Thursday, February 9th and Friday February 10th, 2017 – La Paz, Baja California South to San José del Cabo, Baja California South: ~150 miles.
The trip comes to a close.
Missed Day 5? Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 – Mulegé, Baja California South to La Paz, Baja California South: ~300 miles.
Our last day on the road was one to remember. We were feeling pretty comfortable with the big bikes off-road and we weren’t in a rush as we only had to cover 150 miles over the next several hours. With that in mind, we felt like we could spend some quality time in La Paz before we hit the road.
We had managed to get the town-name-statue-with-bikes photo at every other major city we stopped in, so we couldn’t leave La Paz without doing the same. Thankfully, it was just a few seconds away from the hotel.
An hour and a half south of La Paz, we stopped for gas in Los Barriles. While we were filling our tanks, an ex-pat named Jeff on a Yamaha TW200 pulled up. I started chatting with him and found out that he was a big RevZilla customer, so he was real excited when I introduced him to Spurgeon! Our GPS was telling us to stay on the main highway, but Jeff recommended an alternate route into Cabo that would let us get plenty of dirt.
Said dirt road runs along the coast and takes you through the town of Cabo Pulmo – Jeff said we’d be able to find some excellent fish tacos there for lunch. He didn’t have to tell us twice, and it ended up being a perfect big ADV bike road: off the beaten path and full of things to check out/wildlife to avoid and befriend.
Oh, and the view of the coast was amazing. In fact, MotoQuest even used one of Spurgeon’s shots of me on this stretch for a promotional postcard. I’ll pretend it was Baby Jack and not the beautiful view that got their attention.
So far, we were feeling pretty good about Jeff’s recommendation. But then we stopped in Cabo Pulmo, and it got even better. There’s three or four restaurants in town, but we had no idea so we (amateurishly) stopped at the first one we saw because the vibe looked good enough. It was Tito’s Restaurant and Bar, and things were looking promising as soon as we walked by the kitchen.
Our casual hike over, we continued on this amazing road, enjoying the occasional whoop along the way. We’d leapfrog in front of each other, guessing areas that might make for good action shots. My old BMW mechanic called the GS a “pavement-indifferent” machine – even if the road surface isn’t great, you can still carry plenty of speed with comfort. Just make sure you have plenty of ‘cinchos de plastico’ if you get a little bit of air with already-bent SW-Motech bars! Thankfully, they were fine with this landing.
While waiting to take a photo of Spurgeon getting a little air himself, an ex-pat couple in a Fiat 500 rolled up. I’m always amused when I feel like an adventurer on a dirt road somewhere on a motorcycle and then I see a local in a 2wd passenger car do the same thing. Obviously they were going much, much slower, but considering the guy in the back was basically sitting in the trunk of a ragtop with a beer in hand, it’s hard to say who was having more fun.
Another two hours along the coast and we found ourselves in San José del Cabo. All throughout the trip, Spurgeon and I had been staying in cheap, basic motels. We were expecting to do the same in Cabo, but we decided to check out the hotel that we were supposed to leave the bikes at the next day for MotoQuest to see what it was like. Posada Real Los Cabos was a beautiful resort and the nightly fee for a double was only about $100. Not too bad. Then I found out that our room rate included unlimited alcohol. Say what now? We decided to spend the night here.
With that said, I had some plans before my alcohol consumption would commence. Years ago when Vy and I were down in this area, we were told about a local organization that releases baby sea turtles into the ocean. I had looked at their website the night before and they said that releases happened every day. Just to make sure, I asked the front desk to call them as well. A young lady answered and said yes, there would be a release at 5:30pm…meaning I had 90 minutes to unpack in the room and then get to their location 60 minutes away. So once we checked in, I left Spurgeon to drink and chat up the locals so I could try and chat up some turtles.
The last leg of the ride in got very sandy, and it led to my only drop of the trip. I was a bit annoyed with myself (and embarrassed because there was a car in the distance) so instead of doing the smart thing and taking a photo, I immediately got the bike back up and continued on. Thankfully, my cow skull was no worse for wear. The bike was also fine, as MotoQuest equips them with plenty of crash bars.
At 5:35pm a young woman in dreads walks out of the building and starts to lock up the gate. “Excuse me, when is the release today?” “Oh, there’s no release today.” “What? Didn’t I speak with you on the phone just a couple of hours ago to confirm that there would be a release?” “Yeah, but I was just saying that the releases happen at 5:30pm when we have turtles. We don’t have any turtles today.”
Bummer. The organization is called Tortugueros Las Playitas and they have access to 30+ miles of coastline which they patrol on a quad. Whenever they discover turtle eggs, they dig them up and rehome them in the above greenhouse to keep the eggs safe from predators. Once the eggs have hatched, they are then released them into the wild. If you like cute things, you can see what I missed out on:
This is high up on Vy’s list to see, so I guess we’ll just have to come back and experience it for ourselves! Bike-urious Baja Motorcycle Trip 2021, anyone?
I got back to the hotel and Spurgeon had a good laugh at my expense. But with the bikes safely delivered and in MotoQuest’s hands, our duty as bike stewards was complete. I showered and then joined Spurgeon at the bar in an attempt to catch up on his several hour head start of drinking.
The next day, we got a taxi to the airport, where there’s a piece of art called “Tail Light Swarm” by Amy Landesberg. Can you identify what car these are off of? I’ll give you a hint – the installation is from 2015.
The original plan was that I would fly back home to Los Angeles, while Spurgeon would fly into San Diego and participate in Wheelie University for a video/story on RevZilla. Unfortunately, there was a threat of rain so the organizer cancelled and RevZilla was left with a camera crew that they paid for with nothing to shoot. I ended up visiting Wheelie University myself later – did you catch that story?
Thus concludes my time in Baja on this trip. My only takeaways this time were some photos I could share with you and some great memories I’ll keep for years – sadly, I didn’t think I’d be able to take the cow skull back home with me on the flight, so I had to leave it on the bike. No idea what MotoQuest ended up doing with it!