Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 12 – Loreto to Guerrero Baja California

No Internet last night so here goes:
Last night when I arrived at the Santa Fe Hotel in Loreto they had the bikers’ park out back on their new gravel parking lot. Seemed reasonable as that’s where the security office is located. It's a brand new facility and loaded with amenities I won't use but appreciate anyway.

This morning I was going to move the bike around to the front of the hotel as that made for a much shorter walk carrying all my stuff. Surprise, surprise, the Ninja was stuck like glue in the deep gravel and I literally had to clear away all of the gravel in order to get rolling. It would have been impossible if the gear had been loaded. Curse, curse...
Continuing on my route from yesterday I rode north on Highway 1; my day’s goal would be Guerrero Negro, a distance of 419 kilometers or if you prefer 260 miles. I gassed up and I was on the road a little before 9:00am, my typical starting time when touring. The weather was sunny and warm, traffic was light, and all was well with my world.

I hit the first military check point at 9:30am. It was manned by the usual kids in camouflage outfits and fondling machine guns at the ready. They seem to like the Ninja no matter where I go and this stop was no different with the exception that they went through the top box and panniers but didn’t actually dig into anything. That didn’t take long and I was back on the road but all this check point stuff and machine guns at the ready is bugging me; it loses its entertainment value after awhile.
By noon time I’d reached the town of Santa Rosalia and stopped for a drink of water and maybe look around a bit. Riding into town I’d noticed the numerous gigantic industrial buildings that appeared to have fallen into themselves. I tried to guess what they had been used for, factories or fabrication of something but all that was long ago. As I continued through the town more and more of the buildings were to be seen, everywhere you looked. It was very depressing to the point I really didn't want to take any pictures.
Occasionally men could be seen inside open bays working but I couldn’t tell what they were doing. There was a lot of smoke and grit everywhere and the entire town was littered with huge metal scrap piles who's sources ranged from car bodies up to steel girders and tanks. If l you’ve ever seen the film Road Warriors this town could serve as the set, it was filthy, smoky, overrun with debris, and it stank like death. There were even a number of vultures perched on pilings and walls evidently having just eaten or getting ready. Man I couldn’t vacate that place fast enough and even then I could smell the stench miles up the road. Maybe Stephen King lived there?
Once clear of that area the overall scenery improved and I began to catch occasional glimpses of the sea. This was spoiled as I rounded a bend and had to stop for another military check point, number two for the day. In between the first and second one I’d been passed in the oncoming lane by three federalies on their way for some highly urgent purpose no doubt. Not long after that two big military trucks with soldiers riding in the back passed by heading in the same direction as the Federalies. What fun this must be for the locals having to deal with this every day.
 Eventually I reached the part of the highway that runs close to the sea so I stopped occasionally for photos and to look around.

One of the places I rode down into had a number of cottages or huts for rent plus RV spaces.  While there I watched some Mexican fishermen whack a really big fish but I didn’t get a shot of it as I was too far away. I walked over to see it but they'd locked it away and I didn't want to ask them to open their chest so I let it pass. They said fishing had been good that morning but they seemed to be the only ones around so maybe they caught the only fish? Or hey, maybe they caught a big ol' bale of grass floating around?

Beach rentals

I love trailer art!

These guys are smugglers, I just know it.

It was time for me to move along but as I was getting ready to mount up I spotted a small knife in the sand so I scored a freebie bit of hardware. It’s a nice little knife with a sharp blade and I expect it may be my one and only souvenir from Mexico.
During the day I consume a large amount of water from the three bottles I carry with me, one in the tank bag and two in outside pockets in the MotoFizz bag right behind me. I also have a full 1-liter bottle that came with the SteriPen purification system. I’m really impressed with how easy that thing works and how nice the water tastes. Considering what it will save me in bottled water costs it won’t take long to pay for itself.
Arriving in Guerrero Negro at around 4:30pm I figured the timing had been just right; the ride had been easy, there were lots of things to see, and I was ready for a nice motel . The only problem with that was the motels in this town are really old and beat up. I finally settled on the La Posada de` Don Vicente as I liked their sign best.

Fish shower curtain - everything here is first rate.

It turned out to be passable, it’s run down pretty bad but the people have done a few upgrades and it’s not the worst one I’ve ever stayed in. Unfortunately the WIFI won’t hook up with my notebook so I’m writing this today but won’t post until tomorrow.

The guy who seems to run things came to my room and fiddled with the TV and got it going so that’s what I’ll do tonight after dinner. Is that wiring job first rate or what?

Speaking of dinner, the motel operates a restaurant and bar right here on the premises which turned out to be really handy. I strolled over for dinner and low and behold, the only other guests were four Federalies, three men and a woman all in uniform and packing. They seemed to be having a hilarious time, lots of loud laughter and all without booze. Happy cops are fun cops, eh?
Anyway my dinner was superb and I stuffed myself with chips, salsa, beefsteak tacos, chilies, beans, the works. I think I’m beginning to understand why there are so may pot bellies running around in this country.
Mexican waitress thinks my Spanish is funny. Ha ha ha....

So there ya go kiddies, this is what I look like as I head to flop on the bed and watch Mexican TV. I hope the blustery wind doesn't send El Nino to Kansas!

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