Motorcycling Mainland Mexico and Baja Peninsula

Motorcling Trip #4

10 days, 1,800 miles, Feb 2012

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Day 10 2012-02-15Day 10 page 10 of 10

Camp north of Alfonsinas to Arizona City

Breaking camp at first light. At times like these I could have used a tripod to hold the camera still.

We packed up and road s short ways to the coast to take a round of photos of the sunrise. Then we continued riding the pavement north. The scenery was stupendous in the early morning light. We had to be careful of rocks that had fallen from the cliffs and landed on the pavement, and also the vados, many of which showed deep scars from people driving over them too fast. For two hours we saw only 1 other person, riding a bicycle, but no other vehicles. And there had been none during the night.

lubing the chains in San Felipe.

We past by Puertecitos without stopping, then mid-morning pulled into San Felipe for gas and coffee. In the parking lot We put the bikes up on the center stands to check the tire pressure and to lube the chains. Then we headed north, following Mexico 5, and early afternoon we reached Mexicali and drove the busy street to the north end of town and the border fence, then west on the border road. We ended up in a line of vehicles three lanes wide. Other drivers kept telling us we needed to be over to the left in the fourth lane, but it was too late and we couldn't get over to that lane. A fellow riding a motorcycle actually stopped, walked over to us, and told us to just zig-zag through, lane-splitting, and get up to the front of the line. So that is what we started doing. The motorists didn't mind, they were apparently used to this.

Waiting in line at the border.

Eventually we got through and arrived in Calexico, California. We kept going north to Interstate 8 then headed east to Yuma. We stopped for gas there and went in to the restaurant and ordered large salads. Jenny started to pay with pesos, but realized that would not work, so she went back out to her bike to dig out some American dollars.

We made a couple more stops in the late afternoon. The freeway riding was very windy, and we couldn't go much more than 65 mph because of safety concerns. But in the late evening the wind died. The sun went down and we road by headlights. We pulled in to our home town, and then in to our driveway, at 7:30 pm.

Home again after 12 hours of riding.

Jenny writes: As always, it felt good to be safely home. But it also felt fantastic to have successfully driven our Mexico loop. Although the last day was a long one, over 12 hours of traveling including a lot of fast freeway riding, it was still very rewarding. With Ray's good coaching (and infinite patience) all along the way, I now feel much more confident in my riding skills, on both paved and dirt roads. I can no longer claim to be a newb.

Our 9-day Mexico loop was a good introduction to adventure riding for me. It was just long enough to get into a good, daily riding rhythm, but not so long that I became bored or tired. It was great fun to practice speaking Spanish, and to see some more of Mexico. The southern areas we had ridden through were much more interesting than the northern areas; obviously, the farther away we traveled from the U.S. the more genuine the Mexican culture became, at least to my eye. On the mainland, in southern Sonora and on in to Sinaloa, the land is used for agriculture, and there seemed to be more respect for the land here. In Baja California Sur, the locals seemed a bit friendlier and more forgiving of gringos than in BC Norte. But all along the way, the ruggedness and uniqueness of the terrain, and the fun and challenging roads, made for fantastic moto riding.

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