LOST IN BAJA(Sort of)
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)|July - August 2021
Passing Rosarito Beach on Highw ay 1 is the moment stress melts away. The headache of crowded southern California interstates, the border crossing, and the packed streets of Tijuana (with Google navigating, of course) disappear when you finally see Baja’s western shore for the first time.
Jaffe Wilde

I had planned my entire winter, week by week, around training for the Morocco Desert Challenge, a fantastic coast-to-coast rally spanning eight days and roughly 1,500 miles of the Moroccan Sahara. The year before, I had entered, never having previously raced a motorcycle. Needless to say, I came in last place. For now, the goal was to obtain as much seat time as I could handle in preparation for next year. A friend shared a mass of tracks he had collected from riding in Baja, so I was set to discover the peninsula at full throttle. As I rolled down the coast, I decided to take a momentary detour and call an acquaintance from the 2019 Baja Rally.

Mauricio owns and operates Lost in Baja (LostInBaja.com), an adventure tourism company guiding luxury tours from luscious vineyards to desolate mountain peaks, revealing the gems of Baja, California. He is also a partner in the race association for Baja Rally (BajaRallyMoto.com), a fun, multi-day, off-road navigation race traversing Baja’s mountains, deserts, and shorelines. After inviting me to his home, he showed me a local moto shop where I could have new tires and fresh bib mousses installed on my KTM 500 EXC-F. She desperately needed new shoes, as I had come to Ensenada immediately after running a 70-mile enduro in Arizona.

I parked my van and set up camp in Mauricio’s backyard adjacent to a bank of succulent plants lining a very rocky beach, a vast improvement over the previous night’s stay in an Arizona hotel. Since there are three AirBnBs on his property, I found myself parked at a veritable adventure hostel and quickly made friends with a fun couple.

Justin and Kyra (WestX1000.com) are a rowdy pair of moto journalists/photographers living the life we enjoy reading about. They were planning to put together an adventure route from Ensenada to the San Quintin area and back. It would be a three-day, 400-mile loop along the shoreline detailing the variety of eateries and accommodations which may be overlooked by the typical gringo motorists shying away from the unfamiliar. The next day I joined them, heading south from the city. Mexican metro traffic could be a fun challenge for any moto-minded American, I would guess, with its seemingly disorderly and faster pace, and less room than any typical U.S. road system. But for those just looking to travel the less-beaten path, it’s a chore. Thirty minutes of that, and we were buzzing up into canyons and past the vineyards leading to Santo Tomas.

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