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Baja Mexico mini-rally 2023

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Jan, I too will arrive Wednesday afternoon.

Today was a short day, only 311 miles, just to get On The Road, and south of the Portland, Oregon traffic. Spending the night in Canyonville, Oregon.

Tomorrow's ride will be 490 miles, to Santa Nella, California.

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Two Million Miles, and All 7 Continents

As we reach the older southern sections of Baja, old Spanish churches are on the agenda. Churches over 300 years old.

In San Ignacio



Then on the outskirts of Mulege



Of course in the evening it's fish tacos and cold drinks on the menu...


What is the waitress at the end of the table doing.... enlarge that image to see


Ah, pouring a row of tequila shooters...

Well if you blink, this is what a tequila shooter looks like...


Tonight we sleep well, tomorrow we ride south.

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SwampFoxDRONECraigReardan TomFlyingMonkeys

CCjon....Jan.... important PM and email and text sent to you.

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Two Million Miles, and All 7 Continents

Got the messages, replied.




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Leaving San Ignacio and the whales, we ride south to El Triunfo and La Paz.

El Triunfo is making a come back as a tourist attraction after the silver mine closed a couple decades ago. What looks like a bar... is,
and a restaurant...
and a bakery shop with some of the lightest croissants in Mexico.


Arriving in La Paz, the second largest city in Baja, it's Saturday evening. The place will soon come alive with people on the Malecón.

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Not a sight one sees everyday... proud papa skating with stroller.

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Soon the baby will be skateboarding on their own...

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On the Malecón, boys will... show off their physical prowlness for the girls.

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Girls will, look their best by showing off the latest fashion, to impress the boys.

Hmmm, Am so old if you showed up in school with torn jeans, you were made fun of.

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Young couples will do... young couples things on the beach.
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And your typical street vendors, appearing out of nowhere, push their carts to where the people are.

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No matter where one goes on this little blue globe, our human activity is timeless and the same. Language and customs separate us, but our common life experiences bind us. Our identical life cycle of the human DNA allows us to identify with a fellow human. In all my travels, have never been anywhere where people would not help you if you needed it.

Ignore what the political leaders say, we are all not so different from one another.

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Peter PanSwampFoxDRONEReardan TomFlyingMonkeys

Our fellow friend Igor "C64club" from Poland made a while back a pretty similar comment to me:

Young people, young penguins, what a diference?--

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After reaching San Jose del Cabo at the southern tip of Baja, it was time to turn the Goldwing rig north, riding solo for the return trip.

How about some color photos from Baja? The Mexican people love their vibrant colors. Be it a modest casa or a storefront...


The GoldWing rig is handling the trip with no issues. One of the objectives of this ride was to demonstrate that a cruiser bike or a long distance highway machine can handle the Mexican highways of today. A dual sport rig is not needed. On the long flat straightaways, the GW can hit speeds equal to any US highway. Am averaging about 30 mpg... except when I twist the throttle a bit too much.

The artwork in AirBnB motels can be eye-catching... anyone know her name? Dolores...? or Maria...? or Miranda...?


In the restaurant, more colorful paintings...


Finally reaching Bahia Concepcion to meet up with Princess Jamaica and FlyingMonkeys. The view from the rooftop deck is impressive.


Only three sailing rigs taking cover from the high winds these days. What is not seen in the photos is the cold winds blowing in from the northeast. Went up top to snap a quick photo then back down inside. In a few days, it will be warm again.


For those who drove their RV down, finding a sandbar to set up on was easy, and crowded but there are many beach spots along here. The tide does not vary enough on the Sea of Cortez side to threaten those campers.


Alas, FlyingMonkeys was sidetracked in California with food poisoning, ending his ride down to Baja. I thought that was supposed to happen drinking tap water in Mexico, not in the USA. Last word was, after recovering in Scramento for a few days in a very pricey motel, FM is back home in Washington.

PJ and his wife put on a great food spread for four hungry motorcyclists and one sidecarist. Great food, cold drink, interesting conversation... was noted that among this well-traveled group, all of whom have ridden in numerous countries around the world, none could remember having an unpleasant experience with locals. In fact, most noted only help and good fortune was received from strangers everywhere.

Most people are the same as you and I, willing to help someone in true need. It's the tiny group that create the problems that dominate the daily headlines. If we believed all the negative news, no one would ever leave their homes.

Noting the cool weather here both this year and last year in early February, am thinking a mid-March trip down Baja might be a good idea. Not too hot, not too cold.

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Peter PanDRONEAceinSavCraigReardan TomFlyingMonkeys
Swung thru Todos Santos to revisit some fisherman friends I met last year. Was surprised to find all of their boats were on the beach and not out working.


Asked Rafael what was going on...


He said the winds and surf were too high to safely go out, so the crews were repairing nets today. Even the pelicans were hunkered down on the beach.



Crossed the Tropic of Cancer, latitude 23 degrees 26' north of the equator. Stopped to watch the tourists a bit


There is a large display and chapel dedicated to the Virgen of Guadalupe at the Tropic latitude. Our Lady of Guadalupe, or Virgin of Guadalupe is the Catholic title of Mary, mother of Jesus. One sees images of the Virgen everywhere in Mexico. The basilica near Mexico City dedicated to the Virgen is the most visited Catholic shrine in the world, and the world's third most visited scared site, after the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in India..


Stopping at a bay overlook near Loreto, was another shrine dedicated to the Virgen.


Inside the shrine was a statue of the Virgen.


For those interested in the full story behind the Virgen of Guadalupe, below is a recount I posted on my blog back in December 2022. For those not interested, this post ends here.


According to Nican Mopohua, a 17th-century account written in the native Nahuatl language,

the Virgin Mary appeared four times to Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican peasant and once to his uncle, Juan Bernardino. The first apparition occurred on the morning of Saturday December 9th, 1531. Juan Diego experienced this vision of a young woman at a place called the Hill of Tepeyac, which later became part of Villa de Guadalupe, a suburb of Mexico City.

According to the accounts, the woman, speaking to Juan Diego in his native Nahuatl language (the language of the Aztec Empire), identified herself as the Virgin Mary, "mother of the very true deity". She was said to have asked for a church to be erected at that site in her honor. Based on her words, Juan Diego then sought out the Archbishop of Mexico City, Father Juan de Zumárraga, to tell him what had happened. Not unexpectedly, the Archbishop did not believe peasant Diego. Later that same day, Juan Diego again saw the young woman (the second apparition), and she asked him to continue insisting.

The next day, Sunday, December 10, 1531, Juan Diego once again spoke to the Archbishop. The latter instructed him to return to Tepeyac Hill and to ask the woman for a truly acceptable, miraculous sign to prove her identity. Later that day, the third apparition appeared when Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac; encountering the same woman, he reported to her the Archbishop's request for a sign, which she consented to provide on the next day (December 11th).

However, Juan Diego's uncle, Juan Bernardino, was very ill on Monday the 11th which obligated Juan Diego to attend to him.

In the early hours of Tuesday, December 12, as Juan Bernardino's condition had deteriorated, Juan Diego journeyed to Tlatelolco to get a Catholic priest to hear Juan Bernardino's confession and help minister to him on his deathbed.

To avoid being delayed by the Virgin and ashamed at having failed to meet her the previous day as agreed, Juan Diego chose another route around Tepeyac Hill. Yet the Virgin intercepted him and asked where he was going (fourth apparition); Juan Diego explained what had happened for which the Virgin gently chided him for not having made recourse to her.

In the words which have become the most famous phrase of the Guadalupe apparitions and are inscribed above the main entrance to the Basilica of Guadalupe, she asked "¿No estoy yo aquí que soy tu madre?" ("Am I not here, I who am your mother?"). She assured him that Juan Bernardino had now recovered. Then told him to gather flowers from the summit of Tepeyac Hill, which was normally barren, especially in the cold of December.

Juan Diego obeyed her instruction, finding Castilian roses, not native to Mexico, blooming there. According to the story, the Virgin arranged the flowers in Juan Diego's tilma, or cloak. When Juan Diego opened his cloak later that day before Archbishop Zumárraga, the flowers fell to the floor, revealing on the fabric the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The next day, December 13th, Juan Diego found his uncle fully recovered as the Virgin had assured him. Juan Bernardino recounted that he also had seen the Virgin Mother while praying at his bedside (fifth apparition); that she had instructed him to inform the Archbishop of this apparition and of his miraculous cure; and that she had told him she desired to be known under the title of 'Guadalupe'.

The Archbishop kept Juan Diego's mantle, first in his private chapel and then in the church on public display, where it attracted great attention. On December 26, 1531, a procession formed to transfer the miraculous image back to Tepeyac Hill where it was installed in a small, hastily erected chapel. During this procession, the first miracle was allegedly performed when a native was mortally wounded in the neck by an arrow shot by accident during some stylized martial displays performed in honor of the Virgin. In great distress, the natives carried him before the Virgin's image and pleaded for his life. Upon the arrow being withdrawn, the victim fully and immediately recovered.

Zumárraga having recognized the miracle, ordered a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe to be built on the Hill of Tepeyac, with a basilica to her constructed below. Today, the original miraculous tilma image hangs in the new basilica at Tepeyac in Mexico City. The image left on Saint Juan Diego's tilma is the only true picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe in existence. The image has remained intact with all its original vibrancy for 475 years.

The 12th of December is the traditional day to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe not only in Mexico but in all of the Hispanic Catholic world.

Hope this helps you to understand why the Virgen of Guadalupe is so prominent and important in the Mexican culture.

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In Todos Santos, Baja, there is a famously named hotel...

Hotel California.jpeg

Many wrongly think that this was the inspiration for the famous Eagles song by the same name. So tourists are always taking selfies in front of the building The hotel no longer promotes or mentions the song due to a lawsuit, as the place was totally unknown to the original song composer, Glenn Fry of the Eagles. But who allows the facts to interfere with a good story...?

Since Todos Santos is a tourist destination, "art" is for sale in the street... as well as leather goods, purses, sundresses and ice cream.

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Still there are a few great restaurants in Todos Santos, as well as shrines to the Virgin...

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Images of the Virgin are everywhere in Mexico, not just Baja. The skills of the artist who create these images vary in quality, but never in sincerity.

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After leaving Mexico, I headed northwest to the mountains of northern New Mexico for a week.

Sunrise in Gallup New Mexico was stunning, with cool temps, but still a stunning view from the hotel window.

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Trying to cross the pass between Taos and Moreno Valley, traffic came to a standstill due to a two vehicle accident just ahead. The wreckers coming to clear the road were stuck in the stopped traffic unable to move. Roadway ice was blamed for the accident.

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Back in Taos, had lunch at one of my favorite spots, Ranchos Plaza Grill in Ranchos de Taos.

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This family owned-operated restaurant shares the Plaza with the most photographed church in North America, the San Francisco de Assis Mission. Ansel Adams photographed the mission back in the 1920's.

Inside, a Mexican style mural with a New Mexico theme dominates a wall.

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Once safely off the road in Angel Fire, awoke the next morning to the aftermath of previous night's snow storm.

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Which is why I trailer my rig...

Thanks for following along with my tale of riding Baja. Maybe next year we'll ride it together... till then, Vaya con Dios.

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