Fri, Feb 6
Woke up to grey skies, chilly winds and the threat of rain.
My motel and room...
I asked around and folks seemed to think this was going to last awhile and cover all N Baja, no matter which way I took. N on HI 1 to Ensenada or backtrack to Chapala and head for the east coast?
The thought of a flat or some other breakdown between Chapala and Gonzaga Bay in the cold and wind wasn't appealing, particularly because I'm painfully aware of my limited mechanical abilities. So I reluctantly head N. Generally, I like riding solo, but I think at a time like this it would have been nice to have a riding partner, someone to push me a little (Marc, where are you?).
After 25 miles, the drops started falling and it was time to break out my extra rain jacket I bought for my trip. Had on extra clothing today and was at least mentally prepared for the cold. It would rain 15-20 minutes, skies would clear for a while, then start raining again, a pattern that would go on all day long.
N of Cataviña, some sun at least...
Lived in the Phoenix area for 9 years and I love the desert. The aroma of wet creosote is one of my favorites.
Because it was wet on and off all day, I didn't pull out my camera as much today. Rolled through Lázaro Cárdenas, Colonet, San Vicente and by 1:30 I was already on the outskirts of Ensenada. Since I was that close, decided to go ahead and make for the border and spend the night stateside. I didn't want to mess with the SD / TJ crossing so I headed for Tecate. The sporadic rain turned steady and my wet feet began to feel the effects (my catepillar boots were the weak link in my cold weather / rain gear getup). By 3:30 I was nearing Tecate, found the crossing and almost before I knew it, I was across! Was able to use pesos on the US side of Tecate to eat, changed my socks and wrapped my feet in plastic bags and took off to find a hotel, finally finding one off HI 8 in Pine Valley.
Started pulling the contents out of my mc jacket pockets, and found my passport and vehicle import permit from Mexico. Ah crap! Wasn't I supposed to take this to a bank before crossing
back into the US? I started this trip back in September, knew that I had it, but kind of spaced it off. The warning on the back of the permit states:
"...it is an obligation to register with Banjercitos employees the reutrn of the vehicle....The registry of the return is ONLY possible in the border region or border crossing points and in case of omission to do so, I'm not entitled to receive another Temporary Import Permit for a vehicle."
Anybody have any experience with trying a second time? I think I remember some advriders getting denied access to Mexico once they went back after failing to register the bike upon leaving Mexico. What happens? Am I banned for life? Nothing? Exhausted, I quit thinking about it and fall asleep.
336 miles; 11 hours riding; crossed border