Friday, November 14, 2014

Day 32 - Santa Rosalia B.C.S.

Day 1 on my way home sitting at the only cantina I could find in this town with 3 guys at the table next to me from Georgia. I’m in Santa Rosalia even though I had planned on spending the night at Loreto, but I’ll get to that later. Last night was a  great night with my hosts Jess and Michael and a quiet one at that compared to most of our nights. All of us including me had an early morning and I think the drinking from the last couple of weeks finally caught up to all of us, well, maybe just Michael and I. For my last night we decided to try another local Mexican restaurant that was suppose to be pretty popular by the locals and a close 4 block walk and it was sure as great as they advertise it as. Even though I only had order enchiladas, the order was way more than I could eat that I did my best and topped it off with a few beers before calling it an early night. Sorry, no drunk fest.

Today started out with an alarm to try and catch the sunrise over the Pacific ocean. Yep, believe it or not, but you can’t see the sunset over the Pacific where we are at, but you’ll see it rising. I tried to capture that the other day with some pics, but it wasn’t nearly as good as todays. I wanted to get an early start because I knew I’d still be running into road construction between La Paz and Loreto that I also wanted to make a stop in Todos Santos Playa to get some pictures of the Hotel California which was only about an hour drive. A good an early start on the bike at 7:30 with an amigo bro hug from Michael to set me on my way and the Austrian hug from Jess. No different than any hug, but you know guys and girls hug each other differently, right?

Well, once I had checked out where Hotel California was and thought I had already passed it I still took the exit off from 19 into Todos and stopped at my first Pemex and asked where the hotel was, which I finally understood what the guy told me in Spanish. Una Mas and then dos blocks to the right. Ok, so I don’t remember the works for blocks or right, but I did understood what he meant which put me right in front of the place. It was an interesting place and instead of me going into the stories having to do with the Eagles and their song Hotel California, you can read the history yourself if you Google it.

From there I knew it wasn’t going to be long before I’d get to La Paz and sure enough, maybe another hour trip and I was there filling up with gas and trying to get directions for the bypass around La Paz to get me to Loreto. Well, this time I thought I understood the directions in Spanish and seemed to be heading in the right direction, but Mexico doesn’t do a very good job on marking exits or entrances for or off some of there highways. I saw a sign pointing for the next city I needed as well as La Paz Centro, both straight ahead that it became pretty evident to me quick that I had already missed the bypass and was in downtown La Paz. A few more stops, well, more than just a few more to find my way back to where I wanted to go and now to throw another wrench into the directions everyone was giving me there are detours since the Baja 1000 race is in town so parts of Hwy 1 are already closed. Ok, one more stop to talk to a policia (even though someone did tell me to avoid them while in Mexico) and I think I found what I was looking for. No, I couldn’t tell you how long it took running around La Paz, but I was finally happy to run into my first construction zone because then I knew I was definitely on the right track.

The constructions zones didn’t seem so bad today and it might have been a little less traffic, but I think I had just missed the watering down to cut down on the dust which also makes it as slick as ice since a lot of it is clay, that it was a better ride than I and through it a few weeks ago. I still and the same 3 construction zones, but with being able to open up a little bit and let more loose than I have since Sturgis this year, I think I got my dirt riding back down and can still hit a little hard. Don’t tense and let the bike take you where it wants and hopefully not too far off from track than straight and it’ll work all the time. 

Sure there’s a lot more I could say about the ride like how beautiful the scenery is, but it’s pretty much the same as what I wrote for my ride down, but just from a different direction that I was able to get some more videos and pics with the water on my left to start when traveling the Pacific from Cabo and then on my right once I got closer to Loreto. They have some pretty awesome stranded beaches that I had thought had I had my tent along and found a place with a bar and restaurant by the beach I could’ve spent at least on night there. There were some straw hutches that I saw, but none close to a restaurant on the beach otherwise you’d be hearing from me there. 

I was making pretty good time even with my La Paz detour because it made Loreto by 2:00 this afternoon and with plenty of sun and only about a 2 hour ride pushing it a little, I could easily make Santa Rosalia before it gets dark and I think it might have better hotels than what I saw in Mulege, that and I do have a plan for tomorrow which I’ll get to. No problems getting to Santa Rosalia even before 4 that it gave me plenty of time to drive the streets and didn’t see too much for hotels that I choose one of the better ones just coming into town and it wasn’t bad for 500 pesos that I might as well spend the night there. Well, maybe not the best choice since I couldn’t walk to downtown and will have to take a taxi, but that can’t be that bad can it? 

Finally after 2 weeks of cold showers I’m finally going to get a nice warm shower which sorry to say, was Not the case. I couldn’t believe it, no hot water and it wasn’t even luke warm that it was just like Cabo that thankfully I was sweaty, dirty and hot enough that I really didn’t care. I did say something to the front desk, but I doubt that will make any difference. If I really new my Spanish and probably a few swear words I could get my point across and have them reduce my rate that right now I’m just trying to figure out how to hail a taxi to get me back. The taxi that brought me to the first place I though twas a cantina/restaurant didn’t speak any English that right now it’s a good thing I have a card for the hotel so I can give it to the driver and tell him to take me home.

So now to how I ended up at this cantina with the guys from Georgia. After I and the taxi driver drop me off what I thought was a cantina/restaurant only to find out it was a Chinese restaurant I started walking toward downtown and stopped into a liquor store and asked some guys directions to a close cantina with good food. They pointed me Centro which is only a few blocks that I started my walk before a couple of guys with uniforms pulled up in their vehicle next to me and asked what I was looking for. Fortunately they weren’t policia uniforms that I didn’t have to run, but some construction or something like that, that I told them I was looking for a good place for a beer and some good food which they pointed was a few more blocks away and even better yet, so i don’t get lost they’ll deliver me there which is just what they did. Although it didn’t look like a cantina to me, I could use some food since I was starving that I might as well eat first which is just what I did and my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. I thought this being a water port I better get something with seafood in it so got the seafood soup, but that and a combination Mexican dinner turned out to new too much. At least there was an English movie on that I was watching and an American couple that when passing me said I choose the best restaurant in town and yes, it was very good. 

Ok, now I need a cantina and that’s how I ended up here “Obre5”, yep that’s what the sign says from my view. The guys at the restaurant said it was only 4 blocks into town and next to a el Banco, that I think I can find that. Traffic all along the street on my walk here was backed up that I was hoping they were all coming here, but not the case. Not sure where they are all going, but that’s how I ended up here. Now for the guys from Georgia, they just got into town and this was their first place out that they are here to see the copper mine. I didn’t know that’s what Santa Rosalia was known for, but that might answer the question about the bad highway 1 through town and a large old gutted out building that may have been used for that at least once. We talked for awhile before the guys had to get going and so there you have the story. Oh, and for wanting to get to Santa Rosalia instead of spending the night in Loreto, I’d like to get to El Rosario which puts me closer to Ensenada tomorrow and I heard of a hotel there that I should really checkout. I also get to avoid the large topes in Guerrero Negro that got me the first time.

And, as a side note I really avoided the topes and saw most of them soon enough to go over slow, that and I avoided the downtown I got lost in on my way for Loreto to Cabo that as long as I didn’t go downtown to hit the big topes, my kickstand is find and still kicking. I know, a good one. There was one I almost hit too hard, but that’s the other thing I’ve found with all the work they did on my bike which included new brakes that they work really well that I even got a little skid out of them. 

That’s a whole other story I could get into, but for the short version, my bike has a fixed kickstand with a new spring (and a spare they gave me just in case), I got new brakes, a new oil pump, cam plate which is the thing that took so long to get in, a tire patched, (found out I had a nail in my back tire) and a new idle sensor that this bike should last me quite a few more miles. To be honest I am definitely ready for a new bike, but we’ll see, maybe I’ll way until my next large bill. One fortunate thing about having the work done in Cabo is their service charges are quite a bit less and Dave did give me a deal on the cam plate since it took so long that although I was planning on at least a $2000 bill, it cam in under $1500 and that was with 2 shirts to boot. Not a bad deal for a bike with 133,000 and counting miles on it. 

Bad internet connect so you'll have to wait on pics. Pics are finally here. I know you might be getting sick of pics of the road, but eventually there will be videos to watch.
Santa Rosalia pics


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