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Old 05-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #16
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Playa Azul & Zihuatanejo
Oddometer: 209

Estaremos pendientes de tu ruta !
... tambien me dijo un arriero, que no hay que llegar primero, pero hay que saber llegar ......
xr650L / DR 650 / TRX400FA / C90 ...
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:54 PM   #17
mill OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: I Dee Ho
Oddometer: 49
So now I'm headed back to LA to gather the correct paperwork. I make it back as the afternoon is coming to an end. I decided it's best to visit with my brother for a while, have a few cerveza and start attempt numero dos manana.

My twin brother and I standing outside of Maeve's Residuals on Ventura.

Bright and early the next morning, I am headed back to Tecate. 175 miles later I arrive. As I am walking up to the banco, I stop for a quick visit from one of the officials that had spoken to me the day before. Now at the banco window, I am greeted by a new clerk. Since my visa was completed the day before, I told him all I needed was my vehicle permit. I hand him the ORIGINAL registration and title. I could not believe what he asked next......

Can you come back tomorrow?


NO, absolutely not!!!!!

Can you go to Mexicali?


Can you go to Tijuana?


I'm sorry but our system is down......

I don't care. Look man, *insert rant about previous day here* Is there anyone I can talk to? Let me talk to customs! Can't I get a stamp permit from them ? Something, anything....I'm crossing this border HERE, TODAY!

He tells me to wait and he will see what he can do. The sun is getting hotter, and after about 30 minutes of boiling beneath my jacket, I start shedding clothes. I continue to stand there working on my tan for the next 45 minutes. Finally, he returns with my paperwork. I pay for the permit, he processes my $200 vehicle deposit, and then I make my way back to the bike. Whew......that was easy, in a not easy at all sorta way!

I'm on the bike now with the right grip twisted, doing my best to make up time.

I stop here for to grab lunch.


By now, I've made it just south of San Quintin.

mill screwed with this post 05-06-2013 at 08:27 PM
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Old 05-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #18
mill OP
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Location: I Dee Ho
Oddometer: 49

I see the long stretch of sandy trail above. Waaay in the distance you can see where it finally drops off over a large dune and dumps into an ocean of nothingness. I decide that this looks like a great photo opportunity.

Now being from Alabama, I have very little experience riding in the sand. I've ridden in sand only a handful of times in Costa Rica, but very little in general. Well needless to say, the sand along the Baja is VERY different. You may not be able to tell from the photo, there is a slight decent downward from where I am standing. As soo n as the front tire rolls into the sand, I realize this probably wasn't the best idea. The front tire pushes and then buries itself. There's no turning around now even if I wanted to....I'm committed. I get to the bottom of the hill and immediately ditch the "ride to the ocean for a killer photo" idea. I've got to get out of this fucking sand, up the hill, and back onto the pavement before it gets dark. Trying to turn around presented a challenge in itself. The Kenda 761 would just spin and bury itself to the swingarm. After frivolously tugging on the bike I managed to get it pointed uphill. I unloaded the bike and tried for the "run at it" approach. The Trakmaster on the front just seemed to push all over the place and I couldn't keep a line. I had to turn around and try again. This time I realized that if I could keep the throttle pinned the bike would eventually plane out atop the sand, very similar to the way a water skier planes out atop the water when being pulled behind a boat....just don't let out of the gas!!!! I managed to crest the hill and get back on the tarmac. I walk back down the hill and drag my now covered in "sand roost" things back to the bike. I'll know better next time, I think to myself. Yea right, who am I memory flashes back to being stuck on the side of a loose rock mountain somewhere in San Bernadino with the rear wheel buried to the swing arm. I'll never learn.

Back on the road for a short distance, I see more trail off to my right. I now have a little over an hour before dark. I decide to try to search the coast line for a place to set up camp. Good thing it's still daylight I'd hate to have fallen off in something like this.

It's a huge wash...well at least it's huge for a Bama boy that has never seen such. Standing down inside it, I estimated it to be roughly 9ft. deep. I drive around it and make my way closer to the water. I think I'll stay here for the night.

After getting camp set up, it was time to do a little bike maintenance before dark. First off let me say this.....
Changing oil beachside, or doing absolutely any service work that requires handling tools is a BAD idea. I knew this, but I had to get it done. Also, the sand here is not like Alabama Gulf Coast sand. The sand here is wet and sticks to everything!!! There's no blowing it off like the dry sand back home. It's like trying to get that piece of hair off the bar of soap. Just isn't going to happen!

The bike had the top end replaced just before I left, so it was time for the break in oil change. I found an empty jug on the beach and drained the oil. I was very careful not to drop any of my tools in the sand.

And then what?

I look up just in time to see the whole tool kit slide off the seat. "thud" So much for that! I yield the bandana from my pocket and spend a good part of th next 40 minutes trying to clean the sand from every single tool in the tool bag.
I've finally finished rolling around in the sand, have completed the oil change and lubed the chain. It's dark now. I down a pack of lemon pepper tuna, top it off with a protein bar for dessert, and sit on the side of the beach listening to the crash of black waves. The clouds have blocked out the stars, but I'm okay with that. I feel at peace.

mill screwed with this post 05-07-2013 at 10:52 AM
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
There, that's it
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, Tx.
Oddometer: 8,804
There's a very real value to a Mexico n00b Ride Report. Something about a first-time rider figuring it out along the way is both highly instructive and, I expect, very encouraging to others considering such an adventure. Thanks for posting the report and buena suerte.

"You don't take photos for yourself, you take them for the old man you will become - if you are lucky." - Falang

"As long as there's a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually" - rtwpaul
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Rainbow City, Alabama
Oddometer: 171
Lovin' the report!
08' FJR1300

Proud Member of N.A. Chapter of tEAM nONGA!
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Southern California
Oddometer: 573
Originally Posted by mill View Post
I've never been through a border crossing, so this was all foreign to me.

A haaaa....I love puns, intended or not.
Big Trip to Washington, Vancouver Island and British Columbia
So Cal Day Trips
2012 Suzuki DL1000 V Strom
2007 Suzuki GS500f - Don't underestimate (and don't take it in loose rocks!)
2004 Suzuki LS650 "Savage" - Either stolen or ran away from home.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:51 PM   #22
mill OP
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Location: I Dee Ho
Oddometer: 49
Throughout the night I am hammered by severe wind gusts. I'm very impressed with how well the tent performs. No slapping around, only the consistent swaying of the light hung from the overhead perch.

The next morning I climb out of the tent and am immediately hit with mist to the face. There's a slight drizzle and it's surprisingly cold. I take down the tent, shake it out, and pack it up wet. There's an old Toyota truck coming down the trail. It makes a right, and disappears over the dunes. I look along the shoreline and see him walking the coast, stacking sand bags. In the distance to the left I notice another local following suit. I'm not quite sure what they are doing. Maybe it's a shoreline conservation I ride back to the tarmac.

It's dark and gloomy feeling.

Back on the road in misting cold rain, the fog hangs low and thick. I can't see anything and am continually wiping my face shield in hopes that I will somehow wipe into existence some sort of visibility. Stuck behind a tractor trailer, we creep along the winding mountain pass. We slow and come to a non manned military checkpoint. The desolate bunkers mixed with the thick air and creaking of the rigs suspension set an ominous tone. This was the first checkpoint of many along the Baja, and the only one I found unattended. I clicked the shifter down a gear and cleared the topa as I went around the truck in front of me. Once through the pass and out of fog of death, the desert opened up for miles. Today....I would clear some serious ground.

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Old 06-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #23
Bart Jones
BGY 504
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Oddometer: 936
Hoping all's well.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #24
There, that's it
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Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Austin, Tx.
Oddometer: 8,804
Originally Posted by Hikertrash View Post
Title isn't needed, but original registration is.
Official copy of registration is accepted. I pay $3 at my local county tax assessor office. Have rarely used the actual original.
"You don't take photos for yourself, you take them for the old man you will become - if you are lucky." - Falang

"As long as there's a horizon and I can see it, then I want to know what's there, mentally, physically and visually" - rtwpaul
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:14 AM   #25
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Port Orchard Wa
Oddometer: 257
tvip in La Paz

Just for future reference, Even if they would of made you wait an extra day in Tecate you could of just kept going and picked up the tvip in La Paz at customs where the ferry docks
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:20 PM   #26
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Southeast Lower Carolina
Oddometer: 733
I like your attitude and your ownership of your mistakes. Ain't nobody's fault but yours. Sometimes, and I emphasize sometimes, the solution to one's problems are far more fun than the routine of normalcy.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:35 PM   #27
Pedro Navaja
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2008
Location: USA
Oddometer: 2,555

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:34 PM   #28
mill OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: I Dee Ho
Oddometer: 49
I'm a slacker and never followed up this report. I made it to Puebla, MX in March. Went back in July and continued on to Panama. Should try to do another RR for that. Back in Panama with swamp to cross into Colombia and push for Ecuador. Check out swamp's blog to follow along through his twisted tales.

I'll try to do a better job of keeping my stories alive when I return.
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