First Winter Away - 2005 travel blog

enjoying the scenery


cactus forest

camping on the spit

Driving the Baha is not for the faint hearted, especially when towing a trailer. This is why I spend long periods of time white knuckling the door handle, as if the ability to leap out would spare me from a certain death. Ken, as always, handles the driving with aplomb. Today we went from sea level to 1200 feet in about two miles. Need I mention that this involved numerous switch backs and much crunching of gravel as we swept around corners, hoping an 18 wheeler was not coming in our direction. While the pavement is generally good, the road is very narrow and the slightest deviation puts you in the other lane or off the road altogether since shoulders and guard rails are few and far between. The Mexican truck drivers could probably handle this road with their eyes closed, but I've concluded that we are really in danger when we are passed by an American driving an RV in the opposite direction. Everyone wants the middle of the road. To add to the excitement every so often we all come to a screeching halt at a military checkpoint. Tens of bored young lads standing around with armaments, find our rigs very interesting and inevitably some if not all of us are required to give a tour. Since most of our trailer is inaccessible without the slides out, they quickly grow tired of inspecting the cabinet which holds our pots and pans and we are on our way.

It is obvious that the Mexican authorities are aware of the hazards Highway 1 offers. Rather than widening it or putting up guard rails or filling in the potholes, their solution is to put up warning signs. As I poke my camera out the window trying to snap a shot of some great scenery, I often end up shooting a warning sign instead. We see them so often that we have started to learn what they mean - probably not a bad idea. We are warned about topes - large chunks of pavement that slow you down when entering and leaving a town. We are warned about dips in the road, a potential drowning hazard if a sudden shower floods the desert. We are warned not to throw our trash on the road, a sign apparently no one can comprehend. We are warned to heed the warning signs. I had concluded that one particular sign encouraged seat belt use, but our wagon master informed us that in this very Catholic country the word for chastity belt was used on these traffic signs. He's generally a straight up guy but I wonder....

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