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    12 Tips for Driving the Baja California Highway in Mexico


    After a stretch of five months I decided to drive back to Victoria, B.C. Canada. And for those of you who may be wondering, I have a 1989 Nissan Sentra hatchback, which is in good condition (no, it’s not for sale). After a bit of maintenance I was ready for my trip and I left in the early morning of May 25th, for what I’d hoped would be a three day trip.

    As luck would have it, I completed the trip in less than that and it was a smooth drive all the way, with a few exceptions. Here are a few things you need to know when doing the trip, which will make your life a lot easier.

    1. Expect a long wait at the Mexico/US border at Tecate. I was there for two hours before I made it across. Once I did so, it was clear sailing in the United States.

    2. Make sure you have a cell phone charged for Mexico.

    3. Take lots of water. In my case, I had one of those large water bottles that you can get from the water trucks. It lasted for my entire trip.

    4. I encountered seven military checkpoints along the way and I was searched at each one. Be prepared for a long wait (the longest wait I had was 1.5 hours).

    5. Make sure your spare tire is in good repair and that you have emergency supplies, including extra food and blankets or sleeping bag.

    6. Make sure to carry sun screen and clothing to cover up if necessary. I became really sunburned on the journey.

    7. Block the sun roof if you have one. This will minimize sun exposure issues.

    8. Never stop for anyone or any animal on the road.

    9. If a what seems like a police comes up behind you, don’t pull over. They could be robbers. Instead, keep driving until you get to the next down. For the record, I never had this problem, only an ambulance the came up behind me once, which quickly passed me.

    10. Watch out for the Green Angels (angeles verdes). They patrol the Baja highway and can assist you in the event of an emergency. They drive white trucks with a green emblem on the side.

    11. Want to let the driver behind you pass? Turn on your left signal light. This lets the driver behind you know that the road is clear for them to pass.

    12. Never turn on your left turn signal to turn left. Instead, turn on your hazard lights and begin to slow down. When your speed has dropped to a safe turning speed, turn off the hazard lights, turn your left signal on then turn left. It sounds a bit odd, but this is how things work on the highways. An alternate is to make use of the laterals beside the highway for turning left, if there are any in your area.

    That’s it for this set of tips. Watch for another article where I talk about the hotels and scenery along the way. Happy travels!

    © Nathan Segal. Questions? write to me.

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