The Trip - Ancient drawings at Agua Grande
Reaching the twin oasis towns of La Plurisima and San Isidro I knew that I was closer to getting back to some really tough off-road stretches. This was the land of the seven capes where the backroads all led to the sea and where the only people who came out were surfers and fishermen.
I gased up in La Plurisima from a handpump and rode to the east to San Isidro. Although my final destination was west and north I had read in the Lonely Planet that there might be some cave paintings visible near Paso Honda.
The map said that the road to Paso Honda was 18.7 km of dirt and that it lead over a mountain range. I had heard that it was fairly tough but decided to ride it to try to see those paintings. After about 16 km of hard riding with steep inclines I reached a bunch of people at a local ranch.
I asked them if Paso Honda was close and if anyone knew where I could see some paintings. One of the locals said that he knew where they were and that it was just a few kilometers down the road. I made the decision to trust these people with my luggage and unloaded the roll bag from the bike and took off my custom rack making a place for my guide to sit. I figured that for just a few kilometers I could manage with two people on the bike.
Photo - Guide and BMW - a perfect combination
I marked the GPS and headed down the road with my guide hanging on as the passenger. The road soon began to get really much worse and we had to do three water crossings in the next 3 km as we approached Paso Honda.
At Paso Honda I was expecting to ride just a bit more and then get off to see these cave paintings. I told my guide to just let me know when to stop and after another 5 km he said to keep on going.
Photo - The horrible road from Paso Honda to Agua Grande
I was shocked and dismayed. I wasn't sure whether to keep on going or not but I had invested alot of time just coming to Paso Honda and wasn't about to give up now. Another 10km of the worst roads that I had ridden so far passed beneath my wheels.
I was standing up the whole time fighting the bike over heavy boulders and loose gravel combined with sand and uneven slopes. I had this guide on the back so that I couldn't move my weight further back nor was falling down an option as he was unprotected and I didn't want to have an accident two-up.
There were definite sections that I thought that I would lose it as we went through steep rocky climbs and descents - I advised him to HOLD ON and just gunned it like he was luggage on the back. After a few gate crossings later about an additional 15km down the road we came to Aqua Grande.
Photo - relieved to finally be at Aqua Grande
All the way my guide had held on to his sombrero while I held on to my wits. I was tired and thirsty beyond belief now and still had a 1500 foot climb to the top of the cliffs to see the paintings. I've got some video of this climb which I'll post later but for now just think "Blair Witch Project" combined with cactuses and you've got the picture.
After such a difficult two-up ride, I was in no mood to do the climb but this is what adventure touring is all about so off we went up the side of the mountain. There was no trail to follow and my "guide" was making it up as we went along. Loose gravel and cactus was the order of the day.
After several attempts to find the route to the top we made it. We rested and I took some photos and video (no flash). The following is one of the photos. I'll put more up later if people want to see these. All of these sites are being protected by the Mexican government and you need a permit to go and see them.
I was lucky to make the trip to Aqua Grande as it is really remote and I got a local guide. Normally, this is quite a procedure to do and requires a mule ride of several days. Javier (from San Francisquito) has a friend who takes people to see the sites near San Ignacio in the Vizcaino. Next time I'm in Baja I plan to do this trip but for now I am very satisfied with the unique trip that I took..
Photo - Ancient hunter and animal
Having seen all of the paintings we carefully made our way down the cliffs and back to the bike. Remember, every side trip you take you have to take twice to get back to the point of divergence - so the very difficult trail that we took to get from Paso Honda to Agua Grande we had to do again.
This time though I was a bit more confident knowing where the rough spots were. Standing up the whole way with the guide on the back I powered through back to get my bags near Paso Honda. I still had 18.5 km of tough dirt just to get back to San Isidro not to mention the sand, dirt, and silt road leading to San Juanico.
It was now 3ish and I had started my day in Ciudad Constitucion at 5 am. I had done two major sidetrips including some tough dirt two-up and had planned to be in San Ignacio by now. The trip to Paso Honda and Agua Grande had eaten up most of the day and my energy. I knew that it would be enough to make it to San Juanico that night which was New Years Eve.
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