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Goodbye to Baja

Posted by on March 24, 2012

I pulled into Todo Santos and sat in a bar having a cold beer. Just then a lady came up to me and “said are you the guy travelling the world the Honda 90. “Hmm I guess so” I said. She said “Wow I’ve heard about you”. She had read some posts on the Bay Areas Riders Forum. A few members of which were kind enough to host a lunch and a few beers for me on my way out of San Francisco. This was the 3rd or 4th time I hade arrived in a place and people had said they had heard about the crazy Irishman on the 90. Word was spreading it seemed!

BARF Rider :-)

While sitting there another guy pulled up in his 250 cc Endure bike. He was in his 60’s i guessed. His name was Carlos. He was very excited to see the bike and said he was a fan of long trips on small bikes. He believes it’s the best way to travel. Carlos had travelled through eastern Europe on a Vespa during the fall of communism during the 80’s and had some interesting stories himself.

Safe and sound in casa de Carlos

Carlos invited me to crash at his house. So i decided to take him up on his offer. He was an interesting character to say the least, Italian born and spent a considerable time in California. He was a great cook and liked a glass of wine like most Italians.

I told him about a movie I wanted to see in the Todos Santos Film festival. It was a film about indigenous tribes and their customs in Mexico. He said he wanted to go, after all that was something he was very interested it and after some very intellectual insights on the subject of the customs of these tribes Carlos says “Cool, lets do it, maybe I should bring my fart machine too”.

I sniggered and looked at him, then laughed hard because he was serious and was quite excited at the prospect of upsetting some pretentious arty toffs with a few well timed farts. Which I thought was hilarious. He followed by saying “hmmm.. maybe I should bring my fart spray too. I haven’t tried that yet!”

Well anyway after the movie in which some indigenous Mexicans go in search of peyote the hallucinogenic cacti, and after rubbing a feather in the lambs blood the mystic holds up the feather and declares;

“My feather tells me we should look over there, to the left, beside the thicket for the peyote”

Wow, very accurate I thought I must get me one of those feathers..

“..And also over there to the right”..he followed.

Ah the feather may not have been so accurate after all but he was certainly a wise man.

After the movie we discussed some of the self righteous arty gringo types and how some of them were a bit snotty; Carlos looked at me with a smile and says.. “I wish I had brought my fart machine..”

I enjoyed my time with Carlos, and perhaps my fart machine tale doesn’t do the man justice as we had some very interesting conversations on lots of other topics. He just had a pranksters way about him and enjoyed upsetting the norm. Thanks Carlos!

While at Todos Santos I also made a trip to see an Earthship. A house built from recycled tryes, earth, cans and bottles operating off the grid.



I then headed to the south of Baja and stayed in San Jose del Cabo and met some very nice people and then it was on back up toward La Paz. I made it as far a place called Los Barrilos and decided i’d camp there, after a while poking around looking for a free spot to camp I wandered in to a RV park, and who should be camped there only my amigo Aladino the Italian cyclist. It was such a great campsite I decided to hang out for a few days and hang out with Aladino.

Aladino, with his bike and fishing rods

The world travellers Aladino and myself attended a dinner in the evening and were toasted the guests of honour at a large 26 person gringo dinner in the park. We also attended a chilly cook off where myself and Alladino took advantage of all the free food that was on offer.

After that it was back to La Paz to prepare for the mainland. I decided while there I would do a food blog, and after a greedy day of samping all sorts of food I became sick. I’m not sure what it was, it might have been the goats face that I ate,  but I had Muchas problemas.. A bout of Montezums revenge as they say or the squits to most people.

Thankfully  I met a great Mexican girl called Rebecca who helped me out a lot. She went shopping for me, bought me fruit and juices, helped me change my ticket for the ferry and was great company. Thanks Rebecca you were an angel. :-)

The Mainland
I borded the Boat of the Dead and anchored the bike down. That night I slept outside under the stars while crossing the Sea of Cortez, it was a beautiful night and the stars were out in force. On board I met some Mexican bikers, who invited me to stay with them in Mexico city. Thanks guys

The morgue on board

Morning world...

Mexican biker buddies..

My first main stop after the boat was Tepic. I pulled into a shop to get some food. When I came out I saw a Mexican guy called Manuel eyeing up my bike. He was a photographer and owned a small business where my bike was parked. We had a long chat which included some talk of my clutch. I was very happy with the way the clutch was working, it had proven its self over the last few weeks. He said he could get the plates for me if I wanted anyway. Hmm great I thought no time like the present I suppose. Within minutes we were flying through the streets of Tepic trying to track down parts. Manuel wheelieing his motorcycle down the busy street as we went. We got the parts in a local shop, then Manula said

“do you want someone to put them in”.

“No” I said I’ll do it later myself, “how much would that cost” I enquired.

He rang his friend and told me they would have it done in 2 hours and its would cost 150 pesos, about 9 euros!. Wowsers thats pretty cheap. “Ok Lets do it”, “but I want to be there to oversee the whole process”. I’ve had bad experiences with mechanics in the past, and wasnt just going to trust my bike to just anyone.

In the end they were a great bunch of lads and done a great job. I bought them some donouts and hung out in the garage and worked on the bike with them.

Job done… Clutch plates are changed!!!!!

Incidently I compared the new ones that went into her, to the new ones I tried to put in San Diego and the were indeed a combined 1mm thinner!! So I am glad I didnt put those cheap shit ones in.

Gracias amigos!!!!

Manuel the wheeling photographer biker...Thanks a lot Manuel to you and your brother..

I was in much pain that evening in Tepic and had been the previous day also, my ass was killing to put it mildly. I stayed in a Hotel that night to have a nice comfortable bed and a hot shower, were I made my Captian’s Log update from.

“The Captain’s Log. Star date 13.3.12. Location Tipec Mexico. In the interest of giving the full gammoth of my experience I write the following. Not for the squeamish.
Implications following the bout of Montezumas revevege have been experienced over the last few days and have manifested themselves in some serve pain and bleeding. I believe there are some Clingons present in the lower quadrant. I have purchased medication in attempt to put a stop to the Carnival season below and prevent a further infestation in the wormhole. These Clingons have been known to bite to prevent them from exiting the wormhole. (tears in eyes). I will relay results soonest, as you can imagine the Captain may be more keen than others”

The next day I got up and went for breakfast in a little restaurant and jotted down the following, trying to get away from my ride report style scribblings.

Sitting in the central plaza having a coffee people watching can be a nice experience but next time for breakfast go down to a busy local street, where things are a little more grotty, rough and ready, more real even, and more representative of life in the area you are visiting.

This morning I sat in a cheap little open facade restauant and was treated to a glimps of Mexican life and the machinations of a little city. I have done this many times but today I was more pensive and more aware of the goings on. The barbeque smoke of the carne asada hanging in the air against the rising sun, local enterprising people selling breakfast snacks from insulated boxes, the delveries to the local businesses and watching a young man struggle with his barely managable load of coca cola bottles. The ladies sweeping the street, the ocassional beeps and honks of the taxi drivers making their way through the streets as an old lady stumbles to her knees under her load and gets up with a big smile on her face slightly embarrassed.

This is life, real life for the people of Mexico and for the vast majority of people that inhabit this planet, its not watching the opulent folk in the plaza with thier latest fashions. No this is of no interest to me, but of course I like to do it occasionally. But I cant think what my memories might be from such as situation? Perhaps the mischievous smile in the corner of my mouth as the carefully crafted image of this fine lady with her Prada handbag unravels in front of me as she stumbles on a cobble, composes herself and gives the cobble a rasping glance..


After my breakfast I got my stuff together and headed for Tequila…


8 Responses to Goodbye to Baja

  1. Barry Quinn

    Nice read dude,hope alls well in the lower quadrant,haha.Keep her lit
    Much love from VanCity

    • sean

      Hey barry.
      Thanks for the messAge man.
      Send me a link to you video when you have it sorted!
      Take care man all the best with the music!!

  2. geoff mccormack

    Oh man i didnt realise how bad those squits were until your medical journal memoires were presented to the good and many. If its any comfort er… discomfort, i also have been subject to many a doctors wall prenouncing posters of imminent death or worse ( c.r.a.b.s) got to love those little nippers! i had colon problems for 10 years and i feel your pain. the bucket isnt just a south american pleasure, i also had one which sucumbed to the fiery flames of old fashioned cleansing when the illness was sorted. Take it easy sean and god speed brave explorer adios!

    • sean

      Haha thanks Geoff.. Thankfully have have been exposed to the nippers at least!!
      Having shits is all part and parcel of this travelling lark and it runs down.. No pun intended.
      Thanks for reading buddy!!!

  3. Bren

    thought my 6hr ride from LongXuyen to HoChiMinh city was ‘endurance’.
    When you’ve recovered you should hit SEAsia, a Honda mechanic round every bend in VietNam, Cambodia,Laos, and heat all the time. Bren in AnGiang, VietNam

    • sean

      Hey thanks for the email man… i may come there sometime again. I was there for 3 weeks a few years ago.. loved it.. done the easier rider motorcycle tour.. great…


  4. Connie Droogas

    Following your adventure from back here in the Bay Area, Sean (yup, another BARFer!)… take care of yourself, hope you’re feeling better, and if you work your way back up to Northern California again, the home-cooked meal offer still stands! Ride safe!

    • sean

      Heeeeey Gixer girl
      sorry for the late reply I have been up to allsorts of late, as you may have read and should have wrote sooner!!

      I met a great bunch of folk in the Bay area.. very nice people!!

      Hope all is well../// dont believe any of the crap yu’ve heard about Mexico.. its awesome and very safe!!

      take care

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