Published: December 19th 2011December 6th 2011
Red is riding shotgun, eagerly awaiting the start of the trip.
Riding the Mazatlan Star
Well folks, it's been a while since I put something on this blog. I spent the summer in the US and Canada visiting and returned to La paz in September. Interesting things are happening again, so I have something to write about.
Red, my traveling companion, and I are taking a little land yacht excursion to the Mexico mainland. The first step in this trip is to take the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. The ferry ticket costs about $200 and is an overnight trip, leaving La Paz at 6 pm and arriving in Mazatlan at 10 am the next day. I arrived at the terminal too early so I stopped at a roadside stand just outside the gate for a cup of coffee and met a couple, Wendy and Patrick and their dog Lulu. They were from Colorado and traveling to Nicarauga on their Harley Davidson (which was huge and equipped with a small trailer) for a winter long vacation. They were a very nice couple and I talked with them several times that night and the next morning.
The first step after entering the gate to the ferry terminal is to
Wendy and Patrick
Off to Nicaragua for the winter on their Harley.
go through customs. The agent first examined the TIP (temporary import permit) for my car, which cost $100 plus a $400 deposit which I get back (I hope) if I return to La Paz within six months. The agent then led me to a button on a post and asked me to push the button. Yay! I got the green light, so no inspection and I could drive on. Next, it was time to park in line with all the other cars and trucks going on the ferry. Lots of trucks and lots of trailers without a tractor. These trailers were loaded by a couple of special tractors manned by ferry employees. You are asked to arrive two hours early, so I just waited there for about an hour until they started loading. Trucks and trailers go first, both on and off, so there is a lot of waiting.
Once on the ferry, I walked around and explored. My car was on the bottom most deck, deck 1. Deck 2 was also cars and small trucks while decks 3 and 4 were for semi's. Deck 5 held the passenger lounge, the cafeteria, and passenger cabins. Deck 6 was all
The Star viewed from the terminal access road.
passenger cabins. All of the cabins had been reserved in advance, so I was stuck spending the night in the passenger lounge. This wouldn't have been too bad if I had had the foresight to dress more warmly. I didn't and shivered all night.
We departed promptly at six and headed out of Bahia de La Paz. I went to the cafeteria to get a drink where I met a Mexican man who had noticed the Nevada plates on my car and since he had lived in Nevada for 17 years and had family there, he struck up a conversation with me, mostly in English as my Spanish is still pretty minimal. He invited me to sit with his family so I met Patti, his wife, and his two children Angel and Israel. Angel was coloring in a book so I spent some time talking to her. We practiced counting to 10 in Spanish and English, printed each others names with crayon in her book, etc.. About 7 it was dinner time and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ferry ticket included the dinner and breakfast the next morning. The menu that night was a choice of
Waiting to Load
Lots of waiting at both ends.
beef, chicken, or seafood stew with rice, beans and tortillas. I ate with Louis and his family and had the beef stew - it was terrific.
After dinner I watched the movie Shallow Hal
starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Then I settled down for a miserable night of freezing my fanny off. In the morning about 8 am, the cafeteria offered up breakfast. Ham and eggs, chiles acquiles and the usual suspects - beans, rice and tortillas. Also really tasty. I sat with Wendy and Patrick some other motorcycle travelers. I explained chile acquiles to the Mexico newbies - they were skeptical at first, but after a taste, they chowed down with pleasure.
The Mazatlan Star
was an hour late getting into port (11 instead of 10), so by the time all the semi's were unloaded and I was able to get off, it was 12:30. Sleepy and tired, I set off on the next leg of the trip, which you will hear about in the next entry, ---- David
There are more photos below