Oceanside to Cabo and return - 3/21/98 to 4/1/98
North of Santo Tomas (approximately KM28) the road is bad for 6 to 7 miles. Lots of pot holes. They are starting to grade in some places and there is loose gravel.
The checkpoint 3 miles south of Maneadero continues to be manned by PGR and PJF. They are installing lights on the center line. They were stopping southbound and northbound traffic, asking people to get out of their vehicles and taking their time searching. Southbound we waited in line for almost twenty minutes, however they did not search our vehicle. They just questioned us regarding our origin, destination and purpose of our trip, and if we had any guns or drugs. The wait was shorter northbound, and again we were just questioned and not searched.
From the check point south to KM35 the road is very bad with lots of potholes. Road crews were working from KM35 to KM37 grading and re-paving. Only a single lane was open. Expect delays here.
From San Vicente south to KM105, about 8.8 miles, the road has been re-paved. Road work continues to around KM112, the road is graded in places and covered in loose gravel. From there south to Camalu the road is in very bad condition with lots of pot holes. Some places you can't drive without hitting a pot hole, the going is very slow. Recent rains have taken their toll. In the center of Camalu is a bad area of road. Large chunks of pavement washed out from recent rains.
At the Tourist Info Center at San Quintin,
Sr. Tomas Guerrero is delighted to give you information on the
area. He told us his area of responsibility was from Santo
Tomas to El Rosario, and is also responsible for reporting
accidents and providing assistance where possible on to Catavina
and Jesus Maria. They have a phone and a fax at the info center
now and nice clean restrooms
The Military checkpoint north of El Rosario was closed on 3/21; on our return trip it was manned but we were waved through. From El Rosario south about 23 miles, the road is in VERY bad condition and is deteriorating. Lots of center line potholes. Just north of Catavina from KM95 to KM92 there are some really bad spots, and at KM91 the road is washed out in the vado - the road is very rough - cross slowly.
On 3/21 there was no gas in Catavina. They were selling out of barrels at twice the Pemex price. On the return trip on 4/1 they had gas in the pump. Best to top off tanks in El Rosario southbound and Jesus Maria northbound. That is a 196 mile stretch and Catavina is not a reliable gas stop.
Southbound on Sunday morning, the checkpoint 1K south of Catavina was just setting up at 6AM and waved us through. Northbound they stopped us and searched the car. It was 7:45AM and 45 degrees, and the soldiers seemed more interested in keeping warm than searching. One of the soldiers asked me how to say Feliz Vieje in English. As we left the check point, he was practicing saying "Happy Travels".
Lots of pot holes from Catavina to Laguna Chapala. At KM230 the road has been re-paved but is still a little rough. They are still working from KM236 to KM240. From there to Bay of LA turnoff there are some good spots, but also bad spots with lots of potholes. At 7K south of the Bay of LA turnoff they were working in a vado to repair the road. Several large pieces of asphalt were washed out and the road was patched with gravel.
Just north of Punta Prieta a washout has been repaired with loose gravel, and is very rough. On 3/22 the army check point in Punta Prieta was doing a thorough search, both north and south bound. They went through our vehicle and opened all our bags. Going northbound on 4/1 they were closed. North of Jesus Maria, KM77-KM53, lots of pot holes. The road from Rosalito to the monument is in good shape. Just a couple of small dips.
A new 24-hour Pemex station is being built on the northbound side at the monument in Guerrero Negro. Several new buildings have been completed and several more are under construction which appear to be housing for the military personnel. This site is becoming a large, permanent military installation. At the Agriculture Inspection station our vehicle was searched for fruit and we were asked for our visas. We had to get out of the car and go into the building.
The check point at San Ignacio was closed on our south bound trip and we were waved through going north.
Santa Rosalia has added two new topes just before the old mill north of town. There is a new hotel in town, Hotel El Industrial. They have 7 rooms, nice clean with air and color TV, just $150 pesos. Just south of Santa Rosalia is a big new Federal Policia de Caminos station. We noticed a lot of their cars on the road this trip. A little further south, around KM182 there were a lot of center line potholes. Crews were patching, sort of.
We tried a new restaurant in Loreto, The Adobe House Restaurant & Bar, next door to the Hotel Junipero on Paseo Miguel Hidalgo. They had lot of seafood entrees prepared to your taste - sautéd in butter, wine, garlic or breaded. They also had a selection of steaks. All served with soup or salad, baked potato and rice, and at very reasonable prices.
South of Loreto is some re-paving between KM105 and KM112. Expect delays through this area as crews are at work. They are moving south. The road over the Sierra de la Giganta is developing potholes and beginning to deteriorate in places.
Approximately 6 miles north of El Cid (KM111) crews are tearing up the road and re-paving. Detour off road is very rough gravel. Southbound we were waved through the Agriculture & Army inspection at La Paz, and searched going north.
On Highway 19 just north of Todo Santos at KM35 they are still working on the washed out bridge. There is about a 1/4 mile detour. At KM88 between Todo Santos and Cabo they are doing some major roadwork to take out one of the dangerous vado curves.
Even though the rains have been bad on the roads, we did enjoy the beautiful blooming desert. Overall, the roads in Baja Sur were in much better condition than those in Baja Norte.