It’s a Breeze, Really!

Aug 30, 2020 by The Old Gringo

Well, at this writing, the beaches in Peñasco have been opened. What that truly means is, apparently, open to interpretation. Immediate access to some beaches is not so immediate. You have to enter and exit from a pre-specified point that seems to be arbitrarily set by whoever is in charge of letting you onto the beach. Some folks simply walk out onto the beach and go in. It’s a bit like Russian Roulette, but with bathing suits and beach umbrellas.

All this is to say that the worst may be over for Corona virus…or maybe not. That’s the thing. There is so much information and misinformation floating around out there (wherever “there” is) that it is simply not possible to figure out which is real, and which is rumor. My suggestion to anyone who comes to Rocky Point is to take a deep breath and just go with the flow. I know that advice is easier said than done, but what are your alternatives if you want to come and vacation here? Trying to filter all of the do’s and don’ts that you get on social media and from the “news” media is like trying to herd cats.

Case in point; I usually take a hiatus from Peñasco in August and most of September, because I dislike high humidity. Dislike is not a strong enough word, but this is a family newspaper. Also, I don’t like staying indoors in air-conditioned comfort watching the world outside slip by without my participation. Anyway, as it usually does, the fickle finger of fate touched me in a ‘dental’ way, and I needed to return in mid-August to have a crown done.

Before returning, the bride started checking out the social media websites, since most of our beach friends are also absent from the playa’s at this time of year, to find out what we could expect on our return. The information (rumors and anecdotal stories mostly) indicated that:

1) The Mexican border guards were tearing apart the vehicles as they entered the country…

2) To be followed a few blocks later by the federales who did the same thing…

3) To being shadowed by the local Sonoyta police force like ravening wolves, hell bent on issuing tickets…

4) To being stopped and told that Peñasco was “closed”…

5) To being turned around at the overpass junction of Highway 8 from Sonoyta and Highway 3 to Caborca and sent back to the border…

And so on, and so forth.

Unable to determine which of these nightmare, apocalyptic stories might be true, we did the only thing that we knew how to do…return to our home on Playa Miramar just like we always have.

This was our experience: We drove down from our home in the mountains of Central Arizona to Lukeville. We fueled at the border gas station and entered the queue to cross the border. We got a red light at the check point and were told to pull over. A very nice Mexican border official, of the female persuasion (is that even relevant?) asked me where we were going and, did I have anything to declare?  I told her where we were going and that we had nothing to declare. She politely asked me to open my truck door for her inspection and also inspected the bed of my truck which had a few non-contraband items that I was bringing down. She opened the rear door to my truck, was greeted by my Wheaten Terrier.  She asked of the dog would bite her, I said no, so she patted the dog, closed the door and told me to have a nice day. Note: Although we have permanent residence status documents, and have our dog(s) rabies inoculation papers, we were not asked to produce either.

We drove another twenty yards where we were stopped by the federales, who politely asked the usual questions. I was asked to lower my rear windows so a brief inspection could take place. After the brief inspection, we were wished “good day” and waved ahead.

Since the speed limit through Sonoyta is 40 KM per hour, I set my cruise control and rolled on through to the Cruz Roja Mexicana stop at the far end of town where I deposited a few coins, was thanked and then drove to Puerto Peñasco. One patrol car seen, and we followed it for a good portion of our trip through town.

Since I live at Playa Miramar, I did not have to go through the COVID checkpoint on Hwy. 8 at the entrance to the city, but instead drove directly to my home. The next day, we went into town to my dentist and the bride’s hair appointment, did some other shopping, went to the bank, and returned to the playa. Other than wearing a mask whenever we went into a business, we had no problems, glitches or incidents. We even went out for dinner that evening to our favorite restaurant.

So, there you have it. The straight scoop. All of the horror stories you have been hearing, according to my experience in mid-August, are just that…stories! The bottom line here is to simply be prepared to make alternative choices IF YOU HAVE TO. Otherwise, pack up and come on down to beautiful Puerto Peñasco!

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