11/21/2014 – Amato, AZ to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico

I’m actually writing this a week later, on Thanksgiving.  I can’t believe how badly I’ve let the blog slip.  Not sure why exactly.  Just lazy I suppose.  I’ll try to do better but I probably won’t succeed.  How’s that for setting the bar low?  Trouble is, I do little updates on our whereabouts on Facebook now so I feel like I’m off the hook for awhile.

Where, you may ask, is Amato, AZ?  Well, it’s where Mountain View RV Ranch (25 miles north of Nogales) is actually located in spite of the address on their receipts putting them in Tucumacacori.  We spent one night there before heading on to Puerto Peñasco.  We originally had no plans to hit PP this trip since it’s a ways out of the way and we’ve already spent plenty of time there.  However, while we were scouting places in SE Arizona we received a Facebook link from our friend Elli.  It was for a place that was for sale in Puerto Peñasco.  We had previously decided that, unless or until we understood Mexican real estate laws a lot better, we would only have property in Mexico that we could afford to walk away from.  After all, the country has had a revolution or two in its history.  Our boat is on the hard in San Carlos and we would surely hate to lose it, but it wouldn’t break us.  Likewise if we lost Flipper somewhere along the line.  But real estate?  I don’t think so.  At least I didn’t think so until we got the posting from Elli.

But first, the border crossing.  It was so uneventful that I’m writing this just for folks who might be following so they’ll know just how easy a border crossing can be.  We crossed at Lukeville/Sonoyta.  When we approached the Aduana (Customs) agent, I slowed, ready to pull into the inspection slot but he just waved us through.  Great.  We parked in the median strip along with a bunch of Mexican cars and then walked back to Migración with our passports to get our 180-day tourist cards.  We were the only customers and the process went smoothly.  We were in the office maybe 15 minutes.  Then, we were on our way.

Our last day and night in the States was cold.  Breaking camp in Amato in a biting wind wasn’t fun.  So, when we pulled into the Playa de Oro RV Park on the beach in Puerto Peñasco, we were really pleased to see everyone in shorts and t-shirts (or no shirts).  It was about 85 degrees out and the sky was clear.  We had a couple of beers in the little palapa bar by the beach.  So nice to be back in Mexico.

The title of this blog should really have been “Moving To Mexico Lite”.  The place for sale isn’t exactly a house and the land it sits on doesn’t go with the purchase but the price reflects this.  It’s actually an older (90s) 38′ trailer with 2 slide-outs.  A living room has been built on one side and there’s a “Margarita Deck” above it with a view of the Sea of Cortez.  There’s a shaded sitting area outside and a storage shed.  The place is air-conditioned.  Also has covered parking that is tall enough to slip Flipper under and long enough to park another small vehicle in front of Flipper and still be under cover.  Here, take a look:

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OK, it’s not a great view of the Sea but at least we can see the water.  The place is only 2 blocks from the beach.  It’s located inside a small “condo” complex:

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At night, the front gate is locked and the owners put the yard dog on patrol, so it’s pretty darn secure.

The little casitas are rented out to mostly baby-boomer-aged guests who come down for spring break, holidays, etc.  The owners don’t advertise as they manage to keep the place as full as they want with just return customers and word-of-mouth.  The only possible thing that could possibly bite us is that the owners have the complex up for sale.  They told us that if they sell it, they’ll write a clause in the contract that we be allowed to stay on the property.  However, if this is the straw that breaks the back of the sale, they may not be able to do that.  However, they have a lot invested in their place and don’t want to take a loss.  Our understanding is that it’s priced pretty high and has been on the market for 3-4 years.  We’re not too concerned about a sale happening before we can wreak all the fun we’ve paid for out of the place.  So how much is this place that we feel we can afford to walk away from if needed?  It’s very impolite of you to ask but, since you did, I’ll tell you. $4800.  To put it in perspective, that’s the same price we paid for Flipper.  If we get a year’s use out of it, we won’t have lost anything as it would cost us more than $400/month to park Flipper at an RV Park for a year.  Granted, there’s also a monthly rent on the space but that’s only $157 and includes rent, water, sewer, garbage, satellite TV, and internet access.  We have to pay our own electricity and are on our own for getting our propane tanks filled.

The current owner is selling only because her health requires her to be somewhere near family, and that’s in the U.S.  She’s been living in Puerto Peñasco for decades and has been in this little place year-round for the last several years so everything works and the place hasn’t been sitting empty.  She won’t be able to move out until January which works great for us as we don’t want to cut our trip short.  So we’ll continue on down the Mexican highway and return to Puerto Peñasco next spring before going up to Oregon in the summer to visit the kids and grandkids

So, until we find our ideal settle-down place someday, we have a place in Mexico, just an hour’s drive from the border.  Mexico Lite.


Amato, AZ to Puerto Peñasco: 243 miles

Total to-date: 5,875 miles


About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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7 Responses to 11/21/2014 – Amato, AZ to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico

  1. jamesdane says:

    Sweet deal !!! I thought real hard to find at least one negative and came up positive. You two got a really nice hideaway. Is there a close marina for the boat?

  2. vickiel@q.com says:

    Very cute! So you are buying it? Vickie

  3. Al and Sharon Foster; s/v Solana says:

    Wow looks perfect; what a nice place to find and south of the border near the water and near the boat. Congrats. Give us an address sometime and we’ll look you up on our way to Green Valley after we get the boat moved to San Carlos from La Paz

  4. Pat Bowers says:

    Hi Yoders! Your new home looks wonderful and bargain priced. Looks like you will be able to resell and make a nice profit! We also have a toyota motorhome. Camping in LaCruz, Mexico right now! Write us back please! Looking forward to meeting & visiting with ya’ll! This is our first trip here and loving it!

    • sryoder says:

      La Cruz like down near Puerto Vallarta? Cus we’re just outside of La Cruz de Elota but that’s north of Mazatlán. Headed to Maz tomorrow. You staying La Cruz awhile? Where?

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