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Baja Beach Fun with a Tacoma!

Discussion in 'Travel' started by David K, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:35 PM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Probably the most use my Tacomas get in four wheel drive is in Baja going to our favorite beach camp spot in the dunes, on a barrier island along the Sea of Cortez.

    The sand is more corse than the Pacific side beaches and contains more crushed shells. It is most difficult to drive on and requires deflating tires 50% or more to achieve floatation. A recent trip in my new 2010 Tacoma with Traction Control (limited slip system) showed me what a breakthrough in traction technology was made by Toyota, as I did not need to let any air out of my tires!

    The following photos are of my 2005 TRD OFF ROAD 4WD DC Tacoma on a trip to our Baja beach in Sept. 2008. We call the beach "Shell Island" since it is a barrier island that is surrounded by water during high lunar tide, and the shells are numerous!

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    The Kragen HIDs have been replaced by Hella 4000 metal lamps... as the Kragen plastic bodies cracked on the next Baja trip we took!

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    The Mrs. and I were the only ones on the beach...

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    The upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) has one of the world's greatest tides... often 20 feet in elevation... and with the flat bottom, can go out a mile!

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    In the summer, big thunder clouds form each day over the Sierra San Pedrp Martir (Baja's highest mountain range, with Diablo Mountain reaching over 10,000 feet in elevation... just 50 miles west of us.

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    Camp is simple... a sun shade, a tent, and an ice box full of cold Mexican beer!

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    View north... the tip of the island is about a mile north.

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    View south, along the gulf side of the island.

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    At high tide, the north lagoon fills and makes the beach an island.

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    Sunsets can be beautiful!

    More to come! Stay tuned...
     
  2. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:36 PM
    #2
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    Wow!! Great pics. That water looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:37 PM
    #3
    blackwatertaco

    blackwatertaco If you ain't stuck, You ain't tryin hard enough.

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    Now that's a beach, Texas beaches look like crap. See sig pic.
     
  4. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:48 PM
    #4
    tcBob

    tcBob Gringo Bandito Thor

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    nice pics david
     
  5. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:50 PM
    #5
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 2 Hella 4000 HID, 1 Kragen HID, 1 Cibie Halogen.
    Day 2... go out and have a look at low tide:

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    and our camp from the high tide line...

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    Take a drive to see what is exposed...

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    Here's the lagoon side with a big high tide:

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    Sundown, Day 2... That's Diablo Mountain...

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    Pelican ready for the night...

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    Low tide means shell hunting time...

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    My Tacoma is very happy in Baja!

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    See why I call it 'Shell Island'?

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    During a full or new moon, the tide changes are most extreme. Low tide in the morning and in the early evening. High tide is just after noon and just after midnight. Since it is quite warm in the summer, having the high tide during the hottest part of the day is great for swimming... At low tide, the water is to far away and too shallow to enjoy... but great for shelling when it is cooler! The water temperatures in summer are close to the air temp. day and night... most fun!

    To be continued, as we head further south in Baja on Day 3!... Stay tuned!!

    Sorry, there is one photo posted twice, above!
     
  6. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:51 PM
    #6
    rick

    rick `

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    very nice David, Incredible
     
  7. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM
    #7
    vbibi

    vbibi Well-Known Member

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    Very nice, How about bandidos? just a piece of advise, I used to leave in Chula Vista and spend many a holidays in Baja or All around. Has to been in 1982 when we decided to go to Ocho Negros a beautiful lake on top of a mountain. Unspoiled place
    at about 40 millers from the last paved road. We broke all the exhaust pipes under our trucks, and tough that was the last of our problems. Coming back we where stooped by bandidos on horse backs. Bullets bands across the yr shoulders, like in movies. They took everything, food money jewelery, papers, shot our tires and left. We where lucky they did not rape our women. Take it or leave it but this is the truth.
    Take care
    vbibi:(
     
  8. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:27 PM
    #8
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Differential Breather Mod Light Bar: 2 Hella 4000 HID, 1 Kragen HID, 1 Cibie Halogen.
    Day 3, and the wind picks up... so we do too! We decide we had enough sun and fun for Shell Island and head south to Gonzaga Bay... about 75 miles south... On the same road The 2009 Tacoma Brochure features!

    The only waves in the gulf are wind created... otherwise it is calm as a lake!

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    Osprey with a fish is flying along us as we are driving down the beach to the access road...

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    The 'access road' is under water at high tide (I told you it was an island!)... If you are careful, you will stay on firm mud and not slip into the oatmeal-like mush on either side of the road!

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    A new paved road has been built to Puertecitos and recently been extended for 20 more miles to El Huerfanito... However in 2008, the pavement eneded in about 2 miles from Puertecitos...

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    Puertecitos cove... hot springs are located on the far side of that point between the high and low tide lines... bathing pools have been developed.]

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    Those are the Enchanted Islands... the closest one to shore, not near the others is El Huerfanito ('The Little Orphan').

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    This island is El Muerto ('The Dead Man')... can you see why?

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    That's us!


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    Much gold was mined in Baja California after the gold rush in Alta California died off... This is the ruins of the Miramar gold mine warehouse, called 'El Amacen'.

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    The first view of Gonzaga Bay (Bahia San Luis Gonzaga).

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    At the driveway for Alfonsina's Resort on the bay is a Pemex gas station... it is sometimes open and sometimes has gas!

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    Alfonsina's Motel on the beach!

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    Birds like fish!

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    Frigates, pelicans, sea gulls, ospreys and more enjoy Baja!

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    The back side of Alfonsina's is the runway/ airstrip... and it is not available at high tide! There are many vacation homes along the beach and many residents fly in and taxi up to their back door.

    Hope you enjoyed this small 3 day beach trip to Baja via Toyota Tacoma!

    If you like this kind of off road fun and some old California history thrown in, check out my web site: http://VivaBaja.com

    Hasta la Vista amigos!
     
  9. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:44 PM
    #9
    Pope953

    Pope953 That's a fact Jack!

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    Nice pics david!!! Amazing camera!!! What kind is it?
     
  10. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM
    #10
    fletch aka

    fletch aka www.BeLikeBrit.org

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    Sweet set of pictures, what's next? :popcorn: :goingcrazy:
     
  11. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:51 PM
    #11
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    After 40 Millers, I would have seen banditos too! Why were you drinking Millers in Mexico... with such excellent German crafted beers available there (Tecate, Pacifico, XX, etc.)?

    I have been traveling all over Baja since 1965, and without parents after I turned 16, from 1974 on (with other high school friends)... I feel safer camping in Baja than anywhere in the USA... Crime is everywhere, but is most unlikely far from cities and where 4WD is required to get to. I don't camp in cities...

    I think you mean Laguna Hanson (the lake) and it is off the highway, past Ojos Negros... yes?

    You can't just go to another country, like Mexico and act like you are exempt from laws or customs... Drinking and driving will get you in trouble... exhaust pipes or more... Sorry you had such an experience... it is the first story I have heard of gringos in a car/ truck being robbed by banditos on horseback!

    The current fear of border area crime and our terrible economic mess ahd just about ruined Mexico's tourist industry... The local people are having a terrible time. These bandito stories don't help them... but keep Baja very quiet for people like me who know where to go and how to behave to avoid such things (on either side of the border)!
     
  12. Mar 23, 2010 at 6:08 PM
    #12
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have a Canon Power Shot SD1100 IS... Just something easy... Baja is what's magic, not the photographer!

    Glad you liked... I posted two other Baja trips here in this forum... scroll down and see the July 2009 big trip or the trip via Mike's Sky Rancho in 2005 (a 2 parter)!
     
  13. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:52 AM
    #13
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    You guys want to see another Baja trip?
     
  14. Apr 2, 2010 at 7:34 AM
    #14
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    Absolutely!
     
  15. Apr 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM
    #15
    Shack

    Shack Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a dumb question, but do you carry your own fuel on these trips? If so, how much? Seeing that the Pemex was "sometimes open, and sometimes had gas" got me to thinking,
     
  16. Apr 2, 2010 at 8:57 AM
    #16
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Not a dumb question...

    Part of what makes a Baja trip an adventure is that slight fear of the unknown, the remoteness, the being in another country with a different set of laws and methods...

    The furthest apart Pemex stations are in Baja is 200 miles (El Rosario to Villa Jesus Maria), and since most of us can go at least 300 miles on a tank, that is no problem... even if that next station is out of gas, it is only 20-30 to the next one after it (Guerrero Negro southbound, San Quintin northbound). In addition, there are 'independent' gasoline dealers in that stretch at two locations (Cataviña and Parador Punta Prieta) who sell gas out of cans for about a dollar a gallon mark up over Pemex prices.
    Pemex is about $2.35/ gallon for 87 octane (called 'Magna') now. 91 octane 'Premium' and diesel are available too, but not quite as widespread as regular.

    If we are going to do a bunch of off roading/ exploring between gas locations, then yes, we bring extra gas cans along. It is pretty rare, but I do have 3 five gallon cans... I have sometimes taken one... a couple times taken two... and only once taken all three. Five gallons will give 60-90 miles depending if I am four wheeling or highway driving.

    The Pemex that is 'sometimes open' is at Bahia San Luis Gonzaga ('Gonzaga Bay'), which is 100 miles south of San Felipe (last sure gas location) and 45 miles south of Puertecitos (usually has gas).

    The situation has improved the last few years, as has the quality of gas. Often, gas in northern Baja comes from the U.S.. Many years ago the octane of regular leaded (called 'Nova') Pemex was about 79-81 and either you added octane booster or retarded your ignition timing. Their higher octane gas was unleaded, and about 87 octane, called 'Extra'.

    So, finding gas isn't so big a problem and if you are going to be tooling around in the central desert, just bring some with you... Just remember to cross into Mexico with EMPTY cans, and fill them in Mexico... Bringing extra cans of gas into Mexico is not allowed (the government owns Pemex and they don't like competition). Besides, gas is cheaper in Mexico and just as good if not the same as gas here. Buy your gas south of the border towns, as their prices are closer to U.S. prices... the rest of Mexico is the same low price.

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  17. Apr 2, 2010 at 9:06 AM
    #17
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Okay Jason, next time I get on here... I have to go do an irrigation system checkup... customer has a Weather Matic Smartline controller, and isn't sure if it is doing its job!

    Are 200-300 year old Spanish missions in Baja of interest? See http://vivabaja.com/missions1 for photos and brief historic data on the missions.

    Would you like to see the 'Lost Mission' we found? Stay Tuned!
     
  18. Apr 2, 2010 at 9:22 AM
    #18
    danbow

    danbow What?

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    Very Cool, nice photos, looks like a blast!! :popcorn:
     
  19. Apr 2, 2010 at 10:36 AM
    #19
    Ggiannig89

    Ggiannig89 Well-Known Member

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    Wow looks like so much fun, I think I know where I'm going camping tbhis summer :) maybe a dumb question but how would a 2wd taco do down there?
     
  20. Apr 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM
    #20
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    Alright. Take your time, no rush. In the mean time I'll enjoy your other pics. Thanks.
     
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