Sunday. Doing The Baja 1,000

It was barely 7 am when Chuck from Chatsworth started up his portable compressor and air gun as he torqued the tire bolts of his off-road monster. Ok. Maybe his name wasn’t Chuck nor from Chatsworth, but he was a passionately committed man playing with his tools and toys at 7am. A bit early? Perhaps. But what a picture. I wish I could framed it and let him look at how silly the whole scene was, especially as he yelled “Jerry, come here!” with brute authority. Soon engines were firing up and John, one of the Orange County bikers asked to borrow some tools. Ha! Good thing I bought the essential tools in Guaymas after discovering them missing — an absent minded move by my dealer’s service department.

No breakfast but refreshed and ready to tackle the 4 miles of sandy road to Mex Route 1. I was doing great and increased speed when I one point my whole bike front and rear tires when into an opposing fish tail and dangerously scarry wobble. I thought for sure the bike would lose traction and send my face planted into the sand. Heart beating and now focused, I leaned forward and slowly rolled back on the throttle. Phew. Close one.

From San Quintin to Ensenanda I rode the dusty towns bustling with activity. It’s the Day of the Lord. Just outside of Maneadero I took the 15 mile diversion to La Bufadora, perhaps Baja’s only true tourist destination. Essentially a blow hole that when the tide comes crashing into a tall crevice or rock water shoots 25-50 feet high in the air raining excitingly close to those clutching the guard rails anxiously waiting for the next “big one”.

Photographers toting vintage 1970 bellowed Polaroid cameras hustled and positioned large Hispanic families together for captured Bufadora memories. The madness of it and the nearly 1/4 mile of vendors hawking blankets, hammocks, jewelry, churros and cuban cigars made me nauseous. I escaped and found a hotel just north of Ensenada in Sauzal. As the sun set, I gazed across and captured the beauty of Bahia Todos Santos in my mind and for my camera. As I gazed to the far end of the bay where the silhouette of the rocky and mountainous edge of the bay and thought to myself how much more pretty and peaceful the scene seemed. A striking contrast to being there earlier amongst the maddening Bufadora hungry crowds.

Opened my second bottle of wine while in Mexico, Mount Xanic. Big, bold, dry with softer tannins than I’d expect. Shared it with an Orange County couple, John and Gerlie who were celebrating their sixth anniversary and finally getting time away from their 1 and 3 year old girls.

Photos: (1) Madenning crowds flock for a Sunday chance to get spit on by La Bufadora. (2) The view near Bufadora free from crowds. (3) Classic Pacific sunset from the patio at my hotel in Sauzal.