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Another Baja sunrise


North (Homeward!) Bound

Since I had driven as far south on the Baja as possible, my decision to head north came easily. On my southbound journey, I had driven the paved route along the west coast of the cape, so I decided to follow a dirt road along the eastern coast on my way north.

I checked my trusty Lonely Planet guidebook and it had this to say about the roads I was about to travel: "Though unsuitable for RVs of any sort, this route is an interesting alternative for visitors with high clearance vehicles." It goes on to say "…the frequently gullied coastal road is difficult without a narrow body and short wheelbase. RVs should avoid this stretch of road altogether, as it would be hazardous." Another guidebook called the road I was about to attempt a "Type 3" road. What the heck is a "Type 3 road"? "A Type 3 road requires four wheel drive, lightly loaded, lots of clearance, and drivers with rugged constitutions and four wheel drive driving experience." According to my trusty guidebooks, I need a vehicle that:

1) has high clearance - I think I've got this covered
2) has a narrow body - Is 82 inches wide considered a narrow body? Probably not.
3) has a short wheelbase - I doubt that 138 inches is considered short.
4) has four wheel drive - No problem here.
5) is lightly loaded - 11,000 pounds probably isn't considered a light load.
6) not an RV - well, my truck isn't really an RV.

I guess I meet at least two of the criteria, and depending on how you define narrow, short, light and RV, I might even meet all the criteria. Add my rugged constitution and four wheel drive experience and I'm ready to head north along the coast!

The first task at hand is to find the dirt road that leads to the coast. I find the exit from the paved road OK, but I keep coming to unmarked intersections. By using my GPS and making educated guesses, I eventually find my way through the maze of trails onto the dirt road headed for the coast. After crossing a small mountain range and passing many small rancheros, the ocean finally comes into view. Other than dodging the many kids driving beat up mini-trucks like maniacs to the Semana Santa (Holy Week) beach festivities, the drive isn't too bad.

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