Whad’ya know, we’re in Mexico!

Who knew we would make it to Mexico this winter?

Mexico Flag

The Mexican flag flies high here

For years we’ve wanted to drive Betsy south of the border, but it’s been mostly a dream since we haven’t been comfortable doing it on our own.  We recently discovered  that Winnebago Outdoor Adventures had organized a caravan to Puerto Penasco (here’s the 2016 schedule, you can go in 2017 even if you don’t own a Winnebago – for a slightly higher price). After sitting on a waiting list for a while we were offered an opportunity to join our first caravan!  We filled out the documentation and were ready to be part of a 37-RV convoy driving to the shoreline of the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Puerto Penasco, Sonora

The route our caravan took

We re-arranged our previous reservations and made adjustments to accommodate the detour into Mexico.  Going with a group led by professionals made it easy to take our first drive across the border and deal with border crossings, campground reservations and excursions we could enjoy while in the area.

HIghway 85 S Ajo, Arizona

Cruising down HW-8 in Arizona

The adventure began in Gila Bend, AZ where we had an orientation and met our fellow adventurers.  The two event host couples had led this trip to Puerto Penasco for several years, and their experience with organizing the necessary passportsMexico liability insurance, vehicle registrations, CB radio gear and what not to bring into Mexico was invaluable.  Click here for the official border crossing requirements.

Lukeville, AZ

Lukeville, AZ – our port of entry

Bright and early the first morning we left Gila Bend and traveled highway 85-S for about 80 miles. We regrouped at the U.S./Mexican border crossing at Lukeville to stretch our legs and view the wall that separates Mexico and the U.S.A. here.

Wall in Mexico-USA border

A portion of the wall separating two countries

After a short break we queued up and waited for our turn to cross.  Eventually, Betsy welcomed a Mexican border police official aboard to check her out for compliance.

Lukeville Port of Entry

37 RV’s waiting in line to cross, fortunately we were #5 in line!

After only a couple of questions we were on our way.

Sonoyta, Mexico

In order for all of the rigs to catch up after the crossing and be together at our destination, we pulled over a few miles south of the border to wait for the rest of the group.  It must have been quite a sight for folks passing by!

Highway 8, Sonoyta, Mexico

We got us a convoy!

The next 64 miles to our final destination at Playa Bonita RV Resort was a non-event, as we passed through the Mexican side of the Sonoran Desert, with Organ Pipe Cactus dotting the landscape.

Sonoran Desert, Sonoyta Mexico

At the orientation we were reminded to be extra careful when driving in Mexico – be aware of the many topes (speed bumps); obey speed limits (even if the locals whiz by); and stop at all ALTO signs.

Winnebago Outdoor Adventures

Looking back at the caravan slowing down to negotiate a brutal railroad crossing

Puerto Penasco is declared a “free zone” to promote tourism, which means visitors are not required to obtain visas when visiting for short periods.

Puerto Penasco, Mexico

We’re almost there!

Playa Bonita RV Resort

Betsy taking her turn to enter the park

It took helpful volunteers over an hour to park 37 rigs at the resort, in a very organized manner.

Playa Bonita RV Park

Controlled chaos in the parking area

As soon as we settled in we immediately walked to the beach, dipped our feet into the water and jumped for joy that we were in Mexico and had made an unscheduled stop at the sea this winter.  Time to party and experience everything Mexico!

Playa Bonita, Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Playa Bonita RV Park alongside several condominiums

Playa Bonita, Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Estamos felices de estar aquí en Playa Bonita!

 

Next Up:  Lots to do at Puerto Penasco