Welcome to Julio! Summer temperatures and humidity have arrived early and I’m assuming they’re here to stay since I’m writing this in June, and we’ve already had a few oppressive days. But who cares when you’re on vacation and having fun, right? Lots to catch up on this month. I was going to write articles about everything, but we’ll just shove some of it in here, jump all around, and have a run-on Editorial.

Puerto Peñasco has elected our new Mayor, Dr. Oscar Eduardo Castro Castro and Mexico has elected their new President, Claudia Sheinbaum who will be making history as Mexico’s first woman president. In a ceremony on September 15th (El Grito) our current mayor, Jorge Pivac will hand the flag to Dr. Castro who will officially take office the next day, September 16th which is also Dia de la Independencia (Mexico’s Independence Day). Mexico’s new president Claudia Sheinbaum will take office on October 1st and that day is called Día de la Transmisión del Poder Ejecutivo Federal. I just read that the current president (AMLO) and the new president-elect may be visiting Peñasco to tour the solar plant located just outside of town. That would put us on the map right away. If the potholes start getting fixed between the airport and town, you know we have someone important coming!

Speaking of potholes, Hwy. 8 between Sonoyta and Rocky Point has gotten so bad these past few months that it makes the Coastal and Caborca Highways look great and that’s not great at all. The potholes between Peñasco and Nayarit did get fixed for the most part and then the stretch between Nayarit and Sonoyta got really dangerous, really fast. For a couple months there it seems I was driving Hwy. 8 four to six times some weeks and the northbound lane went from “avoidable” potholes to a pile up of 10+ cars on the side of the road all with flat tires. There is good news though!! The highway is currently being patched thanks to Esmeralda Beach Resorts. I’m not sure how long it will take or how long it will last, but thank you very much!! Hopefully Dr. Castro puts our infrastructure high on his list and can work with the state and federal peeps to ensure our city roads and highways are safe to drive.

Green Angels offer free roadside assistance. If you are new to the area, we do have the Green Angels that patrol the highway all day and offer free mechanical service to everyone. If you find yourself needing mechanical help or are in distress, just pull over and open the hood of your vehicle. Opening your hood is our “unofficial” distress signal and you will no doubt have a fellow traveler stop within a few minutes to assist you.

Nothing new to report on Sea of Cortez Cruise II as our do-over trip last month was canceled. They do have one planned in July that will venture down to the same area on the Baja to see the whale sharks, but I won’t be on that one. I’ll save my story until I’ve had a proper 3-day cruise (maybe in the fall) so that I can take in the full experience.

Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers 25th Anniversary of Circus Mexicus was a lot of fun. Like I said above I’ve been driving Hwy. 8 a lot lately so I had the chance to stop at KM13 a few times and check out the goodies left by Roger Clyne fans.

T-shirts, stickers and other goodies left at KM13 when Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers come to town There were t-shirts, stickers, tote bags, zebra cakes, coozies, Liquid IV, aloe gel, CDs, Fireball and, of course, a few Rocky Point Times Newspapers 😊On one of my trips I stopped to leave some papers and take some photos to post on our Facebook page up rolls three State Police trucks. We had a nice conversation: I told them all about RCPM and Circus Mexicus and about the swag people leave at KM13. Rafael and I had a long conversation about Peñasco and Sonoyta and I asked him questions about them patrolling the highway and asked why they weren’t running radar (don’t ask me how I know lol) and he said they were there to patrol the highway, make sure everyone was safe, and to help anyone that needed help, not to harass people and give out tickets. That’s not to say they won’t stop you if you are driving like a crazy person.

Snapped a selfie of me and Rafael He was really, really nice. They asked me if they could get out their guns and take a photo and I was like ABSOLUTELY!! (We used to do this all the time back in the day on the El Golfo Runs with the Federales.) As we were all chatting in pulls a van full of peeps with restock goodies. They all got photos with the police as well and had a lot of fun with this group photo. Brilliant! At this point there were a ton of cars heading south and every single one slowed down, did a double take and a few jaws dropped. I’m surprised no one pulled over – guess they didn’t want to get involved with a fleet of police trucks, the police with their guns out and a group of people kneeling in the dirt with their hands up. Too darned funny! (If you recognize anyone in this photo, please tell them to email, message or WhatsApp us because the guys want some of their group photos too.)

We kicked off Circus Mexicus Thursday night at Banditos – grabbed some drinks, checked out the merch and headed to the stage to catch The Black Moods set at 10PM. They rocked it as usual and there was a great crowd for a late Thursday night. The town filled up on Friday, so it was an early dinner at Garufa Steakhouse with friends Dan, Candy, Roxanne and Mary and then we all headed over to Banditos again to catch the Black Moods at 7PM on the main stage and then Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers after that. Great music and jam session! We all had a great time and ran into the usual suspects including Dan Marries from KOLD News. I think we ran into him a couple times over the weekend while he was in town vacationing and enjoying Circus Mexicus. Good times!

Saturday morning it was over to JJ’s Cantina in Cholla Bay to catch The Black Moods (yes, again) at 10AM. Everyone apparently gets up squirely early because it was SRO and we were ‘early’ according to my standards haha.

The Black Moods: Jordan, Chico and Josh at JJ’s Cantina After The Black Moods, a couple Bloody Mary’s and a set from Several Dudes we headed back to town to play tourist and day drink – as if we hadn’t already had days of playing tourist, but why stop now? So off to Old Port we went with our first stop being Boo Bar where Javier made us some killer spicy margaritas.

Javier at Boo Bar makes a killer spicy margarita, but it’s on a secret menu sssshhh From there we walked up to Leo’s Bar to listen to The Summer and enjoy some fantastic beverages including a shot of Leo’s Special. I don’t know what it is, but it was delish! Leo’s has some of the best drinks in town and great food.

( Mary, Leo y yo Next, we decided to head out to Las Conchas and crash the Festival Arena y Vino at CEDO where we sampled some delicious bites from various restaurants including Molly Molly Sushi and Cielito Lindo and tasted wine from a few wineries in Valle de Guadalupe.

Mary Snyder at the Festival Bites from local restaurants and wine from Valle de Guadalupe at Festival Arena y Vino at CEDO We left the fundraiser and decided to end our day drinking adventure in El Mirador at Borracho Cantina with some of the best stuffed jalapeños in town! Sunday, we ended our tourist adventures at Encantame Resorts where we toured the Soleil models, floated down the lazy river, ate some nachos poolside and drank spicy margaritas. What a fun weekend!

All righty, now onto Puerto Peñasco’s worst kept secret: Walmart is coming to town! Mario went over and snapped these photos of the construction that has started, and rumor has it that it will be done in about eight months give or take, of course. It will be located on Blvd. Fremont just past Blvd. Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez. I guess this will be good for the town as far as jobs and hopefully it will bring more selection and low prices on goods, but I’m wondering what kind of impact it will have on our small retail stores. I love our little neighborhood markets.

I forgot to mention up above that the Coastal Highway seems to be getting some pothole repairs as well and the sand blows over and covered the lanes of travel is being pushed back to the side of the road – gosh, that is so dangerous and just one of many reasons we always tell you not to drive at night, especially if you are not familiar with our roads and/or driving in Mexico at night. The road (Caborca Hwy.) out to the Mayan Palace is in pretty good shape – it is usually the worst of them all, but Hwy. 8 has taken that prize this year and the stretch from the windmill roundabout to the Coastal Hwy./turn-off to Islas del Mar intersection is just ridiculous: You’d almost be better off driving the 4×4 dirt path that runs parallel to the road. We have a lovely new roundabout at the intersection but can’t keep the potholes filled. Hmmmm.

Some very sad news last month, our good friend Barb Olszewski passed away unexpectedly and our sympathies go out to her husband Mark and their family and friends. You probably know both Barb and Mark through their many contributions to the community and children over the years like the Adopt-a-Classroom program, the Rubber Duckie Race, the pancake breakfast that benefitted La Esperanza Community Center and their contributions to the Rolling Rockies Basketball Team. Mark Olszewski will continue helping the community and we have also helped them with donations so you are very welcome to bring any donations to our offices and we will make sure they get to him.

Last month I made a post on our Facebook Page about Mexico’s national currency, which is the Mexican peso (MXN) and if you are familiar with the exchange rate, peso fluctuation and all things peso vs. dollar, then please feel free to scroll, skip, go to the next paragraph. I hate to see nasty comments slamming a business because they offered a different exchange rate than what the patron was expecting and the patron didn’t ask beforehand, most likely because they didn’t know they should. Personally, I always carry both denominations because sometimes it’s better to pay in pesos and sometimes it’s better to pay in dollars. Your local bank usually offers the best exchange rate, and you can exchange your dollars for pesos prior to coming down or you can go to one of the numerous casa de cambios or local banks and exchange there. At the casa de cambios you will see that they have a “buy” and a “sell” price so you will want to compare depending upon how much you are exchanging. The same goes with your purchases at businesses, you will want to ask what their exchange rate is BEFORE you make a purchase as opposed to after because not all businesses offer the same exchange rate either. I’ve noticed that most bars and restaurants now give you your bill in both pesos and dollars so that’s helpful when deciding which currency in which to pay. For most people making small purchases, it won’t make much of a difference IMO, but it depends on the rate, purchase amount, exchange rate and how much you may want to save and/or keep track.

On a final note, Happy U.S. Independence Day and for those of you travelling with dogs during the holiday please make sure to keep them leashed and in a secure place as we have lots of fireworks going off and every year people lose their dogs, or they get away from them. And remember that the new CDC guidelines regarding dogs goes into effect August 1st and the forms we need to fill out to take our dog(s) back into the U.S. should be available July 15th. Go to the CDC website, download the form, follow the instructions and make sure your dog meets all the new requirements. This pertains to ALL dogs entering or re-entering the U.S. I assure you that I am still on investigating since I have dual residency status, dual residences, travel back and forth with my dog almost weekly and he was microchipped in Mexico City, but rabies vaccinated in the U.S. – so I am more confused than most of you! We’ll get it all figured out.

See you at the beach!!