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A two month trip to Baja.


bcache

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I'm planning a two month trip to Baja this spring. I'll get Hill's book concerning Baja's Gold. Any thoughts on Stan Grist's "Ancient Deposits Modern Wealth Package"? He quotes several testimonials including one about Bahia De Los Angeles. These testimonials(shills?) give the idea of gold hand over fist by buying the package.

I been to Baja 5 or 6 times in the last 3 years and I know what's best to avoid. Guns? Oh Lord no! A Gringo caught with guns is way over his head in the cesspool. You do not mess with the Federales Mexico, Period! They are nice but grim and stern with Gringos but get caught being bad--As the saying goes in Hawaii, nice is ovahhh! Once on the way back over the boarder to the US we went through a Federales check point. Surrounding the place where manned and armed sand bag bunkers. On the way out I looked about 100 yards up the hill. There was a crew manned machine gun bunker with a big ammo canister. Have mercy on transgressors!

Bill C

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I wouldn't touch Mexico with a five mile long pole... :twocents: Those emplacements aren't there for no reason.

Steve

The armed bunkers are there because o the drug wars have touched Baja.

We drove a Dodge 2500 with bed shell hauling a fair size closed trailer through the check point that I described. The Federales waived us through without a glance but a Mexican owned truck loaded full up with watermelons was pulled aside and it looked like a thorough inspection was in store. We pass through 3 check point on our trips. The only question is "guns? senior." The delay is only a minute or two. The Mexican government is real concerned about the big loss of American tourist Money--The Federales treat us gently. Bandits are the the problem. Mostly on the mainland but happens also in Baja. The mantra is don't drive at night, caravan with 2 or more vehicles and be aware. I feel safer there than I do when I'm driving around Prescott, Arizona. Probably a lot safer than LA Watts also.

Bill C

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:twocents: I hope ya know 30 days is the max visit allowed without special compensation and then YOU ARE GUILTY TILL PROVEN INNOCENT in ol'mexico. Not only no but LL NO I won't go----John :nono:

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:twocents: I hope ya know 30 days is the max visit allowed without special compensation and then YOU ARE GUILTY TILL PROVEN INNOCENT in ol'mexico. Not only no but LL NO I won't go----John :nono:

Thanks John, The friend that I'm going with has a beach cottage. He also a visa for permanent residence. I will ask him about the 30 day stay and we will visit his visa adviser in San Felipe and take care of it. His place is in an American enclave of about 30 cottages with long time residents. I will also check into fishing license, prospecting permits, Keeping the goodies if any, etc..

The small cantina makes the best fresh fish tacos ever. When I catch fish I always give fish to the cantina. The locals and Americans have been getting along for years.

I sure ain't gonna take any guns though---don't need to go cesspool diving.

Bill C

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Bill C.

Haveing a friend living here is a plus but I lived, worked, mined for gold and visited a great deal of Baja over a 15 year period and have friends living there today that have to much invested to leave. I have also had friends and aquintences killed and wounded and that was before we sold our beach house in 2006.

Yes we had all the proper Mexican Visas, living permits,leasing permits and a specilized work permit since I was employed by a prominment rancher.

In about 2005 the UN Biosphere was established which took most of the gold area of Baja and put it under UN control removing it from mining, the first prospector they arrested was a proffesor from Ensenada at El Alamo where there was abunch of us working. We also had a claim at Ojos Negros and dredeged there yeras before that article in the ICMJ.

I had a beach home about 30 milles from Okieville, the source of some fine nuggets.

But I could tell you first person horror stories about the other things that happened long before the current crazyness, when the USA takes control I will be the first back but untill then its all yours.

Been there and done that and the Mexicans stole the Tee shirt! Just one of my peeves is that if you fly a US flag in Mexico as a private citizen you will be arrested, yet here they can and do fly the Mexican flag with impunity! I say play with the rules the same for every one!

Max

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bcache,

I had a cousin the lived (many years) down on a horse ranch down in Mexico, she was run off the road, killed & robbed. Bandits & drugtrafficers are alive and well killing anybody that gets in their way or have something they want, life is cheap there.

I have never or will ever go to Mexico. . . :stupidrb: will not be on my headstone because of Mexico. + I din't have enough bribe money for the Federalities, cops, judges or prison personal.

Stupidity and greed go hand in hand + just because you been down there before does'nt mean your luck will hold out forever.

Keep your head about you as so many are losing them down there.

wonderer

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Been down to MX a few times, both Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco for those not in the Southwest and familiar with the common name) and Baja for the Score Tecate 1000.

We've ALWAYS travelled in caravans and had weapons in locked underseat lockers.

The hardest things for us were the fuel for the cars and the cars/prerunners/chase vehicles. We would have to take extra vehicles down with fuel because of the limited amount we were allowed to carry. And we'd always have to bride the Federales or risk losing a vehicle or two. $200-300 cash is a small price to pay compared to a $100,000+ vehicle.

Be careful and follow the rules to the letter. And, as stated above, always have $200 cash, total, in different stashes of $25-50 for each stash to pay for bribes. That way you don't blow your whole stash at once because they'll take whatever they see in your hands and wallet.

Here's some reading for you (well, the first few posts at leat)

http://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=638359

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San Francisquito has always been good to me. Mexico has always been an adventure and only in the 90's was it "tame". The border is the problem and not so much the interior, but trouble can be had anywhere if you look like you have something to steal.

I have not been further than Los Lamentos/Los Gatos in five years but I know plenty of folks in Obregon, Alamos, Guaymas and Sn Carlos. They all say it is business as usual where they are. Business as usual does no mean completely safe but there is no immediate danger as long as you keep your nose clean. And the cops will generally only shake you down when you are driving on the highway. Once you get to your destination you are generally O.K.

If you are not involved with the game your only risk is a shakedown by the police or kidnapping. Neither one will happen if you position yourself correctly.

Just my two cents.

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John, Some people you just can't preach too! When you tell them that there are Americans in Mexican prisons who can't rasise a bribe to get out. That where caught with guns!

The Federales will get for a EMPTY .22 casing ! Another source of info is the Baja Race forums.

And a warning to people who go to Rocky Point , San Felipe & Rosarita Beach or most tourist areas, take it for granted that you are being filmed in your hotel room, every room! An experment was preformed in about 2008 at a hotel on the strip south of the border known as Rosarita Beach. Complaints had been made about theifs from rooms to a lagre Baja travel agency, that hidden valuables where being taken without ever disturbing anything else. A large amount of stage cash was flashed around while checking in , it was then carefully hidden in a spot that was moderatly hard to get too, then a big show was made about going out an partying till late. The team had hidden there own minature camera and they had scarsely driven away when the room was entered using a key anf the person went right to the cash and got it, nosearch no looking elswere, right to it and GONE.! They found pinhole TV cameras in every room, bed and bath, the same was true for another room they had. A lot was made of this at the time but its covered up now, you might find some of it by googleing it.

If you let more than one solijer in your trailer or Motor home at the check points they will steal everything they can stuff in their uniform.

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San Francisquito has always been good to me. Mexico has always been an adventure and only in the 90's was it "tame". The border is the problem and not so much the interior, but trouble can be had anywhere if you look like you have something to steal.

I have not been further than Los Lamentos/Los Gatos in five years but I know plenty of folks in Obregon, Alamos, Guaymas and Sn Carlos. They all say it is business as usual where they are. Business as usual does no mean completely safe but there is no immediate danger as long as you keep your nose clean. And the cops will generally only shake you down when you are driving on the highway. Once you get to your destination you are generally O.K.

If you are not involved with the game your only risk is a shakedown by the police or kidnapping. Neither one will happen if you position yourself correctly.

Just my two cents.

Thanks for the post . Your post is a lot more valuable than two cents to me--helped to ease the nightmares that I am been getting from the replies. The replies have been good in that all information good and bad is not to be ignored. "--------position yourself correctly''. That's what I'm going to do! Right now I'm out the door--gonna find some color to ease the burden.

Bill C

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Be careful and follow the rules to the letter. And, as stated above, always have $200 cash, total, in different stashes of $25-50 for each stash to pay for bribes. That way you don't blow your whole stash at once because they'll take whatever they see in your hands and wallet.

Well put! My benefactor taught me to carry ten one dollar bills in each pocket and both socks. The police will pick out an "infraction" (too much rope was their favorite peeve when we took the big boat down. They knew we needed an anchor rope of 300 feet and charged us extra for anything over 100'!!!). Once they tell you there is something wrong you respectfully ask how much is the extra rope worth and hand them a few bucks. When you run out of the first stack it is usually good (until the next checkpoint). If not you put a pained look on your face and drag out the second pile. If that does not get it you say that you have no more and will have to surrender the rope. Then the mordelon will usualy take his knife, cut a few feet of rope off the anchor and let you go. Hopefully you will have enough rope when you get to where you are going. If not, take out the ten dollars in your sock and buy more.

Rope, appliances, fishing knives, blankets, and anything shiny or made of rainbow tape will cost you extra. If a 12 year old kid would set his eyes on it then you will need to take a few extra bucks for mordida. But if you are wearing rags, have a backpack, and are hitchhiking down the road the police will never EVER give you a second look. Nothing to offer! That is unless they need someone to blame for a crime and a rich man did it. Then they will take the first jodido they can find and lock them up for a few months.

Keep your hair cut, your shoes shined, and stay freshly bathed. Long hair, scuffed shoes or BO will draw inmmediate resentment and they will mess with you for sport.

The good news is that no one stays incarcerated for long. Very few even make it to trial. They make a big deal out of an arrest and the papers have a field day but memory is short in Mexico. Once the onus is on the government to have a trial or make a decision you will be released and no words will be said.

I flew Aeromexico many times. I even had to pay mordida to take my pocket knife! This was 20 years before 9-11. Flying is the absolute safest way to go to Mexico now.

But now the cops on the highways generally have their plates full. The habit of shaking down touristas has been put on the back burner. In Juarez you will be robbed, period. No one escapes and everyone pays a cuota, and the cops are dirtier than La Linea but not as violent. The Army? Roll the dice. But outside of the city you will have very few problems. Hermosillo is pretty bad, but if you just drive on through it is all good. I can imagine Tijuana is almost as bad as Juarez, but they just dont hang the severed heads from the light poles and bridges. And when they kill a man they walk away in Tijuana rather than skin him, dismember him and play in the mess like in Juarez.

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mad0229[1].gif I got dozens a stories from my own personal experiences,friends and relatives also and NO GUNS EVER NEVER NO BLOODY WAY IN MEXICO GRINGOS-----John

This was done several years ago, before it went totally nuts with the cartels and seriously corrupt officials. I've not been to Baja in a few years now, especially because I have a little girl at home to make it back to.

I wouldn't carry down there anymore, that's for dang sure. I don't have the money to bribe my way out with the itchy cell padlock fingers they have nowadays.

I thought I had stated that in my original post, but now see I neglected to do so.

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I've multiple friends who won't even go to their beach front homes mexico way anymore. MSNBC and others tag the toll at over 32,000 headless mutilated bodies found dumped last year and the mex press is being beaten down completely by death and terror and that number is JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBURG!!! YAAAA legal drugs ALL DRUGS put the last nail in the mex govt coffin as anarchy rules----John

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Morning prospectors,

When posted this I was thinking that I would get few replies like " looks good, have nice trip" or " I've been to Baja, where you headed for down there?''. Didn't expect to be a dead man(or worse) the second I crossed the border. Though, like I said earlier good or bad information is not to be ignored. I should have said positive or negative information. Fits better. I'm going to lay it out in more detail later today. If you have a comment don't hold back like you have so far. Let er rip! I've had only one positive reply so far. There must be another out there somewhere--I hope.

Hasta luego hombres,

Bill C

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No one that I know has left Mexico, but they live in the interior and not on the border. The deaths are on the border and are generally confined to the "players". The remote areas of Baja would not be any more dangerous today than in times past in my opinion. Getting there might be. Areas such as Sinaloa and Quintana Roo are more dangerous now, but I could not see why Baja would be. Northern Chihuahua has always been bad news.

The police are in the business of kidnapping. That would be the biggest danger of a tourista going and staying for an extended period. Depending on their connections and the location, and who the local officials are. Men that go for a fishing trip in a large expensive boat and have wives and families in the US are targets. There is money there. Kids going on vacation and partying are targets becasue they generally come from affluent families. That is what I was trying to get at with "positioning yourself".

I have had problems with gold in Chihuahua. What was once a short journey and a sure bet with big nuggets turned out to be a bust the last time. No violence but I lost all but one nugget. Many prospectors go down and very few come back with the gold. The gold was the only reason I had any trouble. Being successful is a target. Bad positioning of oneself. If people know why you are there it may cause trouble.

Used to be a connection helped in Mexico. If you knew the Alcalde you were in tight. Now days any connection is bad from one perspective or the other. An independant may fly under the wire, but allegiances are not the best idea. I have a card from the Governor of Sonora that would get me out of any jam a few years ago. Now that card flashed to the wrong people will get you a bullet. It is tough to know how to position yourself these days.

Electronic devices cause the average Mexican official to ponder. I would expect to lose any metal detector they found or pay a premium. I am not sure how I would handle that if I were to go again. Anything that prompts a question or begs an answer is a liability.

Your connections in Baja are the key to survival. If your people are respected and have positioned themselves well you will have Carte Blanche. If there is someone waiting in the wings to take advantage of them you will be a tool with which to play with. That woudl be my main focus on deciding if a Mexico trip was viable.

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I would take the chance for a sure thing $$$. I tell my sister in-law who goes to Rocky Point that if the Chief of Police is not safe what makes you think you are.

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Wow reading all these replys i dont think I would ever go to mexico let alone go Mining.

I will wish you good luck in your venture. I went to Russia back in 2003 and everybody thought i was nuts and it would be terrible for me. They were completely wrong and it is a fantastic place to visit.

On the other hand you didn`t find heads laying on the highways either.... <_<

To me there is just to many places in the USA to go mining. You ever think about going to Alaska? That might be fun. You can help those guys on that Alaska gold minig show :inocent: They need it desperately.

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Wow reading all these replys i dont think I would ever go to mexico let alone go Mining.

I will wish you good luck in your venture. I went to Russia back in 2003 and everybody thought i was nuts and it would be terrible for me. They were completely wrong and it is a fantastic place to visit.

On the other hand you didn`t find heads laying on the highways either.... <_<

To me there is just to many places in the USA to go mining. You ever think about going to Alaska? That might be fun. You can help those guys on that Alaska gold minig show :inocent: They need it desperately.

Go to Alaska? You think I'm a nut case? Why would I want to find myself in hand to claw combat defending myself with a plastic gold pan against a 14 foot tall, hungry grizzly with paws as big as a serving platter?

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Bcache,

That is some well-laid-out information on Mexico that Bedrock Bob has been posting.

For the most part I totally agree.

I have never mined anywhere in Mexico and I am not by any means an expert on the culture,

but have spend time in Baja.

My wife and I never had a problem, and we were in some places that were remote;

but that was then, a few years ago.

The now is different - although aside from Tjuana and Ensenada,

Baja seems to be less prone to having bodies with missing heads lying around.

What is hard to plan for, even reading all the headlines about heads,

is that, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time,

it really doesn't come down to positioning, there is just not a lot that can be done

and I would hate to leave things up to luck at that point.

I do think the odds are probably in your favor

especially if you are familiar with the area you are going to.

Unfortunately, Mexico has a pretty weird contextual overlay these days

and a lot of it is not predictable.

Best of luck.

Flak

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If at your destination business as usual means a laid back demeanor with no severed heads littering the streets in the past and present and is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Then, except for random mayhem such as earthquakes, rabid dogs and so on, you're probably safe. If on the other hand if it looks like the chainsaw killer has been loitering in the area and going about his business(you know what I mean...like in Detroit) then you should have an excellent reason for being there risking your butt and loosing your head. Gonzaga Bay is one of the former, laid back and remote.

As pointed out by Bedrock Bob Getting there isn't half the fun.

Getting to Bahia de Santa Gonzaga, AKA Gonzaga Bay. Gonzaga Bay is about 200 air miles south of The border at Mexacali on the Sea of Cortez. The first leg of the trip is in the safe ol' USA from Prescott Valley to Mexicali. No worries here, a walk in the park. My friend, Iron Man, is driving. I'm navigating and surveying for impending danger like the three-container semi, dragging two trailers that is behind us getting larger in a hurry. We're moving along at a modest speed limit +5(no need to annoy the Highway Patrol). He passes us hell bent on leather like we're standing still. Then there is the guy tailgating us, also in hurry, two-handed death grip high on the wheel, eyeballs bulging against the windshield. Careful, iron man there is an unguided missile on our tail. Flying by he slows down just a bit along side, fangs bared giving us serious stink-eye. Showing great restraint we don't flip him the bird....there is a good chance he is armed and dangerous. We'll tempt fate later in Baja.

Getting across the border through Mexicali is casual compared to Tijuana. Usually the Policia will wave you through. Drugs? Guns? Senior? Nada and you are on your way unless you are hauling a load. Then there will be an obligatory inspection. Driving through Mexicali the only thing to worry about is staying on the main drag out of the city and avoiding fender benders. The streets and traffic patterns are a mystery and the cars, trucks, buses, bicycles and pedestrians are racing around like a fast forwarded movie. Hawkers are ready to throw their bodies in front of you to get a chance of selling something. Out of Mexicali on the way to San Felipe are small towns with traffic rules. It is a good idea to follow the rules, I've only had one infraction in Mexico a long time ago and I don't know if a small gratuity is good enough to get by on. Keep on the right side of the law and I don't think there will be a problem.

After the small towns the road is long and straight with a few serious exceptions. There is little Policia presence here and enough traffic to keep them busy. A shake down is unlikely all the way to Gonzaga Bay. The trip through San Felipe and on past Puertocitos is a breeze, don't expect on trouble on this leg. A few miles past Puertocitos the paved road ends. Here on this remote, light traffic very unimproved road if there is to be bandit problem, it will be here. Just keep your money squirrreled away in odd places, be alert, and, plan ahead. Haven't heard of any problems along here yet but....

Anybody ever heard of life without risk? That is something other than life.

Bill C

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Go to Alaska? You think I'm a nut case? Why would I want to find myself in hand to claw combat defending myself with a plastic gold pan against a 14 foot tall, hungry grizzly with paws as big as a serving platter?

Yeah,

Unlike our friends south of the border, the bears can not only kill you in horrible ways, they CAN eat you too!

But, having flown the 'Bush' for seven years in Alaska as a private pilot in the '70s, and camped under the wing of a Piper cub many times, I'd rather be there than in Mexico.

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Yeah,

Unlike our friends south of the border, the bears can not only kill you in horrible ways, they CAN eat you too!

But, having flown the 'Bush' for seven years in Alaska as a private pilot in the '70s, and camped under the wing of a Piper cub many times, I'd rather be there than in Mexico.

Hi Fsbirdhouse,

The post about the bears was my response to heavy duty visions of severed heads rolling around in the streets like 10-pin bowling balls. The whole post was tongue in cheek humor meant to lighten the load a bit.

Mexico is a big place and Baja, away from the border towns is more than OK for being mellow. My friend is a private pilot flying a vintage Navion. He flies to the runway adjacent to his beach house at Gonzaga Bay. I have flown with him over Baja. What a trip! Wide open amazing landscape almost a non-existent population, practically no roads and places where a person has not walked. I don't know but I think of Alaska as wide open as can be. Different than Baja but wide open like Baja. True Baja is part of Mexico but I haven't seen any headhunters in the place I go

Bill C

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