Crossing the border was a non-event. It is very well documented and honestly, no one seemed to really care about people crossing into Mexico. We drove through the checkpoint and were asked to pull over for an ‘inspection’ which is standard for RV’s and vans. They opened two drawers and told us to continue. A few hundred meters further, we got our tourist cards but planned to get our Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for our car in La Paz.
No one said anything about Leika. The officers clearly saw her when they were searching our van but didn’t say anything. We had taken her to the vet in San Diego to get her health certificate but not sure we’ll do it before the next crossing. We’ll do some more research but no one seems to care about pet crossings yet.
So far, we do not feel unsafe at all. Everyone we’ve interacted with has been nothing but incredibly friendly and helpful, despite our broken Spanish. Our van has been searched at 2 of the 3 military checkpoints we’ve come too – but the search literally would take 2 minutes where they’d open the back door and look or open 2 drawers in our kitchen. The people at the military checkpoints have been very nice so far also. They will often ask what Leika’s name is and what type of dog, but most are generally afraid of her. This is the same for most people we’ve met – it seems like the majority of people in Mexico are actually pretty afraid of dogs. We’ve also had zero issues with strays. They’ll occasionally come by our camping spot but keep their distance for the most part.
As far as camping, we’ve been staying at campgrounds since we crossed but plan on exploring a bit more off the beaten path soon – depending on what people say about the area’s we’re traveling in. It is currently the quiet season for tourism so the campgrounds have been completely empty, as well as most of the roads, except for maybe a few Mexican cars. We’ve felt very safe at all the campgrounds and they usually run around $10 with a security guard present 24 hours a day.
Road conditions have been great, minus those ‘random’ speed bumps (“tope”) that can be hard to see as well as some deep pot holes. I can definitely see why driving at night is not recommended for several reasons: Topes are hard to see and can damage your vehicle, animals which are even common to see during the day along or on the road are attracted to the warm road surface at night and are very hard to spot at night, and lastly if something happens to your car at night, being stranded on the side of the road is no bueno. Lastly, we’ve noticed that while most drivers aren’t too bad and are friendly, the quality of cars and tires are awful. A lot of the cars would never be allowed on the road in the US and we definitely get nervous of something happening to the the car in front or next to us.
Aside from the Hurricane, the weather on the Pacific coast has been really pleasant while inland but near the Sea of Cortez has been around 100 during the day and 85+ at night – a little too warm for the 3 of us.
Los Cabos seems to have become unsafe to go to since the Hurricane with lootings and people becoming desperate for supplies. Needless to say, we’ve decided not to head south to Cabo from La Paz. Also, it’s still a little difficult to get supplies in La Paz and with all the rain, we don’t feel comfortable going on dirt roads so we’re taking off to the mainland.