Monday, July 20, 2015

Research

"Research is hard. You have to Google and stuff." - Sarah Palin

I have been researching the Baja. We want to spend at least a couple of days or a week in every significant town or village on the way down. We also want to spend a few nights boondocking on the beach. It is not hard to find information on the Baja as too many people go there. It is indeed "Mexico Lite" but is about as desolate and "foreign" as most North Americans are comfortable experiencing. It is not Chiapas or Oaxaca. Not by a long shot.

It is, as I suspected, very "Americanized". Many (maybe most) signs are in English and many prices are quoted in US dollars. When people on Baja travel forums talk about prices, it is always in US dollars. This does not make me happy.

One thing I do like reading about are the restaurants along the way. The food selection and quality look very inviting but I suspect prices will be higher than we are used to on the Mainland. However, fish tacos are plentiful and the beer is ice cold! I will get used to it!

Vehicle TIP's (Temporary Import Certificates) are not required unless we leave the Baja. The motorhome has a five year permit already so we may as well buy one for the car in case we do decide to take the +/- $1,600 ferry over to Mazatlan from La Paz. Visa (FMM) rules are the same as the mainland. We need them.

I am thinking we may cross at Tecate and take Mex 3 down from Tecate to Ensenada. This route goes through the Guadalupe Valley wine country of Mexico, a geographical extension of the Napa Valley. The Adobe Guadalupe Winery has a tasting room, a nice restaurant and allows free overnight RV parking which might be fun. This route also avoids the madhouse of the Tijuana crossing.

I tend to over-research everything I do so you will be hearing more about the Baja.

15 comments:

  1. You can't over research!

    I thought that Baja would be a good compromise in that you'd get the US at Mexican prices, but it seems that's not the case if you're getting quoted USD!

    You can buy your TIP for the car when you're ready cross over. No point getting it if you don't use it...

    I'm not eager to visit Baja (would rather visit the mainland first), so if you do this, I will live vicariously through you. It'll definitely make for a more interesting blog than last winter. ;) ;) ;)

    Your project for the winter could be to find the best fish taco in Baja!

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    1. I will have to check if we can get a TIP in La Paz near the ferry. The perfect fish taco will be my project!

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    2. Some of the blogs I looked at when I was researching the ferry costs specifically mentioned that they got their TIPs in La Paz. Some people didn't even know they needed one and the ferry people instructed them on how to do it.

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    3. Thanks Rae, the Church's book covers this as well. TIP's are available at or near the ferry so all we need to get when crossing the border are our FMM personal visas.

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  2. Brian and I crossed at Tecate when we went to the Baja and it's an easy crossing. We stayed at Rancho Sordo Mundo which is a school for the deaf and blind if I remember correctly, and is a good base for visiting the wineries.Surprisingly they had 50 amp hookups - at the time they just asked for a donation. We also stopped at the Dollar Store on our way and bought some stuff that they said they needed like cleaning stuff, brooms, and so on to donate. You may want to do some research on the wineries since some of them are visited by the cruise ships on a regular basis and don't pour much of the good stuff. Our favorite was one called Tres Mujeres, it's a bit off the beaten path but very unique with good wines. We stayed at Estero Beach Resort in Ensenada. A bit pricey but a nice place, and since I have a cousin who lives in Ensenada it worked out well for us. Be happy to share more when the time comes -

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    1. Thanks for the winery tip! I checked out that RV park and it looks like it is $40 US per night. It will be a backup but we might find something else.

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  3. I believe that Lynne found the best fish tacos in Baja. In case you haven't found it yet this is he first Baja post and then you can just keep hitting newer post to continue thru her journey. http://winnieviews.blogspot.ca/2014/12/bienvenidos-baja.html

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    1. Ah, but Croft's 'best fish tacos in Baja' could be different from Lynne's! ;)

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    2. Ha! You beat me to it Contessa! I too was going to suggest Lynne's blog. She has not written much lately... I hope she is well...

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    3. I was wrong, Lynne has written plenty lately, somehow I was not getting her new stuff, all fixed now.

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    4. I just read Lynne's first Baja post. Her blog will be a valuable resource. Thanks.

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  4. Research and research then head on out it will be and awesome journey I am sure.

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    1. It will be a well researched trip George!

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  5. Hi Croft. We have travelled in our RV to most states of Mexico too, and Baja was one of our favorite trips.I didn't find it much more "americanized" or much different in prices either, except near Cabo San Lucas. Churchs' Baja book was an invaluable resource. Lots of beach camping, great seafood. It is a long and narrow highway, not for the faint of heart.

    Love your blog!

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    1. Thanks Genie. The Church's book arrived earlier today. I would never consider traveling in Mexico without it!

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