Wandering Sparrow’s Trip Through Baja – Part 1

On the road again

Entering a foreign country on a motorcycle for an extended stay can be quite intimidating to say the least. The border crossing was my initial fear, not because of anything illegal in my possession but wondering if I would have to wait hours in line only to have everything I’ve packed spread across the search tables like a giant jigsaw puzzle just waiting for me to try and  figure out how to get it all put back together how I had it. The crossing turned out to be as simple as driving across the street, no stopping, no searches, no nothing. It was so simple and quick that I didn’t even get a picture and forgot to get my required Tourist Card/Visa Stamp. Oh well, I’ll have to worry about that later.

My traveling companion is Kurt from Illinois that rides an original paint 1953 Harley Panhead. When we met up in Texas to do this trip he said are you comfortable with me riding along with a bike this old and my response was are you comfortable with me riding a bike with nearly a half million miles on it……. And the trip was on.

Flying Train

Crossing the border at Tijuana we made a bee-line to Ensenada. Pulling into town I could see a cruise ship in the distance and knew we could secure our Tourist Card and get our Passports stamped. Lucky for us the Baja 1000 started from there the next day and was like a dream come true for us.

Baja start 2 Baja Start

There’s pretty much only one highway that goes all the way south down the Baja peninsula to Cabo San Lucas and that’s Mexico’s Route 1. It took us along the Pacific coast crossing over to the Sea of Cortez back over to the ocean side and back to the sea side. This is just the thing that most motorcyclist crave, roller coaster type mountain passes, beautiful water overlooks and the serenity of desert crossings.

splendor

Chance meetings with new friends and English speaking locals provided us with what to see and do, what towns to stop in, great places to eat and even who to visit on our journey.

Shorty

We met Shorty (the tall one) and a group of his friends from central Mexico that offered us to visit on next trip and ride any one of his ten BMW’s.

It didn’t take long to fall in love with Mexico, it’s people, it’s culture and its natural beauty. My initial fears were completely unfounded I can’t wait to take the ferry to the mainland to discover more of Mexico.

People of Mexico Flower Lady

The great people of Mexico and the wonderful flower girl

Facebook Gypsy

I’ve been friends with Gypsy on Facebook for a couple years and when he heard we were coming through he offered us his house and hospitality.

We would lock our bikes together at night and cover them the best we could. We would refer to it as "The Crazy Train".

We would lock our bikes together at night and cover them the best we could. We would refer to it as “The Crazy Train”.

We chuckled when we seen this dentist but it wasn't long before Kurt went in for a cleaning.

We chuckled when we seen this dentist but it wasn’t long before Kurt went in for a cleaning.

When you need gas, you get it when you can.

When you need gas, you get it when you can.

Numerous military checkpoints dot the road to Cabo and fair warning is provided by signs like this.

Numerous military checkpoints dot the road to Cabo and fair warning is provided by signs like this.

Taking a break in the seaside town of Santa Rosalia.

Taking a break in the seaside town of Santa Rosalia.

The Mulege lighthouse on the Sea of Cortez.

The Mulege lighthouse on the Sea of Cortez.

 

We met this family from Uruguay that is traveling around the world so we hung out with them for about a week and a half. Our tents were set up in he grass shack that overlooked the Sea of Cortez.

We met this family from Uruguay that is traveling around the world so we hung out with them for about a week and a half. Our tents were set up in he grass shack that overlooked the Sea of Cortez.

The oldest building in Mulege is also the oldest hotel in town. We liked this town so much that we stayed for three nights and were only going to drive through the town to see what it was like.

The oldest building in Mulege is also the oldest hotel in town. We liked this town so much that we stayed for three nights and were only going to drive through the town to see what it was like.

A trip along the southern border of Texas wouldn't be complete without a stop in the ghost town of Teringua home to the International Championship Chili Cook Off.

A trip along the southern border of Texas wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the ghost town of Teringua home to the International Championship Chili Cook Off.

We did a total of 18 river crossings on this days ride into the mountains.

We did a total of 18 river crossings on this days ride into the mountains.

The road to San Javier was a little treacherous but that made it that much more exciting.

The road to San Javier was a little treacherous but that made it that much more exciting.

The mission in San Javier features the very first stained glass windows and weathervane ever used in all of the Baja peninsula.

The mission in San Javier features the very first stained glass windows and weathervane ever used in all of the Baja peninsula.

By | 2016-01-14T16:30:20+00:00 December 29th, 2015|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles|8 Comments

About the Author:

8 Comments

  1. Lisa Gutterman April 7, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Your an amazing man Joe Sparrow I always wish you the best on your endeavors and I love this blog

  2. Mike Qualls December 29, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    You are living the dream Joe .
    I was down in Mexico back in the early 80’s with some freinds of mine in the Marine Corps . We had great times in Mexico and never had any problems . As always we met plenty of nice people . I am glad you are enjoying it now .
    Love your posts and pictures .
    Enjoy it all !!!!

  3. charlie atkins December 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    pleased to be able to get the support for our own journeys. it’s all i need just the slightest encouragement. i knew someone who loved that about me and did a lot of encouraging and would always love to hear the reports. please send route info, spring is looking better all the time. sun on my face southern bound.. new metsler knobies, san javier looks like the road to yaya.s herb fest out in the daniel boone in in ky, cept it is more isolated. road a cruiser in isolation more than not..i got this klr because i get tired riding in ruts balancing a cruser 20 miles. i love my KLR. it drives me to the best places.

  4. charlie atkins December 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    what;)))

  5. Roger Hayes December 29, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Great photos and story as usual, Joe!!! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!
    Thanks to J&P Cycle for getting Joe for the job! And I use the word “job” loosely, very loosely!! LOL

    Thanks Again!
    Roger

  6. Becky Brown December 29, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    more more more! I am waiting to read more about this trip that so many including myself could be riding with you on.

  7. Denise Vogel December 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Joe,

    Love following your adventures and now it is even better in a long form (blog).
    Please keep us dreaming of the road and I looking forward to your next update.

    Denise V
    Jupiter, FL ??

  8. Colleen OConnor December 29, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I am waiting for part two of your trip to Mexico! I love reading your blog about your travels! Ride safe and may you have some more awesome rides lined up for 2016!

Comments are closed.