Run for the border!

Two things freaked me out.

It took us a bit of time to relax. We ate delicious meals, walked the beach and read.

Here are a few photos:

Would you want to come back anytime soon? Would you be afraid? Why or why not?

57 thoughts on “Run for the border!

  1. I was just telling my son that I have a friend (you) who goes to Mexico often and says it is completely safe. Maybe I would go, I told him. Now I’m rethinking. When I was young, I had a Mexican boyfriend. We went to visit his family. They lived in a nice house in the heart of Mexico. One afternoon, we went for a drive and went to a high spot near some ruins where you could see for a ways. He was telling me about the monuments we could see, filling me in on the history and everything. Cops pulled up behind us and he told me not to say anything. They accused us of having sex in public (not at all true) and did exactly what they did to you – jail or cash. He told them he didn’t have money, but asked them to follow us to the house, saying his dad would pay. They followed for a while, but of course they had no proof and didn’t want to speak to his dad. They pulled off and he told me we’d called their bluff. I got my taste of “real” Mexico way back then and have only been back for mission trips, soaked in prayer, since. We are indeed blessed in the US.

    • That is quite a story. How amazing that your family went to visit his family. Yes, I’m hearing more and more stories like that. Extortion is a way of their life. It certainly put a damper on the start of our weekend. Then I was nervous for the return trip. It’s a shame because it’s so beautiful and safe at the resort area called Sandy Beach.

    • They are talking about an airport, which would be so nice. There is a small airport in one area, but it’s only accessible from other Mexico cities. Phoenix to Puerto Penasco would be ideal.

  2. I haven’t driven to Mexico since ~2010 and never will again, due to a similar experience to yours. I was terrified! There’s a scam where criminals impersonate police officers and demand money for you to pass, so I bet that’s what happened. On the other hand, Dr. Zeus has a friend who owns a home in Puerto Penasco. He goes does frequently and has never had an issue, so I don’t know. Like you, I’m very grateful to be on the US side.

  3. Oh EA, how scary! In a nutshell no, I would not be going back that way anytime soon. That once safe route and area has clearly changed dramatically in response to human suffering and greed from a few who feel they have to exert power. I know how much you love the beach and that area but really is it worth risking your safety or life?

      • The snakes! Yikes. My husband said when he was in high school he and his friends used to surf in Mexico south of So Cal. He said they’d get stopped each time by Mexican police but back then it was $20. Also, when you drive to Mexico you have to buy a car insurance policy. I called our insurance guy and he asked me if we’d ever been stopped. When I told him no (this was before this trip) he was very surprised. He said they were stopped frequently for cash. He said the final straw on vacationing in Puerto Penasco was when his wife got very sick. He said they got too comfortable with drinking water or eating out. We bring our own water and even use it to brush our teeth. We also bring fruit and veggies, but enjoy local shrimp and the char-broiled chicken. If you have an attitude that it’s the price of entry, it’s safe. But I really have no desire to return right away. I’ve only been to Sedona once and there are many other places I’d like to explore like Payson where I don’t have to worry about the water or getting extorted!

      • E.A., do check out the Payson/Greer area and, if you’re up for hiking, check out Sheeps Crossing, Tonto Natural Bridge, and Fossil Creek in those areas. Look into Oak Creek Canyon (Forest Houses Resort and Junipine are nice) and maybe the West Fork trail (it’s super popular now… I haven’t been able to get in in ~15 years, but it’s gorgeous). There are lots of neat Indian ruins all across the state.

    • It was the long beautiful beach walks that made the weekend. We went every morning and at sunset. It’s such a juxtaposition of a peaceful feeling walking along the water of the Sea of Cortez and crossing the gauntlet to get there!

  4. This experience would put a damper on any getaway. I’ve been to Mexico once for about 45 minutes just to say I’d been there. It was Tijuana so not as peaceful as your destination. Which looks lovely.

    • I’ve never been to Tijuana and have no desire. I fell in love with Mexico in college. My sorority Big Sis’s family had a home in Cabo, before it was a popular place to go. We used to go for Christmas and Spring Break.Puerto Penasco is so safe and the beach goes on for miles. It’s so peaceful, but that border town makes me afraid.

  5. I would be rattled for sure and not wanting to go back even though I love the beach!! The photos look beautiful and I am glad you could still have a good time and most importantly that you got back safely!

  6. Never again. Suppose you could not come up with the cash! I’m sure the jail is open and you are not going to get that 1 phone call you might think you are entitled to. Nope, notta, aint happening again. Had a similare experience in HK but I was asking questions about the subway. The police grab myself and the guy I was speaking with because we were engaged in “illegal activities.” I was asking about the train schedule. Turns out he is know to be not a good person so the police let me go.

  7. I’m so sorry that happened to you and your husband. I would have paid the money too and got the hell out of there. I don’t think I would go back unless I could fly directly in and out of the resort (or very close by). You have no recourse in a foreign country. It’s there word against yours and your side of the story bears no weight. That’s so scary. Glad you were able to relax once you got there but you also had to drive through that town again to get home. Ugg. Hugs, C

    • I agree we are powerless in a foreign country and that thought stayed with me during the weekend. Right now the airport only flies from Mexico cities. Someday, it will be from Phoenix. We were thinking about buying a home down there. Now I realize what a bad idea that would be!

  8. We’ve traveled to Mexico multiple times, but it was by plane and more in the central part of the country (Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende mostly). We’ve never had an issue, but we are careful. I think I would also have felt very uncomfortable driving through the area you did even before you were stopped. Such tremendous poverty is hard to see, especially when you can’t help. I’m glad your drive north was uneventful.

    • I’m so relieved the drive home was safe. I slept like a baby once home. It’s almost too good to be true to have a Mexican paradise a few hours drive away. No flights from the US their yet. It will explode when it happens and probably lose charm.

  9. Cops stopping your car was pure extortion. It’s enough to put anyone off from going there again. We see a lot of poverty in our country too. Some of it is real while at other times it’s contrived to gain sympathy. I’m sorry your trip was spoiled by this incident.

  10. Oh wow – the pictures are beautiful. But you’re right – that’s frightening. The encounter with the policeman would give me pause. Hope the return trip goes without incident!

  11. We has a similar experience around Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Hubby was picking up our adult children at at 2am from Coco Bongo in Playa and on his way back to the resort north of town when he was pulled over by the Mexican highway patrol who said he was speeding (he was not). After much negotiation, they paid him some cash and he agreed not to pursue the ticket. Corruption runs deep there as well. But the resort is lovely and I hope you had time to relax.

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