Baja Adventure Riders

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by bigtodd, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    547
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    I drove my van for 2 years from the US to Colombia, and have also ridden motos around Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador, it happens much less often than it sounds like it does, but it will happen with regularity depending on where you go.

    If they do go fishing for a bribe, its usually with some good humor, so while I don't condone it, my personal experiences never had any abuse of powers. I had a very small number try and use intimidation, but I never felt like I would be thrown in jail or worse. I always did what I could to outlast their game so they would give up and look for an easier target.

    .....my record would be perfect if it weren't for that time in Vietnam.
  2. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,302
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    It still happens, but you’ve gotta be careful of who, where and how you do it these days.

    The military—and possibly the feds—don’t take kindly to it. They may take immediate action that you wouldn’t like. The young military guys at the checkpoints asking for soda or meds or snacks are OK; that’s just the norm.

    The locals and transitos are usually fair game.

    Wherever or however it occurs, let them initiate it...then haggle if it’s too high.

    If no one has yet said it, here goes: “Is there a way we can just handle this right here so I don’t have to follow you to the station?”

    Note: I don’t condone this activity. But decades of traveling in Mexico, Central and South America has just deadened me to it...
    Motorius and turdfergeson like this.
  3. bajasam

    bajasam Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    az
    It's been part of their culture forever and will always be as long as their a two class society. It isn't just the police and military, its hotel desk clerks,marina service,anyone you need something from. Just like a tip, a couple of American dollars will get you a little more or extra whatever.I've never in fifty odd years had anybody be insulted or a gov'mt worker react negatively to morbida "a little bite".
    Dan Diego, pceire32 and AZ TOM like this.
  4. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,021
    Location:
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Something to consider.....
    The Baja 1000 is scheduled for Nov 20 (Ensenada - Ensenada loop race), if it's allowed to take place.
    Expect pre-runners and chase crews up to 2 weeks prior to race day, meaning hotel rooms might be scarce as far down as Catavina until the 21st or 22nd.
    The race was originally slated for an Ensenada - La Paz run but I see it's been changed to a loop race. https://score-international.com/raceinfo/2020-score-race-schedule/
    You don't want to be on the highway on race day between Ensenada and just south of Catavina, also Mex-3 and Mex-5 (on to Mex-1)
  5. b4thenite

    b4thenite Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,214
    Location:
    Korea Town, Los Angeles,
    Please share your first hand experience. When and where did you give bribe?
  6. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,302
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    At the checkpoints many times. Sometimes a bottle of liquor, brought for that occasion, sometimes cash. This is how you get out of unloading and reloading your entire vehicle.

    Cash and food to security guards at assorted gates I’m riding through. I felt these were fair. I have a great video of the negotiations for one particular property in Baja.

    Cash to transitos for “speeding” tickets. That was in Ensenada once and just leaving TJ for the toll road once.

    Lots of cash once to locals after a friend crashed his bike and damaged the asphalt south of San Vicente. No kidding. (That one was pretty costly, actually.)

    A pair of binoculars, some other stuff I haggled for and cash from locals. I was handcuffed in the back of a police car at the time so wasn’t in the best bargaining position. That worked out OK.

    All of our combined cash to locals in TJ after being caught drunk and stupid at 3am. They had all of our IDs in their shirt pockets and literally shook us down until they had every dollar. Crossed back into the US penniless that time.

    Those are the ones I recall offhand. And I don’t count the stuff like cold sodas and candy that I give to the young soldiers at the checkpoints to make things go easier.