Another moto trip to Baja. This time the focus was on La Paz, where we spent five days enjoying the city and exploring.
We traveled on the Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT as a last second selection. Our Triumph Tiger 800 XC was carefully prepared and packed in the week leading up to the trip only to find, much to our surprise, the counter-shaft sprocket nut gone when we climbed on to leave. No idea how this happened. But, no time to fix. About 30 minutes later we re-packed onto the Versys and were off. One of the benefits of multiple bikes in the garage!
For a change, we passed into Mexico at the Mexicali border crossing. While a smooth event, there was some detours in the city so getting through and out onto the highway had a few false starts. Fortunately, it did not matter as we planned a very short first Baja travel day to San Felipe arriving in plenty of time to take in the malecon and the fine food offered at numerous restaurants there.
After a few days on the road, and some pleasant overnights, we arrived in our first extended stop of Loreto. Once again staying at the Hotel 1697 provided the perfect base. Nice reasonably priced rooms right on the central square only two blocks from the malecon with secure bike parking and personally made for you breakfast. How does it get better?! By the way, 1697 is significant because that is the year the Loreto mission was founded—the first in Baja California.
Leaving Loreto, a day's ride took us along the Sea of Cortez, then inland over the mountains through the desert, only to return to the Sea and the city of La Paz. This is a significant sized city on a large bay in the Sea of Cortez. As the capital of Baja California Sur, it is an important and large city combining a beautiful seaside setting with every major service and shopping store you'd expect from a city (including Walmart and Costco). We enjoyed five days here at the Hotel Seven Crown Centro. On two of those days a local realtor took us around the city to see a few homes for sale. We've been considering a home in Baja for some time and La Paz has been on our short list of attractive locations. Home shopping was fun and we did find some quite interesting properties. GIB, a local real estate company, was fantastically accommodating. They took us around in a large SUV avoiding the need to find each location on motorcycles. Not common for realtors here. Very nice of them! While we were in La Paz the Baja 1000 race was happening with the teams racing from Ensenada to La Paz. We were able to see the racers arrive in the La Paz area and speak with them at various restaurants on the malecon. What a party!
Next, we were off to visit our friends that have a condo in Cerritos on the Pacific Coast. We enjoyed a nice couple of days on the beach there seeing their place and taking advantage of a local beach resort hotel. A staff member at the hotel even gave us his car to explore the area. His only request was to please fill the fuel tank with premium gasoline before returning. Just another of the many examples of fantastically pleasant and friendly folks we always meet in Baja. Such thoughtful and kind folks!
Our slow return to the USA began with another new find. Maria De Nadie Hotel Boutique was intended to be just a place to sleep. It turned out to be much more. Such a beautiful hotel with their own restaurant. Great service and a fantastic location. We will be back!
Another two nights were spent at Jardines. This place is quickly becoming one of our must stop locations. Besides being a very nice hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens, they have one of the best restaurants in all Baja.
On our return to the USA we went to Yuma AZ for two days to see the museums there then over to San Diego for two more nights reconnecting with some of our friends and catching up on medical appointments.
The total trip was about 3,300 miles over 24 days. I would have easily enjoyed a few more days in Baja. Maybe next time.