Monday, June 13, 2016

100 Days Central America: Baja Part 1

Average 3:30 Minute Read

     I departed Huntington Beach and arrived in San Diego on Tuesday evening we had a couple drinks and passed out to wake up Wednesday morning and get on the road crossing into Mexico. Before crossing the border we stopped and exchanged some money and got our car insurance which was about $140 for 6 months. I bought 6 months because I might be driving the truck back through Mexico and it was just cheaper that way. After crossing the border the next step was to find the immigration office, I needed to get a vehicle permit for my truck to take it on the ferry that goes from Baja to Mainland Mexico. En route to finding the office I took a wrong turn and ended up in the border line at Otay Mesa. We sat there just bummed thinking are we really about to sit here for 2 hours and have to turn back around and recross into Mexico! Well I wasn't going to let that happen, I through it in reverse and drove about half a mile in reverse dodging cars, pinatas, and people to get outta line, illegal yes but saved about 3 hours. When driving on Baja you do not need this but you need a permit when crossing over to Mainland Mex. I plan on spending about a month in Mexico so I also got a tourist visa which is also needed to get on the ferry. All of this cost about $70 for the vehicle permit and the person's Visa.

     As I had explained in my recent blog post I put new rear leaf springs and shocks on my truck to hold extra weight. But it was still saging in the rear and I wanted to get fixed before we kept going down Baja. So we drove around Tijuana to try to find a shop, of course translating what we needed and what need to be fixed was very hard. After about an hour we found a shop called Baja Custom Offroad and they were Legends, not only did they speak English but they knew exactly what to do. Remove the rear leaf spring bracket and move it back about 3 inches which gives the leaf springs more room for travel and a wider base to bump up the back end. After about 5 hours, $160 and a couple Tecate beers later it was finished and no more bottoming out! We were back on the road at about 8:30 p.m. and made it to Robert's k38 Surf hotel just 30 minutes away.

      Robert who was away at the time has owned this hotel for over 25 years, his son Russ now runs it when he's not around. Russ is a legend as well we chatted about my trip, his world travels, some photos he has taken and the new boat he purchased he was working on in the driveway when we arrived. All of this happened before noon and then Dave finally woke up and we hit the road again trying to get as far south as we could while the waves are flat. We made it all the way to Santa Rosalita an epic fishing Village set up with whole beach to camp on. When we awoke there was perfect waves peeling down the point, only problem was they were only 1 foot tall so not surfable haha.

       The Baja Peninsula is much longer and bigger than I could have ever imagined, I've been down here once before about six years ago but I still can't believe how vast and open it is. Now technically day three of the adventure we made it to the Sea of Cortez side of the Baja Peninsula where we found an epic little bay we stopped to have a dip in the water after 6 hours of driving that morning. Hitting the road again hopefully trying to make it to La Paz that evening we stopped to grab dinner. David had mentioned he wouldn't mind driving since I had driven the last 2-3 days so I said sure why not the road is pretty straight what could go wrong. Well a lot went wrong haha about 5 minutes after getting behind the Wheel, David was shifting into 4th when....

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