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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 06:12 AM
Baja Amigos April Trip Report


5-1-2016
Baja Amigos April 2016 Baja Trip
It seemed like this trip was never going to happen. It was originally planned to start on April 12th. However, I was picked to serve on a jury March 28th. It was a murder trial and while the judge expected it to end on April 15th there was always the chance it could run longer. We hesitated to set a start date until the trial was over. Also some of the members had other commitments near the end of April so that was a factor. The trial moved along smoothly and I was released on Tuesday April 12th. We then set Wednesday April 20 as the start date. Nomad El Comadante Loco (Rudy) took advantage of my trial to go to Hawaii with his wife and did not get back until Monday the 18th.

The plan was for most of us to meet at Rudy’s place south of San Felipe, Campo San Antonio, on Tuesday the 19th. Nomad John M and his friend Bob and I met along the way there. Robert (our cook) was already there as was Rudy’s neighbor Ron. We would leave on Wednesday the 20th for Campo Rene near Punta Abreojos. There we would meet (Nomad) BajaBlanca and Les and get info on the ranches along the trail we were to travel. It would be from El Patrocino, south of San Ignacio, to Mulege. Blanca was to contact Rancho Las Tunas or other ranches near there to see if the road was open to Mulege. I was to call her Thursday morning.



Thursday April 21st. We go to San Ignacio to join up with Harald (Nomad ABC4x4) and Karl (Nomad Fernweh) who came up from La Paz. I called and talked to Les and he said that only motorcycles and horses were getting thru from Las Tunas to Mulege. We talked it over and some did not think we would have time to go out to Las Tunas and return and still do the Guajademi trail from Mulege to San Isidro and also plant the Geocache we had promised to do south of La Purisima. We finally decided to skip the run to Las Tunas and drive around to Mulege on highway 1 and do the Guajademi Trail.


After gas and ice in Mulege it’s down the ice house road where the fun begins. What road to take? They are going everywhere. John sees on his GPS the run to La Trinidad and off we go. We pass beautiful scenery and a large orange grove. Before long we are at a Y in the road. To the right is a sign R. El LLanito. From my notes I had from the 2012 trip I did going from San Isidro to Mulege it said turn R so I thought it meant to turn left when going in the opposite direction. I start down that road when John and Harald started questioning my super memory. Yes, the road I was on had a lot less traffic so maybe, just maybe they were right. I back up and follow them. OK they were right.


The road had beautiful landscape and tricky switchbacks a couple of which I had to back up. But the view was breath taking. We soon came to a valley and flat area that was just right for a camp spot. We had many admirers of the four footed type as in cows and horses. A beautiful white stallion showed his running ability. A big cow with horns gave us the mean eye like we were intruding into her space. Good thing Harald’s dog was there to keep them at bay.

On all of our trips with Robert he heads up the culinary arena with his excellent breakfast and dinners. This year Robert brought us homemade tamales and incorporated venison in a couple of meat dishes. The only thorn in his side is Ron always demanding potatoes at every meal. Tonight is no different with a great dinner with potatoes. A vaquero stops by on his mule to chat and Harald gives him a cerveza. He is from a nearby ranch. Rudy is our resident Spanish interpreter so the communications is excellent. Later we all set around the fire telling our stories and getting to know each other better. Harald and Karl have not been on a trip with the others so it was an interesting evening.


Friday morning after breakfast we make our way up another set of switchbacks and down by the ranches along the way. At one community we handed out food, baseballs and sweatshirts. Then it’s on to another ranch or community. Soon we are at San Isidro. At this point John and Bob have to leave us and they start out to Highway 1 and home.


Rudy, Robert, Harald, Karl, Ron and I take highway 53 from La Purisima south near KM38 where we turn east on a dirt road to a ranch owned by Salvador. On the ranch is a hill top where a German radio relay system was put in to control the solar system the Germans put in at Las Barrancas in the 1970s. The control point was at CD Constitucion. The Mexicans dismantled both sites, I think in the late 1990s maybe later. There is a posting of all the details here on Nomad. I think it’s called the Sonntlan project. The German engineer in charge of the radio system wanted pictures of the hill top and also want me to plant a geocache. We stopped at the ranch house but no one is home so we head toward the hill and find a place to camp.


Saturday morning Harald, Karl, Ron and I drive up to a parking spot near the hill. And walk up the hill to the radio relay site. Ron almost sprints up the hill like a mountain goat. There was just some metal frames and the concrete bases left. Why that wasn’t hauled away who knows. We go back to camp and out to highway 53. Harald and Karl start back to La Paz and home.




On highway 53 we go north to visit a friend of Rudy’s in La Poza Grande. There we stop at Sergio’s home. He is out fishing which is what he does for a living. His lovely wife and daughter were there and she insist on us joining her for lunch. Their son soon joins us too. She served us shredded sting ray and homemade tortillas. After lunch we leave some things for the family and then get back on the road to the geocache site.

We make our way to a hill site about two miles east of highway 53. This is the site the German engineer and I thought would be a good location for the cache. About a 100 feet up the hill is a rock pile and Rudy and I place the cache at the foot of a large rock. We take note of the GPS readings etc. and leave.


Going north we take the paved road past Las Barrancas and on to San Juanico. The highway has been repaired from the rain damage from a few years ago. From San Juanico we are on the graded road to the turn toward the salt flats coastal road to El Datil. There is no water anywhere near the road so we had a great run up to the Laguna and on to San Ignacio. The paved road to San Ignacio is about 30 miles. At San Ignacio we stay at the La Huerta hotel. Robert fixes another great dinner next to the bird cage with the Peac-cks in full song while strutting their long beautiful tail feathers.


Sunday morning, we are off to Vizcaino for breakfast in a restaurant. Robert gets the morning off to rest. Then we make our way to Mission Santa Gertrudis. Along the way I get us lost in the desert in the middle of nowhere. Never fear there is always a local to ask directions from and we found him. At the mission we tour around and in it. We leave an offering for good luck.





Back on the road we head up to Las Animas for the night. Last year we were there and when the tide went out a lot of squid were in the shallow water cut off from the sea. Robert made dinner out of some of them. This would be our last night to camp. It was a beautiful night sky around the camp fire.



Monday morning it’s off to LA Bay for gas and ice. The NORRA race cars/trucks were leaving as we got there. The PEMEX at the north end of town was out of gas but the one further south had gas. We waited and watched from the gas station while several racers took off. They were heading out of town to the Mission San Borja turn off. We continued to San Felipe via Calamajue. The road is in very poor condition with many whoops so we take our time. We stopped at Cocos, but he is not there so it’s up to Rancho Grande at Gonzaga Bay to air up the tires and grab a coke for the road. We make it back to Rudy’s house where we relax as the sun is going down Robert makes another great dinner.


There is Gold in them there hills.




Another fun and interesting trip to Baja and Baja Sur.

Maps





This was the original route we were to take. To Rancho Las Tunas then out to Mulege with a visit to the Mission Guadalupe ruins. But we were told that only motorcycles and horses were getting thru.









[Edited on 5-7-2016 by TMW]
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 06:26 AM


Thanks for the report - great as always.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 06:46 AM


What fun!



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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 07:26 AM


Sounds like a great time. How was the shredded stingray? Try flickr or another photo hosting site.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 07:45 AM


Always enjoy your reports. It's time consuming posting photos.......Thanks for doing it!

You covered a lot of territory and a ton of dirt roads. I love the new hotel in San Ignacio. Can't wait to head back this summer.

[Edited on 5-5-2016 by Ateo]




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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 08:32 AM


Thanks Tom,

for the great report.

we would miss certainly any pictures.....so please try http://picr.de/

That's how I post my pictures.

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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 09:55 AM


Thanks Karl
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 10:30 AM


That looks like a nice dachzelt on Karl's (?) car. Who makes it?

[Edited on 5-5-2016 by BigBearRider]
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 10:41 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ehall  
Sounds like a great time. How was the shredded stingray? Try flickr or another photo hosting site.


It was good, maybe because of the spices she added to it along with onions and peppers. I think the meat itself is probably bland.
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 10:57 AM


Fun report. I just added your trip from Mulege to San Isidro to my bucket list map - thanks!



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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 11:28 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BigBearRider  
That looks like a nice dachzelt on Karl's (?) car. Who makes it?

[Edited on 5-5-2016 by BigBearRider]


That roof tent was made by Hannibal, Southafrika......
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 11:36 AM


Thanks! It's looks like it's the "Impi"?
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 11:46 AM


Primo route....thanks for the report.



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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 12:02 PM


What a fun story and great photos, amigo!



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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 12:39 PM


What a trip, thanks much for sharing
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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 03:02 PM


love great trip reports with photos, big plus. thank you.




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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 04:29 PM


you are an excellent trip report writer! All of you sure are adventurous!



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[*] posted on 5-5-2016 at 04:50 PM


Great trip, great report, great pics!!!
Now I have to be FTF (first to find for you muggles) that geo!!!




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[*] posted on 5-6-2016 at 08:20 AM


Tom, if you get a chance, can you make one of your route maps you do so well, of this trip?



"So Much Baja, So Little Time..."

A Baja Missions History book, updated in 2018: http://oldmissions.com

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[*] posted on 5-6-2016 at 08:28 AM


The AAA or Almanac map or both.
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