Thursday, October 27, 2005
I arrived in Mazatlan yesterday after a 10hour bus ride from Guadalajara! It was quite eventful too - I got to watch three films and we had the sniffer dog come on to the bus! I also passed from normal Mexico time into mountain time so I am now 7h behind the UK. As I was on the bus for so long I decided it would be good to stretch my legs and walk into the centre of Mazatlan. The book said it was about 1.5km! But it took me an hour - and yes I was carrying my rucksacks and got slightly lost but I recon it was more like 2miles! And I was sooooo sweaty when I got to the centre! I tried to find the Hotel Central but must have walked past it and so I am staying at thr Royal Dutch B&B, run by Wim and his Mexican wife Alicia. They made me feel very at home, and in fact its like I am staying with old friends as the room is full of art and antiques! I popped straight out to see if I could get a ferry ticket to La Paz but the office wasn't open. I had a fabulous vegetarian dinner of garlic mushrooms (almost a soup) and oyster mushrooms al la plancha! Yummy!
This morning, after a superb breakfast of fruit and yoghurt, I zoomed down to the ferry terminal and got a ticket - I leave tomorrow for La Paz. Then I walked up to the lighthouse. This nearly finished me off - I was sweating myself into a small puddle by the time I got to the top! But the view was fabulous, I should mention that it is the highest functioning lighthouse in the world at 500ft. Sadly the view also highlighted the pollution, which hangs over the city like a pinky-grey cloud. Overhead I caught sight of 6 frigate birds and as I came down, trying my hardest to break an ankel on the dusty rocks, I saw both green and black iguanas. In fact, in Guadalajara I saw a lad with one of the green ones sitting on his shoulder! I then proceded to walk all the way around the bay (8km), passing numerous statues, mostly of naked ladies, but one was to celebrate 100years of brewing beer on the Pacific coast and was a giant fermentor made into a fountain!
I went as far as Zona Dorado (the golden zone) where I had to practically swim against the tide of American tourist buying tat! I have to say this is my least favorite part of Mazatlan, the old area where I am staying has so much more character and no pushy touts. But each to their own. I didn't stay long and took a bus back to the centre. Or at least I though so. As we passed a right turn for the Centre I decided it was time to get off, and as luck would have it I found myself outside a hypermarket. So as I like to mosey round these places I popped in. Once I had been reprimanded for not handing in my bag I had a thorough browse. I bought some supplies for my boat trip but also bought myself a wee cake! They have gone Halloween mad here with nightclubs offering free drinks and the selling of many pumpkin shaped things. So my cake is a wee pumpkin - I shall savour (?) it later! Back in Viejo Mazatlan I had lunch at Arterios (yes that means artery and there was even a picture of one in the menu, I had a vegetarian sandwich - more mushrooms!) and then have appreciated the AC in this internet cafe!