Ride to the End of the Earth
We started from Los Angeles on the 5th of January. We all met at the Anabella Hotel in Anaheim, CA. We rode to the Mexican border and had to get our tourist cards, and the vehicle importation certificates for our bikes. I had a problem because I brought the title for the wrong bike, and it took me another hour to get my paper work done. I was sent back to the copier to get about four copies of every form about five times. I eventually went to the Customs person, and he stamped my insurance certificate and that was enough to get my permit to bring my bike into Mexico.
After all that, we left the border about 3:00 PM and had another 200 miles to ride. We rode until about 7:30 PM thru fog and some traffic to get to San Quentin.
Day Two and Three
We did not have much time to enjoy San Quentin, and we started early the next day for Guerrero Negro. This town is named for the ship “Black Warrior”. It sank on a reef near the entrance to the harbor. This is a great whale watching town. We went to see the Grey Whales and followed a mother and her pup for about an hour. The baby was probably born about two weeks before.
After leaving Guerrero Negro we went across the peninsula to Loreto on the Sea of Cortez. We stayed in a very new hotel here and had a good dinner. The ride down from the mountains to the sea was a great ride with wonderful weather. My bike is running well and I am trying to get my POV Camera working. We stopped today in a cactus grove and messed around with all of our cameras, trying different things.
Today we rode from Loreto to La Paz. It was not a very interesting ride and we arrived at La Paz early for lunch, which we had at a very nice marina. We then went and got our tickets for the ferry to Mazatlan on the mainland. Once we got our tickets, we rode out to look for a place to camp over-night but found that the only place was too windy and not very nice, so we decided to stay at a hotel in town. We are now sitting out on the veranda overlooking the main street and watching all the people cruise by in their cars with the radios as loud as they can be. This in a nice town and the people are mostly Mexican with very few tourists. We think it is because the economy in the US is so bad.
I am finally getting into the groove of being on a motorcycle, and in and out of a different hotel every night. The riding has been fairly easy with no traffic and great weather.
I have found the people to be very friendly and don’t feel that there is any major drug problem in the Baja except for Tijuana. I saw the in paper that there was a killing up there a few days ago.
Helge, Dan, and Vince are great to travel with. We seem to be getting along well and I think that it will work out for the next two months. I am sure that we will have some bad times, but I also think that we are mature enough to "get over it". One thing nice about traveling by motorcycle is that you are alone most of the day, concentrating on the riding, and by night you are too tired to do anything but sleep.
I also have to find a way to get rid of some stuff. With all the camping equipment and warm to cold weather gear, I seem to have a lot of stuff. I will sort it out when we get to Dan’s sister’s house in San Miguel de Allende.
We spent the morning shopping for Helge’s birthday presents and looking around the town of La Paz. On a quiet Sunday morning the shops were open, but here wasn't much shopping. This little town has a Home Depot, Sears, and Walmart. We then went out to a beach restaurant to have lunch and Helge interviewed me again because he thinks he forgot to push the record button on his video camera the last time.
We then went to the ferry terminal and loaded the bikes onto the ferry. We had to tie them down in six places in case of rough weather. It is an overnight ferry to Mazatlan and we should get in at 6:00AM tomorrow. The ferry is very nice with a good looking restaurant. It had a pool but it was closed.
I got a chance to talk to Edwina today. She was able to call me on my iPhone. I am not sure what the charge is for either party but it was nice to talk to her. She was in the Dallas airport going back to West Palm after Mia’s competition. I understand that Mia did very well in the competition and she won a lot of awards. I am very proud of her. She is a very talented singer, actress, and dancer.
We departed the ferry in Mazatlan and proceeded up through the mountains to Durango. This was probably the most beautiful motorcycle ride that I have ever taken. They call it the Devil's Backbone and it truly is. It is a road the goes right up a spine in the mountains and you can look down on either side of the road for thousands of feet. My GPS said at the highest point we were over 9,000 feet above sea level.
After arriving in Durango we had to wait for Dan, who took another route, so we ate at a Burger King and he arrived about 90 minutes later. The Burger King had Wi-Fi so we could use that while we waited. Durango is a very busy city and hard to find your way around, but we made it.
We then went to Zacatecas where we arrived in the dark in time for a dinner of pizza in the hotel lobby. It was a long day but well worth it and we made about 350 miles.
I left the hotel expecting that the ride would be a little cold, but soon found myself freezing and we stopped to put on our heated gear. What a godsend this heated gear is! The lowest temperature that I noticed on my bike computer was 36 degrees. We had no problem finding our way to San Miguel de Allende, but when we got into the city we had a little difficulty finding Dan’s sister’s house. The streets are all cobblestone and hilly and very hard to ride on. It was like off road riding in the middle of the city. I would not like to ride this surface in the rain!
Dan’s sister Harriet has a wonderful home in the middle of San Miguel with has five bedrooms, two kitchens, and about six decks where you have wonderful views of the city. It is a U-shaped house that is built around another house, very unique. Harriet is an artist and she put a tremendous amount of thought into this house. After a tour of the property, we went for a walk around the city and then went out for a great dinner, compliments of Dan. The discussion at the dinner table was very interesting with talk about travel, politics, religion, and early childhood experiences of Dan and Harriet when they lived in Istanbul, Turkey.
We spent the day walking around San Miguel and getting the history and the feel of the town from Harriet. What a fantastic host! She walked us up to the botanical garden and then we went into town and walked thru the markets. While on the street, Harriet met a friend who had a mask gallery and he showed us the museum that he created. It was incredible.
I found a spa later in the afternoon and had a massage. I then went back to Harriet’s where she arranged a party of all her friends in San Miguel. I met many very interesting people and had lively conversations with them. Harriet was the perfect host.
We left Harriet’s after a great breakfast at about 8:30AM. We rode on the cobblestone roads through San Miguel to get out of the city. Those roads were very hilly and hard to ride. It really was like off-road riding in the middle of the city. After about an hour of riding, we ran into a horrible traffic jam on a two-lane road full of trucks. We were able to sneak by on the opposite lane for about four miles and then take a detour to get around the jam-up. I think those trucks are still there waiting. Helge did a great job leading us around this mess. We had lunch at a small restaurant on the way and then rode on to Taxco, which is an old silver mining town. It is very quaint and we got a nice hotel in the middle of town right off the square. We had dinner overlooking the square and the church.
I was able to call on Skype and talked to Jennifer and Jaden. I also talked to Edwina and she sent me Mia’s song that she did in the competition in California. I am starting to miss home and wish that Edwina was with me.
So far I have had no problem with the bike, but I am having a problem getting my title for it. I had Tom from my office go down to my house in New Jersey and get it out of the safe, then ship it to Terry in Dan’s office in Cleveland. She gave it to Dan’s wife who brought it to Harriet’s house in San Miguel and after all that, I forgot to get it from her!
They tried to call us on the road today but did not get us until lunch. We worked out that they would send it to hotel in a town that we will be at in four days. I need it to get across the border into Guatemala . What a mess! I guess when you get older you forget things. I have tried not to be a problem on this trip but this title is getting me in trouble. Hope that I get it soon.
Dan has been losing bolts from his bike but it is still running. He always seems to have a way of getting things fixed.
What a fantastic motorcycle ride we had today! We rode great twisty roads for about 200 miles. If you like to ride motorcycles come to Mexico! The weather was perfect, about 70 degrees all day. We went thru very hilly regions from Taxco to Oaxaca. The terrain didn’t change much all day until we got to Oaxaca, and here there are a lot of high mountains around the city. We stopped for lunch at a nice little place and Dan had a chance to fix his bike and put all the parts back on that have left him since departure. We are in a nice hotel but we have to park our bikes about two blocks away, and cannot do that until after 8:00PM.