September 26th through 28th, 2011
I felt a lot better leaving Guerrero Negro, running into other travelers will do that. Of course, except for Jeremy on his VFR, they were all headed north, but that was just details.
One thing I had learned was there was a hurricane out on the Pacific named Hilary, which had a chance of hitting the Baja Peninsula. This, obviously, would not be good for any motorcycles in the area, or tents for that matter. Weather forecasting being what it is, I couldn’t find out anything about where Hilary was headed, so decided just to keep heading south for the time being. The only other options, staying where I was or heading back to ride down the mainland, didn’t appeal to me. So I packed up and headed south in the morning, planning for a long day and stopping on the Bahia Concepcion. There was a restaurant/resort the Mills had recommended to me there. I shared this with Jeremy, but in the end he stopped at Mulege. I guess his hotel sucked.
The ride was hot, away from the cool Pacific, Baja felt like the desert it looked like. I had the hydration pack and kept drinking, but didn’t stop enough for breaks an by late morning was starting to feel a bit batty.
Of course, once you’re there, you don’t really notice. So I only had about 30 minutes of stopped time for the 5 hour ride, and bought some dates which I don’t think I actually like.
The resort on the bay allowed camping on the beach, and the view was impressive
It was very windy as I was setting up the tent, and I figured that would keep me cool at night, despite the heat and humidity. Alas, the wind died as the sun set, and the temperature didn’t fall very much. On the up side, the owner was from Green Bay and a huge football fan. While I had missed the Packer game, we turned the Monday Night game on and ate hamburgers. It was just like being back home, except the captions on the TV were in Spanish (not the commentary, though).
I was strongly tempted to stay on the bay for a second day. The view alone was worth it. Talking with Mike, the owner (and his wife, a Baja local named Olivia) he was reasonably sure Hilary was going to either miss Baja, or just fizzle out when it hit colder water. But he also suggested I should be under cover, since if it did turn towards Baja it would become a monster when it hit the warm water of the Sea of Cortez.
Still, I vacillated in the morning, finally deciding to leave and hitting the road near 11am.
The late start meant I got to ride during the hottest part of the day. And I saw clouds for the first time in a while. I even got rained on, warm bath water falling from the sky, and only just enough to slicken up the road. Afterwards I think it got hotter.
I reached Villa Constitucion and pulled into the first hotel that had a secure looking lot. I had adjusted my valves in the morning, and now the bike wouldn’t idle. It ran fine otherwise, but it was still concerning. After a shower to cool off and reduce my brain temp to normal I found the problem in seconds…I hadn’t reconnected the vacuum line.
Jeremy, as it turned out, had arrived at the same hotel a few hours earlier, and we discussed our Hilary/La Paz plans. I now had three suggestions on hotels in La Paz, and shared a couple with him. Then I went for a stroll around town.
The coffee star loco reminded me of Starbucks (and then there is the whole ‘star’ part). I hadn’t seen any before, so I wasn’t sure if it was a chain or not. Just in case it was related to Starbucks I didn’t go in, though a frappe sounded pretty good.
After dinner I went back to the hotel and uploaded pictures and blogs. I had set the a/c for 16, not really knowing my centigrade temps, which is about 60 as it turns out. That was a bit cooler than I wanted, and I had to fiddle with it so I didn’t see my breath. The bed linens were light and not up to keeping anyone warm, which given the temps outside I guess isn’t usually the problem.
In the morning I headed off for La Paz. It wasn’t that far down the road, and I hoped to be there in the early afternoon, dreading the heat of the day as I headed further south.