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Old 07-07-2006, 10:32 AM   #1
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On July 4, Engineer Mike talked about organizing a trip to Baja for Alpiners, and someone else mentioned kicking off from the SoCal Chapter's Chula Vista rally (Nov 7 - 10, or something close to that). I think that is a great idea, especially if it is lead by someone with a lot of experience traveling in Baja...which it sounds like Mike and his wife have.

Please post details of this trip here, and include me/us in the plan! We've always wanted to do that trip, but like Audrey were afraid to try it on our own. Is it okay to take along our 4-legged friends?

Thanks!

Gail
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:32 AM   #2
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On July 4, Engineer Mike talked about organizing a trip to Baja for Alpiners, and someone else mentioned kicking off from the SoCal Chapter's Chula Vista rally (Nov 7 - 10, or something close to that). I think that is a great idea, especially if it is lead by someone with a lot of experience traveling in Baja...which it sounds like Mike and his wife have.

Please post details of this trip here, and include me/us in the plan! We've always wanted to do that trip, but like Audrey were afraid to try it on our own. Is it okay to take along our 4-legged friends?

Thanks!

Gail
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Old 07-07-2006, 10:35 AM   #3
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Actually the Chula Vista rally is Nov 9 - 11, 2007.
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Old 07-07-2006, 02:24 PM   #4
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Baja is a hoot. It has highly varied geography from winter snow (some years) at Mike's Sky Ranch in the north-central mountains, to near eternal sunshine on deep blue water along both southern coasts, with a really wierd desert in between.

A caravan is a great ice breaker for the uninitiated. That gives an organized way to learn up on some of the idiosyncrasies. Fur instance, travel permits and insurance, & fishing license if you want to do that legally without a guide, can be obtained in advance. Also, if you are entering at Tijuana, there is an easy way thru town, vs an easy way into downtown (where I can tell you from experience that driving a motorhome is, well, an adventure ). And coming back north, there are some challenges for which advanced warning is helpful also. Signage is in Espanol (just like in California ), and signage standards are not like here (less signs, they cost dinero). And you want to plan all your driving for daylight so as not to compete with those driving without their lights after dark (some Mexicans go to extremes to save energy), or the occasional non-reflective vaca (cow) snoozing on the warm pavement.

I would love to schedule a caravan for this Nov, but Ann & I are somewhat stuck with a family medical situation that may evolve into that time. I would be happy to commit to a time next year. OR, if there is another eager & experinced Baja traveller listening (who can be conned into thinking this is a good idea), I'd be happy to share all our tricks of the trade to help out. For example, we have most of the speed bumps & Federale stops marked on our map as far south as Loreto, and have good leads on insurance & papers. For those who want to study up, go to Vagabundos del Mar, click on Services, then Ship's Store, then the first Baja/Mexico Books link, and order "Baja California - AAA of Southern California" and "Baja Camping, Complete Guide, Ed. 4 - Fred & Gloria Jones". The first is an expertly prepared and updated Auto Club road guide that also includes info on what's happening in each locale. The latter is a special guide just on locations to camp, and the best we've found by far. AAA also has a good Baja road map, probably the best around, for those w/membership. I haven't found any good GPS mapping for Baja, but there are some waypoint tables and advice links locatable by Google.

Sorry I can't commit just now; wish it were otherwise. Let me know how I can help if a bunch want to go this Nov.
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Old 07-09-2006, 08:02 AM   #5
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Actually, the SoCal rally is next year, not this year, so I think that is why we were thinking that would be a good starting point while giving plenty of time for planning. Meanwhile, you have given us some good leads to get Mexico travel info...thanks!!

I have heard that if you take your dog (or kitty) to Mexico you have to put it in quarantine when you come back to the US. Do you know if that is true?
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
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Check out Pets in Mexico, and the other links at Peoples Guide to Mexico. The website is great, tho I don't recommend the book at this point because a) 2002 is somewhat dated info, and b) it is very mainland-Mexico-centered, and I'm mostly Baja-centered. For the mainland, the book is a great resource. The one thing that is large for mainland travel, and has morphed over the last few years (doesn't apply to Baja, yet) is vehicle bond; Mexico collects a cash or credit vehicle bond that you get back on returning north w/your vehicle. This is to stem the flow of black market vehicles into Mexico, or so they say, and runs about $600 for a newish passenger vehicle last time I checked. I don't know what the rules are on coaches, but Baja has a wholesale tourist exclusion from the process. I have no idea what happens when you ferry across from La Paz or Santa Rosalia to the mainland as to vehicle tax.
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:15 PM   #7
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Mike,
I don't know if you are collecting names, but if you are please add Cathy and me to the flock. And I don't care which year it happens, we just want to go.
Thanks,
Lyle & Cathy
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:34 PM   #8
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Mike,

Dale & I, along with Bill & Patti Figgi are wagonmasters for Chula Vista, Nov. '07! Dale and I would love to go along and will help in any way possible.

Sully
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:31 AM   #9
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How far south do you usually go into Baja? Do you go as far south as say La Paz? Or is there some other typical destination?

Audrey
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:04 AM   #10
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For the caravan I'd shoot for LaPaz unless we could get reservations at the Vagabundos park in Cabo. Cabo is a casual day trip from LaPaz by toad.

November isn't a great month for whales. I've seen whales while fishing in Sept, but that was probably somebody very late leaving (wanted one more margarita B4 changing her latitude). The ideal "whales & winos" season is Feb/March. But Nov is great weather for some petroglyph spelunking, cultural immersion, check out the Missions, world famous Pig Roast @ Hotel Serenidad, maybe a trek to San Javier. Fishing is good also. And there are a coupla golf courses for those having too good a day (golf is a guaranteed way to bring me back down).

OK, so don't anybody tell my wife she's leading a caravan next Nov. Let me be the one to break it to her please. Otherwise I might not be with you on the trip
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:08 PM   #11
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OK, I told Ann & she screwed up & said yes.
Who is going to be tail gunner? We need a volunteer.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:30 PM   #12
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Well, do we qualify?
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:42 PM   #13
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Judy and I would love to go in Nov 07. Isn't there a rally in Yakima in Oct.,07?

Jerry and Judy
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:19 AM   #14
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FYI For All ACA Members: The 2007 ACA "Heritage" Rally will be held in Albuquerque, NM (October 9-14) in conjunction with the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. We are scheduled to return to Yakima in 2009 for the Traditional "Homecoming" Rally.
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