John will be sending updates on Baja road conditions, locations of military checkpoints and other information that catches his interest. David Eidell will also be sending in comments. Keep checking back. If you have additional information, please email us.
BAJA: LOS CABOS & HURRICANE DAMAGE UPDATE
Oct 21, 2001
From Linda Slover
I thought you should know that Cabo was hit pretty hard by hurricane "Juliette". The roads between Cabo and San Jose' sustained major damage, bridges were washed-out and it put a strain on the infrastructure. The government has been working around the clock to repair the roads, getting ready for high season.
The beaches have all been re-structured. The restuarants along the coast-line were all washed away. The country club was completely distroyed except for a few holes; some buildings still stand there, but will need major repair. The downtown area fared rather well as did the marina.
However, the airbornes are out of control because of the severe dust problem created by the wash outs. The main problem for travelers is the dirt, lack of water because of the rationing and the raw sewage which turns to dirt which gets into the air and your lungs. Be aware.
Latest reports from the cape indicate that Mex 1, the transpeninsular highway is open once more. Pavement is missing or damaged south of Mulege, Loreto, and La Paz, but rough hewn detours allow passage of most vehicles. The corridor highway from San Jose del Cabo to San Lucas is open and functioning.
The problem arterial is Mex 19 from the intersection with Mex 1, to San Lucas. This road should be avoided at both ends. Waist deep flows of water are still pouring out of the Sierra de la Laguna, and flooding half a dozen arroyos. The water levels should recede by Halloween, which will allow more permanent repairs to be done on the roadway.
Second and third class roads should be avoided as they have received lots of damage and are low priority for repairs. Word is that the East Cape road is a disaster in several places.
Stores are said to be have shelves bulging once again with grocery and household items. Electricity has been restored except in a couple of rural villages and telephone service is now restored throughout much of the tip of Baja. For the most part resort hotels have their own wells and they are reported to be functioning normally. The old Vagabundos del Mar RV park was reportedly heavily damaged by flood waters and a knee deep mud flow.
Two items of concern. The first is a pronounced water shortage from city wells in the San Jose del Cabo and San Lucas area. Domestic water is being rationed at the moment. The second area of concern is Hepatitis A, which has broken out in spot locations (all rural and none in the tourist areas). Vaccination is recommended for prospective visitors.
Again, things should be back to normal by the end of the month, but do expect rural roads and areas to be repaired last. When in doubt, call first or ask a local for advice before venturing off the main highways.
October 7, 2001, Sunday
From David Eidell
The two highways south from La Paz are being repaired and should be back to normal by the end of the month. For now, Mex. 1 is recommended for four-wheel-drive and two wheel drive high clearance vehicles. No travel trailers. No boat trailers. No motorhomes. Mex. 19 is barely open and is slow going for four-wheel drive high clearance vehicles only.
As an aside: Mex. 1 was washed out in many places north of La Paz (to Mulege) and dozens of dangerous sections of roadway are barely marked; some hazards are marked with nothing but a sagebrush!
Telephone service has been restored to most areas, as has la luz (electricity). Piped domestic water is spotty, but most resort hotels have their own wells so for guests this is not an issue. Dozens and dozens of diesel cargo trucks have made it over the damaged section of Mex. 1 and Mex. 19, bringing fresh food, LPG, gasoline and other much needed supplies to area stores. Gasoline shortages are still common, but expected to lessen as the days pass.
For fly-in fishermen, the Los Cabos airport is functioning and taxi service is available to area hotels and sports fishing docks. With the arrival of food shipments from La Paz, family restaurants will soon be operational. Sports fishing is reported to be "good".
Fishing tournaments are going to be held as usual this month and the annual "Baja HaHa" sailboat cruiser's rally will take place (San Diego to San Lucas) early in November.
Reportedly the vast rainfall from hurricane Juliette has turned the peninsula green and lush. It may be wise if you are considering a camping trip within the next 30 days, to remember that rain brings bugs and standing water encourages mosquitoes. Bring your repellent
October 4, 2001
Last minute reports indicate that unsettled weather has led to numerous flooded arroyos with resulting highway closures between Santa Rosalia and Ciudad Constitucion. If you are planning a road trip by car or bus, pack snacks, bedding and drinking water, just in case. from David Eidell
October 3, 2001
Hwy. 1 into and out of Cabo San Lucas remains closed, Rumor is the airport at San Jose Del Cabo will reopen today. (This is due to tropical storm that went through last week.) I just got my first email from that area. Lots of folks are stuck there still...... from John Regan
September 26, 2001
If you plan to travel south of Guerrero Negro, you must have a valid passport to show at the border station, plus pay 10 pesos for "fumigation" of your vehicle. Any fruit or veggies may be impounded. Do not try la mordida here or you'll risk visiting the inside of el carcel .
You can bypass this checkpoint by going through Guerrero Negro first and then turning onto dirt roads. But this is not advisable, as there are roving army patrols at the ends of these roads. There is also another free way to go around the checkpoint -- go to Bahia de Los Angles and then to San Francisco. From there you take poor dirt roads to El Arco. If you decide to take this road, be sure to carry extra gas and at least 2 spare tires.
Military check points are on heightened alert and thorough checks are preformed on a random basis. The military is not asking for papers, but they are looking for drugs and weapons. Middle-Eastern looking persons are being singled out for closer inspections. All check points have a crew carrying 50 caliber weapons on each side of the road. They also have road spikes. They are moving these checkpoints at random.
You must get your tourist card, pay for it at any Mexican bank, and turn it in when you leave. Current tourists cards used when entering Mexico by vehicle cost $19 US for the vehicle, plus 19 bucks per person, For vehicles, make sure that you have the title or written permission (notarized) to drive a vehicle that is not yours.
Bahia de Los Angles still has the worst road in Baja. Another hazard is from Guerrero Negro to Mulege. This is a long straight road that starts good and can turn to tire busting potholes in seconds. As usual cows and donkeys remain a great hazard. Night driving beyond Ensenada is foolish and dangerous.
If you have questions, please email me..firstname.lastname@example.org John Regan
August 14, 2001
One note on the checkpoints, I hit nineteen between Ensenada and Cabo. They are being polite for the most part, but were very thorough at the Guerrero Negro and Mulege (just south of town) checkpoints. The road to Bahia de Los Angles is still more pot hole than pavement. I recommend spare tires and so not to exceed 30 M.P.H.
La Migra, just south of Guerrero Negro is insisting on passports. However, as a test, I was allowed through with my National Geographic ID. Social security cards, birth certificates and drivers licenses were not being accepted. Several gringos were turned back while I was there. The Mordida does not work there! John Regan