Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 33 - El Rosario B.C.

Day 33 and I’m at Mama’s restaurant next to the motel I’ll be spending the night in El Rosario, B.C. Yep, the ’S’ is gone and I’m now in Baja California about 3 hours south of Ensenada. I got another early start since I set my alarm to catch the sunrise over the Gulf of California instead of the Pacific, which who ever heard of the sun rising over the Pacific, that is unless you live in Cabo. I thought about going back to bed since I only had about a 6 hour ride ahead of me, but figured I’d start the day with a warm shower and hitting the road early. 

Well, even though it was a cold shower last night after a full days ride, I thought for sure I’d get hot water this morning, but was once again proven wrong. My 2 weeks of cold showers just keeps going and once I told the front desk, the guy who could speak English said I should’ve of let it run for 15 minutes or longer because of where the room is located it takes even longer for hot water to get there. He did offer me to try again, but now that I’m packed and have a cold shower in, I’m ready for a days ride. 

I did capture a number of pictures on my way out of Santa Rosalia, the copper town and it took longer than I remember the drive in. I don’t know how they do it with one Baja Peninsula highway when it runs through as many small towns as it does. I eventually escaped the towns grip and after getting the feel for a few curves got back into the swing of things so I could up the speed and start hitting it hard. Now that I’m riding the same road backwards I think I have a pretty good handle on what section of curves to worry about and those that I can’t take a little faster. I’ve also figured out the stretches that I’ve upped my speed by at least 5 mph and am now even using the cruise control a lot more than I did on the trip down. 

I’d like to say I have the curves memorized and must be dreaming about them at night that once I start riding them, it’s like I’ve ridden this road hundreds of times. Yeah, it’s not that, but I have been spending a little more time on the signs on curves coming up and at least understand that much Spanish, when there are curves coming up and I need lower my speed. Also, the section of ride from Santa Rosalia to Guerrero Negro and even past is a pretty flat straight ride. It was only leaving Santa Rosalia and entering El Rosario that I had the curvy mountain roads to navigate, which made for a quick trip.

There was the usual military stops along the way, 2 which for some reason they are checking things out a lot more than what they did on the way down. Not sure if it has anything to do with the Baja 1000 which is in the Baja area, but there are a lot more vehicles to worry about and the thing I do worry about and make sure I use the right side of the lane is making sure someone sees me coming and doesn’t decide to pull out in front of me. Since no one pays attention to passing or no passing signs, which there really aren’t many of either, people are passing anywhere they think they can get by which is also an advantage to me since I can get up to a passing speed a lot quicker than most vehicles even up the mountains. The military stops were pretty harmless just having me open the bikes side bags so they could to through them, so the drugs are still safe in the travel bags that I’ve been using that hopefully I’ll make the border without any problems. Right, like I’m dumb enough to try something like that to get thrown in a Mexican jail.

There was something else different about this ride that I might have mentioned about for the ride down, but not only did I gain an hour since I moved into Pacific time, but I did that by crossing what seems to be it’s own border crossing from Baja California Sur to Baja California. I did learn since I was hoping to have something shipped down while I was in Cabo that it is the case and I would’ve had to pay an extra tax not only to get the item into Mexico, but also to get it to B.C.S. that I decided against it. I do think Dave at the Harley shopped mentioned the something if they have to have something shipped from Milwaukee where usually they’ll find another Harley shop, only in the mainland of Mexico and have them ship the parts that they need. That was probably why he was able to give me the deal on the gear plate that he did. Not stops at the border crossing, but I do know the time at least changed that now I am way ahead of schedule since it is only about a 3 hour ride left ahead of me.

I did have the section from the last gas station just north of Guerrero Negro to worry about since I know it’s a stretch my bike can’t make on one tank of gas so I debated and tried doing the math of miles to kilometers so I could figure out just how many miles I really had to worry about and whether I can skip gas and depend on the gallon of gas from the states that I’m still carrying. Well, I found that trying to not only watch the road and avoid potholes and keep the bike on the road that it made it that much more difficult to figure out the miles when I saw the sign that said 242 to the next gas stop and I already had 50 miles on the tank I was using. By the way, you do realize I meant 242 clicks that I’d have to calculate pretty quick how many miles that was. I was able to figure just by the click markers they had along the road the each click was about 8 tenths of a mile, but figured I’d be safe and get gas in Catavina like I did on the way down. I only got dos and I’m hoping it was gallons instead of liters, but it almost gave me a tank full that for the cost I know I can make El Rosario, even with my reserved gallon on the back. 

That wasn’t an issue because the ride in was pretty smooth, that is other than the road and being able to pass traffic that I got here plenty early that I could keep going since I only have 3 hours ahead of me, which I guess you can tell, I decided not to go for it. Now I know that if I really had to I could make it from Cabo to Ensenada in 2 days, if I really had to with the longest ride out of the way the first day. The other reason for not going for it was Rolando wasn’t expecting me until mañana and since I tried calling him and couldn’t get a hold of him decided I might as well spend the night that a hotel that the group from Canada that did a Baja trip recommended which is next door to the gas station and this restaurant.

And better yet, my shower after a long days ride was actually a nice hot shower which I’ve been waiting weeks for. It felt so good I just stood there and soaked as much of it up as I could. With that I decided to walk the streets, well, I guess you’d call them the shoulder of the Baja Highway 1 through a little more of town and it definitely isn’t the thing to do, I’d say probably not even for those that live here. You’ll see it in some of the pics once I get them loaded, but the only thing the residents have to walk is a very small dirty shoulder of the road and there was one section I just missed getting hit by a passing vehicle. It felt close enough that I was happy that not even the side mirror missed me. At least it’s a short walk to the hotel which I’ll likely head to soon since my visa is no good at this restaurant so I have to scrap together enough cash, hopefully they’ll take US so I can pay for my stay.

There’s not much else to report from today’s travels, and now only being like I’ve said at least twice, 3 hours from Ensenada I get to sleep in and only have to worry about being out of my room by noon that I can sleep in. Now that thing to do would be to see how many more beers can I actually afford, that is if US is good enough to use. More to come and I’ve already decided one thing I wouldn’t mind having when I get back to the states, a good pizza. And something else that I just realized because I have one buzzing me right now, the mosquitos were bad not only in Santa Rosalia, but they are also bad here in El Rosario. I can’t complain about the weather however even though Rolando said it is getting cold that even though it is only the low 70’s, sure colder than the Sur, it’s still warmer than home. 

No pics yet since another night of bad wifi. They'll be coming. Pics are finally here and plenty of them.
El Rosario pics


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