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  #1  
Old 25 Jun 2007
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Baja Bandits. Real or fallacy?

Read an article in a trail bike mag mentioning how if you get waived down in the Baja desert you don't stop or risk losing everything.

Now I heard stories like this before, but wondered what the experience was with people on RTW trips.

Apparently some famous dirt rider (Baja 1000 fame or something) got stopped and because he was famous they let him keep his bike or something.

Just though I would check here.
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  #2  
Old 26 Jun 2007
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A good friend of mine was traveling off road south from San Felipe, Baja and in the a group of guys with a pickup were waiving at him trying to get him to stop. He was convinced it was a robbery attempt and took a long way around them. Fortunately he is an ex-moto cross rider.

As much as I love Mexico, Baja is gringo land and a prime target for the such people.
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  #3  
Old 28 Jun 2007
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could happen anywhere!

I have been up and down baja couple of times, and have encountered no problems. Except small mechanical ones :-) A few times I have been waived down in desolated places, but as a single mc, I allways take xtra care.

There is also quite a few people following highway 1 on their way north to a "better" life in US, so when camping i look for a nice secluded spot away from the main road.

Going south, there are small excellent beaches, without those grose american retirement homes on four wheels, on the east side after crossing the desert from the west. A few even contains small huts for fishermans, which makes a good camp for a couple of days.

By youself a hamock.

Happy trip!


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  #4  
Old 21 Jul 2007
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Don't ride/drive at night. I do think that the bandits are targeting Mexicans. There are often news stories of Mexicans living in the US visiting relatives, and getting robbed. One of the more memorable stories was told in the local Yuma paper during Christmas of '05 (maybe '04 if you want to research) in which a Mexican family from Yuma went somewhere into Mexico to visit relatives. They stopped on the side of the road to rest (at night), and some "bandits" with AR-15 assault rifles tried to rob the family. One of the family members was shot in the arm, and was treated at the nearest hospital. Mexican federal police officers, assisted by local police officers, went to take a report, and the shooting victim recognized the local officers as the robbers!

My suggestion is, again, avoid the night as far as being out in the open. (That is pretty much the advice anywhere in the world)
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  #5  
Old 21 Jul 2007
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shit does go down from time to time.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:05.
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  #6  
Old 25 Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Best not to go solo if you are the nervous type...for the most part it's very safe everywhere in Baja. I've been going down there since about 1962 or so.
Traveled the length of it first time on a bike in 1970. Hope you never get between a drug gang and the Federales. They've had some shoot outs where
10 or 15 guys (on both sides) were killed. Once again...very very rare, but shit does go down from time to time.

Patrick
Although this sounds dramatic, you have occasional outbreaks of violence in the USA also correct?

That said the drug economy is real in Mexico, use your common sense and you are unlikely to hit any trouble. Don`t put your name in the hat for Mexican sheriff at any border towns...
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  #7  
Old 25 Jul 2007
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Baja Impressions

I just returned from a short trip (via car) to Ensenada and San Quintin.

No problems whatsoever. People were pleasant, the margritritas good. Generally the drivers were ok.

The most remarkable thing about this part of Mexico is the litter, garbage, signage and graffitti. Absolutely horrendous.

Appears no one has any concept of civil pride. I find it quite disturbing. I live in California and I see this creeping north. Compared to other parts of the US, the litter and illegal dumping in California is a huge problem.

Gee - I wonder who is doing it? Must be all those German and Canadain immigrants!

Don't give me any of that cultural sensitivity crap - I have worked and traveled in other 40 countries. I am married to a latina and speak the language passable well.

Bottonline - this level of filth is inexcusable.

Last edited by tprata56; 25 Jul 2007 at 21:29.
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Old 26 Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by tprata56 View Post
The most remarkable thing about this part of Mexico is the litter, garbage, signage and graffitti. Absolutely horrendous.
(...)

Bottonline - this level of filth is inexcusable.

Wow. It couldn't have anything to do with you living in a cookie-cutter suburb that was built 5 years ago, living on 5- or 6-digit income? And you are comparing it to a place that has a $5 minimum wage. That's PER DAY.

Or perhaps it's because "they" are coming back to the land that was formerly theirs?
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  #9  
Old 26 Jul 2007
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Wages a Root Cause?

I am speaking as a former Peace Corps Volunteer now. I lived in a poor country, worked with folks who were "the salt of the earth", people had very very modest, but clean homes, hell, I was poor. But we didn't trash our countryside. Having said that, I know what you mean about the cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood - somebodies idea of the American dream yet?
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Old 26 Jul 2007
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If only the Bush cabal criminals who currently hold power in the US had that wisdom today.....we'd be about 2 Trillion $$$$$$$$$$ to the better.
We might even have Health Care for the 70 million uninsured in the USA.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:05.
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  #11  
Old 26 Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
....(we know this from Cowboy movies! ) .....
That's pretty good.
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  #12  
Old 26 Jul 2007
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Noble Savage

Mollydog - I would have replied earlier but I have been busy plotting against the whites! Thanks for disspelling the myth of the "Nobel Savage".
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  #13  
Old 27 Jul 2007
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Relativity

Everything's relative. I know some Mexican folks whose cousins fled Mexico City after other members of the family were killed in a car jacking. They moved TO Baja because it is considered a safe area by Mexican standards.

The murder rate in the United States is roughly triple what it is in Canada but I don't know anyone who hesitates to cross the border for that reason. Is the murder rate in Baja triple that of the United States? I doubt it, in fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that there is less crime in Baja than, say, in L.A.

As for aesthetics, once again it all depends on your point of view. Much of Mexico can appear scruffy by some standards but there's that eye of the beholder to consider. In "Into Thin Air" Jon Krakauer describes a Nepalese village on the approach to Everest as a filthy environment, which members of his team, puking away, are relieved to escape. I spent a couple of days there around the same time and it didn't look that way to me. I kind of liked the place.
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Old 27 Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by normw View Post
..... I spent a couple of days there around the same time and it didn't look that way to me. I kind of liked the place.
Good post. It's a mind-set and we're all different.

There was a post made in another thread, maybe it was a different one here or on a different site, about how appalled the person was over the trash he saw between Ensenada and San Quintin in Baja. That's Gringo Corridor and a very small piece of the 1,000 mile long peninsula.

It's interesting to learn people's perceptions.
Gold mine vs junkyard kinda thing....
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  #15  
Old 27 Jul 2007
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I read that book....I thought Krakauer came off as a guy who wanted to be a hero. Also a BS artist who stretched the truth..

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:06.
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