After a couple of weeks into the country , especially mainland Mexico , I got an idea how it works.
One important word you will have to learn: „TOPE“ or „REDUCTORES DE VELOCIDAD“ . It is as easy as it is – very effective speed reduction. Even the professional truck drivers will slow down – you know what that means !
These things will also slow you down , they are virtually everywhere , even on highways and toll roads. One problem is – they will not always be indicated and it’s not easy to identify them. This is one of the reasons you should never drive in darkness here (as you can see 😉).
Another reason is that road conditions are „variable“ ! This from a pretty two lane paved highway or interstate to a paved road being more of a accumulation of potholes than a road. And that true only for toll roads. If you leave the toll road you will have to expect the worst. Means if you want to experience off-road feeling – take the free roads here. You’ll have water crossings, mud crossings everything you ever wanted to do with your 4×4 … 😉
If you see people along the road waving with flags or pieces of clothing they will either indicate that:
– they are selling something – you can buy anything along the highways – I bought great shrimp tamales and strawberries ..
– there is service station or restaurant
– they have a technical issue with their vehicle
– that road work is in progress
You will also find people walking or cycling along the highways as well as you are likely to encounter anything from free range cattle to horses, donkeys or dogs – so always be prepared to stop !
As to Mexican cars I realized three states they can be in:
1. moving fast
2. standing along the road – hood open – someone sticker their head into an trying to figure what’s going on
3. in the junk yard – which is usually a garage – you can always reuse everything !
So you will find garages everywhere – I think every second shop along the road is a garage – which is good !
Saved my live the other day when the hitch literally ripped off my car – crazy !!
Look for the pictures on Instagram. I had to leave my trailer behind in the middle of nowhere , got to the next pueblo called „La Uno“ – „The One“ , found several garages where two guys were able to weld the remains of this part together again so that I could keep going. This is great handcraft. Imagine you ask someone in the US or Germany – they will just tell you to through the shit away.
Police: I read a lot about being harassed by police. During the past weeks I was never pulled over or anything. On Baja there are military control posts along the peninsula but people there are very friendly with no problems at all.
So summarizing – don’t worry just GO !