Mex 5: The dirt road connecting east Baja to west Baja.

Today’s drive will take us from the east side of Baja California Norte to the west side via a 25 miles dirt road called Mex 5. We left Gonzaga Bay first thing in the morning with the Wandrly crew expecting a long driving day… and a loooooong driving day is what we got.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

It didn’t take long for the pavement to turn into dirt, construction signs to warn us that things are happening and to see workers pop up along the route.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

We’ve been on a decent amount of dirt roads lately, especially with Alaska under our belts, but this is the first time we’ve seen truckers speed so closely next to us on their normal delivery routes.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Sometimes Wandrly passes us, beep their horn twice and we laugh because it reminds us of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

When his VW bus tells him it has to go, it has to go. There is no time to take it easy behind our slower truck camper. Beep Beep!

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

A quick glimpse of the famous Coco’s Corner, about the half way point of Mex 5. Didn’t have a chance to stop in today since we were determined to get off of the dirt road as soon as possible. Coco’s and his beer can wait for another time.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Plus, when one the kids falls asleep on our drives, we tend to skip certain destinations in favor for a quieter drive. Especially if it’s the youngest one. Oh and don’t worry about my mesh jacket holder thing falling over their seats. The dirt road took it down but VHB tape will make it all right very soon.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

About 15 miles down the dusty and rocky dirt road connecting back to Mexico Highway 1, the bus started to experience some issues. What was just a minor inconvenience of a finicky throttle yesterday has now become an unresponsive throttle.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

We got it running for a bit but then it stopped once again.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Yes, I was taking photos of strange cacti while the dudes were figuring out our next steps. Look at that thing! It’s like a cactus/ocotillo cross breed. We’ve only seen them during our drive on this stretch of the dirt road.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Rather than being stranded in the middle of the Mexican desert, we were able to hook up Wandrly’s bus up with our tow strap and pull him the remaining 8 miles out.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Almost there.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

At the end of the dirt road, we reached Mexican Highway 1. Lucky for us, just across the highway is where we found Jose who runs a used tire shop servicing mostly long haul truckers.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

As we pulled the bus for one last stretch across the highway, we were immediately greeted by a slew of barking tire shop dogs and random guys popped out of their trucks to help push the bus into the tire yard.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Thanks for push!

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Before we left for Baja, we visited the travel clinic in Long Beach to get some vaccinations. The nurse basically told us not to eat street food, don’t wear flip flops, and don’t pet any stray dogs. Ummm, why the hell are we going to Baja then, nurse?!?!?! As we pull up, all the dogs are barking and in a pack. But as soon as I open the truck door, I am greeted by sweet puppy eyes and wagging tails. So far, all the dogs of Baja just want some love. Most just wait for the okay, then roll over and just want belly rubs.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

As we waited for Jose to assess the problem, we made some lunch and the boys all wanted to get out and touch all the stuff.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

This place kept them busier than any playground could have ever done.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Luka and Dan watching Jose hopefully working his magic.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

As much as we tried we just could not get her running good enough to complete the drive to Guerrero Negro which was still 150 km away. With no services or utilities of any kind we waited until the satellite phone at a nearby truck stop came online at 4pm and waited another 6 hours before roadside assistance finally came through with a flatbed truck and got them safely to a hotel in Guerrero Negro at 3am while I followed.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

We broke down ourselves this past summer. We had no reception, no assistance, no choice but to drive our crippled van to safety. It really sucked. The entire time I wished we were caravanning with others but it wasn’t meant to be. So as much as Nathan tried to give us excuses as why we should just split up and meet up later, we weren’t falling for it.

Blog Dirt Road Breakdown

Sure we could have just left them and waited until they sorted out their problems in the comforts of a RV park but this is why we are in this together. To us, friendships are measured by the amount of inconvenience one is willing to endure. To bail on someone at the first sign of trouble is no friend at all.

Thanks for reading,
Marlene

  • Larry Hurst

    I sure enjoy your adventures. I hope the kids will remember these days as they get older and realize how lucky they really are to be experience all the wonders of travel.

    • Thank you. I hope they remember some of our adventures too. If not, they can read all about it here. It what keeps the blog going 🙂

  • Page Harris

    Excellent post. You are correct. Friends don’t abandon friends.

  • Kim & Don Greene/Harvest Hosts

    Wow, this brings back memories. Did this road a couple of years ago going west to east. Rough, rough road. Had to find a spot to spend the night in our truck camper because we started too late in the day. This was the next morning, the road is not visible in the background. Gorgeous location and a great trip! Thoroughly enjoying your posts, so glad you’re having a great time!

  • t s

    awesome friends !