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Saturday, December 11, 2010

PEOPLE & VIOCES - Trip Down the Baja

Trip report for Bill and Susan Smith, going down the Baja in their class A motor home, should they do it or not.  The answer is yes for sure, there are a couple of BUTS that go along with that decision.  We had never done this before, we were warned about the very narrow roads, but we did not understand the importance of the information.
We started out with two other couples that had been down there many times, one had a large 5th Wheel and the other had a cab over camper on his pick up truck.  They were driving very fast for us, but we stayed close.  
The first day we got through Ensenada, after getting through town and past the blow hole we found that they were doing major construction on the roads, putting in bridges and widening the road for about 40 miles, the key to driving this was to go slow, as you should do for the whole trip.
The second day we left the group early to get a head start, so we could go at our own pace, I was still driving too fast.  We have a 36 foot Class A towing a CRV Honda behind it, which puts us at about 50 feet.  About 150 miles outside of Guerrero Negro, my front tire went off the lip of the road.
I would like to take a moment to explain these narrow roads...
The roads are undersized 2 lane roads, the large tractor trailers run with their one read wheel off the road.  These roads have zero shoulders, with about a 6 inch lip of asphalt  before you go down a 3 foot drop off.  In a matter of seconds I was standing on the breaks as we were going over this edge, the coach was on a 30% tilt before we came to a stop.  It is amazing that we did not roll the whole unit.  We were tilted so much we could hardly get the side door open and we lost all of out water out of the tank.
There was very little traffic on the Hwy 1, a guy stopped and said he would go up and get a couple of farmers to pull us out.  10 minutes out of no where, comes two pickup trucks, and both of them could not budge the coach.  Our class A weights about 31,000 lbs, after them trying for about 20 minutes, along comes a 18 wheeler and stops in the middle of the road, he did not speak any English, said he could help, it took him about a half hour to back down a dirt road next to the Hwy 1, chained us up and pulled us out like we were nothing, he had to be sent from above, we would still be out there if he had not come along, there was no damage to the motor home.  I offered him some money and he would not take it, as he was getting into his truck I put a couple hundred dollars in his pocket, he gave me a big smile and drove off.  We ran into nothing but wonderful, gracious people.   For you state siders that believe all the crap you read and hear on the TV, don't believe it for a second. In six weeks we had nothing but a wonderful time.
After our moment of excitement, I learned the hard way to slow down, you can stop a lot easier at 40 or 45 than you can at 50+.  The rest of the trip went without any problems at all. Spent 3 days south of Mulege in point conception, we parked about 6 feet from the water, they had a generator at night, and little houses where you park your RV. We took off, leaving our friends there and headed for La Paz.  One thing I would like to point out, is because of all the bad news coverage a lot of the RV parks have been closed down, but we had no problems finding a place to stay.  Most of all the parks had full hook ups and had wi-if to the coach.  La Paz was wonderful, a great fun city, with lots going on.  We spent a week here, and left on a wonderful 4 lane hwy to Toda Santos, a great artist town with lots to see, we stayed on the beach and dry camped, the roads coming out of Todo Santos were once again under heavy construction and what should have taken us a couple of hours to get to Cabo took us about 3 hours.  There is really only one nice RV park left in Cabo and it is not far from town and across the st reet from a Walmart and Sam's club.  18 holes of golf will run you $340 US dollars to play.  VERY expensive in Cabo.  We spent 9 days there and did have fun on the beach's.  Then we took of for what now we call the GEM of the BAJA, a little beach town called Los Barriles, the wind surfing capitol of the world.  We fell in love with this place.  Spent about 10 days here, we stayed at a great beach RV park called Martin Verdugo's Beach resort.  The have many great RV hook ups, hotel and restaurant on site.  The also have 5 good sized sport fishing boats for the Sailfish and Marlin, the boats come in everyday at 3 o'clock and everyone comes out to watch, great fun, they also have a swimming pool right on the sand.
We need to go back to La Paz to see the end of the Baja 1000 off road race that ends in La Paz.  Had a great weekend with all the racing going on.  We decided to leave the motor home in La Paz in storage and drive the Honda back to our home in Rosarito Beach.  We loved Los Barriles so much we are driving back down the end of January for the international wind surfing championship, and will stay down there till the end of February.  We came home happy campers, all should make the trip, just DRIVE SLOW.

Submitted  by Bill and Susan Smith.