Tag Archives: mexico

Sardinetaco the game

Hide and seek… Can you find the Sardinetaco rig amongst the slew of trucks???

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click to enlarge

We are on the boat that transports trucks from La Paz, Baja to Matazalan, Mexico. It costs approximately $325 and took about 16 hours once we left the dock.

Baja Fishing Update!!!

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We have all heard the rumors that Baja is abundant in the fishing department. Well, we can confirm that this is, in fact, true. Between diving for shellfish, spearing, and surfcasting we have been successful in gathering many meals, for ourselves, fellow campers, and friends. The ocean has been good to us. The act of sharing the daily catch, as well as knowledge regarding the local sea life, is a wonderful way to meet fellow travelers.  A camp can take on a true community feel when people come together to talk about fishing. In addition, finding creative ways to prepare newly identified sea life, with limited resources, can be a lot of fun!

You have all seen the famous Sardinetaco barracuda fishing video, but that was just the beginning. Once we departed from the Bahia de Los Angeles, we headed for Concepcion Bay. With a little advice from an expat who ran the local fishing supply store in Mulege, we were confident that the shellfish we saw while snorkeling were, in fact, delicious. We dove for fresh scallops and clams, gathering about 4 dozen scallops (in a couple hours).  The next day we gathered an estimated 100 clams in under an hour. The satisfaction of self-sufficiency and the fresh taste of the ocean left big smiles on our sun-beaten faces. These meals were not only delicious, but they were great for the budget as well.

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A few days later we arrived in Scorpion Bay (San Juanico). At this location we had no luck diving for shellfish, or surfcasting, but the spear (Hawaiian Sling) was the big winner. We were spearing small fish that I believe are called grunts, but I am not exactly sure. Either way they were plentiful, fun to spear, cooked whole with Old Bay, and super tasty.

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snapper, tuna, corvina

We hit the hot spot when we headed to Punta Conejo. With a little advice from the dude who ran the RV park called Palapa 206 in the city of Ciudad Constitucion we had bueno luck. The first morning we woke up at Punta Conejo, I was surfing by sunrise and amazed at how I was surrounded by fish in all directions. At any given time, in the early morning, there were countless fish jumping all around me.  Being surrounded by fins in the water left me with an eerie feeling, especially because no one else was out there (or on the beach). The next morning I was fishing before the sun came up and BLAMO!! 10 casts later I had snapper, tuna, corvina, etc. The next day it was the same thing, and so on. The Corvina was huge and one of the snappers was also a beast. While I was gutting the fish on the beach I was attracting attention at the surf break. People in the camp were stoked because we all got fed, I negotiated our camping fee with fresh fish, and there was some epic surfing to boot. And the rest is history. Thanks dad for teaching me how to fish back in the day. I guess I remember all those things you taught me.

Almost 6000 miles since Jersey…

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We said our final farewell to Colorado, anxious to cross into Mexico. Two months after our initial departure from Jersey, we are starting to feel like our trip has really begun. After over a year of planning and saving, we are ready to begin on this journey: the truck is dialed in, our attitudes are refreshed, and Lupe still has no clue what is going on.

After leaving Colorado, our first stop was Moab, Utah. It was truly breath-taking scenery, but high winds and chilly weather kept us moving southwest at a rapid pace. The landscape of the desert becomes hypnotizing after driving for days. Mexico is close, but driving long hours is hard. When I was younger I once drove for 19 hours straight, but those days are long over and the combination of sore bones and tired eyes makes me out around 8. The southwest has epic terrain, we have a yearning to stay and explore, but we know more interesting things are on the horizon and, besides, there is a sense of “been there, done that”. We have a stronger desire to get out of this country and feel the rush of being someplace unfamiliar. We blaze through Utah, Arizona, and the California desert, deciding to ride the adrenaline all the way to the border.

We spent a night in Potrero, California, at a campground only minutes from the border town of Tecate, Mexico. We had received word that this border was easy to cross, as well as uncrowded. This all sounded great considering that the first, and last, time I was in Tijiuana (many years ago) things went pretty sour, pretty quick. As it turns out, crossing the border was not nearly as big of a deal as we made it out to be. The Mexican border peeps were helpful and friendly. They spoke good english and gave us free tacos when we got across (that’s all true accept the free taco part.) But anyway, we crossed with ease, drove through the trash-ridden streets of Tecate, and cruised down into Northern Baja wine country. Yea, thats right, Northern Baja has wine country (aka Ruta del Vino). After a handy tip from a fellow camper, it was decided that we would drive a full day  past the riff-raff of North Baja, with hopes of arriving at a quieter place to pop-up the Autohome.

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After hours behind the wheel in Mexico, we took a sand covered road for about 10 miles to the fishing village of Punta Baja. This is, in fact, a surf destination, but with no one in sight, high winds, and cold water we decided to skip the surfing and pop open our box of wine. The view was epic, and the sound of the waves put us to sleep. Before we knew it Mexican fisherman were driving through our camp at dangerous speeds in classic toyota pickups. They barreled  down the dirt road before sunrise, making preparations for their day’s work. They did not mind us sleeping in their camp, but once again the high winds made us pack up and leave early.

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We decided to make the drive to the Sea of Cortez side of Baja to a town called Bahia de los Angeles. This drive is known as one of the “gas gaps”  meaning there is no fuel for hundreds of miles. I get about 250 to 300 miles to a tank so i felt pretty good about the situation, but to be cautious I filled up my two 5 gallon jerry cans. We set up camp on the beach.  The air was hot and dry and relaxing here for a couple nights sounded like a good idea. We busted out the snorkel and saw an abundance of sea life. There was an oversized flounder a few feet from my face camouflaged in the sand. This thing was the size of a Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvres platter. I came to the conclusion that i now need a spear gun. I need to pick one of those up somewhere soon. We did wind up catching about 7 barracuda off the tip of the peninsula in about 20 minutes, but we can’t eat those so we threw them back.

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After a couple more military check points, that we pass with ease, we head further south. We currently sit in a an RV Park in the town of Guerrero Negro, in preparation fro our next destination. Our fellow campers have provided us with great tips about some spots to check out, and we are excited to continue onward.  Soon we will post up somewhere for a few days, relax, and fish. So far Mexico has been extremely pleasant, with warm hearted locals and and abundance of Canadian tourists.

Why are we still in Colorado?

We have some friends in the Boulder / Longmont area of Colorado. I have been working for my friend Brady, at Burke Builders, and Sara is working with Jason at Cellular Recycler. We have both been working full-time for the last month, or so. We have been living in one of Brady’s vacant rental homes that suffered some minimal flood damage. All in all things have been going well.

The truck was recently brought in for service at Pelmans Automotive in Boulder. The following is a list of the resulting work: Trip check (includes looking over the entire truck for anything that might need attention), new front rotors and brake pads, clean lube, adjust rear brake drums, flush and replace front and rear differential and transfer case fluids, and the installation of a new starter. Total cost : $1,164.

But wait, there’s more… my check engine light is on, my catalytic converter is busted and needs to be removed. The catalytic converter is not necessary south of the border, as far as I know (so far), so we are left at a crossroad.

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Option 1: Do nothing and have the check engine light permanently on and risk the cat innards breaking up and clogging my muffler.

Option 2: I can remove the cat, and replace it with a straight pipe for $200, but the check engine light will still be on. To turn the light off, I heard I can buy online, and install illegally myself, some type of censor blocker, so my computer does not know my cat is busted. The sensor cost is unknown, as of now.

Option 3: Find one online and do it myself $$??

Option 4: Replace catalytic converter through mechanic $1000

I’m going to look into doing it myself, I think It will be fine, but either way something will be done. This leads the  the answer to the initial question: Why are we still in Colordo? It’s all good though. We are in no rush to go anywhere, and feel little stress in general. It is important to us to leave here, and cross the border, with the truck in tip-top shape and a refreshed mental state. Besides we have great friends here that have been a pleasure to be around, as of now.

Besides all of the truck stuff there is a number of things that we need to get done before we make our final departure South. These include a full check up for Lupe, our last Hepatitis vaccine, our Yellow Fever vaccine, potential purchase of an inexpensive Garmin navigator, and possibly a fridge (to replace our wack 12-volt cooler).

Our only disappointment is that we will miss Day of the Dead in mainland Mexico. Looks like we might do Christmas in Mexico City instead for whoever wants to meet us there.  Feliz Navidad!

Should we bring a gun to Mexico?

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Just kidding, we are not bringing any guns anywhere ever, so let’s make that clear. A lot of people who hear about our trip insist we bring guns. The only thing that makes me more uncomfortable than guns are people with guns, with the exception of military and policia, but they make me nervous regardless. Could I really shoot someone if I had to? I would like to think so, but who the hell knows. Statistically the chances of us needing a gun are basically none.

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According to the U.S. Consulate this is what will happen to you if you bring a gun into Mexico.

Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.
Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.
You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.

If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico…

  • You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;
  • You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;
  • You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;
  • You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.

If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .

  • You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;
  • You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;
  • If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.

Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.

There you have it, and apparently you can’t have a pocket knife either. I’ve seen enough Locked Up Abroad episodes to know this is not something to take lightly. But if I did bring a gun into mexico it would probably look like this.

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