Baja Trip Report: Part 1

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Hltoppr

Hltoppr

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Ok guys, here goes! I'll be doing these in parts; cuz' to do it all at once would be a pretty long post!

December 21, 2003

Packing took a good day and a half with laundry and final purchases. We (my wife and I) had an uneventful trip from Flagstaff AZ to Phoenix, with a 20 mph headwind...great for gas mileage with a 3FE, a rooftop tent and two kayaks on the roof!

BMT and his lovely wife were kind enough to let us crash at their home in Mesa, and we started the trip out right by getting some good Mexican food for dinner! Thanks B!

December 22, 2003

Left Phoenix about 0730 hrs. this morning and took a liesurely pace to the Calexico/Mexicali Border Crossing, stopping in Calexico to top off the tank. Technically, it is illegal under Mexican law to "import" gas in jerry cans, so we'll wait to fill them up later once across the border.

Border crossing was an easy one...I was able to find the Nada de declarar (Nothing to declare) line pretty easily. Glad I had picked up car insurance (www.bajabound.com) prior to hitting the border, as it would have been one more thing to worry about!

Next item of business would be to find and pick up our Visados de Tourista, or Tourist Cards, that are necessary for travel in Mexico South of the Border Zone, or Ensenada/San Felipe. We make our way through the madness that is Mexicali. Busses, cars and street vendors; all of whom seem to have a death wish and drive like crazy are dodged until we find the Tourist Information center listed in the Lonely Planet Baja guidebook.

We're promply sent back to la frontera (the border) to immigration...back into the mass of people and cars as we head back to the border. Around the block a few times until we find parking...and the Oficina de Migracion. In my best broken spanish I ask the gentleman in a snazzy white uniform, with epaulets: Nesessitamos visados de tourista. He askes how long we are staying and where we are planning to go (In Spanish, of course, and I feel pretty good that I understand...three years of Spanish in High School and college didn't go totally to waste! ;)

We tell him Mulege, just beyond the state boundary of Baja Norte and into Baja Sur, for dos semanas...two weeks. He replys that the tourist visas are not needed! :-\ Perplexed, we leave the office...everyone I've talked to says that the TC are necessary to present at the military checkpoints south of San Felipe!

We find a bank and exchange about $250 US to pesos, at 11.2 to the dollar, then it's off again into Mexicali traffic and on to San Felipe to the South. I've found that a smile can go a long way when your Spanish sucks!

After being nudged by a cab on the rear bumper who was trying to merge, I wish I had a Slee rear bumper and figure that driving in Mexicali is a little like a Nascar race...some rubbing is expected. :doh:

Mexico 5 to San Felipe is a scenic drive. 3000 ft. peaks rise out of the desert to the West (Oeste) while an expansive salt flat/dry lake goes to the horizon on the East (Este). The posted speed limit is excrutiatingly slow, switching between 60kph and 80kph (40/50mph) for no apparent reason. However, I've found that now the cruise control on the 3FE will work even on hills! :D

The days are short, so we decide to find a road to the beach before we reach San Felipe. We camp on a deserted white sand beach, listening to the waves!

More to come!

-H-
 
e9999

e9999

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Hi H:
tourist cards can also be had at various banks (or at least were a year or 2 ago.)
This time I was stopped at the checkpoint south of SF, but they never asked for a card, which we were also told we did not need...
speed limits in Mexico???? uh????
E
 
Brentbba

Brentbba

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Looking forward to the next installment!
 
Junk
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[quote author=Hltoppr link=board=4;threadid=9791;start=msg86207#msg86207 date=1073497978]
On the Beach![/quote]

Dude, you really are fugly. Your momma should have swallowed you when she had the chance. :flipoff2:

Seriously now, nice right up. Now we need more pics and more story. :D :D
 
B

BMT

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Yes there are speed limits in Mexico. I found out that if you do not comply, it will cost you 8 hours in a Mexican jail and 86,000 peso's. :flipoff2: Junk...you think he's ugly...wait 'till you see Skeddy. :D
 
Junk
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Hey now, pics of this Skeddy may be nasty, but please don't post any of BMT. I'm not ready for that. :D

Ouray? Fawker! :D Very jealous. Been cold around here lately so going ice climbing for a few days. Slept out in the tent last night since it got down to 8 deg :D Nothing better than sleeping outside when it's cold. ;) School kids walking by looked at me a little funny though when I got up this am. :D Sitting there making hot chocolate in the vestibule. :flipoff2:
 
Hltoppr

Hltoppr

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Okay, Junk even I think it's a little "off" to be sleeping out in a tent in the front yard...when you're older than 10! If I'm not waking up on a mountain, I'd rather be next to a warm spouse!

-H- :-\
 
Junk
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It's the back yard, but we're on a corner so it looks like a side yard. :flipoff2:

Actually just got a new bag, so was keen to test it out. Then again, I have been known to do one or two kooky things in my life. :eek: :D
 
e9999

e9999

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BMT,
tell us more about the jail and the $8,000 fine....!
E
 

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