08.10.16 San Felipe, Baja California to Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur.
After a few days of fun with Paul (Barney) and Yvette, exploring San Felipe and its beaches and bars we were ready to start moving again today.
We had been told to take Mexico highway 5 from San Felipe for about 100 miles or so, and then to take the 15 mile section of easy hardpacked dirt road to connect up to Mexico Highway 1, which runs down the West side of the peninsula before cutting across the centre, and back to the East side. From where we stayed this was the only route, unless we were to retrace our steps.
The 15 miles was more like 25 miles of what turned out to be long stretches of gravel with stones and rocks still embedded in the ground, and large potholes. There were also some big patches of very fine sand almost like fesh fesh with large holes to avoid. The journey across the gravel took us about two hours to ride, because we had to go so slowly. It was pretty hot, and quite tough going, but halfway through there was some respite at a section of the road that invited you to enter ‘Cocos Corner’, in fact it appeared that this really was the only place to go.
Now legend has it that Coco was a security guard for years up in Ensanada on the West Coast, but got fed up with the stresses, so moved himself to a tiny shack in the middle of nowhere, to sell drinks to people passing by. In those days the Baja 1000, a famous car and bike rally race passed right by his door, and apparently when maps were made for the route, there was a dot by his place marked ‘Coco’s Corner’. Over the years Coco has been there,his notoriety grew, the whole valley is known as ‘Coco’ Valley’ and his place has grown into a larger shack, stocked with every type of cold drink you could want. Coco appears to have had trouble with diabetes or similar, and has lost both his legs, so he’s in a wheelchair. This doesn’t stop him, he was outside directing operations when we arrived, and whilst we were there about 20 or so people dropped by whom he managed with ease. Some of the people he clearly knew, others like us, not so much. He told us that he had not seen a sidecar passing by for 15 years, so I think he was quite excited. We gave him our card, which he made Paul hammer into his special poster. We were made to sign his visitors book, and were given a sticker for our bike.
The walls of his building were covered in racing memorabilia, plus every imaginable gift from visitors, cards, paintings, photos, hats, socks, bootees, and rows of bras and knickers whch dangle above the bed he sleeps in every night. I think he must have very sweet dreams, and he seems very impressed with his fame.
After leaving Coco, we managed the rest of the difficult terrain. The payoff for this was the beautiful scenery we rode through today- crystal blue seas to begin with, with silhouetted islands dotted around, then through mountains lined with all manner of cacti, riding through a dried river bed. Just breathtaking and wonderful.
Tonights stop is at ‘The Halfway Inn’, which is halfway between the top and bottom of Baja California, and means we have entered Baja California South, and changed timezone again. We are now 7 hours behind home.