Time zones, Mexico and the Baja Peninsula

11 May

Firstly, apologies to our readers. This post should have gone up before ‘Culture shock USA – whoops, out of sequence, slap on wrist Jim !

Day 189…30,045 kms (by Jenny)

Baja California Mexico
Baja California Mexico

Mexico has 3 time zones. Somehow we missed that bit of information and found out we had been riding in a new time zone (Mountain Time Zone) for 2 days without realising it, only when we turned up for breakfast at 7am to be told it was only 6am. This accounted for breakfast not being ready the day before at a previous hotel. Too polite to say anything to our enquiry, the staff proceeded to prepare breakfast at 6.15am and we rode away that day none the wiser.

Our travels took us to Mazatlan on the coast where we had booked a ferry for 29th April.

The ferry. It mainly carries lorries
The ferry. It mainly carries lorries

Unusual for us to book but just as well as it turned out as we bagged the last cabin on the last ferry sailing for 2 months as the route closes down for hurricane season. The ferry turned out to be mainly a transport ferry for the lorries with a few walk on passengers and 5 other moto’s, 3 of which were being ridden by riders of Scottish origin although one has absconded to reside in Australia. The ferry was a tad less posh that the one between Cartegena and Panama but did include dinner and breakfast, Mexican style. Somehow, refried beans, savoury chicken and tortillas seemed an odd choice for breakfast. It operated in true Latin America style, departing 3 hours late and arriving 6 hours late at La Paz, Baja California.

The peninsula sounds like it should belong to USA but Baja California which is the second longest peninsula in the world is part of Mexico. Our reason for being on the Baja was to ride to Todos Santos where we hoped to stay at the Hotel California. All evidence points to it not being the Hotel California of Eagles fame but it was on Jim’s wish list for our trip. We rolled into the small town of Todos Santos to find the road outside the hotel dug up and they had no suitable parking for Bertie. We were not going to be undone and headed for another hotel who kindly let us park Bertie in their garden which required negotiating various steps and narrow doorways. Then it was back off to the Hotel California on foot for dinner and a great waiter who told us that 4 out of 5 guests want to hear ‘that song’ and promptly played it for us. The staff must get sick of hearing it but we had ridden almost 30,000km to be there! Anyway Jim got the T shirt and the sticker and we departed happy. The reason the road was being dug up…. they are in the process of putting cables underground as above ground they keep being destroyed by the hurricanes which we are apparently riding just ahead of.

Video clip 43 secs http://youtu.be/ldaRPdeszuc



Riding away from Todos Santos we headed up Route 1 which runs the length of the Baja crossing from one side to the other. The route varies in its scenery with everything from flatlands to gorgeous beaches and hilly regions covered in cacti. The road in the south is of a good standard and changes from sweeping curves to miles of straight sections so something for everyone. A stopover in the small coastal town of Loreto had us marvelling at the pelicans in the small harbour before a 400km ride to the not so attractive stopover in Guerrero Negro.

Pelicans share the harbour space with the local fishermen
In Loreto the Pelicans share the harbour space with the local fishermen

Here we had to make a decision, the USA border in 2 or 3 days. 2 days would involve a very long ride of 600km to Ensenada which would put up about 116km away from the Tecate border. We decided to give it a go. It turned out to be an overcast day with temperatures at the lowest they had been for months topping out at 20C. Quite chilly after our norms of 35C but it made such a difference (in a good way).

We crossed the 28th parallel just north of Guerrero Negro and with it crossed another time zone, Pacific Time Zone putting us 8 hours behind the UK.

Best to know where the big gaps are between filling stations
Best to know where the big gaps are between filling stations

The road deteriorated in places and we again played dodge the potholes but all in all it is a great ride. Just need to ensure that you carry enough fuel as north of the town it can be up to 250km between fuel stations.

So now we are in Ensenada, almost at the end of the Central American leg of our journey.

Tomorrow the USA.  Another milestone.

(more photos after this short message)

We would like to thank everyone for their generous donations to our JustGiving page for Shelterbox. Over £800 so far or nearer £1000 if you include gift aid from UK doners. We were going to close the page off so the monies would get to Shelterbox now but it seems we do not need to, the donations are being passed to SB weekly or monthly depending on the amount. Shelterbox are currently involved in a number of disaster zones including Nepal.

Route 1
Route 1
Living it up at the Hotel California
Living it up at the Hotel California
It was on Jim's wishlist for this trip
It was on Jim’s wishlist for this trip
Pelican diving for fish. Very efficient swimmers co-existing happily with the local fishermen
Pelican diving for fish. Very efficient at catching fish and they co-exist happily with the local fishermen
Moody Baja. It isn't all sunshine
Mean and moody. The Baja It isn’t all sunshine and some parts are very remote
Motorcycling heaven?


We met several local bikers riding the peninsula
We met several local bikers riding the peninsula. Big Cruisers were popular
Nearly at the USA border
Nearly at the USA border
Should we buy a holiday home here?
Should we buy a holiday home here?
Made it, welcome to California
Made it, back in the ‘1st world’ after 6 months. Welcome to California, State motto ‘Eureka’ meaning ‘I have found it’ referring the discovery of gold



One Reply to “Time zones, Mexico and the Baja Peninsula”

  1. Hotel California – is it or isn’t it?!?!?!? Was it ‘such a lovely place?’ As they say you have got the T shirt. Enjoy the next leg xx

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