What a fantastic February we’ve had! The weather has been gorgeous, the whales are making appearances, people are coming down and enjoying our beaches, the outdoors, our fresh air and seafood, our large variety of restaurants and shopping and our wonderful community. Businesses are slowly recovering, and everyone seems to be following the city’s sanitary protocols. Our curfew is even being extended for Semana Santa and Spring Break, which started this month and will end the beginning of April…Rocky Point is going to be busy, busy, busy. The new curfew hours for Spring Break and Semana Santa (Feb. 26th through March 14th and March 29th through April 4th) are 12AM to 6AM Monday through Thursday and 1AM to 6AM Friday through Sunday. This is great news for visitors and businesses alike. I am happy about this as well having slid home just under (or over) curfew many, many times – so now we will all have an extra hour or two to be out and about. Here in Mexico the fun doesn’t even get started until 11PM!! There are no increased restrictions with these new curfews, however, the city is planning to be out in force to make sure everyone is following sanitary protocols like wearing your mask while in public spaces, and when there are two people or more in a vehicle, and in stores and restaurants (until seated). Try to be very conscious about wearing your mask and social distancing so our city can stay open and no one gets fined including you or your favorite businesses.

Speaking of fines, it seems a lot of people have been getting the “boot” on their vehicle while down in the Old Port. The boot goes on when your parking meter runs out of money so make sure you add enough time for your activities and don’t rely on ANYONE to keep track of the meter for you. Each meter is for 2 parking spaces (left and right) so make sure that you press the arrow for your parking space before you start feeding the meter coins. Also make sure that the meter is crediting you the correct time – they do accept pesos and U.S. quarters. If you do happen to get the boot, there is a place to pay your fine and get your boot removed right there in the center of the Malecon, on the water side. Here is a photo of the building where you go to pay your fine.

And while on the subject of fines, I have to, once again, warn you about the Sonoyta police, ugh. What a pain. Just when we think we’ve followed all of their rules and speed limits, the come up with more way to get fined while driving through the city. The latest “gotcha” is the policeman that hangs out at the stop sign in the middle of town, where the school is, before Ley Market, if you are headed south. There are 3 stop signs (4 if the one is out for Cruz Roja or DIF at the south end of town) that you go through when you drive through Sonoyta; 1st is at the intersection of Hwy. 2; 2nd is just at the end of the old Vazquez Liquors (and there is usually a guy there selling fresh produce); and the 3rd is a few blocks up from that one, kind of in the center of town (there is a big tree and a lone building on your right and to the left is a street with a school at the end). A lot of people miss this stop sign because it is not very noticeable, or you are following the cars in front of you who blow through the stop sign – by choice or they just don’t see it. I took a photo of the stop sign (going south) so you can see where it is. You need to come to a complete stop, going south AND coming north, AND you also need to make sure the intersection is completely clear of vehicles before proceeding. NO VEHICLES IN THE INTERSECTION! So, if someone is coming out of the side street by the school, they need to be completely out of the intersection and into their lane before you can proceed through the stop sign. So, DO NOT leave your stop sign until the car is completely in its lane (going north or south). People are being pulled over for not stopping at this stop sign, and those that do and challenge the policeman, have been told that the intersection wasn’t clear before they advanced. So, come to a complete stop and wait for the intersection to be clear. If you have a passenger in your vehicle, you might want to even record your trip through Sonoyta or turn on your dash cam. I know that sounds ridiculous, but we have received so many complaints about people being pulled over by the police in Sonoyta and there just doesn’t seem to be any recourse to stop this behavior. The only thing we can do is pay our fine at the police station – DO NOT PAY THE OFFICER. I know it’s an inconvenience to take 30 minutes off your trip and go pay your fine (if guilty) at the police station. Don’t consider it a “donation” for the officer’s family. All you’re doing is condoning their behavior and making the problem worse for your fellow travelers. We don’t want our new visitor’s first experience to be being pulled over by the Sonoyta police. Follow these rules when going through Sonoyta and let’s try to stop these shenanigans…#1 DO NOT SPEED!! The speed limit ranges between 20kmh and 40kmh throughout town and you just have to ignore everyone riding your butt because you are going so slow. #2 WEAR YOUR MASK through town. #3 DO NOT STOP IN THE CITY (until we hear differently from the Mayor of Sonoyta). If you get pulled over, #4 PAY YOUR FINE AT THE POLICE STATION!! As I’ve stated before in a previous Editorial, the stop sign south of town, when present, IS a legal stop sign according to the policeman that pulled me over for not stopping. Even if you are NOT donating to the charity, you still need to come to a complete stop at the stop sign.

On a positive note, Puerto Peñasco is becoming a favorite place for working remotely. I have talked to many, many people who are choosing to work from their homes and/or renting a place down here where they can both live and work remotely – and they are loving it! And there are also people who have taken early retirement and/or are exploring the idea. People are even taking extended vacations and working from the beach. Hotels, condos, rentals and even restaurants are beefing up their wifi connections and/or adding free wifi as well as USB ports and plugs-ins to make it easier for people to connect. You can pick up a local Telcel cellular line and phone for cheap and many U.S. carriers offer unlimited data, calls and texts to Mexico. I have both – a local Telcel phone number as well as an unlimited Verizon plan with a U.S. phone number. One caveat – read your contract – I noticed with Verizon that if more than a certain % of your activity is based outside of the U.S., then they can revoke your plan. Side Note: I was having tons of problems with my Verizon signal on my old phone – a Samsung Note 8 – the best I could ever get was LTE, but when I upgraded to the Note20 with 5G, I’ve had no problems whatsoever. I constantly get 4G or at least 3G. And I’ve had this conversation with many people who were having the same problems disappear after they upgraded. I don’t know if that’s the fix to a crappy U.S. signal, but it has worked for me and many others.) Another Side Note: Related, but not related, are electric car charging stations. Did I mention this last month? Some Peñasco resorts have charging stations for your electric cars. Who knew? If you are one of the lucky ones who can work remotely, you might want to check out life on our beach!

Along the lines of working remotely, or even just spending more time in Rocky Point, people want to know how they can receive their mail, FedEx, UPS and other packages. Burrito Express (see their ad in this issue) offers a mail pick-up service. They go to the Lukeville Post Office three times per week to pick up USPS mail and packages. If you have FedEx and UPS packages (that won’t ship to your PO Box) that you need to receive and/or send, you can have them sent to K-5 Enterprises (Radio Shack) in Ajo. They will receive, sign and hold them for you, and they charge $5 per package. If you need to receive a package, send it to: YOUR NAME, 625 N 2nd Ave, Ajo, AZ 85321. You can give them a call for more information at (520) 387-5837.

Just a reminder that if you are ordering off of Amazon.com, you can use Amazon Smile and have a portion of your purchases goes toward the charity of your choice. My charity of choice is Barb’s Dog Rescue here in Rocky Point. If you’re not using Amazon Smile and donating, make the switch and shop away while donating to a cause of your choice! Speaking of Barb’s Dog Rescue, the WhyNot Store in Why, AZ stores dog food that has been donated and needs transportation down to them, so if you have room in your vehicle, please stop by and bring what you can for them. The donations are located outside on the patio to the left of the door into the store. 

Many of you knew my parents, Tom and Sandra O’Hare who were the heart of this paper, and many of you knew that they started the Local Business Directory Yellow Pages when we lived in Lake Havasu City, AZ back in the 80s. They went head-to-head with the big telephone company and printed phone books for cities in Arizona, Nevada and California. They did this until they retired in the early 90s and found themselves in Puerto Peñasco, coming for a vacation, and ending up with The Rocky Point Times Newspaper. Recently a “Memorial Walkway” was created for the “Founders” of Lake Havasu City under the London Bridge and my Uncle Patrick Kilcullen purchased a memorial stone for them to make sure they are always a permanent part of Lake Havasu City, which was one of their two favorite places. If you find yourself in Havasu, go check out their memorial stone under the bridge. And thanks Uncle Pat, they may not have been “founders”, but they were certainly pioneers.

In the coming months look forward to stories about my adventures camping in the Pinacates with friends and expert guide Israel Nava, as well as the Boo Bar Poker Run, and my adventures in Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio and wherever else I get to between now and then. Have a great Spring Break, Easter and Semana Santa!