Major Baja Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Baldy, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. Baldy

    Baldy Founder of ADV Administrator

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    If adventure means pain, close calls, and exhaustion, then we´re having one.

    The highlight so far has been the ride from Ensenada to San Filipe, taking the detour along the Baja 1000 course to Mike´s Sky Ranch. Except nobody told me they get snow up there, thank you very much, with temps in the 20s. . The good news is the mud puddles were frozen to the ground.

    We didn´t get a lot of cash before coming into Baja, thinking we´d find an ATM. Oh sure. There are three of them in San Felipe, all out of order. The only bank wouldn´t dispense cash over the counter. So no dinero, senor.

    We had just enough to fill our tanks and make it, hopefully, to Guerro Negro, 250 miles away, half by atrocious washboard. But in a tiny dive of a town with only a dirt road, Ben got arrested for passing a truck. The only truck. The one that pulled off the road and stopped so he could pass. He did it at less than 10 kph. They took Ben´s license unless he could pay the $12.50 they wanted. So we scrounged quarters in the glove compartment of the Jeep, dimes in pockets of my pants and came up with the money, barely, and they let us go. Pics of Ben at the station when we get home.

    ...gotta run....out of time at el internet cafe.
    #1
  2. Dutchman

    Dutchman Diskussionsleiter

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    Thanks for the 'live' report, Baldy..............................

    Don't forget to take pictures of anyone getting arrested...........

    Oh, and try to stay out of jail yourself................................

    Have a safe trip....................................:1drink
    #2
  3. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    Dayum Baldy. sounds like a blast. I wish I was there.
    [​IMG]

    No trip is complete without bribing a public official. or impregnating his kin.
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. drholm

    drholm Easily Amused

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    ...or having a Federale' with an M16 waving it in your face....ahhhhhh the good ole days...:beer
    #4
  5. Squirrel

    Squirrel Squirrely Adventurer

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    ...or having a Federale' with an M16 waving it in your face....

    This just happened to the dude riding his Harley down thru Colombia on his way to S. America. Heard the story on NPR yesterday. They stopped him, stuck a gun in his face, took him hostage, and marched his ass thru the mountains.
    #5
  6. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    I've had similar shake-downs happen to me in Tijuana and Ensenada. The key is to have > 1 vehicle travelling together so they can't get you alone and shake your down for mordida...

    The last time I was in Meheeeko, I was told I ran a stop sign by some corrupt federale'. I told him that Ave. Revolucion has stop lights (!) on every corner and I hit red on every one! Of course it was spring and all the SDSU 1/2 naked babes were out - so that was fine with me; I was in NO hurry. Well, Sr. Corrupt Cop-o doesn't care, he just wants dinero to put fuel fuel his stolen American SUV. Paid him 1/2 what he wanted and said that was all I had left. He told me to get out of the country.

    Why do I think he was driving a stolen American SUV? Because, the previous month, the local news did an expose' about the local "policia" driving stolen American cars. They tracked VIN numbers of all the cars the TJ police parked in front of their station house and the majority of them were stolen from CA!!! The local SD politicians put the kibosh on the story a few days after it was reported, but the truth remains. Anyways, I have little or no respect for the people or the officials in the first 100 miles of Mexico. Go further south, and you'll see the country for what it really is; a wonderful place. If you're roughly 100 miles or less away from the border, watch out - it's criminal time! I really wish they'd clean up the corruption and mess there - it really is a wonderful country and the people are the best. It's just a few corrupt morons that spoil it for everyone.
    [/rant]

    Marc
    #6
  7. fish

    fish Banned

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    ya know...that same shit happens in Canada too...
    #7
  8. Marc

    Marc Just sayin...

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    Haven't heard of the RCMP driving stolen American cars lately - and I live close to the northern border, too. BTW, you ever rent a car in San Diego? Hertz warn you about car theft and driving near the border (on this side). If you're going to be in certain areas of SD County, they'll give you a "less attractive" car that thieves aren't as interested in. They warn you about driving into Mexico. Tell you special insurance is required.

    Try renting a car from Hertz in Sea-Tac and compare. Same company - way different experience. I'm not saying that I'm against the country or the people of Mexico. I just wish they'd scrape the 1st 100 miles off the map and give it another try.

    Marc
    #8
  9. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Just my respectful .02 worth here, boys...I've been travelling the first 100 miles of Baja for many years, and have never had a problem. Nor do I personally know anyone who has. It seems its always "a friend of my neighbor, etc..." I've found the people friendly and very eager to help out if you are encountering a problem.

    Unfortunately the police are corrupt as hell. If you behave in Tiajuana/Newport/Ensenada you'll not have a problem. If you screw up, stand by for trouble.

    The only incident I ever had was being pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer wanted me to pay the fine right there. I smiled and stood my ground and politely refused. I told him I would follow him to his supervisor to resolve the issue if he wanted to. It turned out that wasn't necessary.

    Talk, smile, nod, smile, use lots of por favors, and gracias, and DO NOT offer money to any official unless there is absolutely no way around it...

    Just my thoughts, YMMV!

    BTW, I'm planning a ride to Cabo in the Spring. Anyone want to come?

    Oh, and one other thing that should not even need to be mentioned. DO NOT bring a weapon into Mexico...
    #9
  10. fish

    fish Banned

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    I'm tellin' ya man, those canucks are gooood.

    no. actually, the last time i was there, i was on my motorcycle :)
    #10
  11. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Eric,

    Cool pic! Where did you shoot it? Last time I was south of Maneadoras the traffic slowed to a crawl as we past a horrible traffic accident. Several victims on the asphalt, blood all over the place, and two mangled cars.

    Upon a closer look we saw the victims were mannequins, the blood was probably food coloring and the cars had been placed in the road by a wrecker...

    Next to the cars was a sign that read in English "Don't drink and drive."

    Clever, those Federales...

    Steve
    #11
  12. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Probably bored witless, standing guard over some deserted highway.

    Did you ever write up this trip? I'd like to know more about it!

    Steve in So Cal
    #12
  13. davidhpark

    davidhpark Been here awhile

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    Baldy -

    You've found out (kinda should have known before) about the scacity of ATMs in the Baja. If you're still in Guerro Negro you can buy something at the Supermarket (the big one on the right hand side of the street as you ride into town past Malmarrios restaurant) in US dollar and they will give you change in Pesos.

    When I was there after New Years eve the ATM was all out of cash so this is what I had to do.

    Regards,

    David H. Park
    www.dhpmoto.com
    #13
  14. Baldy

    Baldy Founder of ADV Administrator

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    Yeah, I certainly should have known before, but worse than that I also didn't take much American cash. We were out of that too. :doh
    #14
  15. fish

    fish Banned

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    Hey Boss...y'all shoulda taken some of these with you!

    [​IMG]
    #15