This adventure of mine starts in Puerto Penasco – also known as Rocky Point, Mexico. It is a border town and located about 4 hours from Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. It is referred to as Phoenix’s beach. The town is full of people from Arizona. It is a desert situated on the shores of the Sea of Cortez. I guess that makes it an oasis. I remember learning about deserts and oases (had to google the plural form) in grade 4. I can actually picture my drawing of an oasis in my notebook.
I am here on a work exchange – room and board in exchange for helping with the family’s AirBnb business. I am responsible for some online editing and some property management. My exchange is with the sister of a close friend of mine in Canada.
I arrived here in mid November – the same weekend as the famous Rocky Point Bike Rally. During the rally the population almost doubles with over 10,000 bikes and 60,000 tourists I am told. My host and I were selling tequila with a friend of hers to raise money for a children’s charity. I made a few new friends and also heard lots of rock music. This is the beginning of the winter or off season. The water is cooling down and only the bravest are swimming now.
The weather is not hot but it is also not humid and the sun is bright and warms up the air every afternoon. The temperature is usually in the mid twenties in the afternoon and night lows around 10 celcius. There are small trees with bright and beautiful flowers but a lot of this town dusty, dirty and impoverished. It is the reality of a Mexican border town.
There a few very posh developments here with huge homes that are mostly owned by Americans. There are condominium developments too. I attended a brunch that was a fundraising event in one of those areas – about 75 mostly American women paying $20 USD for brunch and bidding on silent auction items and raffles to raise money for a women’s shelter in Puerto Penasco. One item went for over $600.
I am living in the old part of the town on a dusty unpaved road that leads to the beach. The street is about 1.5 kilometres long. I make this walk a few times a day often bringing the family dog, Cilantro. There are many dogs in every house and they come out to greet me as I walk – barking loudly and running towards me. Many, many Chihuahuas. Actually one of my new friends adopted a little one before returning to the states. Meet Lara.
Often Cilantro (the house dog where I am staying, will block the barking neighbour dogs from getting to me or distract them. He is such a sweet, quiet fellow – I love him. The only time I hear him bark is when a stranger is around the property at night and he also howls at the whistle of the train as it crosses through the town around 2a.m. every night. A- woooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There isn’t much to do here especially in the off-season. There are a few bars, many restaurants, an American legion and not much else. I don’t enjoy spending time in bars and I am not one to eat out that often. That is for both financial and health reasons. I heard there is a bingo game in a bar somewhere. (not interested in that either). I was thinking of volunteering to tutor English in the women’s shelter but now I am leaving early so I won’t be able to.
I’ve eaten out only a few times. This week I had the enormous Wednesday special at the German KaufeeHaus. It was very good – salad, ham steak on a bed of creamy sauerkraut, a German sausage and meatball with a big helping of mashed potatoes along with two thick slices of homemade rye bread twith sage in it. Too much food but the change I needed from Mexican cuisine and my own home cooking. The price was a very reasonable 165 pesos which is less than $10 in both US and Canadian currency. They have a huge breakfast menu as well with so many kinds of omelettes. It would take you an hour to choose one, I think.
Bryan’s Sports Bar is another popular place that has specials on different days and on Thursday there is a pasta special and a drink for $5 USD. I ate there on my first night in town. We arrived at 9pm and went directly to Bryan’s for a quick meal. I had linguine and shrimp in an Alfredo sauce. Yummmm. This is a shrimp town and shrimp is easy to find and will run you about 100 pesos for a half kilo. It’s fresh and big and absolutely delicious. I cooked some the first week I was here and promise to do that a few more times before I leave.
There are several big, luxurious hotels in town but I honestly have not been to any so I am not able to give an opinion. There are many AirBnb listings and I have been helping with 10 of them. I really can recommend the properties owned and operated by my hosts Rita and Tommy. They are clean and well kept and offer good value for your $$$. Check out the many options on AirBnb or on the website Welcome to Go2 Rocky Point or click here.