Saturday, 18 May 2013

Santa Rosalia to the USA (San Diego) plus some motorcycling legends

We left Santa Rosalia and had quite a long day through the Baja desert to Rosita, including a 200 mile stint with no gas, however we were told in Catavina we could buy petrol at the side of the road, that was correct so we got a gallon each fom the roadside vendor which kept us going to Rosita. All day Fiona was complaining about the bike cutting out, so at night I checked and re tightened the electrical connections on the battery and could see nothing else wrong, We stayed at the famous Mama Espinoza's place. This is a mecca for followers and competitors of the Baja 1000 and Baja 500 desert races, nice place with some great memorabilia.
Friday the plan was the head to Ensenada and meet up with fellow overlanders Billy & Trish from Australia but we arrived there before 10am and decided to press on to the border at Tijuana. Tijuana is a busy place and we fought our way through the city to where we had information the Banjecito was (to cancel our temporary import documents and get our $400 guarantee back) transpires despite the signs still being there they moved it around 6 months ago to near the Octay border crossing about 6 miles away.
Another bit of chasing around near Octay (still Tijuana though) we ended up parking next to a car wash while I set off on foot (the traffic was crazy) to locate it, i did that then Fi's bike died, no electrics at all! The battery still showed 13 volts but after a while looking for the problem I came to the conclusion the battery was dead, starting the bike from mine proved it, as soon as I disconnected the jump lead it died. Then I got one of the car wash guys to take me to a nearby bike shop, no luck, transpired there was a battery dealer 200 metre from where we were parked so after wandering up and down with various batteries to try I got one that fitted but had the terminals the wrong way round! A bodge job got the bike going and back together and we made the USA at 8pm, a 13 hour day with no food or drink! Luckily the US crossing was painless enough and we stopped in the first hotel we spotted! Fast food in a McDonald's type place for dinner and no Beer!!!!!
This is the Gas station !

Desert

Looks like a film set

The boulder fields

Fi wondering when her bike will cut out again

Mama Espinozas

Great history on the walls

Bike IN the cafe

Outside our digs for the night


In Tijuana bodging the battery wires (thats the old one on the

Saturday we rode the short distance into town to Sonny Angels bike shop, he has been here for over 50 years, a record holder on Bonneville salt flats, the first American to ride a Yamaha at the TT (in 1960) Now 85 years old and still working. This man has a photo of him and Burt Munroe (of Fastest Indian fame) when Burt came to him for advice on riding the flats. It was an honour to meet him and have a good chat, his shop is pretty amazing, real old world shop full of Nortons & Guzzi's , my idea of heaven. I also met up with Mike Madigan who gave us some great ideas around where to go, thanks Mike.
We had to get another battery so across the road the really nice guys from National City Motorcycles didn't have the right one but called around and arranged for another shop to start preparing one. A ride there and we changed the battery whist chewing the fat with some of the guys! A busy and eventful few days!   

Me with Sonny (Right) and Mike (Centre) outside the famous shop

 
My kind of shop




 Mikes Square 4 being worked on with a smiling Sonny looking on
 Guzzi's everywhere
 Norton's and Ducati's too
 Fitting the second (but correct) new battery in 2 days!

  

22 comments:

  1. what destroys a battery like that? speed bumps? If you're in the gaslight in san diego patricks II is a real blues joint, no food, but plenty other dood places all over that part of town! Aloha, Don

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    1. Cheers Don, not sure what the cause was, now worried mines will go the same route! We're in the North of San Diego, hangover means we are here another day

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  2. Was it the yellow Motobatt that died on you? I just bought one for the Guzzi, because they got good reports. Might have been where the terminals bolt on to the battery. Mine came with several sets of terminals so it fits more than one bike, but they just bolt on, which I thought was a weak point. Loved the bike shop, and the cacti. I don't know where you find the time to produce all this stuff while you're travelling... ;-)

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    1. Yep it was, to be honest not sure any battery would have put up with the extreme temperatures so still rate them, termnals are good, better than the Odyssey setup. The blog & stuff is hard work, hard to keep on top of it but its good fun when you get feedback

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  3. Oh big bro photos of bikes not impressed have seen enough of these kinda holiday photos over the last 40 years ha ha ,back to the fantastic blue skies ,people and wildlife,please even the odd church now and again loved youre latest video think its my fav so far,you singing made me laugh, safe travels to you both ,speak soon ,Laura an co xxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Sorry sis, thought you might say that.....exactly what Mum would have said!! Speak today hopefully Gino & Fiona

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    2. No granny would have said "see that bloody Gino with pictures of all those bloody bikes!!" Just watched the latest video, Loved it!!! Glad your both still having fun! Take care, love to you both. Nic xx

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    3. Aye word for word! Yer just like your Mum Nicola (and your Granny ha ha)
      You guys will be celebrating, Saintees in Europe, who'd have thought.
      Take care, love Gino & Fiona

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    4. I know you keep reminding me that I am just turning into my Mum and Mum is turning into Granny!!! Mum and I do differ slightly tho, Vodka not Gin!!!!! Ha ha!! Surprised you know Saints are in Europe, didnt think you would be bored enough to be reading the news about scottish football!!! If you are tho have a look at Jeanfiels Ladies fcs website and read our match reports!!! I have had a few mentions over the last few weeks!! Take care. xx

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    5. Morris told me, thought you'd be glad, I'll look at it later, lOVE XX

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  4. Liked the video, rough with the smooth eh ? Bikes look like they are performing better now...when are you going to hang your collection of Nortons from the ceiling lol. Ride Safe and keep blogging.
    SteveP

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    1. Cheers Steve, no my Nortons are for riding ha ha, bikes are fine, some wee issues but still going strong. Trying to get used to speaking English again!
      Gino

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  5. Bloody hell! Can't believe I've missed so much of the tour, since you got back.....2 mths????? Anyway, nice to see you both still fit and racking up the mls and pics. Thought with your family name you might have turned brownish, instead of rosy red with the sun and heat...LOL. Loved the Tarantula pics(Columbia), we get them here and gives me great pleasure to pick them up and chase ppl with them when the mood takes me. I agree also with your comments regards Costas/Starbucks etc. Guatemala and Mexico look great too, 'Apocalyto' pyramids are definitely on my bucket list.....love the bush. Can't seem to be able to watch the last 2 videos....probably internet traffic...or some other modern hiccup. Looking forward to the rest of the travel updates. BIG UP Massive to you both from the Antigua posse.

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    1. Aye turn your back for a couple of months and we do another continent! The red is due to the whisky, under that I'm brown! Take care guys
      Gino & Fiona

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  6. Gino, get Fiona to stop using the heated jacket and gloves then the new battery will survive.. blog and video still good..enjoy your trip.. bob

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    1. We could have done with the jackets the last couple of days, who said California was hot?? More like back home. 20 Dec C is the new freezing for us!! Gino & Fiona

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    2. 20degs ... man up-- the Lecht snow gates were shut yesterday... have a good one.. Bob

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    3. Aye sorry about that, really not looking forward to the cold!!!

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  7. Just admit it, guys, you went to Sonny's shop to trade in the beemers for Nortons, but he was not interested at all... Thanks for sharing, cheers, Bennie. Cold in CA? Guess what, fresh snow in Belgium!

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    1. Hi Bennie
      Good to hear from you, never thought of that ! Most of the bikes needed work, I have enough of these already. Hope the weather bucks up soon for you

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  8. Hi gino and fi been following ur amazing travels,bit of a pain reading the latest bit first (arse fae elbow) by the way Buick has a c in it
    Kev (harley)

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    1. Hi Kev, tou'd love it here! Plenty 2 wheeled tractors everywhere! Thanks for the spell check ha ha. Aye its the only way these blogs work, the book will be in the right order though
      Cheers
      Gino

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