Mexico Virgin

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cro59, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    [​IMG]

    The final day of the trip was another play day. I was already close to Tucson and had no real agenda.

    There was a lot of this...
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    And this...
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    I gave the Honda a pretty good work out, pushing her harder than I have previously, and she did well. I could probably tweak the Tractive shock a bit for the rougher stuff, but all in all I have no complaints. She soaked up some big bumps and rocks, never bottoming out the forks or shock. Not bad for a heavy bike. After trying to connect a couple of roads south of Sonoita, I came to a hill that I wasn’t willing to try alone, which was just as well because I’d run out of water. There were a couple of puddles I could have salvaged some water from in a pinch, but there was also bottled water back in the store in Sonoita. After hydrating and caffeinating, I decided to ride some of the fast dirt along the border towards Bisbee, where I had lunch and then took the backroads back to Tucson.

    All in all, it was a great trip, although the highway run between Nogales and San Carlos was too damn long. Given enough time, you could follow the beach road from Puerto Libertad to Bahia Kino and then slab it to San Carlos. Next time I’ll take the ferry over to Baja and come back that way.

    Anyway, that’s a wrap. If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. If you’ve been thinking about riding in Mexico, then I say just go for it.

    [​IMG]
    #61
  2. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    604
    Location:
    Morelia
    A great rr.
    36’ is great... If you don't know how to sail, you can learn on a small Sunfish.

    I'd try this...
    https://arizonayachtclub.org/

    If it was me, powerboat at least 9+Knts. Minimum.

    Don't forget you'll need a davit.

    Go for it!... Take a Captains course at Compass, look it up...
    #62
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  3. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    @Romero , I’m looking at courses now. Will see if I can fit that into my next break in Jan/Feb. Seems like a better first step than buying a boat.
    #63
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  4. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Thought I’d do a wrap up with a few observations and lessons learned.

    - Getting in and out of Mexico was easy. The immigracion and aduana center at Kilometer 21 on Hwy 15 is a one stop shop, to include copies and insurance, and was not at all busy. I spent more time waiting to cross back into the US, even though I filtered as far forward as possible.
    - You don’t have many choices when it comes to north-south roads in the Hassle Free Zone. Hwy 15 is obviously the quickest and the coastal road has long, unpaved stretches. I’m sure you could pick your way through the mountains, but the trails won’t be big bike friendly, you’ll want someone in the party who speaks Spanish, and fuel may be hit or miss. Technically, you need to a TVIP if you travel east of Hwy 15, which means you can’t use the crossings east of Nogales. If I thought I was going to be back in six months or had more time for this trip, then I would have just done the temporary import of the bike for more flexibility. It seems like many gringos just don’t worry about the TVIP on short trips, but if you are caught out of the Hassle Free Zones then you are subject to fines and vehicle confiscation.
    - The Guaymas ferry runs to Santa Rosalita and (I think) La Paz in Baja. Wish I had known this, because I would have crossed Saturday night and come back via Baja.
    - The beach between Bahia Kino and Puerto Libertad is pretty desolate. There are a few small fishing villages and what appears to be a lot of poverty. I don’t know the laws and customs concerning beach camping, but the area is remote enough that I’m sure you could find a place to camp out. I’m not sure if safety is an issue in the area, so if there is someone with local knowledge, please speak up.
    - Diving in San Carlos is hit or miss. Book in advance and unless you have at least three divers in your group then don’t expect to dive during the week. San Carlos is a weekend town and not much happens from Monday to Thursday.
    - If you plan to ride off-road, then you better be comfortable riding in long stretches of sand.
    - Take the time to learn some rudimentary Spanish. Outside of the tourist zones, there really aren’t that many English speakers. Even in San Carlos, English was not as widely spoken as I expected.
    - Some random gear thoughts:
    - I need better access to my water. My water bottles were inside my Kreiga bags, which made getting to them a pain in the ass, so I didn’t and was perpetually dehydrated. I don’t want to wear a camelback in the heat because it interferes with the airflow through my jacket. I’ll probably get a tank bag for water and documents.
    - I really like the flexibility of the Kreiga US bags. They are easy to move from one bike to another, they are great for airline travel, and are easy to remove at the camp or hotel. The downside is that they do keep the weight high and tend to get in the way when I shift back while standing, so they are not the best option for off-road riding.
    - I should have worn my mesh jacket. It was much hotter than I expected and my Klim Revener jacket, while it has decent airflow, was too hot for the conditions. A lightweight rain jacket would have been a better choice for the slim chance of rain and as a windbreak for the cooler temps.
    - I really like my Revit Pioneer boots. They are not motocross boots by any stretch, but they are comfortable for walking and are a good, albeit expensive, choice for ADV travel.
    - I opted for my Klim riding jeans rather than my Goretex ADV pants. The Goretex would have been cooler, because the Kevlar jeans provide no airflow. Still looking for the perfect riding pants.

    That’s it for now. I’ll add more later if I think of anything.
    #64
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  5. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    453
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    Carpinteria, CA
    Nice read. I dove out of San Carlos Dive Center and we ended up camping at Catch-22 beach and exploring the Catch-22 movie set. Even brought back a 500 lb dummy bomb we found from the movie (border agents not impressed, long story). Oh, should mention that was in 1973. Took ferry to Santa Rosalita for about $4.
    #65
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  6. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,108
    Interesting and nicely brief and diverse ride report with humour.

    I need to suggest two corrections for your final summary though.

    Re: BORDER CROSSINGS EAST OF NOGALES

    You indeed MAY use the border crossings in Sonora east of Nogales because they are north of highway Mex 2 and part of the border “ hassle free zone” .
    The Naco crossing has limited hours of service for Banjercito IF you were to need than but there is a BANJERCITO office in CANANEA for that . The Agua Prieta border is open 24/7 with Migracion and Banjercito service .
    The “ east of Mex 15 “ restriction applies only for the Solo Sonora scheme , you may enter at AP or Naco and ride west on Mex 2 to join Mex 15 .You may not go south on any road leading south from Mex 2 when east of Mex 15.
    *****************************************************
    Re: FERRY FROM GUAYMAS TO BAJA

    This ferry runs ONLY between GUAYMAS and SANTA ROSALÍA
    It does NOT have any service south to Pichilingue , the harbour for La Paz in BCS
    You are correct about it’s connecting between two ports in the zone exempt for needing a TVIP .
    ************************************************

    For any future trips keep in mind that the FMM is required for all of Baja California ( N and S ) and that the TVIP is an absolute requisite to get passage on the ferries from Pichilingue to TOPOLOBAMPO and to MAZATLAN . If that is in your future then get both the FMM and the TVIP while you are processing in at the Mexican border or at km21.
    The TVIP can be obtained at The Pichilingue port but the hours of service at the Banjercito office are stopped rather early on several days of the week . This could be an inconvenient surprise if you arrive for an evening departure within the lead time for boarding as suggested by the ferry ticket office and you might have to postpone to a day-later sailing.
    *********
    A question that has been asked elsewhere is
    “ If I take the ferry from MAZATLAN or TOPOLOBAMPO to Baja can I cancel the TVIP and get the Security Deposit Refund in LA PAZ or PICHILINGUE ?”
    The answer is NO . The TVIP and the FMM are cancelled only AT THE BORDER CROSSINGS or at km21 in Sonora as a procedure of preparing to cross back into the USA.
    #66
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  7. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Thank you for the clarification! I knew that we could remain within 20 miles of the border without a TVIP but didn’t know the details.
    #67