For years Baja has been one of those names, one of those locations that been tantalising us. A part of Mexico into which we’ve never ventured. A peninsula made famous for it’s laid back attitude and long desolate beaches and for it’s racing history. Off-road racers have been testing themselves in Baja for decades. The Baja 1000 call’s this place home as does the newly formed Baja Rally.
It’s time to see what it’s all about. Baja here we come.
Over our years on the road, we’ve done some cool stuff, but we’ve never crossed an international border on Christmas day. That was about to change.
We’d said our farewell’s to Dan hsi wife Debbie and the crew at BMW Motorcycles of Riverside and headed south-east to the Baja border. With a quick stop for fuel in Mexicali we followed signs for the border. Under the large grey green government sign we parked up outside of Mexican immigration. There had been no US immigration offices. No where for us to ‘sign-out’ of the USA. God I hate that. It’ just potential causes issues when we want to re-enter. Ahh well, nothing we can do about that.
The slow line of cars had surprised me. Who would choose to cross a border on Christmas day? Families I guess who work on other side. Inside the small narrow office the lone officer received our passports and stamped us in for 180 days. The American lady to my left, interjected,
“When you’re down with my passport, can you give me a hand with my car, the engine is sounding funny and I can’t lift the bonnet?” With that she smiled expectantly and walked out.
I exchange a bemused grin with the immigration officer, before he beams a huge perplexed smile and states “yeah, I’m Mexican, so we all must be mechanics with tools, God bless em!”
Back outside we’re soon on the bikes and clicking through the gears and heading south.
We’re aiming to reach the small town of San Filipe and hang out for a few days with Mark and Luanna at their new beach house.
South of town and we’re concentrating on the road and loving it. The beaten and crack tar pulling at the tires and creating a bouncier ride than we’ve had for a while. We hit the gas to skim across the deep sand that’s been blown across the road.
I can feel the air filling my lungs, it feels like the first time I’ve taken a full lung of air in months. The sea laps the shore to our right and to our left mountains reach out into the distance. I’ve missed this. Cacti litter the close by hillsides.
Off the road and we’re up on the pegs for the first time as the bike, with hard tires, slide around in the deep sand. This is the first time we’ve taken the new bikes off the tar. We’re not very prepared. The tires are rock hard and we’ve not turned off the ABS or the traction control. In spite of this both bikes do well and we easily pull up in front of Marks and honk the horn to announce our arrival.
Mark and Luanna’s greeting is a reward in itself. It’s great to see friends and the house is beautiful; a spit from the sea and with a garage full of motorbikes...heaven!
A few days later...
It’s taken a few days to settle back into life. We chatted laughed and even managed to get a larger footprint welded onto the bad of Lisa’s kickstand. Of course if we wanted to see how the bikes handled the sand, then a ride down the beach was in order. The glorious sunset made for a perfect backdrop.
For the last two days we’ve had a morning visitor. A local osprey has taken p residence on a nearby wooden perch. I knew that 400mm lens was going to come in handy. It was also a great opportunity to see how my new HDR software (by MaCPhun) would handle wildlife shots. You can see the results below.
It seems that Baja is full of friends this year. Greg (from Seattle) and his new girlfriend turned up a few days back. Lindsay’s only been riding a short while but she made that sandy track look pretty straightforward as they headed back to the road. It was great to see Greg riding. He’s been talking about getting out of the US on one of his bikes for years, so to see him doing it s special.
Above Mark & Leeah get ready to set out on the KTM’s
So, today is new years eve and we’re hitting the road. No idea where we’ll be this evening but it doesn’t matter. We’re on the new bikes and free to ride where we want.
Se you in 2016