Have you ever gotten to the end of vacation and thought to yourself, “this was so amazing I would do it all over again”? That’s the sign of an exceptional traveling experience, to feel like it would be worthwhile to do it again in the future. But with so many possibilities out there, most of our bucket lists are chock full of destinations and activities. There’s simply no room to repeat a trip, not when there’s so much else to see!
That’s exactly how Robert Cormier feels about traveling. He has been to 75 different countries, most of them on motorcycle. And yet, there’s something special about Baja that inspired him to return. And not just return for another visit, but to do the same MotoQuest tour a second time! What is it about Baja that inspired an experienced world traveler to come back for more? We caught up with Robert to find out.
MotoQuest: Tell us a little about your background with motorcycles.
Robert Cormier: I got into motorcycling 25 years ago. It was 1993, just after my divorce. It was relatively late in life; I was 35 years old. My first bike was a Kawasaki ZX10, which was reliable and fun but not overly comfortable for long rides.
My friends, mostly Brits, were riding adventure touring bikes, predominately BMWs. We also enjoyed dual sport trail riding, thus came the DR-Zs, KTMs, KLRs, XRs and the such. It was a big world out there and I wanted to see as much as I could – preferably on a motorcycle. Dual sport and adventure bikes opened the most doors and offered fewer limitations.
MQ: How did you first come into contact with MotoQuest?
RC: My first introduction to MotoQuest was through a mutual friend that had mentioned this tour operator out of the states that did adventure tours. I went on the internet and saw their website. It looked promising, so I made a couple phone calls and convinced my long time riding buddy Dan that we should ride the Baja with MotoQuest.
At this point in time Dan and I had ridden far and wide…We had been to South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, all of Central America, Baja off-road, South America (Argentina & Chile), Ireland, and Scotland. So it was decided that for this time of year (February in Canada) Baja Mexico was the place to be! The duration, price, and length all fit well into our schedule and budget.
MQ: Tell us about that first experience with MotoQuest.
RC: So my first tour with MotoQuest was in February 2017, the Best of Baja Northbound. Dan and I flew into Cabo San Lucas and were greeted at the airport by Dominic Bauer, our head guide. Dominic was very welcoming and friendly right from the get go. We knew he was going to be a fun guy. They set us up with our rooms, we did the paperwork for the bikes, and then went out for a excellent welcome dinner. Our support drive/backup guide was Ovi, another fun and interesting guy!
The next morning our group left Cabo and headed north. The pace of the ride was good, the weather great, and the scenery excellent – what more could you ask for? Luckily for us this was a sign of things to come, as the entire ride was excellent. The bikes ran perfectly, the accommodations were good, and the riding had a lot of fun variety. On our rest day in San Ignacio the group chose to go whale watching. I told Dominic I was in the Baja to ride and had seen lots of whales in the past, so Ovi took Dominic’s bike and we spent the day riding and exploring around San Ignacio…an exceptional day that I won’t forget!
All in all it was a great trip, so good in fact that I convinced another friend of mine to return with me in March 2018 to do the Southbound ride. This time Phil Freeman was leading the group. This too was an excellent ride, no complaints whatever. I have to say I very seldom if ever return and do the same ride twice, mainly because there are so many great places to ride and see, but the Baja has a special attraction and allure that’s hard to describe.
MQ: Have you gone on guided trips with other companies or tour operators aside from MotoQuest? If so, how does the MotoQuest experience compare to others?
RC: I have gone on many other tours/rides with other operators. I can’t say I’ve done them all but I have done a lot: Edelweiss, Ayers Adventures, MotoDiscovery, Motolombia, Rosen Rides, Himalayan Moto tours, South African Moto tours…the list goes on and on. I have now traveled through 75 countries in the world, most of them on motorcycle. Many, many great experiences and memories, and all different.
MotoQuest provides excellent bikes, which is very important, because what good is a tour if the bike isn’t working 100%? The MotoQuest equipment works as it should for a trouble free trip! The routes and roads they choose are well-thought-out and enjoyable. Some people might say it’s too easy and some may say too difficult, but all in all a great selection and variety offering something for everybody. The lodging and rooms are always safe, clean, and enjoyable, nothing lacking. The places we stop to eat are excellent, again a good variety and selection. So I would have to say that dollar for dollar MotoQuest offer excellent value and choice, no complaints!
MQ: What was it about the first trip that made you want to come back?
RC: As I said earlier there is something special about the Baja: great weather, great culture, friendly people, a large variety of roads and riding, and good value. Canadian winters are not the most enjoyable time of year, so Mexico and the Baja are a great escape – easy to get to and easy to return home.
MQ: What’s next for you?
RC: I am considering some other tours, like Patagonia and Isle of Man. I have ridden all over North America on my own and on my bike, been to Alaska and Mexico and all of Canada and all of the States. I love the southwest states but hope to find more roads I haven’t done yet!