It was a beautiful drive from Guerrero Negro to Mulege. Remember the Birds of Prey National Sanctuary in Southern Idaho, where we spent a night? This stretch of road was what I had envisioned that park being. There were thousands of birds of prey all over the place: flying through the sky, perching on telephone poles or the tops of cacti, munching on road kill or the odd dead cow. Many of them were great big vultures of course, but so many were also hawks, red tailed, ferruginous, and at least one kestrel. Most of these guys probably winter down here and spend the summer up in Idaho.
We got to the next town, Mulege, and drove through, taking it all in. We stopped on the side of the road to figure out a plan when we realized we had gone through the whole town, and when we did a car pulled up next to us and a guy popped his head out the window and the following conversation ensued:
Marty: “Whatcha guys looking for?”
Us: “A hotel.”
“A hotel or a motel?”
“I got AC in a trailer you can stay in. I’m a couch surfer.”
I did not know what he meant by saying he was a couch surfer, but we followed him up to his house anyway. What he meant was that he is on the website couchsurfer.com and let’s people stay with him. He did indeed have a little trailer with great AC so we were happy and grateful to stay there.
After we got settled, Marty offered to take us up a trail to a pretty lookout that is only accessible by 4x4s (or motorbikes and atvs). We followed and watched the prettiest sunset over the Sea of Cortez. Here are some shots.
We then had dinner at an awesome little place called Patrons, right on the water. By right on the water I mean wet toes at high tide. It was great also, and after all that fun we got to sleep in an air conditioned room. What an amazing time. Thanks Marty!
The next day we bombed down the road to La Paz, hoping to sort out ferry tickets so we could be on the boat the following day (Sunday). We got there a bit late and all the offices were closed, but we found the fantastic Hotel Yeneka, which has very secure motorcycle parking.
Not only do we have free moto parking, and are blocks away from the Malećon and many restaurants, we also get two giant shots of free house-aged tequila! It was served with pomelo slices and is amazingly smooth.
And lastly, the owners have super lifted Isuzu 4x4s, so Chris feels at home.
So Sunday we drove out to the ferry terminal to see the customs guy to get our permit to bring our vehicles onto the mainland. He told us we needed and did not have an FMN form and without this form we could not get the permit. He further said that the law changed a few years ago and this can no longer be obtained in La Paz, but only in Tijuana, or whatever other U.S./Mexico border we drove in on. Uh oh.
We had to wait another day for the immigration office in town to tell us the same thing and suggest we fly back to Tijuana and walk back and forth across the border to obtain the form. If we don’t need our bikes with us to get the form I do not understand what difference it makes if they give it to us here or there but apparently it is a big difference. The customs guys and the immigration guys don’t seem to like each other.
Luckily, our amazing hosts at Hotel Yeneka know a guy who works at one of these places and might be able to help us. I am very much hoping so as flights to Tijuana are $400 each! Not to mention we are already tight on time because we are meeting friends in Panama at Thanksgiving. So this is stressful and we have learned our lesson thoroughly. Hopefully it will all work out with minimal extra time spent in this lovely but very hot city.
Did I mention it is 90 degrees out and very humid. I am hoping my body will get used to this weather. Otherwise I have a few uncomfortable months ahead of me.
Since we had nothing to do but wait, we passed the time at Harker Board Co where we rented SUP boards and paddled around the sea. The sea is at least 80 and not incredibly refreshing. But when soaking wet the breeze is actually a bit cooling. The sea is also very salty. More salty than the Pacific it seemed. But it is also full of amazing birds! We saw male and female Magnificent Frigatebirds (yup, that’s their real name), and what I think wa a dark morph red footed booby. It was definitely a booby but I couldn’t see its feet so I’m not positive on the ID. I’ve never seen a booby before. I mean by itself, not in pairs.
Not only is this awesome rental shop across from the sea, it’s also a bar and restaurant. So after splashing around we watched the sun set over some local Baja Brewing IPAs and some seared tuna. It was much fun. Chris even liked it. He hasn’t agreed to go out at OB when we get back to the bay, but by the time we are through Peru I hope to have him so addicted he’ll brave the cold water.
While writing this we just got word from our hosts on a plan of action but we can’t do anything more until tomorrow because the immigration office is only open from 9am-1pm. Bloody Mexicans!