Pre run update #1
McGoo, Mike D. and I just did a blast through the route yesterday and today. We spent most of the day on the road or in San Felipe. The good news is, we got the campgrounds sorted. The better news is, Ruben's is going to be free to anyone who rides in on a motorcycle. Between Ruben's camp and Kiki's camp/hotel, San Felipe is dialed in and it's good.
Read below to get the scoop on the new place in Ensenada. The same guy "JC" who made the fiesta happen the last two years at the hotel is now working across the street for the Villa Marina. Better pool and a whole lotta upstairs discoteca, aye-aye-aye muchachos!
The road to San Felipe from the border was in a fine shape, lots of new pavement and no more detours in the dirt on the side for miles like we dealt with on the 2009 (non-EDR) trip. Highway 3, from the turn off at Three Poles to Ojos Negros is in rough condition. Probably 50% of the road is littered with the infamous potholes, under construction or just plain old and beat up. It's totally passable and not that big of a deal, just a little challenging like it's always been. Right now there are a couple smooth gravel detours around construction on the highway that will actually be pretty fun to bomb through on bikes if they are still there in May. The usual fun twisty bits are just as fun as before and in pretty good shape. The road out of Ojos and into Ensenada is in great condition and will fun to ride again. We will do another prerun or two before since road conditions are likely to change over the next seven months anyway.
See below for details on accommodations in both towns.
We've reserved all 30 of the palapas at Ruben's Camp. These will be available on a first come, first serve basis. You can gang up in one of these rustic tree forts, or pitch your tent on the beach. You don't need any reservations or anything here, and it's all been paid for in advance by Biltwell and Chop Cult. The outdoor bar area, massive palapa and fire pit area will be located at Ruben's. The actual restaurant there is closed but there should be a taco cart or two and plenty of beer.
The Grande Palapa at Ruben's Camp. Right on the beach
When camping in palapas you can stay in a tent,
hammock, sleeping bag or just go face down
when you've had enough.
Kiki's Camp & Hotel
Right next door, only separated by a low wall and some chain link is Kiki's Campground and Hotel. Here there are about a dozen hotel rooms and 30-ish palapas. This is for the EDR traveler who wants to know in advance that he's got a spot reserved. You can email Kiki directly firstname.lastname@example.org His English is great and he is a trusted friend of ours that we've known for years. The rates are $25 per palapa per night. You can fit up to five people in these at that rate, but that is pretty tight quarters. We'd count on two or three being a little more comfortable. Each palapa has a shade cover up top and a picnic table down below. The hotel rooms are all large double rooms, in great condition and go for $60 per night. There is free wi-fi at Kiki's.
You can walk about 1/4 mile to town from these locations, and both are right across the street from the Circulo de Muerte track...
Inside a palapa at Kiki's
Bathrooms and hot showers will be a welcome sight
Villa Marina Hotel
This is a new venue for us this year, but is through our old friend in Ensenada, Juan Carlos. The VM is the tallest building in town so you can't really get lost trying to find it. It's an older hotel showing some signs of age but the staff is friendly and the prices are great. The parking lot is big enough to hold plenty of bikes and there is an all night security guard on duty. The rooms are adequate, hot water in the showers and the whole top floor is a disco for our enjoyment. The pool area in the back is well kept and we'll be having some bbq back there and handing out the awards on the last day from this location.