Published: January 31st 2011January 31st 2011
Friday, Jan 21st:
We are currently in Mazatlan. We broke camp at Celestino on Tuesday. Bill & Jane and Pat & Gord rolled out early with Paul, Terry, Ray and I following a couple hours later. We all had planned to meet up here at the Mar Rosa Campground on the beach in Mazatlan. They stopped to shop. We got here earlier. We thot we’d been ditched. We were just getting settled when our amigos showed up. What a reunion!
Paul and Terry left yesterday (Thursday) to head inland to Santa Maria del Oro which Terry loves. The location is very popular with Mexican families on weekends so they wanted to get settled before the road in became too crowded. Terry and I hugged. It was hard to split up. Here is the web site. It looks lovely:
Bill, Jane, Pat and Gord left this morning (Friday) for points south. Again, it was sad to part company.
Ray’s back has been bothering him for a week or so. He had back surgery on October 8th and last saw his doctor on Dec. 28th. Dr. Cluck (yes, that’s his name) told Ray that he would advise
him not to make this trip but because Ray would do it anyway, Dr. Cluck advised him to stop and walk every half hour or so. Ray was not too diligent about that but his back was doing ok until just a few miles back.
We’re going to hold up here at the Mar Rosa RV Park in Mazatlan until Ray gets better. The place is a little pricy as Mexican camp grounds go but we are right on the beach. We have internet and cable (one English channel) TV, clean rest rooms with hot showers. We are on a convenient bus route to almost anywhere in the city. There are many wonderful bars and restaurants within walking distance.
Ray and I celebrated our 48th anniversary Wednesday nite at Chile Pepper’s restaurant. We scored a table overlooking the beach. A group of fire dancers put on an ad hoc performance for tips on the beach in front of us. We mentioned to our waiter that we were celebrating our 48th anniversary. The hostess and many employees stopped by to congratulate us. They serenaded us and presented us with a free dessert of flan and ice cream. Of course,
by nature Mexicans are naturally very hospitable but much of this attention is probably due to the fact that tourism is way down.
Friday, Jan 21st: This afternoon we had we shared ceviche for lunch at a beach palapa restaurant called Loco Lupe’s that we’d read about on line. Our waiter, Raul, who as a child had lived with relatives in Milpitas for a few years isn’t sure whether it is the recession or the violence that it keeping tourists away. Crime and the economy are making a big impact on the people working in tourist related fields here in Mexico.
The beaches are practically deserted. Reminds me of the 2004 film A Day Without a Mexican. Only now it is A Day Without a Gringo and it is not fiction.
Many RVers are staying home. Only this park seems to be at even fifty percent capacity. While it seems like quite a few regular condo renters/owners have returned and some beach hotels do have a few guests it is awfully quiet in the bars, restaurants and shops.
Two recent articles in the San Jose Mercury News reported that both Carnival and Royal Caribbean are moving
their Los Angeles and San Diego operations elsewhere and that cruise ships will stop docking in Mazatlan. That will surely affect the local economy. The only day Mazatlan’s beaches were active with vendors was the day a cruise ship was in port.
We’ve seen an increase in the Army presence on the highways and the tourist police are out in full force along the malacon (boardwalk) here in Mazatlan.
Coming home on the bus from downtown my seatmate was a middle age gentleman wearing a business suit. His English was about equivalent to my Spanish. His son lives in Tulsa with his wife and five kids. His daughter lives in Denver. He wanted to talk politics.
He likes President Obama but thinks Mr. Obama only has two years left as president. He does not like Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon. He thinks Sarah Palin is really crazy but then he also gave Hillary Clinton a thumbs down.
Tonite, we enjoyed the two for one rib dinner at a place called Fat Fish just down the block from our RV park. Our two-fer rib dinners only cost 150 pesos or about $13 for both dinners with fourteen ribs
each, baked potatoes, coleslaw and a pre dinner green salad. No wonder the place was full of gringos.
Saturday, Jan 22nd. Today we caught the northbound bus to check out Matzatlan’s marina. It is pretty but does not have much to offer for visiting boaters besides the humungous and wonderful Margaritas at Gus Gus restaurant. Gus Gus also has a Trip Advisor highly rated downtown restaurant as well.
Mazatlan’s most highly acclaimed Margaritas are served at Twisted Mama’s in Mazatlan’s la Zona Dorada. We stopped by there as well and met Cindy, the owner. She is from Alberta. She opened the place after her husband passed away. Her only previous bar experience was working in them. It was quiet today but her operation seems to be a success based on the food accolades on Trip Advisor.
Sunday, Jan 23rd. We returned to Twisted Mama’s to catch the play off games on TV and to order her highly acclaimed fish and chips. Our server told us that the fish was what we American’s call “puffer fish” and the world’s finest. It was indeed excellent but we prefer halibut, sea bass and cod but at 90 pesos ($7.50) each
it was a heck of a deal.
Friday, Jan 28th. We’re headed home today. Ray’s back pain has become more excruciating by the day. While it is disappointing to cut our planned three-month winter vacation short, in 2001 we drove all the way to Mazatlan for just our work holiday break.
If Ray gets better and the bay area rains become intolerable, we can always head to warmer climes. So Cal and Phoenix are only a day’s drive away.
There are more photos below