Baja Road Trip – Trip Report 6202016

Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan led the first round-the-world expedition, setting off from Seville, Spain, in 1519. Today, you and your buddies can almost do the same thing – except be the first to do it.  All one needs today are two things; major credit card/cash and a smart phone.  What I figured out by personally seeing/experiencing it:  Hardest way to travel is on foot (can you say PCT hiking); next hardest is bicycle (saw a guy with a death wish pedaling through the Viscaina dessert); next is motorcycle (met up with one intrepid rider from Las Vegas on a Kawasaki); next car/truck towing something.  Towing anything, unless it’s a Seadoo/Kawasaki/Yamaha is not fun! Without A/C?  Don’t try it this time of year (June/July) unless in a climate controlled anything.

My preference for a baja road trip is a well-built and dependable truck. Do yourself a favor by also purchasing the high-octane fuel (known as Mega red) for all the hill work involved.

By contrast my 2016 exploration road from Los Angeles to La Paz, Baja California and back, required minimal planning and is hardly worth recording except for possibly old age re-reading or your perusal.  Purchase a Garmin Mexico chip for your Nuvi.  Well worth the $60.00.  It now feels like a week-long trip, but, realistically it was closer to three.  Basic drive details:  First day work for an afternoon border crossing; spend the night in Ensenada and enjoy the wine country; second day, early morning drive from Ensenada to Guerrero Negro; arriving around late afternoon, plan on spending the night.  Always think taking care of your vehicle before taking care of your needs.  Top off the fuel tank – always!  Next morning early morning travel due to the one hour time change, arrive La Paz, at about late afternoon.  The most expensive cost before crossing the border is a month long Mexico car insurance rider for about $130.00   To make it easy exchange your dollars for pesos at the same location.  About $400 US should put a good wad of pesos in your wallet or glove compartment.  I don’t yet think metrics so the temperature and exchange rate is what it is.  Both always sound like a good deal to me.  This breakfast meal was 75 pesos and it was great.  The breakfast burrito at the Pemex gas station, purchased from a guy carrying a cooler for 10 pesos was a great deal; should’ve bought two. Now you have your basis for comparison.  It either gets better or worse, you can’t have it both ways!  

A road trip that is going to be fun and is not a time to bother with car/truck mechanical issues such as well used tires, old coolant, not too recent oil change, A/C needing recharge etc. Details such as trying to pinch pesos or the exchange rate should be left at home.  

Everything south of the border is always going to be cheaper, more wholesome for you to eat and tastes better too.  Weak stomachs or picky eaters stay home, this is not a trip for your liking.  Yes, everyone including animals like the roads.  Possibly why you might want to leave that tin can Prius at home and drive something quick and agile.  

At great effort I took this picture.  First, stop 4runner on road.  Next chase down small cow.  Position small cow next to diamond yellow bull crossing sign.  Get small cow to stand still. Take picture. Now if you believe this story then I’ve also got some baja real estate for sale.

Accomplished:  4runner:  Fresh paint job on the 4runner; inside carpet cleaning and detail; front LED light bar; ME:  teeth cleaning; WESTERN FLYER; prepped for hurricane season; FRIENDS: Farewell to Jim and Amy; Jeff and Deanne; David & Kenyon; and Sean too!         

Magellan’s Armada de Molucca was made up of five ships and 270 men — but only 18 men and one vessel, the Victoria, made it back to Spain three years later.

Magellan himself died on the Philippine island of Mactan in 1521.  And as for me, it’s harder to hit a moving target so, only time will tell.