Angel Goes to Mexico

mex  014Here we were enjoying the desert, but we were so close to Mexico! Hector lived in Mexico City for a year or so back in the 90s and we spent weekends and vacations traveling the country in his SUV.   We love the country, and found it impossible to resist the temptation to cross the border. So off we went with Angel for a day trip to Mexico.mex  011

mex  002mex  003mex  001mex  004It only took about an hour and forty minutes to get to the town of Puerto Peñasco on the shores of the Sea of Cortez from our campground. Rocky Point, as it also called, was actually the original name given by the British.  The area is part of a list of “hassle free zones” in Mexico that don’t require vehicle permits nor tourist visas (normally required when driving in and staying over 72 hours).  Liability insurance is required by law in Mexico but can be purchased on either side of the border.

As we crossed the border, the Mexican Border Agent asked us where we were headed, how long we were staying and whether we had more than one dog (Angel was clearly visible in the back seat). When we said only one, she asked for the (dog’s) papers and we handed her Angel’s rabies certificate. She reviewed it, gave it back, and motioned us to go, never checking our passports.

The first part of the trip was through the town of Sonoyta, with a population of 10,000+. We’d read that it’s very important to maintain the speed limit through this town, which is 40km/hour. The next (long) stretch is on a very good two lane road though the desert, some much the same as the desert we just left.

We reached Puerto Peñasco, which surprisingly has a population of 44,000+ a much bigger town than we expected and was a bit confusing to get around. So we headed for the malecon (sea wall) by the town waterfront, usually an area where there is lots of activity.mex  024

mex  006I’d checked Yelp before we left the U.S. to get an idea of restaurant selection for lunch. Several of the restaurants were closed, but one opened early for dinner. We had a late lunch with Angel on the balcony of the Casa del Capitan overlooking the waterfront plaza  across the street.mex  005mex  007

mex  009It was a pretty windy day but a nice temperature. We both had shrimp which is abundant there. In fact, their shrimping season ends in December so we arrived just in time for fresh, giant shrimp.  Delicious!  Hector had a michelada, a beer drink he loves; it has lime, spicy tomato sauce and is served in a chilled mug with a salted rim.

mex  018Afterwards we walked around the plaza and the surrounding blocks with Angel.  There is a statue of a fisherman riding a giant shrimp on the plaza, a tribute to the shrimp fishermen.

And there were restaurants and shops with run-of-the-mill Mexican goods and souvenirs.mex  015

Angel was a big hit as always, a couple of the vendors joked that she was a “giant chihuahua”.

We were looking for a Mexican hat for Angel, and tried a couple on for size. Hilarious!

mex  016mex  013Afterwards, we drove over to the new town area where all of the condos and big hotels are located. There is no access to the beach and the buildings all have private entrances, similar to Cancun, which it was modeled after. There were a lot of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) which seemed like one of the ways to access the beach.mex  017

mex  019mex  012We continued on the road to a community of low rises just beyond the high rises. Here the buildings were built next to each other in a way that blocks all access to the beach, with just a couple of exceptions.

mex  023We found one little place where we walked down and Hector dipped his foot in the water (it was cold!). Then, on our way out of town, we spotted a road that looked like it led to an undeveloped beach, but it was getting late and we needed to begin our drive back home.

mex  022There were a couple of more places we’d like to explore in the future: an estuary near town and Pinacate, a very interesting sounding volcanic region and biosphere reserve located between the border and Puerto Peñasco.  So we will definitely do some more research prior to another trip, another time.mex  021

On our way home we stopped at one particularly impressive roadside chapel.  Usually these are small little altars commemorating folks who died in car crashes but this was obviously a chapel for travelers to walk into, and there were several lit candles.

mex  027mex  100mex  028Crossing the border back to the U.S., the Border Patrol Agent asked for our passports but nothing about Angel. He asked where we’d been, how long, and then he asked Hector what he did for a living. Hector said he was retired and then the agent asked him what he used to do. I always find these different questions interesting.

Next he asked us if we were bringing food into the U.S. (we weren’t), and Hector took the opportunity to ask him if we were allowed to bring fish or seafood back. He told us that the allowance is 50 pounds of fish or seafood per vehicle!  But pork, chicken and many types of produce are not allowed.

Oh Mom, do I have to wear this silly hat?

Oh Mom, do I really have to wear this silly hat?

mex  036Well, we had a nice little adventure to Mexico, though next time we’ll bring back lots of seafood. And Angel has added one more foreign country to her list of travels. And she has the hat to prove it.

~ Brenda

Siesta time

Siesta time

17 thoughts on “Angel Goes to Mexico

  1. Angel looks mucho adorable! Glad you made it down south. I have scuba dived at Puerto Penasco – it’s about the closest place to the states where you can do that. We love our pretty Christmas seahorse – thank you! Looking forward to reading more and seeing you again in 2015.

    • Yes, she does! Wow, I think the water there would be too cold for me to scuba dive even in summer, I have a requirement that it be 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more for me to immerse 🙂 Glad you like the seahorse. And glad that you’re along with us on the blog. Will definitely be back in Tucson in 2015.

  2. Very cool. Your trip brings back memories of our artist expedition to Sonora. We took a bus from Tucson to San Carlos. What gorgeous country and beautiful people! So glad you were able to visit for a day. Angel looks lovely in her new hat! : )

    • Yes, I remember! We’d love to spend more time exploring down there, I had actually hoped to go along with a group that is going in February, but with Angel’s situation, I’d rather not this year. Isn’t she adorable?

  3. Oh my, what a terrible dog mama I am– Millie is spending her 2nd winter in Mexico, and I’ve yet to buy her a sombrero! Angel sure looks quite festive in hers. Glad you had a fun day in PP– did you check any of the RV parks out? I had no idea the town had that many residents! I’m RVing down in Baja Sur this winter, but might check out PP on my way back to the U.S.

    • Millie would look VERY cute in a sombrero! We didn’t check RV parks, saw a couple that looked to be by the water in the distance. Were you in Baja Sur last winter? How was it? We’ve never RV’ed in Mexico, but I’d love to go, especially to Baja. Would love to hear from you, you can send directly to my e-mail.


  4. Your trip brings back memories of our day trips to Mexico. I always brought a big ice chest in my trunk and loaded it down with fresh seafood. My trunk smelled funky for weeks but it was worth it. Love Angel’s new hat! 🙂

  5. Two quick things.
    1. I was surprised to see boats in the opening pictures. There are very few boats in the desert.
    2. DON’T put ice in the michelada, a lesson we learned in Mexico City!

    Angel looks adorable in his little hat. I did not see you folks in cute little hats!

    • Funny. Hector did great for 13 months in Mexico, he only got sick once! Angel is always adorable, adult hats are too big to keep in a motorhome.

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