Blasting Through Baja Sur

I left Mulegé and headed south, passing by Bahía de Concepción.  It’s gorgeous; sheltered bays, beautiful beaches and a deep blue water everywhere.

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I didn’t stop though, except to take these few pictures.

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Why? Well, I wanted to save a little bit of the Baja for my next trip out here; I don’t knew when it’ll happen but by now I was convinced that I would return one day. And as much hype as Bahía de Concepción gets, and I was lead to believe, I was kind of tired of hanging out with older gringos. So, it was time to push south west, towards Cabo San Lucas.

Sadly, I had a bit of a mishap on the way; my Geigerrig backpack wasn’t strapped down correctly and somehow fell off the motorcycle, held on by only one bungee cord, and therefore dragging along for about a mile until someone pointed it out to me.  The bag, a camera lens, and an external battery pack were destroyed, but luckily I still had my TVIP papers which were inside. Could have been worse!

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A local gringo who goes by JamaicanPrincess on ADVRider and apparently lives in the Bay came down and offered some help, but really, what can you do in this situation but bundle everything up and hope that insurance will pay out?

Of course USAA didn’t (they only cover fires and meteor storms, not stupid mistakes), but all was not lost: Geigerrig, those magnificient bastards warrantied my bag and sent me a brand new one! Their exact words were, “to lessen the blow of the accident.” First class fellas, first class!

Anyway, my plan was to get to Loreto, spend a night there, and then head south to Cabo San Lucas. So, like I was saying I left pretty late and headed out towards Loreto, about an hour and a half drive or so.

Loreto is a very touristy beach town, with a high gringo population, much higher than I had seen elsewhere.  I found a hotel on the malecon, and paid my 400 pesos, though later I found out I had no hot water yet the owner had already left for the weekend. Oh well!

This hotel was right near a little bar called Augie’s, so I stopped in for a beer and some food after doing some writing and laundry. Did I mention the food was free? It’s a thing they do.

They have free food during Happy Hour! Score!
They have free food during Happy Hour! Score!

This is where my story takes a turn towards amnesia, as the one night in Loreto turned in to two. You see, many beers were had over the course of the evening, and even some Jameson shots; a surprise to me to find Irish whiskey so far south.

This guy is named Mike. We got pretty drunk.  He arm wrestled a lady later on that night.
This guy is named Mike. We got pretty drunk. He arm wrestled a lady later on that night.

That’s the last picture I have, as at that point my phone had died. Suffice to say, I’ve pieced together the following from various Mexicans I saw the next day, stopping me on the street and slapping my back, chuckling at what an excellent night we had the previous evening, and did I take home any of those girls? And would I be shooting pool again that night? Oh no José, oh dear god no.

Here’s the timeline of that night:

  • Many cervezas and Jameson shots consumed at Augie’s
  • In my elastic state, I’m convinced by some of the regulars to go with them to a local club, so we hop on some four wheelers and end up somewhere.  It looks like someones house, like a bar in Austin so I’m all in.
  • There is much dancing and merriment at the aforementioned club
  • On second thought it was probably a brothel
  • I meet some local guys and we’re cracking jokes, and they invite me out to another bar
  • We go to this bar, clearly built out of mud and stone for Mexican cowboys, and play some pool.  I’m definitely the only white guy in the place. Had an excellent time!
  • We eventually get back to the city, where myself, Mexican #1 and Mexican #2 (I feel guilty I don’t remember their names, but, c’est la vie) drink some beers and shoot the shit in our respective Spanglish dialects until 6AM, and we all go home
  • I wake up the next day at 3PM, with the mother of all hangovers and watch movies all day, falling asleep again at 10PM.

So yes I was severely hungover.  And to be honest, the only way I was able to piece together much of this was, as I was looking for sustenance on the Mother of All Hangover Days, a nice chap ran out of his restaurant laughing and talking to me about the previous night, before inviting me in for a meal.  He recommended the fresh “Vampire” juice (it had beets in it, surprisingly tasty, but what isn’t during these periods), and I was only too happy to attempt to right the previous night’s wrongs through fruits and vegetables.

So, I burned a day. These things happen.

I probably owe Loreto a better run through some other time, they do have one of the larger marine parks in the Sea of Cortez, and probably great diving as well. I did catch the sunset though, somehow figuring out how to operate my camera phone in my hungover state.

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Oh no sorry, that picture is from La Paz.  I guess I didn’t see the sunset.

Anyway, the next day, I was (seriously) up bright and early cracked on.  My mission was to make it to La Paz, spend a night there, and keep going to Cabo San Lucas before slowing down and enjoying the East Cape. I knew I would be spending a few days in La Paz before hitting the mainland, so one night was more than enough.

The general route.
The general route.

There’s not much in between Loreto and La Paz, as MEX1 cuts west and you ride through heavy agricultural country.  There’s one large city, Ciudad Insurgentes, followed by another, Ciudad Constitución, where you can stop to grab a bite to eat and gas up, but the ride is flat, flat, flat, with a little straight, straight, straight thrown in. I mean seriously, look at those Wikipedia pages; nothing on em.

For hours.

Luckily, I had some RadioLab podcasts to keep me company.  Did you know that they can (sometimes) cure rabies by inducing a coma? It’s called the Milwaukee Protocol, something I learned about while riding around.

I digress!

I found a decent hotel in La Paz, ate some great food at a place called Tail Hunters, caught the sunset (for real this time), and went to bed pretty early.

Sunset, La Paz B.C.S.
Sunset, La Paz B.C.S.

The next day, I blasted south to Todos Santos, a very popular surf and artistic town.

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I know it’s popular because there’s a lot of wealthy Canadians and Americans living there, and I couldn’t find a hotel for less than $100 a night.  So, I grabbed some lunch (tamales, my god they were good), and rode along the coast.  I probably could have stopped, camped out for a bit and learned to surf, but I was still feeling a bit guilty about my whole Loreto experience. I’m still not sure why, but there you have it.

And then as I rode through another big sweeping curve (and there are a lot of them on some Baja paved roads), I saw my ultimate destination:

Cabo San Lucas.