Paradise, Ferries, and The Devils Backbone


October 16, 2012 by cleanwatt

Earning my Baja badge

We left San Ignacio Friday morning following Baja’s primary artery, the Mex 1. Like most other towns on the Baja not near the sea or ocean, San Ignacio was settled due to a spring fed oasis amid the surrounding desert.
Even though the Mex 1 is the only real trans-peninsular highway through the Baja, it doesn’t disappoint like other highways. There were plenty stretches of twisty fun bits and where it chases the Sea of Cortez, it’s a stunning ride.
Riding along the Sea again, I had my sights set on the Bay of Conception. A short morning ride found us at the mouth to the bay. Easily a days drive/ride from the US border, everyone should seriously consider making a road trip to this part of the Baja. Tropical water, lush foliage, clean sand, and cheap camping are all in abundance.

Bay of Conception

Reaching an unnamed bit of beach with a few Palapas (iconic wee beach-side camping huts) open, and a restaurant bar at one end of the beach we happily opted to soak this place up for the rest of the day. We stopped for some grub, and lazily set up our camp.

The finer things in life

After we sorted out the camping fee with the proprietor and inquiring about sea kayak rental, she directed us to another beach resident who had some for offer. John couldn’t legally rent them, since he was only there visiting, so he happily let us take his rigs out in the bay for a while.
We offered to buy John dinner and a few beers at the restaurant for the favor, and proceeded to nearly drain the establishment’s supply of Pacifico. Beach life.
It would have been the perfect day, had it not been for the jackass couple from the states down with their 5th wheel. So there must have been a quarter mile of pristine beach front. We were probably one of 4 folks with established camps. Guess where the neighborly assholes chose to back up?! Perfectly solidifying my prejudice against RV travel folk.
Good thing Dave was here to qualm my insufferable anger. Should have asked them for a neighborly cup of sugar, then immediately poured it into their generator gas tank.

Anyways…Here’s a few shots from our ride the following morning.
We stopped in Lareto for some brunch, and decided to shag ass to La Paz that day. I had learned over brunch that I was misinformed about the ferry’s schedule, and that there was a sailing tomorrow (Sunday) night from La Paz to Mazatlan.

Crazy little hotel we stayed at in La Paz Saturday night, Yaneka Hotel. Got my first taste of riding my bike right into the courtyard for security.
Dave was going to carry on to Cabo San Lucas Sunday morning where he’d be storing his bike for a few months and fly back home. Stoked we were able to ride together, had a great time with him.

Sunday morning I rode out to the ferry terminal to secure my passage on the crossing that evening. Just before riding onto the boat I met a a guy on his 1975 Honda doing a similar trip with his wife. They were quite adamant about the fact that they were from Quebec, not Canada. Since the ferry ride was an astonishing 17 hours long, it was nice to again have some company. They had also booked a cabin on the boat, and finding out they had three beds, very graciously offered me a place to crash for the night. Their plans had them riding down the coast of Mexico from Mazatlan whereas mine had me heading into the mountains, so we parted ways wishing each all the best.

Alkaline Tree(o)

Waiting with the big boys

We landed a little after 10am Monday morning, and I set my sights on the Mex 40 from Mazatlan to Durango. Officially named “El Espinazo Del Diablo” or “The Devils Backbone”, this road was about 150 miles of mostly 2nd and 3rd gear twists and turns. Went from sea level to 9,000 ft+ in a couple hours through some brilliant scenery. Closer to the highest points, the clouds started to darken, and I experienced my first proper deluge. Plus mixed with some fog for a (conservative) estimate of 20 foot visibility! Found a wee shack with an overhang to install my rain liners and toughed it out.

Simultaneously managing to be my greatest and possibly worst ride to date, it was awesome. I took some good footage with the GoPro, and will do my best to post it soon.

more like the Devil’s intestines

First time crossing the Tropic of Cancer

Rolling into Durango quite wet and famished, I wasn’t up for the hassle of perusing inner city hotels, so opted for a cheap motor hotel on the outskirts. Primarily aimed at motoring travelers, most big city’s outskirts have these in abundance equipped with a proper garage attached to your room.

I’m now in Zacatecas at the Villa Colonial Hostel where I’ll spend a couple nights exploring this beautiful city.

I have no idea where I’m headed Thursday, but I’m not too worried about it.

Trip Odometer: 4,367

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
-Aldous Huxley

3 thoughts on “Paradise, Ferries, and The Devils Backbone

  1. braamer says:

    Don’t worry down to Dolores, Guanajuato the sight of “The Grito de Dolores”, proclaimed on September 16, 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. It was the pronunciamiento of Mexican Independence that marked the beginning of the War of Independence. Viva Mexico!

  2. Craig Nice says:

    Bay of Conception?!? FUUUUUCK!! How could you only spend one day there???

  3. Francesca says:

    beautifully archived

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Recent Posts


%d bloggers like this: