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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mex Trip Tips...

At the end of July, i'll be headed through Mexico for about three weeks in the no doors, no top, '79 CJ-7. Any advise and/or recommendations would be much appreciated.

We'll be hitting Baja, taking a ferry to the mainland, and hopefully seeing as much as possible. i'm shooting for allover and then Oaxaca at the bottom, but depends on how the trip unfolds.

Part and gear donations are always appreciated, will trade for tequilla. Just in case you have a spare rig, i would love a rear view mirror (some homeless guy in San Diego wakes up every morning to mine), seatbelts, a hood lock, lug locks, grill cover, fog lights, friends or contacts down there, places or events not to miss, tent, stove, hepatitis A vacine...

i've always enjoyed the people and posts here, and will keep you updated with progress and pictures...

Scott Reuben...
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 06:55 AM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

Don't drink the water !
Mexico in July. No Top, no doors. I think if I were you before I left I would get a bikini top for you CJ, just to keep the sun burn to a min, and to provide some shade when wanted.
Don't drink the water !
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 07:00 AM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

We've spent lots of time in Baja, how much time are you devoting to that part of your trip? What kind of stuff interests you? John M.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

bikini top, check.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

Baja will be pretty direct to Cabo for a wedding. But i need to catch the ferry at La Paz, and will have a bit of free time enroute. Anything you think might be of interest would be great. So, far that wedding is the extent of our plans for over three weeks.

Scott...
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 05:09 PM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

If you are heading pretty much straight through to LaPaz then there are just a few things I'd suggest while driving through Baja.

Most importantly I think is that you don't ever pass up an open gas station, (once you are south of San Quintin) even if you are only down a quarter of a tank. Usually dependable stations sometimes close early, like the one at Catavina, or they sometimes run out of gasoline. Two weeks ago it was around $2.00 per gallon - use the 87 Octane, it's way better than it used to be.

Keep you driving times to hours of daylight. Almost all the land is open range. Since the roadbed is usually raised a fair amount you cannot see cattle just a few feet off the pavement, they can be in the roadway before you can react and during dark hours it's very tough to see them.

Our experience is that any real restaurant you stop at provides drinkable water. These places depend on the tourist dollar and if they served anything but pure water they'd be out of business awfully quick.

On the highway in El Rosario, just a hundred feet or so south of the gas station is a restaurant and motel, "Espinosa's." You gotta stop for a lobster burrito. This place is very historic and if the matriarch, Mama Espinosa is there she will meet you - just ask. She is in her mid 90s, fluent in English and one of the Baja legends.

At San Ignacio, a few hundred miles further, be certain to take the 10 minutes to get off the highway and drive through town. As you approach this town you will be amazed how, after 90 miles of the desolate Vizciano Desert, that this place even exists.

Did I mention not to pass up an open gas station?

I can provide much more. If you would like, I can post my private email address, just ask.

John M.

post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

Great Tips! Thanks for the typing time!

Our pace through Baja will be about 3-4 days, no night driving, and mostly pull over camping whenever possible.

i will definitely be hitting the places you mentioned, and would love to hear more.

One question, gas tanks. i've been told to not bring jerry cans full across the border, and that large tanks of gas (full or empty) will be confiscated by check points or further trouble. Any insight here would be great. Nothing quite like broken Spanish to get you through a military checkpoint of automatic rifles and artillary.

thanks again...

Scott...
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 09:26 PM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

In our experience, we've heard the gas can horror story -that you simply(?) have your gas can taken if it is full. Actually, you can buy the gasoline in Baja cheaper, and the supply is plentiful so why risk it? We have only heard of this gasoline deal, no first hand experience. Your only spot this might actually occur would be at the border, entering Baja.

Broken Spanish works great at the Military Checkpoints. You will encounter a number of them and if you make some attempt to speak in Spanish it may speed you through. Mostly they are concerned with northbound traffic. We went through maybe 8 of them on our last trip, they have some permanent highway spots set up, and do some poking and looking at stuff - a word of caution - do not bring drugs or guns or ammo. Even a lone shell casing could land you in a heap of trouble. Prescription drugs no problem. Smile and be helpful.

Plan your trip as not to camp in the San Quintin area. This has been and continues to be a problem area in general. If you get this far, drive the 35 or so miles further toward El Rosario, then as you leave town, within 15 or 20 miles more you can camp........so many places.

Short of suggesting spots you may enjoy, and ruin your fun of exploration and adventure, take any dirt road and go a mile or two from the highway, out of sight and hearing of the highway - for the Mexican semi-trucks DO run at night - park your Jeep alongside of the dirt road (not in the middle of the road as some local rancher will surely come by around bed time) and that's camp!

The key - relax, and enjoy the beauty and solitude.

John M.
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-08-2004, 09:45 PM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Don't drink the water !

[/ QUOTE ]
Don't even use the water when you brush your teeth!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-09-2004, 07:06 AM
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Re: Mex Trip Tips...

In response to what CJ7TAZ posted - He's exactly correct, we try to be careful not to use ANY water that comes out of a faucet for anything except the radiator or a shower. In all towns of any size at all, and in some of the more remote areas, little markets have shelves of bottled water, gallons that say something like "agua pura" or similar. Bottled water is cheap insurance. Same goes with ice. These same little stores have packaged ice, just like at 7-11. Used to be you could find block ice, not packaged but kind of bulk - I'd hestitate to use it. Stick with the bagged cubes -
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