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Old 01-02-2013, 12:13 PM   #46
BrianF
Immoral & Immature
 
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Napa Valley, CA
Oddometer: 40
Thanks to some good advice on this thread, I took the plunge and I survived. Spent 10 days in Baja, all the way to Cabo...what a beautiful (and warm!) place. Hopefully I'll have time to put together a ride report...getting back up to speed at work at the moment.

Post-trip tips: cross at Tecate. It's awesome. Entering Mexico, zero wait. Coming back, about 30 minutes. Went right through. Plus, the roads leading to it are good riding. If you need a tourist card (for stays longer than 7 days, or travelling south past Ensenada), get it online before you leave. That was my biggest mistake. If you cross at Tecate, the building is at the border. Literally, right next to the border crossing, on the right. There is no parking, so go through the crossing, take the second right, then the first right after that, and park at the school. Walk to the migracion office, get the card, walk to the "bank" window next door to the north, pay ($20 or so, cash only), and go back to migracion to show the receipt. They'll stamp your passport, you'll get your card and be on your way. Supposedly you can no longer get them in Ensenada, no need to risk it.

That said, I was never asked for the card. Not in Guerro Negro, not at any military checkpoints, not by the police (long story). Peace of mind more than anything else. Do be absolutely sure to bring proof of vehicle ownership. I was asked for this on three occasions at military checkpoints. Unless you're completely broke, I can't imagine why you wouldn't buy insurance. It's about $9/day. Get it online before you leave, and carry the proof with you. I never needed it, but once again it's peace of mind.

There are more Pemex stations than I expected. Even if you run out of gas (did, twice), you'll find a local who has some gasolina for a wildly inflated price.

GET MAPS! I left with only a Baja North map, and never did find a South. Baja Books and Maps in San Jose del Cabo wasn't open, so I explored using only the preloaded maps on my phone. Not ideal. Got lost many times. Hopefully you have a better GPS than I do.

Don't ride at night. I ignored this once on accident (got lost), and had a POS truck with three dudes in it block the road and presumably attempt to jack me. I rode through the bushes and promptly ditched them. Despite how it looks on the map, it's a big place. No one will hear you scream.

Go to Bahia Los Angeles and Bahia Concepcion. Los Angeles especially. There's a great "ORV" area at the north end of the bay. Ride til the main road ends at a "campground" and you'll see trails all over the surrounding hills. Spent a whole day there.

Lastly, just pay attention. Situational awareness is everything. And shoutout to to the guy on the 1200GS who dumped it at the Pemex station in El Rosario on 12/30. Happy Trails!

A little preview from Bahia Los Angeles:

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"Wanted by Interpol in several countries for unpaid speeding tickets, accidental wheelies, passing tour buses at the speed of light, and other crimes of gusto." -Egan
'12 WR250R, '10 VFR1200F. Past: '07 DL650, '04 DRZ400, '03 VFR800, '03 FXDL, '84 GL1200 (RIP)
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