Driving Baja Highway One, Mexico


Driving in Baja has improved substantially over the years with access along the peninsular only being possible since 1973 on the opening of the trans-peninsular highway. The furtherest point that people could drive with anything other than off road vehicle was to San Quintin . The highway has opened up Baja to tourism but it seems concentrated in certain towns. Driving from Tecate to Ensenada took us through smaller villages along the way which consist of low rise settlements with the usual mixture of homes and brightly coloured one room shacks used by hairdressers, taco shops, garages and the like all with hand painted signs which gives the place a look that is so un-American looking is almost brings tears to my eyes. This road is relatively busy with many large trucks hurtling past us on this single lane highway which has just enough room for the trucks going in either direction but with no hard shoulder at all. The drop-offs vary from a few inches to a few feet so I am still adjusting to the fear of falling off the edge which is akin to how you feel walking along a precipice with a 100 foot drop as oppose to how steady you are on your feet and in your mind when the drop off is only one foot. Christopher suggested I sit a little more snugly beside him to ease the fear.

There is also a little trick which we have now mastered and that is the use of the left indicator. This is not used to indicate that you are turning left (well sometimes it is) it is mostly used to inform the car behind you that there is a clear road in front so that they can overtake you. Indicating with the right indicator means do not overtake and the uninitiated are in for a rough surprise when they make the silly assumptions that the car wants to turn right or pull in. Overtaking in this scenario is likely to lead to you being blocked until you learn the rules…

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