____ Destination Doha would be a bit of an ask for a first-timer to do on his maiden trip across the water and so would be a tour of Downtown Mexico City. Small steps first; Puerto Penasco aka Rocky Point. Just a short hop through the desert after a painless crossing at Lukeville. Mexican Customs wanted a look inside the living quarters and took some photographs of the truck, including the VIN plate on the inside of the driver’s door. It was less than 5 minutes to get through as we did not need to post a $200 bond for a Temporary Import Permit. A TIP is not needed for the top end of Sonora and the Baja California areas. The road to Puerto Penasco boasts that it is hassle-free for US plated Vehicles and there were no checkpoints.
____ Rocky Point is about as far from immersion in Mexican culture as it is possible to get. The ratio of spoken Spanish to spoken English is the same as most American towns that are in Mexico bordering states. Disappointing in some respects but reassuring in others; everything is geared to helping the southbound tourist have a relaxing and stress-free vacation. Even changing currency is not necessary; everything is priced in both Pesos and US Dollars. For me it diminished the sense of adventure but for Cheryl it was like One Great Step For Mankind. We decided to bite the bullet on the issue of free camping, choosing to stay at Concha Del Mar RV Park. Twelve dollars a night with water on-site, a dump station for waste water, a restroom block with hot-showers, 24 hour security, Wi-Fi available at the office but with no electrical hook-ups. It was dusty bit we were parked on the beach, on the front row, in fact, in the only row as there were less than a dozen units in the whole camp.
____ We found ourselves parked next to Karl and Kathy from Alberta; Karl originally from Lancashire. The gap between us was split when Greg arrived from Oregon; a teacher originally from Yorkshire. We immediately formed the camp’s British Sector that stayed intact into the New Year. The Brits just about out-numbered the Americans with everybody else being Canadian; mostly from British Columbia. Canada’s BC to Mexico’s BC; Baja California. We soon got to know everyone on-site which gave a good sense of safety and security; it also brought a wealth of tips and advice on what to do and where to go in Rocky Point as most were returning visitors. “Ley” was the best supermarket, fresh shrimp was best bought from the stalls at the port and the Malecon was the busy restaurant and souvenir shop area in the heart of the old town. Concha Del Mar was the nearest RV park to the port and town centre, affording a great view of all the shrimp boats leaving and entering the harbour. Pelicans were the other watchable event, squadrons of these large birds patrolled the surf and frequently had feeding-frenzies; dive-bombing the shoals of white-bait accompanied by hordes of gulls that milled around hoping for a free meal. Dolphins too, put in an appearance on a couple of occasions as the Sea of Cortez gave up it’s plentiful riches.
____ The days were spent taking long walks on the beach. The shoreline was a mixture of RV Parks and multi-storey apartment blocks, sadly with the ugly hulks of unfinished condominiums blotting the landscape. Remnants of the property crash of 2008 and reminiscent of Southern Spain and their boom and bust. The RV parks all had paved roads, concrete parking slabs, full hook-ups and prices to match; a lot of the beachfront spots were occupied by big A-class motor-coaches. It was good to see that some people had the guts to bring these expensive monsters in Mexico but I doubt if any went much further than the end of the Hassle-Free Highway from Lukeville. Most evenings, someone would have camp-fire which most of the park would take their lawn chairs; early night-fall saw these finish by 8 o’clock when all the wood had been burnt. New Year’s Eve was no exception with the fire long gone and all campers back in their vehicles when the local fireworks announced the arrival of 2019.
|Puerto Penasco, the nearest beach to those living in Arizona.|
|Parked on the front row at Concha Del Mar RV Park in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico.|
|Sunset on the last day of 2018.|
|One of the many shrimp boats working out of Puerto Penasco.|
|A pelican led feeding-frenzy just off the beach in front of the truck.|