BajaNomad
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  
Author: Subject: Newbie.... thinking of driving to La Paz, From Palm Springs area?? Help
Lorainedz
Newbie





Posts: 2
Registered: 1-4-2018
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 07:08 PM
Newbie.... thinking of driving to La Paz, From Palm Springs area?? Help


We are thinking of driving for the first time down to LaPaz from Palm Springs area. What should I know, where do we go, IS IT SAFE????? I’m scared my husband wants to go. Friends are going too, they say first night in Ensenada, then where? Help Please
View user's profile
4x4abc
Super Nomad
****


Avatar


Posts: 1226
Registered: 4-24-2009
Location: La Paz, BCS
Member Is Offline

Mood: happy - always

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 08:14 PM


this time everyone on this forum is already asleep - but wait for the flood of wisdom coming your way tomorrow morning



Harald Pietschmann
View user's profile Visit user's homepage
mtgoat666
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 11136
Registered: 9-16-2006
Location: San Diego
Member Is Offline

Mood: Indivisible, resisting fascists in orange hair!

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 08:25 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Lorainedz  
IS IT SAFE?????


Glad to see a Marathon Man fan posting!








Make America Decent Again
View user's profile
Howard
Super Nomad
****


Avatar


Posts: 1757
Registered: 11-13-2007
Location: Loreto/Manhattan Beach/Rancho La Bufadora
Member Is Offline

Mood: I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done.

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 08:35 PM


What time of year and how long do you have from border to border?

This will help in giving our dos centavos.

[Edited on 1-5-2018 by Howard]




A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho Marx

We don't stop playing because we grow old;
we grow old because we stop playing
George Bernard Shaw






View user's profile
AKgringo
Ultra Nomad
*****




Posts: 2272
Registered: 9-20-2014
Location: Los Anchorage, AK
Member Is Offline

Mood: Retireded

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 08:51 PM


It would be useful to know what kind of trip you have in mind. Are you planning on using hotels, RV parks, or camping?

Will you be staying on the pavement as much as possible, or are you hoping to do a little exploring?

How much time do you have for this trip?




If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space!

"Could do better if he tried!" Report card comments from most of my grade school teachers. Sadly, still true!
View user's profile
bajaguy
Select Nomad
*******




Posts: 8903
Registered: 9-16-2003
Location: Carson City, NV/Ensenada - Baja Country Club
Member Is Offline

Mood: must be 5 O'clock somewhere in Baja

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 09:07 PM


Before you get started.....

Get your vehicle insurance from Bajabound bajabound.com

Make sure all of your passports are valid for the duration of your trip

Stop at the border and get your FMM's (tourist visa)
View user's profile
Lorainedz
Newbie





Posts: 2
Registered: 1-4-2018
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 09:39 PM


We will be going for two weeks, driving a car, staying on the main drag, I think highway #1?? We are crossing at Tecate, then going Ensenada. We will using hotels. Won’t be straying off the beaten path.
View user's profile
KasloKid
Junior Nomad
*




Posts: 94
Registered: 8-29-2009
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 10:05 PM


Top up your gas tank in El Rosario (about 150 miles south of Ensenada) to avoid having to purchase road side gas from a barrel at either Catavina or the junction of Highway 5 and the road to Bay of LA.

Watch out for "Topes" (speed bumps) ..... usually found in most small towns... hard to see sometimes as the yellow paint is faded or there was none applied when installed.

Use common sense while driving, and (if you can) NEVER drive after dark for a variety of reasons ....... livestock on the highway, road shoulders are hard to see when you have an 18 wheeler coming at you, potholes are even harder to see... oncoming traffic may be coming into your lane to avoid a pothole, and the list goes on. Stopping before dark gives you a better chance at finding hotels and a decent restaurant.

Do not carry a firearm in your vehicle.. repeat, do not....... or any ammunition as well. It's worth repeating, do not carry............

Carry a good map of Baja to get an idea of how far apart the towns are for service requirements. There's lots of info on this forum regarding hotel and restaurant recommendations.

Do enjoy the Mexican culture, the people, their beer and tequila, food and their hospitality. Bring a camera and an extra battery or two so you can reminisce when you get back home, and show your friends how great of time you had.

Enjoy your trip, and a word of warning.... Baja is like an addiction... you'll want to go back time and time again!!

[Edited on 1-5-2018 by KasloKid]
View user's profile
JZ
Ultra Nomad
*****


Avatar


Posts: 2058
Registered: 10-3-2003
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 10:26 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Lorainedz  
We are thinking of driving for the first time down to LaPaz from Palm Springs area. What should I know, where do we go, IS IT SAFE????? I’m scared my husband wants to go. Friends are going too, they say first night in Ensenada, then where? Help Please


Yes, it's safe. Just drove there and back with my 14 and 16 yo kids. 16 yo did like 80% of the driving.

You are going the wrong way though. From Palm Springs it is MUCH easier to go down through Mexicali. Spend the first night in Gonzaga Bay. Beautiful bay and hotel right on the water.

Avoids all the traffic of the Pacific coast. You have to go through about 20 miles of dirt at the end, but we just went through and it's perfectly graded. Any 2 wheel car can make it easy. Map shows 2hrs faster w/o traffic, with traffic it's probably 3-4hrs faster from Palm Springs.





[Edited on 1-5-2018 by JZ]
View user's profile
willardguy
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 5380
Registered: 9-19-2009
Location: rosarito
Member Is Offline

Mood: im good

[*] posted on 1-4-2018 at 10:46 PM


go down one way and come back the other, salud:yes:
View user's profile
BajaNomad
Super Administrator
Thread Moved
1-4-2018 at 11:48 PM
surfhat
Nomad
**




Posts: 126
Registered: 6-4-2012
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 10:49 AM


Car? What kind of car? Find a vehicle with a suspension that can take the pounding of the roadway.

Once anyone who sees what shape the locals car's are in down there with body parts wired on with coat hangers, it becomes clear, or will become so.

You cannot miss every pothole no matter how good a driver you are. It can be bone jarring to us humans. Imagine what your car is feeling, not to put anthropomorphic attributions to any vehicle. They are machines, but we can feel their pain.

Truck tires, and suspensions, for the most part can take it. Passenger car tires, no thanks.

Food for thought. Don't drive at night, above all. The beautiful landscapes are not to be missed anyway. Enjoy the drive, and consider that the destination is only part of the Baja experience to be gained. Meeting the local people along the way is like breaking bread with friends, never to be forgotten. Have a great safe trip. More than likely it won't be your last. The pull to return never subsides.

Thanks to Nomad, we can vicariously stay connected with the posters here every day when we can't be there ourselves.
View user's profile
motoged
Elite Nomad
******


Avatar


Posts: 5031
Registered: 7-31-2006
Location: Kamloops, BC
Member Is Offline

Mood: Gettin' Better

[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 11:08 AM


Being fearful of a travel destination can be a trip ruiner for some folks....opinions offered could be helpful....some are even the most common offered.

It's all dependent on your sense of adventure and common sense...




Don't believe everything you think....
View user's profile
David K
Honored Nomad
*********


Avatar


Posts: 52353
Registered: 8-30-2002
Location: San Diego County
Member Is Offline

Mood: Have Baja Fever

[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 11:50 AM


The shorter (and more scenic) drive (Hwy. 5 Mexicali south) as shown on JZ's map above is well worth considering... There are about 22 unpaved miles at last report, but all sorts of cars and trucks use it, so only big motorhomes will have an issue with the bumps.

Advantages include much shorter distance to La Paz from Palm Springs, beautiful sea views with islands offshore, no curvey mountain road sections, no dozens of farm towns with their traffic, no city of Ensenada to cross with at least a hundred red stop lights (lol, just kidding)...

Disadvantages: old style highway with sudden dips between San Felipe and Puertecitos (50 miles), ~22 unpaved miles in a construction zone.

If you want to see more Baja, then as mentioned above, go one way and come back the other.




"So Much Baja, So Little Time..."

A NEW Baja Missions History book, updated in 2018: http://oldmissions.com

My (over 40) Baja Bound Travel Adventure articles: https://www.bajabound.com/bajaadventures/bajatravel/

My Baja web site, to help you plan your adventure: http://VivaBaja.com

View user's profile Visit user's homepage
bajaric
Junior Nomad
*




Posts: 93
Registered: 2-2-2015
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 02:51 PM


Welcome newbie first time poster!

JZ's response was his "typical my way or the hi way" bombast. There is no "wrong" way to do it. Also that map is too big and causing the thread to go off the page. Idiot!:fire:

I think Palm Springs to Gonzaga is a little ambitious for a first time visitor. For all the know it all "been there done that could drive it in my sleep" people remember how it was the first time before you knew the roads. You have to allow for a little more time for wrong turns, map checks, etc. I would say a first night in San Felipe would be perfect. Notwithstanding the opinions of certain Baja snobs, San Felipe is a nice little town and a good place to get acclimated to the local conditions, stock up on groceries, get a room, and have a nice start to your trip instead of driving 10 hours in a country you are not familiar with to get to a place that has one hotel, and an expensive one at that. Palm Springs to Ensenada via Tecate would also be a nice start to the trip for the same reasons.

Similarly, people tend to down play the 23 miles of dirt road to get to Chapala. Its not a total piece of cake. Your suspension will get beat up and you might have a few new squeaks and rattles afterwards, not an easy drive the first time you do it. After that it is easy. Come back the same way you went south for that reason because you will know the roads then.

Some advise: Get a paper map that shows road mileages between towns and also street map of the city you will be crossing in. The AAA maps were great, unfortunately no longer in print but you can pick up a more recent edition on eBay or Amazon for $10-20. Nat Geo also has a current map. Then check your odometer to see if it is accurate. That should be enough to navigate the entire route or you can also get GPS maps. For peace of mind, get good liability insurance on your vehicle. In Mexico if you are in an accident with no insurance you can be held until you pay for damages.

Is it safe? Yes and no. In some areas, particularly beach areas near towns its not always safe to pull off and camp on the beach due to problems with petty theft, or worse. Better to stay in established campgrounds and pay a few dollars, then you are "their" tourist and they will keep an eye on your stuff if you want to go on a hike or go fishing or whatever. Further south if you have a high clearance vehicle remote camping is pretty safe, simply because you can go to areas that are so remote that no punk bandito would think to go there when there are easier pickings close to town. Most motels have pretty good security including locking gates and / or security guards but keep high value items on your person and put locks on motos and other expensive toys.

The homicide rate in Baja is soaring but it seems to be confined to people involved in the drug trade; tourists are not targets. I would say the road dangers outweigh the danger from cartels. Drive slow, never at night, no reason to bend a rim on a pothole to get there a little quicker. Know how to change a tire and fix a flat; get a real jack, a little air compressor, and tire plugs. End flood of wisdom. You are gonna love it.


View user's profile
fishbuck
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 3783
Registered: 8-31-2006
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 03:14 PM


Welcome.
I'd plan a 3 day drive unless you want to drive like a panicky adam henry.
So 6 days driving on 2 week trip..
Fly and rent a car.




"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." J. A. Shedd.

View user's profile
willardguy
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 5380
Registered: 9-19-2009
Location: rosarito
Member Is Offline

Mood: im good

[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 03:35 PM


now....how do decide which of these tourists to believe...:?:
View user's profile
fishbuck
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 3783
Registered: 8-31-2006
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 04:36 PM


Pick ur poison.
The purpose of the responses is to alert the OP of the sh!t that can go wrong and also is totally unecessary to learn the hard way.
A smart person gathers all the info they can in the time available and makes their best decision.
What happens after that is what happens...
Sucessful people have developed the ability to acurately predict the future sometimes based on available historic data.
But you already knew that didn't you Willard-dude:coolup:




"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." J. A. Shedd.

View user's profile
willardguy
Elite Nomad
******




Posts: 5380
Registered: 9-19-2009
Location: rosarito
Member Is Offline

Mood: im good

[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 04:45 PM


Quote: Originally posted by fishbuck  
Pick ur poison.
The purpose of the responses is to alert the OP of the sh!t that can go wrong and also is totally unecessary to learn the hard way.
A smart person gathers all the info they can in the time available and makes their best decision.
What happens after that is what happens...
Sucessful people have developed the ability to acurately predict the future sometimes based on available historic data.
But you already knew that didn't you Willard-dude:coolup:


don't know wtf you're going on about but..yes,yes I do.
View user's profile
JZ
Ultra Nomad
*****


Avatar


Posts: 2058
Registered: 10-3-2003
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 05:11 PM


Quote: Originally posted by bajaric  
Welcome newbie first time poster!

JZ's response was his "typical my way or the hi way" bombast. There is no "wrong" way to do it. Also that map is too big and causing the thread to go off the page. Idiot!:fire:

I think Palm Springs to Gonzaga is a little ambitious for a first time visitor. For all the know it all "been there done that could drive it in my sleep" people remember how it was the first time before you knew the roads. You have to allow for a little more time for wrong turns, map checks, etc. I would say a first night in San Felipe would be perfect. Notwithstanding the opinions of certain Baja snobs, San Felipe is a nice little town and a good place to get acclimated to the local conditions, stock up on groceries, get a room, and have a nice start to your trip instead of driving 10 hours in a country you are not familiar with to get to a place that has one hotel, and an expensive one at that. Palm Springs to Ensenada via Tecate would also be a nice start to the trip for the same reasons.

Similarly, people tend to down play the 23 miles of dirt road to get to Chapala. Its not a total piece of cake. Your suspension will get beat up and you might have a few new squeaks and rattles afterwards, not an easy drive the first time you do it. After that it is easy. Come back the same way you went south for that reason because you will know the roads then.

Some advise: Get a paper map that shows road mileages between towns and also street map of the city you will be crossing in. The AAA maps were great, unfortunately no longer in print but you can pick up a more recent edition on eBay or Amazon for $10-20. Nat Geo also has a current map. Then check your odometer to see if it is accurate. That should be enough to navigate the entire route or you can also get GPS maps. For peace of mind, get good liability insurance on your vehicle. In Mexico if you are in an accident with no insurance you can be held until you pay for damages.



You should wait a few more years before you post again. San Felipe is a crap hole. It's a super easy drive from Palm Springs to Gonzaga. Leave at 7am and they will be there by 3pm. Gps will take them straight there.

The only think SF is good for is to gas up and load up on fireworks as you enter town.


[Edited on 1-6-2018 by JZ]
View user's profile
bajabuddha
Elite Nomad
******


Avatar


Posts: 3507
Registered: 4-12-2013
Location: Baja New Mexico
Member Is Offline

Mood: Always cranky unless medicated

[*] posted on 1-5-2018 at 05:17 PM


Jizzy, you're spending way too much time with your kiddies. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but you think and write like a pubered teen. "My way or the highway" was a very accurate statement... maybe someone likes something else besides cheeseburgers and French fries, zit-face. Why don't YOU wait a few more years before posting again..... you might just grow up a little instead of playing with your boy-toys and shooting off fireworks.... and your mouth.




A pessimist IS an optimist... with all the FACTS.

View user's profile
 Pages:  1  

  Go To Top

 






All Content Copyright � 1997- Q87 International; All Rights Reserved.
Powered by XMB; XMB Forum Software © 2001-2014 The XMB Group�






"If it were lush and rich, one could understand the pull, but it is fierce and hostile and sullen. The stone mountains pile up to the sky and there is little fresh water. But we know we must go back if we live, and we don't know why." - Steinbeck, Log from the Sea of Cortez

"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." - Ivan R. Misner, Ph.D

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them or to them." - Malcolm Forbes

"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you." - Jim Rohn







Thank you to Baja Bound Mexico Insurance Services for your long-term support of the BajaNomad.com Forums site.







Emergency Baja Contacts Include:

Desert Hawks; El Rosario-based ambulance transport; Emergency #: (616) 103-0262