It was 105 degrees in the shade – and there wasn’t any shade. I was starting to see mirages: a Dairy Queen over here, a Baskin-Robbins over there. There was nothing I could do but stare at the chain that had broken and stuck in the crankcase of my Harley-Davidson Electric Glide. I was in the middle of nowhere in the Baja desert, miles south of the United States’ border, with little money and fewer prospects of finding help.
The road was deserted. In the distance I saw an old pickup truck approaching with two Mexican ranchers inside. They stopped.
My Spanish was worse than their English, but they could figure out the problem. We found a large board on the side of the road and pushed the disabled Harley up the plank and into the bed of the truck. Not only did they take me to the border, they took me all the way across (where they weren’t even going) to the nearest Harley dealer. They refused to take any money for their trouble, dropped me off and wished me luck.
That happened in 1975. I put away the motorcycle a few years ago, but still return to Baja in my RV as often as I can.
As I travel across the country, the question I am most often asked is the one that I find most frustrating: “How are the banditos in Baja?” My answer is always the same: “I don’t know; I’ve never met one. But I’ve met lots of them in the United States.”
Baja has a terrible and undeserved reputation. Bad things can happen anywhere, but I have been traveling there for over 30 years and have had nothing happen to me and have never met anyone who has had anything bad happen to them. In Baja, crime statistics are many times lower than the U.S. national average.
To help put your mind at ease, though, stop at or contact the SECTUR Tourist Office, 7860 Mission Center Court, Suite 202, San Diego, CA 92108; (800) 482-9832; www.mexico-travel.com.
to be continued next Thursday ……………………………….
John Holod– RV Adventure Videos