Of all times of the year, living in Peñasco during August and September are the most trying months. The temperatures rise from the merely uncomfortable in June and July, to the downright torrid. The humidity rises to levels nearing 100% and the sea temperatures climb into the mid 90°F+ range. In years past our town would wind down and ‘go to sleep’ for a couple of months, until the heat broke. Work was done, but only on an ‘as necessary’ basis and everyone moved slowly.
Whether it is from the post COVID need to travel and get out, or as I suspect, Puerto Peñasco has been “discovered” as a tourist Mecca, August and September no longer carry the same connotation as they once did. The traffic into the hotels and condos around Sandy Beach is constant and steady. A friend who works at one of the hotels there told me that she is hoping the traffic subsides during the next couple of months so she can get a day off!
For any number of reasons, the hotel and rental accommodation market is hot, hot, hot! Just like our weather! It could be the great air conditioning, proximity of pools with swim up bars or the availability of water sports, but summer here just doesn’t seem the same anymore. True, many of our guest visitors are from Arizona, where high heat and the monsoon humidity are not so much different than they are in Peñasco, but that has always been the case.
In my opinion, the availability of world class hotel and rental accommodations is the difference. Let’s face it, why spend your free time locked in your home in Arizona…and maybe using your swimming pool, when you can come to our town and enjoy being pampered at a luxury resort with all the amenities, proximity to great restaurants and lots of things to do. That will take the knots out of anyone’s rope.
Still, if you live here, you get the urge to head to cooler climes once the August doldrums hit. Watching the condensed humidity run from your roof scuppers and down your screens is not fun. Walking on the beach after, say, 9:00 a.m., becomes reminiscent of watching Fijian fire walkers on beds of hot coals. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
Swimming becomes a new exercise in futility too. You go in the ocean, get wet, come out dry off…you’re still wet. The breeze is wet…your towel is wet…you are wet, and at 90°+ F, the water is not even remotely refreshing. Without a cooled swimming pool (with a swim up bar) and a friendly bartender offering you a frozen Margarita, Piña Colada or a Bloody Mary, you can get a little cranky…if you know what I mean.
Going into town for necessities or to visit friends becomes a chore. As I mentioned, the town used to take a snooze during August and September, with many of our favorite restaurants closing for the entire month of August and traveling to all of the little tienditas that you frequented was a simple matter. Traffic used to be non-existent during those months and it made the small trips worthwhile, mostly.
Yesterday, I had the occasion to drive from Miramar over to Las Palomas to see a friend. It was a Tuesday, around 2 p.m. Normally, a drive like that takes about 40 minutes. Not yesterday. Yesterday it took an hour…in August! Remember that this article is being written a month in advance. The trip from Miramar into town was uneventful and usual. The drive from Benito Juarez and Fremont to Las Palomas was a nightmare! The traffic was intense for a weekend, let alone for a mid-week trip. Every stop sign, every traffic light engendered a backup. So much for going to town during August and September!
Anyway, it is good to see the level of activity the town has. It means prosperity for the locals who are taking full advantage of it, and it means more “gringo friendly” outlets for our visitors to enjoy, although the cultural flavor gets diluted in the process.
Me? I’m heading up to the mountains for a month or so, until the weather cools down. I’ll leave Peñasco in the capable hands of my local friends and their families while the turistas have a full run at everything the town has to offer. Since you will be reading this in September, see you in October! Enjoy!