San Ignacio to Loreto

San Ignacio to Loreto

I took an early morning walk into the town square before the ride today.  All was quiet with just a few locals sweeping the streets outside of their shops.

The following excerpt from our tour paperwork explains today.  “Ahead of us this morning is the massive ‘Volcan Las Tres Virgenes’. Which tells us the origin of recent lava flows around us. We descend Devils Grade, seven miles of switchbacks that take us down to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. We ride along the shores of beautiful Bahia Conception, whose deep-blue waters, volcanic islands, and isolated beaches are real Baja delights. In the afternoon we reach Loreto, the oldest Spanish settlement along the West Coast. The town offers a picturesque central plaza, shopping, and an array of excellent restaurants.”

We had a rest day upon arriving at Loreto.  Our van driver took 4 of us up the mountain to San Javier Mission.  Founded in 1697 by Jesuit Missionaries, it’s the oldest Spanish settlement on the Baja peninsula and one of the best preserved.  Beats the hell out of me how or more importantly why they would want to create a settlement up in the mountains like they did. It was a challenge getting up there with a paved road, how did they manage without one? 

San Ignacio to Loreto

A local

 

Mission San Ignacio to Loreto

San Ignacio Mission

Prime waterfront realestate

San Ignacio to Loreto

Warming up before their performance

 

Day 3 Catavina to San Ignacio

Catarina to San Ignacio

A hot ride through the Vizcaino Desert today, also dry and dusty and windy in a few areas.

Stopped at a food van in Guerrero Negro for the most delicious fish tacos.  Deep fried fish fillets in a soft taco and topping of your choice. 

Our stop for the night was a true oasis in the desert.  Riding into town past date palms and water, did I say water!  Was nice to see some water apart from the ocean.  Dinner in a little restaurant in the town square.  We wanted to sit outside so they moved the tables out onto the street for us.  Celebrated Robyn’s birthday tonight, Tom celebrated with a few too many Margaritas and didn’t feel the best the next morning.  A little toast with butter and my vegemite and he felt he could go on.

 

Catavina to San Ignacio

A rest stop in the desert

Fish Tacos for lunch

San Ignacio Kadakaaman

Cross tucked into the corner of the mission

 

Day 21 San Quintin to Ensenada

San Quintin to Ensenada.  

I had the opportunity finally, for some serious photography from our balcony and on the beach this morning.  Nearly missed the lovely colourful sunrise due to time changes messing with my timing.

Another lovely ride though the hills then a long straight stretch, still up rather high so cool.  Passed through another agriculture area.

There’s a huge military presence in the Baja.  Stopped at about 5 checkpoints on the way south and passed through another couple which were unmanned.  They’re looking for drugs and guns.  Sometimes the first couple of bikes were inspected and other times we were just waved through. 

We’ve been passing a number of Off-road racing vehicles heading south to prepare for the Baja 1000.  After seeing some of the areas they’ll be racing through it would be fantastic to watch.

We had the best spicy shredded beef tacos for lunch at El Trailero, a very popular place in Ensenada.  You order your food, get a drink, then pay after you have eaten.  Works well, great turnaround but I do have to wonder if everyone pays?  

Got in a little souvenir shopping this arvo at Ensenada and then a little quiet time before our farewell dinner.

Sunrise from our room

Military Escort

Ensenada Food Stall

A popular street food stall

Full ute load Ensenada

Fully loaded ute

 

Day 6 Loreto to La Paz

Day 6 on the Bikes.  

Lovely drive through the mountains and along the coast, the Sea of Cortez to be precise, for a while today.  Temperature unusual, really cold and then really warm a minute later, didn’t matter if we were in the sun or the shade or right on the water it could be hot or cold.  Next up we had about 50km of thick fog to ride through, we could see it in the distance but didn’t realise at first what it was.  From the fog and beyond it was desert so we did’t miss seeing any sights.

Overnight at La Paz, now the capital of Baja (previously Loreto) is a busy industrial hub. Silver mining, agriculture, fishing and pearls.  We stayed the night in a hotel a few km out of town opposite the marina and had a lovely evening watching the cruisers go by.

Early morning light as we leave Loreto

Another day another mountain pass

Golf course at La Paz

A sky full of Magnificent Frigatebirds

 

 

Day 1 on the Bikes LA to Ensenada

We picked up our Harley Davidson Electroglide along with our other Baja tour members on Sunday morning.  A straight run down the freeway  and crossed the border into Mexico at about noon.  Starting to heat up about 35 degrees.

We had our first Mexican meal at this great Mexican restaurant El Topanco in Rosario, our late lunch stop.  Decorated for Halloween and oozing atmosphere.  

Back on the bikes for the final stage for today saw us pass by some stunning coastline, with a break at El Mirados to soak it all in.  Then onto our hotel in Ensenada.  It’s customary every evening on arriving at our hotel to have a beer before checking in, suits us down to the ground.

[editing images and writing this post on our rest day by the pool, so visibility not great, hope the images are ok]