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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Baja Mexico wanderings

Hi everyone, thanks for visiting this thread!! I hope this works as a way to organize and post the various trips I'm doing in Baja with my T-dub, Orbit. It can work like a little mini blog, and I'll just add to it as trips accumulate. Time sequence may not be chronological. A previous trip is here: http://tw200forum.com/forum/trails-off-road-adventure-riding/9205-baja-mexico-sierra-giganta-loop-ride.html

Without further intro, lets get rolling!


Trip 1, Ligui Canyon
Ligui Canyon is about 25 miles south of Loreto, and is relatively unknown. The exit off Mex Hwy 1 is the same as a huge time share resort, but instead of going East to the Sea of Cortez, you turn West, go under the highway bridge, and head up a dry river bed. I found a couple of touring motorcyclists on loaded dual sport bikes stopped under the bridge. They were wondering if they should go up the canyon to find a place to camp. We decided to go up together.

In sharp contrast to the wide gravel road to the resort, within 10 feet of the turn to go under the bridge you are on very rough, unprepared riverbed. It's nature's mix of sand, gravel of every size and shape on up to rocks of any size. There were some packed tire tracks leading up the river so at first it was pretty firm going. The packed part of the tire tracks only went about 3/4 of a mile- to someone's house! Oh, tracks continued up the riverbed alright but immediately became quite soft. Orbits big tires squirmed around a little bit but there was no hesitation about continuing. My pals on the dual sport bikes had different luck. The gal immediately caught the front tire in a patch of soft sand. She did great, managed to keep the bike upright; we were going pretty slowly. We rode around a couple of bends in the canyon and I noticed that the tire tracks petered out considerably. The 4x4's were turning around or stopping and getting out and walking. Orbit also reacted: the packing effect of the tire tracks was gone, and this dry river bed mix was soft as mush. I looked back exactly in time to see the other rider catch his front tire and go down. No one was going fast. In the midst of this riverbed (pretty much without thinking about it) I simply turned Orbit around and went back to help! Oh it was soft, but I never questioned whether or not I'd make it.

No damage done to either rider, bike nor gear, so we decided to try to continue. Came to a little ridge in the river bed, maybe 3-4 feet high, deep soft sand at the bottom and well up the steep slope, no traction aiding gravel for at least 5 feet on top, just small soft pea gravel at least a foot deep. I came towards the bottom and seriously wondered if Orbit would make it. Huh! The Duro dug, the engine lugged a little and we were up, almost effortless. It was out of the question for the dual sport bikes. One came boldly into the sand but buried the rear wheel up to the chain with no forward movement. You had to put something big down for your kickstand to rest on. The three of us took 20 minutes to get the bike out of the sand. I turned around again and accompanied them back to the packed tire tracks. Then retraced the route clear up the river bed. The last stretch was a boulder field; Orbit left the only tire tracks through them.

The reward for the effort was a beautiful, pristine sandstone canyon with fresh water flowing over sculpted multicolored rock. The first section required swimming up the pools, then clambering around a little waterfall. I hiked as long as daylight permitted, then returned. The ride out was equally uneventful. TW rocks!!









 

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Wow, nice ride! Way to take the road less traveled I'd love to do that trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Trip 2, Bahia Agua Verde & a hotsprings

Trip 2 was an overnight. I have a long love of hot springs (who doesn't) and have traveled great distances to just see one that was too hot to get into! I had sailed into Bahia Agua Verde and stayed there, a beautiful turquoise bay with long sand beaches and a tiny community in the broad flat area at the head of the bay.

But there were only rumors of a hot springs in the vicinity. People had searched and looked; the rumor persisted. It seemed that it was right in the tide line, covered at high tide. But the area where it might be is tight, maybe open to the occasionally strong northerly winds that sweep down the Sea of Cortez during winter months. The closest known safe anchorage involved leaving the boat around an island, out of view and a mile away, and dinghying over. Too risky.

A TW scouting trip is in order! Several miles south on good ol Mex 1, through some fantastic 2 lane twisties!



The road to Agua Verde is famous in Baja. Famously rough. It also has a long twisting cliff hanging descent back down to sea level off of an inland plateau. In good Mexico fashion, they are paving the top part of the road. It's almost finished, and no work was being done when I rode it, but traffic is not allowed to use it!! Instead we are required to use a very rough detour. There was a little bit of fun because water flowed across the detour, fairly deep in some places.



Then came the long descent back to sea level



People take moderate sized RV's down this road, so for the TW it was just another beautiful day in the desert. Some of the corners are extremely tight with a cliff on one side and a drop off on the other. I wouldn't want to tow much of a trailer through it. This little section had to be paved; it probably washed out frequently in years past.



Finally back down at sea level, the first thing I hit was the cluster of adobe homes that comprise Bahia San Cosme. I turned, and drove right through this little community, everyone waving (all 2 of them), very friendly. I had sort of figured out that I needed to hit the beach and start looking. The "road" turned into a tidal path, once again in deep loose stones and sand, also leading down onto a bedrock flat. Most of the track was on a side hill, 4x4 only for automobiles, very soft. This flat section wasn't too bad, but it was covered with green sea moss, very slick to even walk on.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Trip 2 cont'd

Well, at least I had found some sort of track! I had timed the trip for low tide- I don't like getting the bike wet with salt water any more than I must. One of the engines I had disassembled for parts for the 230 had clearly been exposed to something corrosive. Maybe it was only road salt, maybe something else, but it had more of the white aluminum death than I wanted to see. Another reason for low tide: I had become convinced the hot spring pool was only visible at low tides. It was late afternoon when I came over a little point of land and found another, much smaller bay, beautiful. There were 5 people all camping out of pickup truck & 4x4 van campers. The tracks went inland from there, but I had found the springs. Those aren't normal tide pools- they're hot!!





Nuttin like a hot soak after a long day on the bike!



The beach was kinda rocky for camping so I found this nice spot.



The next morning was high tide and everyone had to wait if they wanted to leave. The little dirt track continued on, quickly turning into a foot path up a little dry wash, with some nice steep rock climbs. It was said to lead to an unfriendly ejido land owner, so I stayed on it till I found his fence and turned around. By the time I got back the tide had receded a bit and I decided to take my chances. The route out was uneventful. At the main road I turned south and rode in to Agua Verde, a distance of perhaps another 10 - 15 miles each way. A friend and bicyclist was there with his little 4x4 camper, great to see him.



The distance wasn't super long, probably a RT of 120 miles give or take. But sure was fun. Wish ya'all were here!!

Roy
 

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All I can say is, WOW!!!!

What an experience; you are doing a fabulous job of documenting your trip.

I'm jealous and I didn't even think I wanted to do a trip like that but you are seeing some spectacular sights. Maybe I do want to go to Mexico ;)
 

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i used to love baja, but haven't been there in years. when all the SHTF it seem like too much adventure, glad to see it has calmed down and is as beautiful as ever.
 

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People take moderate sized RV's down this road, so for the TW it was just another beautiful day in the desert.

Classic sentence above the photo. I may have to steal this quote at some time in the future.

I'm really liking this thread with all the remoteness and such.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for watching everybody, very glad you're enjoying it!! Admiral, welcome to any quote ya like!! I've been having nuttin but fun. The boat or the little camper van serves as a base, a micro home from which to play.

One of life's little problems in the desert is WATER; I'm finding I want to plan on 1 gallon per 24 hour day per person. I carry a gallon in 2 containers; 1 is a 3 Liter hydration pack, the other is a 1 Liter bottle- my backpacking gear. That's slightly more than you absolutely must have, but a margin of safety is smart out here. I also carry an excellent little water purification filter, but surface water down here is usually a little "nutritious" in appearance...I would have used Ligui Cyn water after filtering it. That's currently a limitation on the trips I've been taking; must figure out how to carry 2 nights water.

It's all about wide open spaces and few to no barriers. So far as I can tell, vast areas of it is owner-less land, and is considered open range. I'm sure there's an owner somewhere, but heck, it's all cactus anyhow- what can anyone do to harm it!? In contrast to the US, it's the rarity to find a fence!!

Weather has been ideal for moto travel. Beautiful sunny skies and as warm during the day as you might wish for. Cool nights and mornings- you want a light sleeping bag. To my surprise we saw a little spatter of rain 2 days ago, not enough to keep me from riding, but freshened up the desert a lot. Depending on your tolerance for heat in riding gear, it's best November thru March. After that it's just too hot.

Riding gear is another subject. Apparently there's no helmet law here- you see a moto cop occasionally and he's not wearing one- nor is any local rider. I gear up, never get on the bike without it.

R.
 

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When I was in the desert I drank about 3 gallons a day.
 

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Vagabond first, great posts, thanks for sharing and making us jealous. Have you looked into the Kolpin tanks? Rotopax Kolpin Gas Fuel Pack System Just Gas Tanks is your complete online shop for IMS, Clarke, Acerbis, and Safari Fuel Tanks. - Just Gas Tanks.com Besides fuel they have identical ones made for water, same mount system and everything. Then you will have the option of carrying a fuel can or a water can in the mount and it takes only seconds to swap. Put two mounts and get the 2 Gal cans and you can have 4 Gal of fuel, 4 Gal of water or 2 Gal fuel and 2 Gal water, etc., whatever you need for that adventure. That's my plan for an adventure ready TW.
 

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Had a thought about using that fat tire for a resevoir. As it is unsprung weight would be ideal for a few gallons of extra. With a small air pump along and a coil of hose, it might be slow, but so is a 50 mi walk out of the desert.

Owning tractors have had fluid in them for ballast. Fluid balances it's self and doesn't affect stopping as it just keeps in motion. I know, sounds a bit crazy lol. Just something that came to mind in a dream.
 

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Hummm....that's an interesting solution plumbstraight. If anyone tries that I sure hope they post it to let us know how it works for them.

I keep checking back here waiting for Vagabond's next trip blog. Our weather has been so nasty here that I haven't ridden in a week and Vagabond's trip blogs are so interesting and inspiring that I am starting to have withdrawals waiting for my next fix.....lol.
 

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Wow, great pics and it sure does look like some gorgeous terrain you are riding. I will be the Debbie Downer and instead of water I would be packing guns and ammo in that lawless country. I applaud what you are doing but must say I pray for your safety. I have always been one who believes there are many fantastic rides we can take right here in our country and I have always questioned those who embark on adventures outside of it.

In the news right now is a story about a fellow from NY who embarked on a MC trip in to Mexico and has not been heard from for over 2 weeks. Sorry if I shed a degree of negativity here but I will watch this thread and stay right here in the good old USA with no desire to do what you are doing.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Glad everyone is enjoying the trip logs, thanks for watching. I have a couple of other trips to post; do check back. Just returned from a highway trip to the Pacific coast and was impressed with how much the western desert has warmed up. Not-quite-hot-but-getting-close type of hot.

@ OurDee: Water consumption depends on many things. If you're exerting: walking, running, bicycling, you go through tons of water. Up till now riding the TW hasn't been much exertion, nor has the weather been very hot. I've got tons of backcountry experience and am super careful, plan way ahead.

@ maddawgj: have indeed slobbered and drooled over the rotopax etc bottles. Would definitely find room for 1 or 10, but they are kinda pricey after the mount etc. I'm very reluctant to hang anything off the sides of the bike, front or rear. I get too close to hard objects, something would bend. The parts and pieces need to be easily replaced where ever I am; fancy replacement stuff is a month away. My current thinking on water is to get a 1 G red gas bottle- available at Mexican hardware stores- and use it for water on the front rack. Temporary idea, searching for better. May go with a Clarke plastic 4 gallon tank and not carry any fuel.

@ ronnydog: the world was younger then. Very cool pix. Thx, wish I could turn back the clock. But keep my TW of course.

@ plumbstraight: I had a logging skidder for some years that had liquid filled tires. The area experienced freezing conditions so calcium had to be added. Rokon wheels are tanks and carry fluids, but they top out at 25? mph. Partially filling the tire with a liquid would increase centrifugal forces dramatically. Neat idea, wonder what the water would taste like...

@ dette: Keep checking back. Been doing some trips but have had company for the last few days so have not been online as much.

@GaryL: No need to worry over me, but thanks for the expression of concern! I've been traveling my entire life; this is as safe as it gets overseas. Baja has consistently rejected the bad guys. The US is great for riding, but it's also closing down- gates and fences everywhere. Even Mexico is changing, simply too many people trying to find a nice place. I ran into that missing NY guy on a little beach south of here- he was so blissed out he could not stand the thought of calling home!! Seriously, there are lots of people traveling by motorcycle in Mexico- including Mexicans! Its simply Great Riding, very beautiful, relaxed and friendly. Absolutely no serious problems, besides running out of PB&J in the middle of the desert.
 
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