In 2023 Jeanette and I make another large journey through Mexico. This time we’re headed from La Paz in Baja California Sur to the Yucatan area. We’re not sure exactly where we want to end up. As usual for us we try to ride as few toll roads as possible. And we try to avoid ‘regular’ tourism as much as possible.
I’ve been planning the route for the last few months. And on April 24th we left La Paz with all our belongings strapped to the bike and started our big adventure. We hope to get a good look at Mexico post-chinese flu. Our trip will be about 8800km (~5500 miles) long.
Jeanette rides her BMW G310GS and I’m on a BMW F850GSA. Both bikes have been modified a bit with pannier racks, sidecases and GPS phone mounts. Jeanette also has a 4 liter RotoPax fuel tank.
Loreto and San Javier
Our first stop was Loreto. A silly little town full of American tourism. Our main reason for stopping there was to visit the tiny village of San Javier a little ways into the mountains. Loreto is nice for its restaurants and hotels but has otherwise very little to offer to us. We spent 2 days here, 1 day exploring the town center and the next day we went to San Javier.
In San Javier the main attraction is the old mission church and what’s left of the garden/grounds behind it. Most of it is in ruins, but the main church building is fully preserved which was very nice to see.
After Loreto we moved on to Mulege, another small town where we spend the night.
Mulege is a bit of an oasis town which has a small river and some trees which was a nice change from living in La Paz where most nature is arid desert most of the year.
Mulege also has a old mission church, which was closed. I was hoping their old Prison would be open, apparently there is a nice museum in there, but it was closed as well. So instead we explored the town and its surroundings for the afternoon and moved on the next day.
San Ignacio is another oasis town, mostly known for its town square and preserved church, which has a small museum next to it. Some of the clergy quarters and such are preserved. The museum was open, and lucky for us, free of charge. We also found a small museum that had replica cave paintings found in the area. Which was nice to see as well.
Also here, we explored the town and tried the few restaurants and had a nice time here.
Guerrero Negro and the cold front
Unknown to us a cold front had snuck up on Baja California. Which presented itself to us on the way to our next stop – Guerrero Negro. First as clouds, but later a firm northern wind hit us head-on as well. Suddenly we went from sunny 25-35 celsius to 8-15 celsius temperatures and a thick cloud cover. We stayed in Guerrero Negro for 1 night mostly to split up the long ride to Ensenada. But it was the coldest night in weeks…
We both kept adding layers of clothing to keep somewhat warm, but that only works for so long. So we felt a bit miserable in our summery clothes.
In Guerrero Negro we strolled around town a bit looking for a decent restaurant but not much was available. The ‘hotel’ was one of those places where you’d expect a cockroach in every corner, but actually was pretty good. Still, we felt we made a poor choice in hotel somehow. At least the shower was hot…
El Rosario de Ariba and Ensenada
The next day we headed out into the pervasive northern wind which was even colder than yesterday. Our next stop was El Rosario de Ariba, a small farmers village, again to break up the long ride to Ensenada. We found a nice hotel there with an attached restaurant which had great food, yay! This cheered us up from the freezing cold quite a bit. The hot showers also helped a lot.
And the next day we started our 3rd day into the strong winds for the final leg to Ensenada.
The ride to Ensenada was scenic at times, with ever greener mountains and long stretched valleys. But the endless wind sort of ruined our mood. The road was narrow and didn’t allow for much stops, so we kinda had to get a move on and we arrived in Ensenada in the afternoon.
Ensenada, the touristy bit anyway, seems to be a small-ish sleepy town. Until a cruise ship arrives. Then suddenly all shops open up. The actual Ensenada is of-course much bigger and a ton of people live here.
We explored the touristy bit first and the next day the ‘regular’ city center as well and found the excellent Casa de Cultura, a preserved hacienda style building with a large garden that apparently has been used as a casino, hotel, bar, disco and a bunch of other purposes over the years. According to the lore the Margarita drink was invented here.
Currently it’s a bit of a museum and has a small bar kind of setup in the courtyard. A nice place to sit and have a drink.
Soon we’ll head east into Sonora and onto the rest of our journey trough Mexico. Some 7000 kilometers to go. Hopefully in nicer weather than the last few days.