Day 8 Julian to San Vincente Baja California 341km 7 hours
What a fantastic day!
I have to admit a certain apprehension about what was coming. It was to be my first border crossing into Mexico and despite all my research I felt like I didn’t know what to do. I dwelled on it too much and slept in a bit perhaps trying to delay the inevitable.
I got started at about 8:30 after having a little breakfast at the hotel. The temp was perfect for riding on the twisty mountain road. There was about 90 minutes of riding ahead of me to think some more about Tourist Visas and Temporary Vehicle Import Permits. I missed a turn on the freeway and did a u-turn across the median (thank you DR650). Finally I caught a glimpse of the border, a long tall fence across the hillside.
Arriving in Tecate
Upon reaching Tecate I searched for a money exchange and an insurance provider. I found both without too much trouble and exchanged $300 US into 3660 pesos. I knew I was paying a commission but I wanted to have pesos upon entering the country. I purchased motorcycle liability insurance for $114 USD and headed for the border.
It was very unofficial, just a green light a gate that rose in front of me and there I was, in Mexico!
I figured it would be a good idea to get my Temporary vehicle import and my Tourist Visa right away but I could not locate anywhere obvious to do this. I circled in the horrible heat and had no luck. I briefly stopped in at a McDonalds to get out of the heat and use their WiFi but I still had no luck. I know that the TVIP can be obtained in La Paz but the tourist visa is a must for travelling further south than Ensenada. I thought I remembered that this could be done in Ensenada but was unsure and nervous about riding 140km without proper paperwork. Off I went headed southwest on hwy 3 to Ensenada.
Every time I saw a sign about a checkpoint I prepared myself to be turned around but there were no checkpoints at all.
While riding through Ensenada I found the Migracion office at the cruise ship port and purchased my Tourist Visa for 285 pesos. I was advised that the TVIP for the bike must be purchased at the border or in La Paz at the ferry terminal. I noticed that the migration office closed only 20 minutes after I left. That was close!
So here I sit 83km south of Ensenada. I’m in San Vincente at a little hotel on the side of the road. My bike fit inside the room after a little surgery. I’m fed and ready for a good nights sleep.
Dinner at the Taqueria across the street
Tomorrow, continue south into Baja Sur