29. MEXICO, Santa Clara to Santa Ana

Just picking up where I left it last time in Santa Clara; after the whopper day of drive, we stayed only one night in Santa Clara and we took our time the following day to leave as we know it won’t take long to get to our next destination: Puerto Penasco.

Gotta be honest. Not at all a beautiful place. Many Mexico guidebooks don’t mention Puerto Penasco.
The road to Puerto Penasco, also known as Rocky Point, was built by the US government in WWII when they thought it will be necessary to bring supplies in this way in case the West Coast was blockaded by Japanese submarines. That actually never happened but the road remained in good shape making easier for folks from the US to reach Puerto Penasco in one go from the border.

As we were approaching to the town across the arid desert (crazy heat again!) suddenly huge, tall fancy buildings appeared in the distance which turned out to be Rocky Point and its condo-apartment buildings.
The place had a certain strange, out-of-Mexico feeling. We weren’t entirely sure we wanted to stay but didn’t really have a choice as it was getting late and the next place we could’ve stayed was another 4 hours away. Anyhow, we found our RV place located on the beach, where turned out to be we’re going to be the only “guests” that evening which was a bit spooky considering it was a rather large area completely empty.

Without going into too much details; the place was noisy, too buzzy for my liking. All night loud party music (different ones from different directions) fireworks and motor vehicles going up and down on the beach. The whole place just had an uneasy vibe. The next morning, turned out we had neighbours -a family in a tent. They spotted us as we were leaving in the morning and stopped for a short chat. They were lovely. They also told us that they had their belongings stolen from the tent while sleeping. We felt so bad for them not just for the robbery but for that they only arrived last night from the US, and meant to stay for a few days enjoying the beach with their little boy, but now they are heading back home and looking in to a long 7 hours drive.

This, the bad sleep, the negative vibe plus, I guess the incredible heat made us lethargic so we were keen to get out of here. After filling up with water and some necessary grocery shopping we finally headed south on highway 37. We thought staying in a small town would be nice and found a place El Desemboque on the map that we thought it might be nice. It was about 3 hours drive and we were right on time for our schedule when we arrived, but after spending a short walk on the busy beach I didn’t feel right staying there so we had to move on.
Now we were in time-trouble. It was already 5PM and we were clueless where to stay, mainly because there were not many roads, meaning only ONE that was heading in to the mainland towards Caborca. Neither of us were in good mood but knew we had to find a safe place to stay before it gets dark.

One of our guidebooks mentioned some nice things about a little place called Santa Ana (and a few RV places in and around it) about 100 km from Caborca. That made the potential drive a long-ish stretch but Johnny said he’ll get us there before dark.

It was just on the edge of the evening when we got there so headed to the first RV place that sounded rather appealing to us (an organic eco-farm welcoming Rv-ers with facilities) Lovely! It was out of town, not much, about 15 mins drive though we were running out of time. It was jolly poor form. They were closed for the season! Boo. Then not having much choice we checked a couple of hotels in the town that was now closer to this point but they wanted ridiculous amount of money for nothing. Then in our desperation we asked a Pemex (Mexican petrol station) for parking up for the night -they said yes, they didn’t even want money but when we parked up in a dark corner, we looked at each other and we said nearly in sync “let’s check that last place out in Santa Ana” (one place our guide book mentioned)

At this point it was after 9PM and both of us were fed up, tired, hungry, grumpy when we finally pulled up at a closed gate (boo!) where a sign was saying “Yes, We are OPEN!” (yay!) First we weren’t sure how to decipher this puzzle but as we were standing there a bit confused two chaps from inside the campground (guessed they were guests) walked up to us to help and let us know to knock on the door of the little house next door where the owners live.

What we didn’t know at this point was that when we (or anyone needing a campground for a night or two, as a matter the fact) knock on that door will meet the sweetest, most friendliest couple, Edgar and Ana.

They were already in bed but both of them got out and immediately opened the gate and welcomed us warmly then introduced us to our two neighbours (two couples) who were still up and enjoying a glass of wine and chatting. We hardly went through our usual parking-up routine, they invited us over.
For our biggest surprise one couple, a Swiss pair (Stephanie and Mario) were also overland travelling in their home-built Land Rover 110 in Central – Northern America (this time, They’ve already done Argentina- Alaska 5 years ago) So it was an extra excitement for us to meet them. The other very nice (Canadian-Mexican) couple John and Gaby from Oaxaca (Southern Mexico) were driving up to Canada where they spend their usual, annual few months for the summer. After a short introduction and chat with a bottle of cool beer (it is now 10PM and still 29C!) We all decided to continue the story-sharing tomorrow when it is actually Stephanie’s birthday.

We both, Johnny and I felt an incredible relief, joy and gratitude to find this place, and meet some truly sweet and enjoyable people -who welcomed us straight away as old friends, especially after a rather unexciting and demanding drive.

This could be something…