Saturday November 17 2018

Posted by BajaInsider.com on October 17, 2018
  • Hwy 5 suffered damage during the passage of a Tropical Depression and a hurricane.
    Hwy 5 suffered damage during the passage of a Tropical Depression and a hurricane.
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5
  • Baja's Highway 5
    Baja's Highway 5

Leaving on October 14th, 2018 the route I planned was from Mexicali south to San Felipe on Mex 5 to Laguna Chapala to join with Transpenisular Highway 1 south to Los Cabos. I had driven north on this route exactly 2 months before and wanted to see what had happened with the passing of Sergio. 

On the trip north they had started tearing up the old highway north of Puertocitos to about halfway to San Felipe. All was fine until this area where the construction that had begun had now flooded and caused major problems with the newly created detour. There are now about 10 bridges that have collapsed before reaching Punta Final (end of the newest section below Puertocitos).

What this means to anyone driving this route ist here is now about another 25 miles of dirt and gravel (very bumpy) detours before reaching the end of the new highway which also had a few bridges out. Because of this and the continued construction going on through the mountains to Laguna Chapala I recommend that people ony use SUV's or trucks and not take trailers through here.

I did see some cars going south of Puertocitos and one care that was making it's way through the mountains I really don't recommend it. I'm aware that there will be those of you that will still go through with trailers or cars but it will really be rough on your vehicles and there are no services in this area. I will say that once you are past Coco's corner (the road actually no longer goes past Coco's) you will find great gravel road and then asphalt for the last 10 miles before joining Mex 1.

Unfortunately that while the constructions has been making great progress through the mountains there is now a great deal of repairs necessary to the old highway between San Felipe and Puertocitos as well as the new highway south of Puertocitos. With all of this damage it could be years before Mex 5 is the preferred (shorter) route from the Us border south. I still made good time but I was in my old 4x4 that can take a beating very well.

Also it is highly recommended you do not drive at night but especially in the area south of San Felipe to Laguan Chapala. This area of construction and detours is poorly marked in the day and very dangerous at night. You will want to take it slow no matter you are driving and if you are not interested in an adventure you might want to go the longer better know on route of Mex 1 from Tijuana.

After exiting a Laguna Chaparral to join Mex 1 that road was in very good condition to just above the Cuest Infierno (Hell Hill) just north of Santa Rosalia where is one fairly long detour. I will also make note that while diving north and south I encountered a lot of cows on the highway. This is just south of the Tres Virgines area and the cows were in great quantity so be expecting them.

South of Santa Rosalia was a small detour and another south of Mulege. Except for those the road is in fine shape all the way to about 40 kilometers north of La Paz where there  are a few more including one log detour. All of the detours are fine just a bit bumpy but overall the Mex 1 is in the best shape ever.

Overall I made very good time but I have driven this route10 times and Baja overall almost 100 times wit a truck built for it. If you are driving a regular car down then I really suggests you take the Transpenisular Mex 1 route all the way down. One other note is the San Ignacio military inspection is taking a very long time with the State Police there looking for ways to earn mordida. It is obvious they are not really concerned with finding big guns, cash or drugs seizures since they let 12 big trucks though with almost no inspection while literally taking everything out of the foreigners cars and inspecting to a ridiculous level. 

For some reason the military kept saying to the somewhat rude State cop that he was the boss and that they were just there for support. This is not at all right and I have filed complaints with the Army. One General I spoke seem to know nothing about it but told me that is not the way it is to be. It was the only inspection that looked at my stuff and it took them 30 minutes to unpack and very poorly repack my truck. They caused minor damage to a few things and left a bottle of shampoo open in my suitcase. 

I speak Spanish and know the laws here, yet there is little you can do but be patient and nice and realize this is just one of those thighs until we get it changed. Just expect a long delay there until they get this changed. Please email me if you have experienced problems here as I will pass them on to a General who claims he is looking into it.

That is pretty much it. Buen viajae y Mucho Ojo!

James Glover

 


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