Sunday, February 13, 2022

February in Baja - Part II Loreto

Leaving San Ignacio we ride to Santa Rosalia, an dirty, industrial town on the Sea of Cortez. Here we stop at the famous church designed by the person who designed the Effiel Tower. Is rare in Mexico to see an all steel church. 

The church front with pressed steel panels


The interior...



Then there are long, very long, stretches of riding over desert floors and rocky ridges. Long straight ribbons of highway interrupted with groups of tight twisties to get over over a rocky ridge. 

By midmorning we need a refreshment break, coffee or soda.  MotoQuest has a strict rule, anyone who has an alcoholic drink before the day's riding ends, gets their bike loaded on the chase vehicle's trailer and they ride in the truck the rest of the day. Great group, no one has broken the rule. Just keeping it safe for everyone. 

A roadside Loncheria, burritos, tacos, quesadias, pan...



Spotted an interesting broom being used to sweep up leaves on the sidewalk. Take a closer look. 
It's a palm frond. That's being economical... and practical.
A BIG sweep.



Came a round a bend and two burros were blocking my way. They did not want to move, so we had a Mexican Stand Off.  Can you hear the whistling music from The Good, Bad and the Ugly?

Finally dismounting, they saw I was taller than them so they moseyed off into the brush. 


My burro of steel is running great. No problems, handles the straights and the twists with ease. It did not care for Mexican regular octane fuel as it started pinging. Went back to premium whenever I find it, the pinging stopped. 


After a few twists and turns, located the well known mission in Mulege'.  The caretaker said it's only open when the Parrish priest comes, once a week... or less. 




A few more missed turns, finally landed in front of the old stone church in Loreto. It's in town but with their one way streets, I could see it but not get to it. Found an alley way to sneak in.



And finally worked our way to the Country Club resort for the night. No one can say that MotoQuest does not give you the best accommodations on their tours.

Doesn't this look more like Morocco than Mexico?    Yes they do grow dates here.



Sat out by the pool typing away on this blog, eating a Club Sandwich. Sorry, took a few bites before remembering to get a photo. Evidence that the day's riding is over is the half empty margarita glass.



My view from under the poolside canopy. That's the Sea of Cortez in the distance.



The next day, Saturday, we ride 232 miles to La Paz. The longest straightest roads so far. Had an energy drink to make sure I stayed awake.

In a small cafe along the La Paz beach front,  Frida was our waitress. Gerald, one of my riding friends, and Frida hit it off instantly. Gerald cannot say no to anyone. Has a huge smile and generous to a fault.



Frida wanted to sit on the sidecar rig. When I agreed, she whipped off the apron and jumped on.



Thought was a fair exchange for the beautiful grilled chicken sandwich she brought to my table. 

Okay, here' s your food art shot for today. 
Hey you see, I CAN take a better photo of food...

if I don't take a bite first.


One of our riders commented that he thought we are on an eating tour, interrupted with occasional motorcycle riding...  Might be! Maybe more to life than fish or shrimp tacos...  five times a day.


The maestro who made that beautiful sandwich? Caught him in the kitchen flipping pizza dough for another customer. Very talented people, friendly, smiling, preparing great food and making everyone feel welcome.

That's not a giant taco he's flying. The stone oven behind him is for the pizza. 




We are settled into our La Paz waterfront hotel. Bikes are parked for the night, happy hour is starting.
The view out the front door of my room...
 Yeah, hmmmm, well...
 you know motorcycle tours can be rough, dirty, sweaty, 
giving us that smelly biker reputation. 

Or they can be...


I'll close my door on that thought, see you on down the road. 
We are not at end of this Baja thing quite yet...

There will be a few days relaxing in and around Cabo 
before making the return ride north later next week. 
So more, much more to come.

Stay safe and ride far my friends.

CCjon

p.s. if you think riding Baja is a rare dangerous adventure, we are seeing dozens of bikes from the US and Canada down here.  It's safer than you read. Every native we have met is friendly and welcoming. Some towns are more insistent on everybody wearing masks in public. No big issue, roll with it and enjoy the atmosphere and the warming sun.

2 comments:

  1. Good food p*** pic! Do you guys get to wander around the town after the writing is done or do you have to stay in that group?

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    1. Thanks Dom, when riding, we try to stay somewhat together so as not to miss a turn or if someone needs help. We pool money so as to have one ticket at the gas stops to get in and out faster. Since some will ride faster the others, the guide tries to regroup us several times a day, particularly before a military check point. Most in the group are not fluent in Spanish. Once we arrive somewhere new for the night, I go solo, walking around, meeting and talking with the locals, looking for photo opportunities.

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