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Posts from the ‘Travel Mexico’ Category

Rocky Point Revisited, Puerto Penasco

The infinity pool at the Sonoran Sky Resort

Sit on a sunny, sandy beach at the end of a four-hour drive from downtown Phoenix. Yes, we’re back in Rocky Point, Mexico (Puerto Penasco), where the shrimp are huge and the people are friendly.

The only problem with staying at the Sonoran Sky Resort is that the condo is so comfortable we have to force ourselves to leave the balcony overlooking the Sea of Cortez…not to mention the infinity pool and various hot tubs. Ah, the beach is calling…

More people on the beach and signs of life at half finished resorts and condos

Stroll for miles in the sand and collect seashells, while dolphins and an array of water birds feed on fish in the sea. There is no question that folks are returning to Rocky Point, after a barrage of negative media several years ago scared them away. It is time to revisit, folks.

Enough shells for everyone

While walking the sandy beach, we come across a half-full RV camp, which was all but deserted last year. “I’ve been coming down here every year for thirty-years,” Jim says from his circle of RV Campers. “The people here are the nicest in the world. I just don’t understand why we can’t cook Mexican food this good back home in Colorado.”

Last year this RV park was empty. Now we see many enjoying the view.

Truth be revealed, I travel to Rocky Point mainly for the shrimp market. These big blues sell for only seven dollars per pound, and the venders will even clean them for you. You can take up to 50 pounds of shrimp across the border per vehicle. Fresh Halibut (Flounder) sells for three dollars per pound, and a bag of steamer clams is even less. Marcos, a fish monger, says that he does not like to go fishing. “All you see out there are whales and dolphins,” Marcos says. “I like to stay here on land and talk with people from all over.”

Marcos showing off his shrimp

The Malecon shows signs of bustling again. Groups of tourists weave through the shops. We see many more USA license plates this year (2013), as compared to last year. The Canadians are a bit sad to see their private paradise rediscovered by folks in the USA, but they are still gracious. “Come down to our condo,” says a man from British Columbia. “We’re having a feast with lots of shrimp and beer.”

Sunrise over Rocky Point from our balcony at the Sonoran Sky Resort

 

In the end, though, Rocky Point reminds us to relax and enjoy the moment. The laid back atmosphere and easy going people provide a nice break from “life in the city.” Like Jim said, “As I’m driving out of town, I’m already thinking about when I can return.”  Ron Mitchell

For the best condo reservations on Mexican Beaches, visit:    www.seasidemexico.com

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Beaches Around Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Each morning we walk barefoot in the sand along Zicatela Beach…what a relaxing way to start the day. Besides burning off last night’s indulgences, the sound of waves provides passive meditation  in the middle of this playground for dogs, surfers, fishers and walkers.

After huevos rancheros or huevos divorciados for breakfast, we plop under a palapa (thatch-roofed shelter usually found on a beach) for the remainder of the day and read or write or look and listen. Oh Mexico.

Let’s take a walk-about around a point that leads to another bay. The walkway twists around cliffs over the rocks to Bahia Puerto Angelito, a sheltered bay full of fishing boats and ocean activities, but that is not what we seek this morning. We’re looking for a little more solitude.

Farther along the coast and straight down several hundred stone stairs, we find Playa Carrizalillo, a small, hidden paradise with a beach safe for swimming. Go ahead…order a Corona with breakfast, it goes well with huevos a la Mexicana.

After a swim we find ourselves, well you guessed it, under a palapa again. What do you do under there? Whatever you want. Today we sit and just be and thank the abundant universe that we do not have to rush home to jobs back in the states.

We walk through town on our way back to Zicatela. El Adoquin (Paving stone) is full of relaxed pedestrians and shops and restaurants. A stroll across Bahia Principal, the public beach/marina, brings us back to our oasis at Zicatela Bungalows, where happy hour in the pool descends with the sunset.

Things slow down so much here that time is quickly passing by…and we wonder how long we could stay?

A few days from now we will say goodbye to our friends here and fly back to Zihua, where we’ll savor our final four days on a Mexican beach. Ron Mitchell

Puerto Escondido, the Hidden Port of Oaxaca, Mexico

A 4.6 magnitude earthquake almost rattles us out of bed. I did not know that solid, cement box springs could quiver. After kicking-back here on Zicotela Beach for about a week, it may take more than an earthquake to get a rise out of us. We also enjoy a torrential downpour that is more rare than a quake this time of year.

Professional surfers flock to this International Pipeline destination. We watch them while sitting under our palapa, safe from the lethal undertow of huge waves, astounded by how the surfers keep getting back up after taking multiple body blows from the pounding surf. No swimming here…only with a surfboard.

Thong bikinis and board shorts rule the fashion, and I thank the Abundant Universe that Speedos have gone out of style. Still, the beach remains nature’s viagra.

A sea turtle lays about 75 eggs and buries them on shore. The crowd of folks is allowed to get near her after she finishes the  arduous task and then heads back out to sea. Her eggs will be dug-up and moved to a safer place for hatching. Baby turtle releases are a popular tourist activity.

Puerto Escondido derives its name from Andres Drake, brother of Sir Francis, who kidnapped and imprisoned a Mixtec Indian woman. She escaped, swam to shore and hid in the jungle never to be found. Since then, other Pirates referred to this place as Bahia de la Escondida, the hidden bay.

Dwight, Chuck, Judy, Chrissie and Scott share some cheer with us back at the casa. The biggest concern of the day is where to eat dinner, who has the best special, and whether or not we will go listen to live music.

For Mare and I, breakfast becomes the favorite meal of the day, and we often forgo dinner and music, opting to enjoy the sunset, take a midnight swim in the pool, and frolic in our room.

Tonight’s sunset reminds me of Planet Jupiter. If I did not know better, steam might ascend after the sun descends into the sea…and no I haven’t had a smoke, at least not today.

Ron Mitchell

 

Zee What? (Zihuatanejo, Mexico)

“Get busy living or get busy dying,” one of our favorite quotes from Andy, the main character in the movie, “Shawshank Redemption.” Andy made his dreams come true by escaping to Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Mare and I sit on the beach in this laid-back fishing village with only one regret…we must leave tomorrow for an 18-hour bus ride to Puerto Escondido (Hidden Port). Our recent week-end in Puerto Penasco, (Rocky Point) wets our appetite to re-visit deeper Mexico, you know, down where you hear hardly any English.

“Zihua” relaxes our being. We sit on the beach under a palapa, near fishermen selling their catch and repairing nets. Boats bob in the bay. Our $30 per night cement room offers a clean sheet on a firm mattress. Who needs hot water or a mirror? As soon as the late night music from town ends, the roosters start to crow as if trying to mimic the lyrics of the evening.

Etanilado Valduonos Olea, manager of “Hotel R3 Marias Noria,” spends much of the morning arranging our bus tickets. He ends up driving us to the bus station to purchase tickets to Alcapulco, the first leg of tomorrow’s journey. He won’t accept any money for his efforts. “I just like to help, that’s all.” He explains that hotels are trying to survive a 50% occupancy rate in this small village, next to the larger resort destination of Ixtapa.

Mare and I meander from the beach to town, where we munch on some street tacos and stumble upon a community of white, winter visitors. Many of them sit on street corners sharing quarts of Corona. Mare asks a man, who looks like my reflection (Bald with a goatee), where to find an ATM.

“Ah, Americans,” he responds. “You’re the first ones I’ve seen in a while. Most of them quit coming and us Canadians took over.”

Zihuatanejo derives its name from the Nahuatl Indian word “Zihuatlan,” which means “Place of women.” Spaniards later added the suffix “ejo” which means small. Perhaps if they saw the place today, they might rename it, “Gringos Gordos.”

This last evening in town, we treat ourselves to “Lety’s,” the restaurant next to our hotel. Lety is our hotel manager’s sister. (Across the street, his mother serves daily breakfast to a loyal following of fishermen) Lety shows us an article from the Wall Street Journal travel section that praises her place. “This makes me feel important,” she proudly says. Mare and I don’t feel that fresh shrimp need the help of coconut and sour cream, but Lety’s signature dish of Coconut Shrimp tastes spectacular.

On a bus in the morning we wind along the coast until reaching Alcapulco 4-hours later. While waiting 5-hours for the bus to Puerto Escondido, our eyes burn from exhaust fumes held captive by the humidity, and we dine on grilled chicken from a roadside stand. After an 8-hour bus ride, during which we munch on unrecognizable morsels at the various stops, we arrive at the Hidden Port.  It’s one o’clock in the morning…time to get busy living. Ron Mitchell

Puerto Penasco, Mexico: Missing Rocky Point

The road to Rocky Point flows smooth and easy.

Soon…sip cerveza, feast on fresh shrimp and gaze at amazing sunsets over the Sea of Cortez…almost by yourself.

“The US Government is mad at Mexico,” a gringo from Prescott, AZ says. “All that news about this place being dangerous is simply not true. That police captain was killed over three years ago, and they make it sound like it happened yesterday.”

The lack of crowds moseying around the Malecon feels eerie. Several years ago, consumers filled the fish markets, shops and restaruants. Most folks from the US are reluctant to visit and they are missing out.

Fresh caught humongous shrimp sell for seven dollars per pound. Fresh flounder and halibut cost only four dollars per pound. Clams, oysters, squid and octopus chime in for even less. “We miss the Americans,” Marcos, a fish dealer, says. “Not just the money, but they are nice and like to have fun. They appreciate the beauty and simple life that is Mexico.”

Walk along miles of barren beach, explore tide pools and watch pelicans and other seabirds dive into the sea. An occasional vender may approach, but the days of high-pressure sales have developed into a simple inquiry, followed by your “No gracias” that ends with a respectful smile.

Mare and I walk the shore while shrimp boats bob in the water. Along the way to Cholla Bay, deserted RV parks await resurgence, and houses appear abandoned. High-rise condos sit idle. Back during the housing boom, resorts and condos sprung up like palm trees. “Now’s the time to buy,” says Johnnie, a real estate agent. “I paid $219,000 for my 2-bedroom  oceanfront and now the same one sells for about $119,000.”

We walk 12 miles and around the barren point of Mummy Mountain. Two men linger ahead, suspiciously. “I think that they’re gutting a deer,” I say to Mare. She says that there are no deer here. Turns out, they are surveyors, mapping ground for the next resort. See what propagands paranoia can do to our thoughts?

Some folks still come, though. Birds migrate to this warmer weather, along with Canadians who flock to the sea, immune to negative hype. They are rewarded with serene paradise and excellent food…Chile rellenos, chorizo, beans and rice and fresh tortillas come to our table but cannot last long enough for a photo. (Sorry)

Rethink a visit to Rocky Point. You can still rent ATV’s to ride through the dunes, or charter a boat to explore and fish.

Shop the eclectic marketplaces, where prices have not been lower in years. Most of all, relax and immerse in the casual beach atmosphere that is uniquely Rocky Point. Give it another chance. You’ll be glad that you didn’t miss out. We were. Ron Mitchell

For hotel or resort vacation rentals, you may want to check out;  https://www.seasidemexico.com/Rockypoint/ 

Rocky Point VenturesRocky Point Puerto Penasco Mexico (puertopenascojoe.wordpress.com)