Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tourista Too

Saturday ....   Guerro Negro

I found a function which appeared to be put on by different agencies to educate kids about Ecology, History, and Culture.  It was well done, and it appeared that university students were orgainizing and presenting.  Guess what: the kids and their behaviour (read attention span) was exactly like our own.  It was very easy to spot the harried teachers trying to shepherd the kids to the different venues.  Some things dont change...

I had to find a bank or an ATM, and wandered around a bit, getting a flavour for the streets of Ensenda, which are not any different than Play del Carmen, or perhaps downtown  Jasper or Sedona...the trinkets are just different.

 Look closely, you will get it....

Everything is posssible.....

 Surfing at Sunset

My last night in Ensenada was terrible. Rule No. 47 : don't get a room in a motel with a bar attached to it. I could not believe that the bar guys were going wide open at 2:00 AM. This is not simply the click of pool balls, and the odd raucous ring of laughter: this is out and out 110 decibel Karaoke in Spanish from seven until way in the morning.   Good God!  After they settled down, three of the fancy alarm systems in the cars of the guests went after another..


I did not have a good sense of distances from the maps that I had looked at for travelling south.  My biggest concern was to ensure that I had enough fuel for Blondie, as she only carries 16 liters.  Why did BMW sell this bike as a "Adventure-touring" bike with such a rinky dink tank volume.  I have rigged up 4 sets of 1 liter bottles as a back up.  The down side to that plan is that if I ever low side, Blondie will be instant Torch material.  I packed up most of my gear the night before, fuelled up, and at first light, with a lot less sleep than I preferred, I was off on Mexico 1.  The good think about driving Baja, it is almost impossible to get lost, because there is only one significant hiway running north and south.

I talked to the owner of this rig. He said he is running it in the Baja 1000 in Noviembre.

I had programmed Mr. Garmin the night before, and by 10 AM. I found that I had completely run my route that I had planned.  I had a second wind, and the ride ran abreast of the ocean, so the cooling effect  of the ocean was making for a good ride.  I decided to push on.  Blondie wanted one last ride in the sand and a look at the ocean before we headed inland, into what was rapidly becoming a furnace.

The next few hours were probably some of the most interesting riding that I have had so far.  There is not any doubt in my mind that as soon as the highway moves inland, we are into big time desert country: I mean no cowboys, no Indians, just dessert.   A pretty scrawny desert too, except for the parts where there appears to be artesian percolation which green up the area.

Like they say timing in Life is everything, and I could not have done a poorer job of planning my ride across the backbone of Baja, through the desert and the heat of the day.  Mad dogs, Englishmen, and Boomers on Bikes I guess.  I knew that I was up against more unknowns than the Nevada situation where I cooked my goose, so to speak.  Here, I had the added unkowns of not knowing if gas stations were going to be open, as well as not being very clear about the size of the towns on the maps that I had.  I passed many little villages with a taco stand and a tire repair guy and that was it: No fuel, no water, and definitely no direction signs..

Grumpy and Hot...

Out  in the middle of nowhere, and I exaggerate not,  a crew was paving, I ended up having a pleasant  conversation with a flagman/loader operator.  When I told him that I use to pave, but I drank too much, and that it was hot and dirty work, he told me about his  native wife from Barrow Alaska.  It wasn't clear the last time that he saw her, but he must have felt like talking to a stranger.  Funny how that works, eh?

My sixth new hat, in case I ever go paving in Mexico.

I rolled into Guerro Negro just as the sun was setting, and found a decent motel.  After a few hiccups with the interweb, I managed to get things going.  Ended up having an interesting conversation with a party of 3 guys from the local university who are in a tourism course.  Unfortunately, they wanted to practice their English, so much of my pontificating was in English, when I should have been Spangling more.  I told the older of the fellows about my goal of going to school in Oaxca, and he turned me on to   a very cool website, run by a teacher friend of his in Oaxaca.  He also told me that there are people who work to protect different workers' rights in Mexico, and I think that he described them as "syndico's".
He told me a bout the gray whales in the harbour and how they give birth and what a great sight they are.  I said that i have seen the very same whales when they pass by Nootka Sound on their way north (and south.)  There apparently are some cave paintings in the region,  and I have read that their origin is still unknown.  That is the kind of tourist I would like to be, because you never know where those aliens are going to show up.....