - Guerrero Negro B.C.S

Day 19 and I made it to Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur and sitting in the Malarrimo bar having some crevasses and dinner. It felt like crossing into another country since they have a border patrol and I noticed the RV ahead of me getting something sprayed on the bottom of the RV as it was crossing into the state. They didn’t do it for me so who knows what it is because if it were a wash, my bike could sure use it, I’ll get to that in a bit. I also know that the time zone changed, but since they fell back a week early they are now on Pacific time that I guess I didn’t lose any time after all, no that happens tomorrow when I head to Loreto because that’s when Pacific time, including Ensenada changes. Oh well, tomorrow is a short ride anyway so I won’t be in any hurry to get up and might be able to do some site seeing on my way there.

Yesterday was finally my last day of Spanish school and since I’ve been solo all week I asked if we could spend the last 2 hours in the afternoon going through somethings which were important to me for my ride south. The first was going through how they tell time in Mexico which was pretty easy to pickup since I do know how to count in Spanish. The next was a lesson on road signs that I really could of used a week earlier so I could have been studying, but from the ride today if I pay attention to the color I should be ok. I was able to make out most of them when it came to the curvy roads in the mountains, but there was one that wasn’t marked very well so I almost missed it. The last for Spanish class was the sentences I’d need to ask Roberto to get my bike packed and pulled out early in the morning and the other was to let Diana know just how much I appreciated her cooking and hospitality. It was definitely the way to get to learn Spanish and spend time with a Mexican family and I can tell you that Diana’s cooking was muy bueno. 

Because the rest of the afternoon was about packing the bike for my trip today, I made a quick trip downtown for one more at Salu to say ‘hola’ and ‘adios’ to everyone at the bar and let them know how much I appreciated their hospitality and would likely see them in  a couple of weeks on my way back through. I also had other intentions of going downtown and that was to find a little something for Diana. I had one thing in mind, but couldn’t find it cuz I’m sure I had seen it one week earlier when all the merchants were trying to get me into their shops and that was a Harley bracelet, something a little more feminine than all that I saws yesterday. Well, with that not working out I’ll just have to pick up something from Cabo so I have an excuse to stop in and visit on my return trip. That meant that last night was pretty quite night for me as I dream about my ride south and try to envision the turns and curves through the mountains. 

So for today’s ride and after having 2 weeks of perfect weather while I was stuck inside going to school, wouldn’t you know it, today decided to start out with rain. I saw it in the forecast and when they are 100% sure it’ll rain, sure enough that’s exactly what it did. Fortunately the heavy stuff in Ensenada was earlier, but that didn’t help matters with the ride. Fortunately I did have a couple of companions, Rolando and his son Santiago that were going to ride with me, rain or shine which I sure appreciated. I know to many people that would change their mind about riding because of the weather and sure I’ve done it on occasion, but I guess when you tell someone earlier that you’re going to do something you should stick with it, rain or shine.

We got an early start since I wanted to make sure I made Guerrero Negro today, and based on everyone telling me it’s a 10 hour drive by car, I could definitely see why. For me I’m on a bike that I had a lot more pickup up the mountain roads, was faster in the corners, except for the wet ones and I can pass a lot of vehicles. It was only because of being able to pass as many vehicles that I did before getting to El Rosa that I knew I’d be able to make it as far as I wanted, well, maybe change that figured I’d be able to. As for the only highway south, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Narrow roads, especially thru the mountains that you really have to be on your toes or in this case, gas, front and back brakes when needed. There wasn’t much rain out of Ensenada, but when we got into the mountain roads after finally getting past the slow traffic just south of Ensenada, that’s when we hit the heavier stuff and it was obvious these roads were dangerous to drive no matter what vehicle. We passed a car that was overturn over the guard rail and a little further up the road an 18 wheeler that didn’t make the corner and was overturned wiping out the entire guard rail. I was really hoping got make better time, but even for us and the wet roads we had to throttle down so as not to go down. The ass end did slip out on me a couple of times, but that was getting a start from a stop sign and stop light that I was able to keep from losing it and I sure would hate to go down yet again this year, twice is more than enough.

So we get to the restaurant that Rolando suggests as a great place for breakfast, but because we’ve already lost some time, I tell him and Santiago that I’m going to keep going since I have quite a ways to still go. Fortunately for me Diana had given me some wrapped tortillas for my trip so I had something to snack on on the way. Well, with the gnarly road to still ride, I had rain all the way to El Rosa and made my regular gas stops. I did miss a few because I hadn’t gone that far and knew I’d have gas stations until El Rosa, but after that I was a bit worried. 

At El Rosa I asked the attendant how far for my next gas and he said 3 hours to Guerrero Negro, or about 20 minutes before that I might be able to get gas and right then I know I wouldn’t be able to make it without my reserve can along. I made sure it was full and took off not worrying about it too much, but really enjoying the scenery which was petty impressive for a ways after El Rosa. I didn’t get to see too much because all of my attention was on the road and making sure i missed the potholes and corners and it’s definitely not the kind of road that I could even set my cruise control and just cruise, it took all of may attention and especially on the curvy mountain roads. There is nothing like an 18 wheeler coming at you around the corner and making sure one, you get far enough over in the lane since he’s using almost the whole lane and 2 hoping he’s not going to rollover on you in those corners he has the inside and I’m on the out. Just like the rig we saw over turned, it’d be too easy to put an end to me. 

Ok, so on the road I ran into about 3 washouts and I mean washouts that I definitely had to slow it way down to negotiate a way through. The other was the military stops, that I had 2, but they were no hassle what so ever. They checked my pack, more or less making sure it was secure and let me on my marry way. I was following them earlier in my ride and just stayed behind them thinking it wasn’t ok to pass, but as soon as other cars started passing me and them, I just went for it. No problem and I’m sure glad there was no problem with policia. There probably aren’t many on this road and I only saw one by one of the washouts that I came too. That might be because there’s not much for towns after El Rosa and for most of the ride I had a lot of the road to myself which is pretty nice with the narrow roads with no shoulders. Again, it doesn’t make any difference whether going around a corner or not, but when you have an 18 wheeler heading at you on these narrow roads, even that is something to worry about getting around. I guess it’d be that and everyone else that likes to pass no matter where. Fortunately today I didn’t have to worry about that, a passing vehicle coming at me that didn’t see me.

So my bike was thirsty for gas and since it was a long way to Guerrero Negro and there was no way to make it on the gas I did have, even the extra gallon I made sure to find and stop at the locals selling their own gas. I saw it from the Canadian’s ’s who made a trip to Cabo’s website so figure it was a good thing to make a stop and although my bike got great gas mileage through the mountains I could still use it. I saw 2 of them in the same city so didn’t even think about negotiating, but it was definitely expensive. For me though I had no choice because even with a full tank and the extra gallon on the back I wouldn’t of been able to make it cuz at this gas stop it still to 3 gallons to fill me up. If my calculations are right, that would have likely put me a gallon short hadn’t I stopped. 

Tonight I’ve already met some of the RVer’s that I passed on the way down and one of them was wondering why they hadn’t seen me after the last military stop figuring they were giving me a hard time. Actually the stops weren’t much, they asked where I was from, where I was going and the reason for my trip that for me, I’m on vacation. Well, it will be more of a vacation once I get to Cabo and defeat the highway 1 through Baja California, but I still have a couple of days to go. Tomorrow a shot ride and we’ll see what the highway 1 from here down is like. I do know I won’t have to worry about gas because there are a lot more along the way. Oh and as for my checkin with Steve the Aussie, I tried calling him this morning and fortunately for Rolando interpreting the message for me, his phone number is out of service. That meant my checkin tonight was with Rolando and I guess if need be, maybe he could send out a troop to look for me if he didn’t hear from me. 

And before I forget, the deal with the bike wash is my bike is almost as muddy and dirty as it was when I road from Canada into Alaska on the muddy road. You would think the rain would help clean the bike, but the roads in Mexico are pretty dirty, my rain gear was even proof of that. You can see the mud on the bike which I asked for and got secure parking almost out my hotel door. Close enough that I’ll be able to hear the alarm, but I do have my beeper with just in case.

Tomorrow a new day and stay tune for the days travels. Oh and for my Spanish at this hotel, just enough to get me by, but still used more English than Espanyol.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful sunset! Looks like a great ride.

11/02/2014 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Good thing that you are used to doing a lot of riding. Glad that you didn't have any troubles at policia stops!

11/13/2014 8:32 AM  

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