Friday, August 13, 2010

The Unwritten Rules of Baja Travel: Redux...

Funny- in the last week I received two requests for me to reprint this little piece that I wrote a couple years ago. I don't know- they seem like good rules to me, let me know what you think:

The Unwritten Rules of Baja Travel

1. Person who supplies the vehicle and drives never pays toll for the pay road.
2. Driver's responsible for filling vehicle with gas and buying insurance before everyone meets up for departure.
3. This isn't the city bus- all travelers meet at Driver's house for load up.
4. Passengers should offer gas and insurance money- driver should never have to ask.
5. Never claim "shotgun". Always concede the seat to anyone older then you, more experienced then you, meaner then you.
6. Organize all of your stuff into one container (size dependent on trip length) your gear shouldn't be strewn all over the vehicle.

Photo: Buy the driver a taco you cheapskate (see Rule 14). 

7. Don't be a food troll- if it's offered then go for it, if not- make something of your own.
8. If you're making some food- make enough to share, if you can't- be discrete.
9. If you're a kite surfer, the driver never self-launches.
10. If you're a passenger, don't tell the driver how to drive or where to go- unless asked.
11. Drivers, no sketch passes- I've never had a passenger who was mad because I drove too slow (well, there was one).
12. Passengers cover all parking fees.
13. Lunch is on the passengers.
14. A surf trip is to and from a discussed spot, don't drop a sudden side trip to your Uncle Barney's house in the TJ suburbs on the crew.
15. Don't decide to buy a large clay pot, surfing monkey or Elvis statue that in any way takes up space in the vehicle.
16. Driver picks music (if you don't like Bluegrass hillbilly music, don't ride with me).
17. If you're new to the crew, don't talk too much. Listen more then you talk.
18. Don't eat the last sandwich (sorry Kiwi).

Photo: The Baja Sunset... follow the rules and you might get to witness one! 

19. A chair that was brought into Baja is the sovereign nation of its owner. It doesn't matter if it's left unattended for hours, in a Baja camp, it is still the rightful property of its owner- and is reserved exclusively for his ass.
20. Bring contraband into Mexico...with me? Are you sure your in the right blog? Jah won't mind if you don't commune with him for one surf trip- get stoned at home.
21. When it's time to load up- start grabbing stuff and moving it- even if it's not yours, move fast and snappy- don't linger.
22. Coming back, at the border- don't start cracking jokes or flirting with the border patrol agent- after jockeying in the line for two hours the last thing I want to do is go to secondary because you were being cute.
23. Drivers- before you volunteer your vehicle it's up to you to make damn sure its reliable- not reliable, forget it!
24. Never invite yourself on a Baja trip- if guys are discussing a trip and you want to go, try this approach, "What time are you guys leaving? Is it okay if I follow you down?".
25. Bring your own beer or pitch in for the beer run- if you don't, DO NOT even asked for a beer and if offered one refuse-at least the first time.
26. Be the guy who always just grabs the pots and pans and goes down to wash them- without waiting or asking. This will get you back in the truck for sure.

Photo: Here's what you're after... be a good boy and you just might score!

27. Back in the States, at the drop off point, it's always a nice gesture to offer to help clean up the vehicle or move the drivers gear.
28. If you're the passenger in a truck with a camper on it, do not assume you'll be sleeping in the truck unless it's been discussed previously- be self sufficient.
29. If there's more then two guys in one vehicle, do not bring more then two boards.
30. Bring extra wax.
31. Practice Beer Management: Take one out put one in- simple.
32. And for goodness sake, close the cooler!


Anonymous said...

I'm a South African living in New Zealand and I struggle going on surf trips with my Kiwi mates - they pretty much beak all your points. My car looks like a garbage truck after they depart, they leave their wax at home and then take mine home after the trip, they eat all my food and never offer to pay for gas. In South Africa you'd be left on the side of the road. Thank you!!

Kiwi said...

Dude, Thats beacause you're from South Africa. All you got to do is look at the Tri Nations standings and you'll see that you are at the bottom of the food chain. Suck it up and be happy that your Kiwi mates even let you go on a surf trip with them.

Anonymous said...

said like a true Kiwi... haha. And how is it said going surfing with them when it's always in my car, my petrol, my food? No longer.
I've got a new crew of Kiwi surfers and they have what it takes and we're now enjoying good surf trips showing equal respect.
How did rugby get into this? This is a surf website.

John Ashley said...

uh oh! It's on now... !