Norway - Baja 1000 2018

Roar Johansen

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Hi, we are a few guys from Norway looking to go to the Baja 1000 Race 2018.
Although we have been to the US many times, travelling across the border into Mexico is new to us.

I have found a couple of rental car companies in LA that will allow us to take the car into Mexico so I've got that part covered. Also, it seems like a place to stay in or around Ensenada is still possible to find at a decent price.

Does anybody have some tips and suggestions on what to do and what not to do? Where are the best places to watch the race? As far as I have found out the race will both start and finish in Ensenada this year so it should be possible to find some good spots both outbound and inbound.

Is in generally safe to travel by car in the area at this time?

Thank you for any feedback you have for us !!
 

Lord Green

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I've been driving in Mexico for years with minimal issues - stay under the speed limit, assume there's a stop sign at most cross streets (they put up very small ones and put them behind trees). Have two vehicles and stay near other American spectators. The best viewing will be evident after the map comes out, but look at old loop maps to get an idea of possible routes. Go to Murdocknav.com. They have most of the old Baja 1000 maps on line for download.
Get an inexpensive Baofeng radio from PCI so you can listen to the Weatherman feed.
I will likely be pitting a car, but you're welcome to hook up with us. We don't do the hotel thing though, we're campers.
 

MasTacos

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You may want to consider jumping on a crew from one of the pit clubs (Mag7 & Baja Pits). You'll be able to hang out with experienced people, watch the race and have some fun being involved.
 

Roar Johansen

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Thanks for your advice. We will also look into renting a couple of Motorhomes instead of staying at hotels. I guess there will be camping areas like at KOH ?
 

aki69

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Make sure you can drive a rental RV to Mexico and that you have Mexican insurance. There are not that many RV camping sites so you need to reserve your spot soon, you would also need a car or a scooter or something to get around locally since RV isn't going to be very convenient vehicle to get around with
 

Dirty Harry

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Thanks for your advice. We will also look into renting a couple of Motorhomes instead of staying at hotels. I guess there will be camping areas like at KOH ?
Personally i wouldn’t want to drive an RV through Baja. Particularly when there are a bunch of chase trucks with trailers on the road. Plus it will really limit where you can go spectate. I would stick with the rental car, eat fish tacos for every meal, and get motels or camp on the beach.
 

Bajacolorado

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"consider jumping on a crew from one of the pit clubs (Mag7 & Baja Pits)." - great suggestion - - I feel the best experience is to get at least 50 miles if not 100 miles+ down the course to watch them come thru. You get to experience true Baja and you can always head back for the finish. Less crowds and great scenery and fast action. Consider Valle Trinidad area. Our group of guys - we tend to enjoy the San Felipe area as it's ocean is much warmer and swim-able and far easier to get rooms. We also watch from Gonzaga Bay - incredible spot - but you pretty much need to camp - which we do. By that point in the race - the trucks and other entrants are spread out and only so much can be seen during the day. Think abut San Felipe - a great town. LOTS of places for RV's in San Felipe.
 

y2kbaja

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I would not do an RV. We did one with Wide Open last year. Not the best place to have an RV. Road are horrible, narrow and like said above you won't get into the best places. Once the course map comes out we'll know more.
 

dan200

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DO NOT DO THE MOTOR HOME THING.
IT WILL BE A PAIN IN YOUR ARSE.

Get a rental SUV. It can fit enough cargo for your needs and will be way more mobile.
You have enough time to get hotel reservations. Also, hotels lose those sometimes so maybe book with someone reputable.
 

tltony

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Download the racecourse on an app like MAPS.ME It will work on your smartphone anywhere in the world, no data access needed. Then you'll always know where the race course is relative to your location as you're moving around on race day. .
 

Roar Johansen

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Thank you for great feedback and suggestions. Maybe the RV route is not a very good idea.... I was also thinking like suggested that it would be best to go 100+ miles south from Ensenada to catch the race in less crowded area for some fast driving action and then head back towards Ensenada for the finish.
 

dan200

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Thank you for great feedback and suggestions. Maybe the RV route is not a very good idea.... I was also thinking like suggested that it would be best to go 100+ miles south from Ensenada to catch the race in less crowded area for some fast driving action and then head back towards Ensenada for the finish.
Yea, forget the RV. You just want something like an SUV. It has enough room to store your stuff in and you can lock it up in there too.

You're gonna have to wait for the course map to come out before you plan where to watch at. Also, the problem with "plans" is that "plans" have a way of not really coming together sometimes down in Baja. I think watching the start is really over rated.

I would plan on being in town the day before contingency and having rooms in Ensenada. If i were you I would stay at the Villa Marina. It aint the nicest place but the parking lot is full of race cars. And it is right next to tech/contingency and the start/finish. you can walk to everything you would wanna see from there. Parking on race weekends is horrible.

Also, in case nobody tells you, the "girls" who are across the street from Paris de Noche and not girls.

Feel free to ask whatever ya want. I have done a Baja 1000 trip with zero plans. We literally left home with cash and some clothes only, stopped and bought sleeping bags and a cooler on the way. It was one of the best trips of my life. You guys will have a great time.
 

Dirty Harry

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Wait is that your vehicle in your avatar? I will happily show you around at the 1000 if you will show me around at a Formula Offroad race!
 

randy s

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hard to recall a single time where we made a ''plan'' and stuck to it..put together a few things you'd like to accomplish or do when the race draws near and run it by us then..things change fast.. it's a great race and you'll have lots more questions i'm sure..so far, by joining RDC, you're on the right path to a great time..
 

Lord Green

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General Dwight Eisenhower said, "Plans are useless, but planning is essential". I keep this in mind for all of my Baja trips.
 

JDDurfey

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A good thing to keep in mind in Baja is "BE FLEXIBLE"

and in the words of the great Corky McMillin. "In Baja, if you are going to be dumb, you better be tough"
 

Bajacolorado

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Gonzaga Bay 2016 068.JPG RP and Gonzaga 23 (1 of 1).JPG
RP and Gonzaga 2 (1 of 1).JPG


Gonzaga Bay is a good place to base out of - or San Felipe. If you head towards San Felipe - the Mar de Cortez hotel is a great place to stay on the beach. You can look them up for their website. Walking distance to town and ocean front eateries. Easy trip to great spots to watch the race. If you do - you can tag team with our group for race day. We may or may not be supporting a sportsman moto as a pit crew. Too early to tell.
 

JDDurfey

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I would suggest you be near Ensenada for your first Baja race. Then you can experience Contingency and all that goes along with it. Get up early on race day and watch the bikes start, and then head out of town depending on which direction the course goes and watch the trucks go by. It should be a loop race, so depending on the course you could catch vehicles several times or make the finish line as well.

Going to San Felipe or Gonzaga is great, but if you have never been before, you need to see what contingency is all about. You could also slip into the drivers meeting and check that out as well. If might not interest you, but then again, it just might.

DO NOT rent and RV. An SUV, preferably 4x4 would be a good idea.
 

Bajacolorado

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If you like big parties and crowds and all of the fun that can be contingency - go the Ensenada plan above (harder to find good rooms though so do so soon) - if you want a more remote and scenic version head out of Ensenada before hand. I have done both and both have their merits.

Where do you rent vehicles that you can drive to Mexico? San Diego is the most likely but do rental cars companies even do that?
 
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