Baja 1000

We left Tucson, AZ on 27th aiming to get to La Ventana, Baja 3 days later. Google maps put us on a 1,179 miles rout going on some shady small roads away from rout 1 (the main and only road South).  It was kind of a strange decision from Google’s part but after a quick research (again on Google …) we decided 160km of dirt road was doable.  After all we did 960 miles of dirt roads in Yukon so what is 160 km …

The drive started well.  We made it to Mexicali without any problems.  We crossed the border relatively smoothly as well.  I say ‘relatively’ since our Washington tabs had expired, hence our title was also expired and the border folks gave us some grief about it.  Basically we got bounced between two offices a few times.  The ordeal quickly ended when some guy eventually decided to just stamp our docs and scribble something in Spanish on our paperwork.  In case you wonder, he did not ask us for any other docs and did not see or inspect the car at all.  He just stared blankly at the ceiling, scratched his head and scribbled something…  We got cleared with 30 mins delay but no extra cost so we were happy.  To be honest there is nothing we could have done to fix the title expiration.  To get new tabs in Washington (ooooh, lovely WA DMV! …) we have to go trough emissions in Washington state, which means we have to be physically present and that’s not gonna happen…  I am just going to Photoshop our problem away one of these days.

Ok, so back to the drive story.  We crossed Mexicali around dusk and headed South.  First camping spot was San Felipe.  Nice little town on the Gulf of California.  Nothing much interesting about this place except that they had two story camping huts on the beach.  The huts looked like a great idea if you sleep in a tent on the beach. Day two of our trip we left the campsite around 9:00 am.  We had an ambitious plan to drive almost 500 miles that day.  We were so wrong. The first 50 miles of the drive were uneventful.  All of a sudden however the road improved dramatically.  Brand new asphalt, wide shoulders (there are no shoulders on the roads usually in Mexico) and no traffic.  I was happily zipping with 70mph.  Didn’t make much of the road conditions.  We had loaded driving directions on google maps on our phone the night before.  At some point Teresa noticed that we were consistently moving a little bit off the google directions on the phone.  Turned out we were driving on a brand new road which had replaced the 160km of dirt road we had to cross that day.  Well, partially replaced.  Soon we ran out of luck.  The new pavement ended in a pile of dirt and a bunch of old bent barrels … We were up for 75km of some of the most annoying dirt road we have done.  Lots of really sharp rocks.  Dozens of shredded car tires on the side of he road.  Super dry and super dusty conditions.  Max driving speed was 15mph.  We spent the next 2 and a half hours driving in this madness.

Eventually we made it out.  That day we did 360 miles instead of 500, which left us with almos a 400 miles stretch for the last day.  Long story short we made it to La Ventana the 3rd day with some day light to spare to set our camp.  On the way we saw some amazing camping places on the Gulf of California side.  If you are interested to invest in some cheap really cool real-estate you might want to lookup this brand new highway/road they are building South of San Felipe.  The area is really unexplored and the road is opening up a lot of possibilities.  You will be able to get land which is only 2 and a half hours from the US border right on the water for really good prices.  Most people will not know the road is there.  Believe me when I say that anybody who has driven on those dirt roads will not want to go back there for a long time …

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