Driving into Baja...Mexico - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Mexico Cancun, enchiladas, Tiajuana, Aztecas, Mayans, and chupacabras...

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Old 05-16-2005, 06:02 PM   #1
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I'm excited, I've just acquired a 1972 volkswagen camper/bus with a pop top. It's pretty ugly (brown and yellow), but it runs really well and is decent shape.

Anyway, this happened pretty quick, but it has me thinking of doing a road trip sometime this summer down the California coast into Baja Mexico. With the camper, I could hop from beach to beach and work on my surfing.

Has anyone done the trip? Any specific border probs/safety issues/craziness I should know about? I'll be coming from the SF Bay area.
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Old 05-17-2005, 12:33 AM   #2
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Hey, me my boyrfiend and my brother did the baja road/surf trip two years ago. It was the best trip yet for me, we drove down to Todos Santos to stay with my cousin and camp in his mango orchard...ahhh memories.. anyway,
We stopped at like a million places on the way down... waves werent real good on the way down and we had to hurry home, so the best surf was in Todos Santos, esp. the beach called Cerritos.. Scorpion Bay was cool, but just about flat. La Paz is junk, and Cabo, well, is Cabo, but some of the towns on the way are so cool... Guerrero Negro was cool.
Uh, no problems, just be nice to the kids with machine guns who stop you to check your car every twenty feet.... hehehe
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Old 05-18-2005, 12:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for the tips Happytravels! I'll definitely check those places out, and bring a big smile for the machine gun kids (federales). Did you need to bride any cops/officials while driving through? I've heard stories about that.

Also, this may be a dumb question, but since I've only been surfing a short while in the SF bay area...did you need a wetsuit down there? I'm envisioning crystal clean beaches with warm water, but..it is the Pacific, so I don't know it it would be worth it to take along.
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:38 PM   #4
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hey fireguy, i've been to baja a few times. if you still need info, here are some basics: you need auto insurance for mexico that is separate from your regular insurance. you can buy it from vendors near the border. it varies in price. you will need a 3/2 full suit in the northern and central part of baja. there's a weird current that dips down along that stretch of coast, cooling the water down significantly (i was there mid-summer once, wind n' sea in san diego had 68-72 [f] degree water temps and k38's water [the same day] was in the high 50s [f]). not to mention, it is so windy that upwelling occurs, keeping the water chilly all year (spring time, like in california, sees the coldest water temps). a great guide you can pick up at any surf shop is called, "the surfer's guide to baja." i strongly reccomend you buy that if you haven't already. it will be your best help if you are going alone (which, i wouldn't do if i were you.) i do envy your trip. one place i strongly reccomend you go to is about four hours into baja, called shipwrecks. that place is unreal. camping is about $5/night u.s., or, if you want, you can rent a small house for $10/night u.s. (no joke!). it's fenced-in and patrolled by two guys who carry shot-guns (they are the nicest guys too.) also, for other surf spots, go to www.wannasurf.com. it's a pretty amazing website for the traveling surfer. oh yeah, the only real life bribery (msp?) story i have heard about came from my brother, who had to bribe some cops, not federales, to get their car out of impound. that was in tj. lesson learned: stay the fuck out of tj. the check points are mostly only inconvenient, and the kids with the machine guns (the federales) tend to be really nice. they're just trying to make a living, you know? i hope this helps. if you have any surfing questions, just ask. i've been surfing for 13+years.
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:50 PM   #5
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i went to baja a few times my first few years in college...it's very pretty down there and a good change from TJ. we went down to rosarito beach and encinata (sp?) for a bike race along the beaches and through the mt's. we look cheap rental cars from the US and pretty much trashed them. we didn't have mexican auto insurance...so we were lucky there was no significant damage. we also camped near the beaches..which i recommend except that there were huge rainstorms at night and the weather was a bit brutal. But that brought better surf during the day time. have fun and be careful.
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Old 06-12-2005, 10:02 AM   #6
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Check out this link...Jakethepunk was just there!

Jake's trip to Mexico

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Old 06-12-2005, 02:28 PM   #7
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thanks mike...
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