Migrating Back North From Mexico

By JOHN M. DERBY
TIMES PUBLISHER
April 6, 2017

The winter season is over, and there is a migration north from Baja California, Mexico, involving seasonal residents and tourists.
Motorhomes line the major roadway in caravans heading to the border and north all the way to Canada and Alaska.
It is surprising how many people from Canada come to Mexico in the winter, however, it is cheap to live here in the winter, and once they arrive the motorhome usually stays put for the season.
Most Canadians come from British Columbia, but as the message travels that Baja is safe, the Canadians who live in other provinces have started to head south as well.
Canadians can only be out of their country for six months before their health insurance lapses, and that is reason enough for them all to head back across the border in time. Some use the border crossing at Tijuana, but more have realized how much easier it is to cross the border at such places as Tecate or Mexicali, and chose those places to cross.
We have a preference because we have never had trouble crossing at Tecate. The last time we crossed, it only took 5 minutes to make it through.
There is also a beautiful “Wine Road” just south of Tecate that takes one all the way to Ensenada. We feel it is much safer than the road from Tijuana to Ensenada where Mex 1 heads south all the way to La Paz and Cabo, the southern point of Baja.
The fact that there is only one road south is actually a safety factor in Baja Mexico because every hundred miles or so, there is a military checkpoint. These are manned by young enlistees who have to spend two years in the service of their country.
The young men are honest and only want to make sure that there are no guns, ammunition and drugs being carried in the vehicles which pass. Generally the stop is only for 5 or 10 minutes. They do check your car or truck, even campers, but we have rarely heard of any problem.
They are not like local police which in the past have taken advantage of motorists, fining them for driving over the speed limit or not wearing seat belts. This has gotten better now and they usually just give you a warning.
The Mexicali crossing is becoming more popular, specially for people living in Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Montana. These motorists take Highway 395 north back home. They also generally stay later in the year as the cold weather in their part of the country lasts well through April and into May.
Our beach development only offers power until June 1 (from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily). After that we are on our own. Many people have installed their own solar power which can extend electric use to 24 hours a day.
Even that power is seldom enough to run large air conditioners necessary in the heat of the Mexican summer. The weather does not get hotter than Central California but the humidity brings the water up above 90 degrees, and the rock and cinder block homes become ovens.
Oddly enough, this is when the biggest of the ocean fish come to our area of the Sea of Cortez to play. The dorado — famous as the fighting fish of the Baja coast — and the marlin attract a whole different breed of tourists.
Only the very hardy fishermen will brave the waters at these times, but some find it worth it as the Mexican offshore fishing is considered the best in the world.


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