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Old 6 Sep 2006
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Baja and Copper Canyon on tight time-fram

Hi there,

Well I'm knee deep in route planning for my first big bike trip in January from LA - Rio.
I'm really interested in Mexico and seeing a lot of the country but am trying to weigh up doing everything I want vs rushing through a place and ruining the experience.

My question is, could riders please give me their opinion on timing of entering Tijuana doing a bit of Baja for 5 days, jumping across to Copper Canyon and getting to Mexico City by the 15th day?

Do you think I am over-doing it? I know I'm not going to get around every nook and cranny of the countries I will be visiting and I don't want to get caught up too early in the journey.

thanks for your thoughts.
PS I have been searching through previous threads for routes in Baja but if people have specific suggestions about how to see nice parts on a time constraint it would be great.
The Road To Rio - Locokiwi
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Old 6 Sep 2006
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15 days won't be a problem at all.
Have fun.
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Old 7 Sep 2006
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Good advice from Patrick, as usual.

Don't under estimate Hwy 16. It's beautiful, but also one twisty sucker that makes you work hard. This is one road you do not want to ride at night....no BS.

Creel and high alttitude areas will be butt-ass cold. I've encountered ice on the dirt short-cut from 16 over to San Juanito even in late Oct. You could get stuck in the Creel area for a few days if some weather rolls in. Ain't no CalTrans there.. The bottom of the canyons should be very comfortable.

There's a jillion motels in Creel and they should be looking for customers during that time of year. Los Pinos is on the main drag, $26ish, hot water, clean, secure parking. Hotel Mary in Batopilas is a fav with some riders. From $7-20, hot water, cleanish, secure parking, small restaurant onsite, across the alley from the major bar, near the small square.

The high elevations of northern Baja could have crappy weather at that time. The cuota (toll road) from TJ to Ensenada offers great scenery. An extra careful watch for cops until you're past the beach towns might save you $25-50. If you haven't been to Baja before, I recommend going south from San Felipe along the Sea of Cortez. It's mostly mild dirt, beautiful Gonzaga Bay (motel, food, fuel), back out to hwy 1, to Bahia de Los Angeles (motel, food, fuel), dirt down towards San Francisquito, back out to Hwy 1...and on. IMHO, Bahia de Conception, near Mulege, is the Crown Jewel of Baja. Mulege just got flooded by Hurricane John. Loreto is OK, skip Cabo, do La Paz.

www.baja-almanac.com has the best Baja maps. Their good paper one should suffice unless you really plan to explore much off road, and then you'd appreciate the book/atlas. www.guiaroji.com.mx is the road map atlas to have for the mainland.

As your plans become more firm and your date of freedom gets closer, let us know. Whenever I go, the hints, suggestions, hearsay and past experiences from others who have been there have been very valuable. Many times it's just simple things that you'd never read in a guide book.

Mexico has too much, is too cool, is too much fun....
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Old 7 Sep 2006
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Thanks to you both for the good info.

LoneRider you mention how cold it could get at altitude, it is something I'm a little concerned about. I think keeping an eye on weather as we approach will be the sanest option and plan the specifics as problems arise.

Patrick thanks also for the advice. re the DF: Actually I would like to see some Frida Kahlo but have family of a friend I thought to visit for 2ish days to relax and get off the bike and maybe do some maintenance. Short stops in cities is the plan. Then down to Oaxaca for a few more days.

I'll be setting up a website and I hope to write articles on it - I'll certainly be able to give my two cents worth. I'm sure everyone thinks they're Bill Bryson but just to be able to write about the places I see will be better than me keeping a journal as most of those peter out by the 4th day and I'll be gone 4 months. By way of background I'm a pretty new rider travelling with another newbie. Good spanish but I need to get a bit more mechanical nous and some off-riding skills. It definitely will be an adventure!

The Road To Rio - Locokiwi
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Old 8 Sep 2006
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nice bike

thats a sick XR650 (is she for sale)
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