Our Second Trip to Puerto Peñaso, (Rocky Point), Mexico

19 - 23 May 2011 - Slideshow Below Text

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We’d made our first Airstream trip to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico (Rocky Point) just last fall. On one hand it didn’t seem all that long ago, but on the other, it felt like a lifetime … because it was our last trip with Annie, our black cocker. We lost her a couple of days after returning from Annie’s first trip to the Mexican beach. And now we were making the trip again with our Airstream friends, Louis & Sergio and Julianne from Phoenix, and Mark & Ron from Tucson — four rigs — and staying at Playa Bonita RV Park for four nights. We had booked four beachfront sites together and though it would bring back sad memories of our last days with Annie, were looking forward to our time south of the border.

We left on Thursday, 19 May around 8:00 AM to meet Ron & Mark on Tucson’s west side to caravan toward Ajo on Route. It’s a pretty 2-lane road drive through high desert scenery with a feeling of being off the beaten path. The route passes through the southern extremities of Arizona so it is not uncommon to see as many Border Patrol vehicles as private cars and trucks. We stopped in Sells for a pit stop and to stretch our legs and say “hey” … since we had just met them on the road and had not really said our hellos.

We continued from Sells west toward Why, Arizona, were we picked up Route 85 south toward Lukeville. We stopped at the “Why Travel Center” to gas up before heading into Mexico, and to meet Louis & Sergio and Julianne who came south from the Phoenix area on Route 85 through. We all filled our tanks and headed south passing Organ Pipe National Monument, and on to Lukeville and the border crossing. We have not stayed at Organ Pipe yet, but plan to on one of our return trips form Mexcio. In fact we had planned to do that in Onvember, but Annie was not up to it. ... and it’s too hot in the spring time.

Before we crossed the border, we had to make the obligatory stop at the duty free shop to stock up on adult beverages for the trip. You can also by an odd array of other items … perfume, sunglasses, cigarettes, etc. But the stop is tradition, after all. We all had already purchased our individual Mexican insurance policies so we didn’t have to take care of that at the border, so once we were well-stocked at the duty free shop, we got back in our rigs and passed through the border over a series of extreme speed bumps that made the trailers rock and roll as we drove over them. Apparently they don’t want you going through there too fast. As with most border towns, it’s night and day from the US to Mexico, and quite obvious that one is no longer in the good old USA.

The route south through town and on to Puerto Peñasco is well marked and not too difficult to navigate, and the road is pretty good ... but we still didn’t lead the pack. This was only our second trip there, so still being neophytes to travel in Mexico, we felt better following rather than leading. It’s only about 65 miles to Rocky Point, but it seems further until you’ve driven it a couple of times. It doesn’t seem like Mexicans pay much attention to speed limits (or traffic laws in general) ... we were constantly being passed … not only by cars with Mexico plates, but many with Arizona plates. Even on just our second trip we saw familiar sites and landmarks on the way south … sand dunes to the west toward the ocean, strangely remote buildings, sometimes abandoned, and what appear to be family compounds. One observation: clearly, zoning is not of much concern to the locals.

Traffic picked up as we approached town, and we drove directly to Playa Bonita. In addition to the RV park, there is a high-rise hotel as part of the complex. It is one of several high-rise hotels along the beach in various stages of completion. The hotel is the main attraction, and just before you get to the somewhat “grand” entrance to the main hotel, there is an unpaved, sandy road that runs along the wall … that runs to the RV Park. It sort of felt like we were going to the hotel’s ugly sister’s place. But, hey — it’s Mexico. It’s casual. Roll with it.

We arrived, parked near the office and went in to register and finish paying for our stays. From there we proceeded to our beachfront back-in spaces along the esplanade at the edge of the RV parking area. The non-beach front sites were relatively open. Good. Fewer people is good.

After we got set up the first order of business was to take a walk along the beach and get our feet on the white sand and in the warm ocean water. We had arrived!

The next four days were quite pleasant. We hung out on the beach, enjoyed a few meals at the hotel restaurant, had group meals … a couple of BBQs, a seafood grill night, and basically one long, continuous happy hour. We also took our traditional catamaran sunset cruise with Captain Craig and the First Mate Oscar, both of whom are quite the sea-faring characters. But the bulk of our time was spent on the beach just hanging out, listening to music — courtesy of Mark, the audiophile in the group, and having beverages of one sort or another. The time always goes too quickly and we always say, “It would be so nice if we could make it a longer stay. Another time, perhaps. Need another beer?”

The beach vendors were in full force, of course. Some of them who had been there last fall remembered us and came by to say hello. The Shrimp Man also came by to see if we needed any shrimp and we told him we’d get some to take home before we left.

Sadie enjoys wading in the surf, though she is not so keen on trudging long distances through the sand. As she gets older, it becomes more work for her. At the water, she never wants to go out into it, but she likes to get her feet and belly wet, then go lay down in the sand. If we don’t watch her she has a habit of sneaking off toward the nearest group of people on the beach who just might have a bite of food for her to sample … the little beggar.

Monday came too quickly. Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head home. We buy our Mexican insurance so that coverage ends at noon on Monday, so it’s important that we get out of the RV park by 10:30 AM or so. We were pretty close to noon as we crossed back into the US.

Coming back into the states is the most stressful part of the trip. But this time it was fairly uneventful. The agents were friendly and in good moods, and though they were interested in the Airstreams, they didn’t ask to look inside this time. We regrouped on the US side of the border and then headed north to a roadside picnic area to stop for a quick lunch, say our goodbyes and head on home.

We and Mark & Ron stopped in Why to get gas and then headed east back toward Tucson while Louis & Sergio and Julianne went on to Ajo to get gas. A good ending to another fun Mexican adventure.

Enjoy the photos below. You can go to pervious trips by using the button below or at the end of the photo section. Stay tuned and we’ll see you next time!

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