Just got back from a long trip. I flew to LA to pick up a friends car who has moved to Tulum from Hawaii and drive it down for him.
I ordered his Mexican car permit online and had that shipped out ahead of time, this cost $60 US and they shipped it Fed-Ex to my daughters place and was waiting for me when I arrived.
Picked up the car at the shippers warehouse near Long Beach a 25 minute taxi ride from LAX airport and was on the road after 20 minutes was heading towards San Diego and the border crossing at Tijuana.
Had some issues that needed sorting out with the car stereo at a Honda dealer along the way and a Costco and Traders Joe’s shopping list that needed to be addressed prior to crossing over into Mexico. There’s will always be a few items we just can’t seem to get or find here it’s no big deal so we make sure to stock up on a few special or hard to find items when you can.
The TJ Border crossing, I always get just a little on edge not knowing how long it might take or will I get stopped for some inspection procedure that might take a long time. I’ve never had any issues myself. I believe in being positive and smiling at all times to them. I hear these so called horror stories and frankly don’t get it. I have never been afraid of the Army or Police and have NEVER been treated rudely nor have they been impolite to me anywhere in Mexico. I probably have been thru several hundred military inspections or police roadblocks and it’s always the same where are you coming from and heading to? where do you live? when they find out i live here full time their attitude always gets even more friendly and one one stop on this trip the soldier who was proud that he could speak to me in English welcomed me to his country and was proud that i had chosen to live here. It caught me off guard for a moment but sure made me smile back at him, I can’t ever imagine that occurring anywhere in the US with the police or TSA goon squad.
Pulled up on the Mexican border side 3 open lanes all green lights and a nice young lady in uniform waving me on thru, 30 seconds and I’m in Mexico – WOW that was a surprise. Follow signs over the bridge maybe 500 feet and turn right onto the road heading along the coast towards Ensenada and points south..
Good roads and grey coastal fog as I head south. I going near the tip of Baja to Todos Santos which is 45 minutes south from LaPaz or the same distance north from Cabo.
The scenery is nice with plenty of dramatic rocks formations off the beach. I had to keep my eye’s peeled on the road as I was really enjoying the drive now. My plan is to drive maybe 9-10 hours today and maybe make the Sea of Cortez after driving down the Pacific side and then across the desert spending the night in Santa Rosalia.
Lots of new condos being built for right on the water for the next 60 miles all with beautiful oceanfront views, impressive stretch of coast as you drive down. first thing that stuck me was I had no idea they were fish farming here in Mexico, lots and I mean lots of large ocean going circular pens or nets not sure what their raising. I stopped at the first Bancomer Bank I saw and drew out some pesos for my drive as you never want to use US money because you will always get a 10-1 rate when the banks are usually 11.7- 12.3 depending upon the spot market, point is you are cheating yourself.
I was looking at all the roadside stands selling fresh seafood or tacos and getting really hungry and finally had to stop and eat. There was a chill in the air from the fog moving along the water you could just smell the freshness of the sea water.
The vineyards around Ensenada area are very nice and it was tempting to stop ad do a little wine tasting, Mexico now makes excellent wines that the world has finally discovered.
Pulled over at a larger roadside restaurant with a thatched palapa roof as I was not dressed for cool weather at all and frankly I was cold which seemed odd in June.They were shucking fresh oysters, peeling mounds of shrimp and huge scallops just off the boat. I had 3 awesome shrimp tacos and some fresh ceviche and a cold beer. Now that’s my kind of lunch. It’s hard to explain it to soemone who’s never been here but the food taste better and I are like a king for less than $10 for way for food than I needed but it taste oh so good.
Back on the road heading south towards the Guerrero Negro area which will then throw me east across the interior desert towards to the Sea of Cortez. Jacques Cousteau once said the Sea Of Cotez was the most beautiful and diverse body of water on earth and he might be right.
The drive has been very easy so far, there are Pemex Gas (Pemex is Mexico’s gas company) stations everywhere and little towns or roadside stand are plentiful if your hungry or want a cold drink.
I tend to be a road warrior when I do these drives and on my first day I was going to push hard. Roads are good and traffic pretty light and I can set my own pace easily at 70 mph. Mexico is spending enormous amounts of money all over the country on it’s infastructure and there roads are becoming very good in most places with new brdiges or highways going up everywhere i’ve been. Frankly their roads are better than in many US states now.
My drive across the desert is fast and the scenery is striking, gigantic boulders and cactus formations and the mountians are getting bigger as I approch them again roads are pretty darn good with improvements being made in many places to smooth or straighten out the road. Daylight is fading as I pick my pace a bit to make sure I make the Sea of Cotez before nightfall as planned. Your first glance is of a huge placid body of water as you approach the old historic town of Santa Rosalia. I decided to eat dinner and find a hotel here. Found a great local place for dinner with a mix of expats and locals alike always a good sign for me. I ordered fresh scallops dinner, my plate had 2 scallops that were each 4-6 inched across and so tender to eat what a treat. Dinner with salad and 2 Pacifico’s was $14.
Hotels were all full for the night so off to Mulege about a 45 minute drive away in the dark, wasn’t to keen on that but the road was great and with a near full moon the water was sparkling as I drove south towards Mulege. Got there around 8 pm and it was ahard to find a place at forst so I picked a highway motel that the highway construction workers were all staying at usually a safe choice and it was.