Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rediscovering Rocky Point, Mexico

I drove to Mexico alone … and nothing bad happened.

This past weekend, I drove across the border to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, also known as Rocky Point, where my family was waiting. I heard a few gasps when I told friends about my solo adventure.

What made me the most nervous was the possibility of my car breaking down in an area with no cell service. That being said, I would never recommend that anyone go on a roadtrip alone. Everybody needs a co-pilot, as George Clooney learned in the movie “Up in the Air.”

It took me four hours to get to Rocky Point. I sang along to the radio, soaked in the desert views, especially driving through Organ Pipe National Monument, and paid attention to speed-limit signs.

The town of Sonoita on the south side of the border hasn’t changed much since the last time I drove through it years ago: lines in the road were difficult to locate, pedestrians crossed the road wherever they pleased, and the streets need paving work. That’s the case in Rocky Point too. New to me though was the army's checkpoint just outside town. I was relieved to finally make it to Rocky Point.

My first meal was flavorful homemade ceviche with tostadas. I couldn’t get enough and inhaled it too quickly to snap a photo of it first.

I then visited my grandma’s shop in the fish-market area and gazed at the sunset over the water, with the Sandy Beach condo towers reflecting the sunlight in the distance.

On the way there we passed the old Posada la Roca Hotel, at which Al Capone would stay when he went to Rocky Point. (You can stay there for about $30 and get free Wi-Fi.)

Later, I went to Yoly’s Cenaduria, a restaurant I would frequent throughout my childhood during my visits. (Find it one block north of Super Ley store on Constitution Avenue.) The cashier is the same woman who has run the restaurant, open each evening, as long as I have known it. We ordered sopes, tacos and horchata to go.

Sunday was beach day at Playa Bonita. Gone are the crowds of yesteryear. Vendors offered up their wares, while two jet-ski-rental operators passed the time on the sand. Not much business for them that day, though I noticed there were a fair number of spring breakers in town.

I also went to Tacos El Grillo, which is run by my godparents. Tacos made for a perfect late breakfast before a day at the beach. Quesadillas were delicious, too. (I didn't get my meal for free.)

Carne asada tacos at Tacos El Grillo, on Juan de Barrera Avenue. You can top them with whatever veggies you like.
One weekend wasn’t enough to explore the changes Rocky Point has seen in recent years, but I hope to return soon to check out what else there is to explore and rediscover.