Baja California & the Copper Canyon
Our journey path
From the border town of Tijuana we head south taking in Catholic missions, lagoons and coastline. Then we cross the Sea of Cortez heading for the Copper Canyon on Mexico’s mainland, home of the modern cowboy and the ancient Tarahumara Indians.
On the Road
When you travel in Baja, you have to take everything that people tell you with a grain of salt. Be adventurous if you are driving your own car, and explore the side roads, even if somebody has told you that they are impossible, just make sure you’ve got a decent off road four wheel drive vehicle.
There is only one road in Baja California. It was built about 20 years ago and it goes all the way from the south to the north. And one of the best ways to travel on it is hitch-hiking, if you can get a lift. If you’re patient it’s easy to get a ride because on these long journeys through nothing people go a bit mad without someone to talk to. Tijuana to San Quintin is about 200 miles, a journey broken only by a quick stop at Baja’s natural shower, just off the main highway.
Travelling in Baja is not exactly frenetic. There is a cheap bus service but it’s only occasional and there is a lot of waiting involved. Around 3 buses a day go up and down the trans-peninsular highway, and they are reliable and on time. But if you plan on getting any sleep, then forget it, they are really crowded and noisy.
The rancheros in San Ignacio rent out mules for just five dollars and for another five are happy to guide you where there are no paths, towards the caves in the cliffs of the Baja interior.
From La Paz you can cross the Sea of Cortez by either plane or boat to get to the Mexican mainland. The plane costs about $40 and only takes an hour, the boat is a quarter of the price but takes most of the day.
Heading inland to the wild and famous Copper Canyon is an 8 hour train journey from Creel, but it only costs 20 pesos. You’ll pass through stunning and breathtaking countryside so it’s possibly the best way to sea some of the Mexican interior. One of the best things that you can do is stand right at the very front of the engine – but you’ve got to speak nicely to the guards and it helps to flash some cash. On the engine there’s nothing between you and the tracks – except for a metal grid to scoop mashed cows off the line.
On The Road
By Eco Taxi
If you want to get around Mexico City quickly then a taxi may be the best way to travel. But if you also want to help the environment whilst travelling around, then perhaps you should hail anEco Taxi.
An Eco Taxi is a green beetle car that was introduced by the Mexico City government to help reduce Mexico City’s constant smog and pollution crisis. The theory behind these taxis is that they will only be filled up with the most expensive, and thus the purest petrol. However, in practice you will most likely find that all the taxis in Mexico City are filling up on the cheapest petrol available, thus helping the drivers’ hip pocket, but not the polluted environment.
Regardless of whether you catch an Eco Taxi or a regular taxi there are a few precautions about taxi travel in Mexico City that you would be wise to follow. Firstly, Make sure that there are license plates on the taxi and that the plate corresponds the number that is pained on the side of the car. Make sure your drivers face matches the one on the registration card and that the meter is running after you get into the taxi. If you are travelling at night it could be inadvisable to hail a taxi from the street, because taxi crime is an issue, especially for tourists. However, there are many friendly and safe taxi drivers, so don’t overlook this quick way to get around such a massive city.
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