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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day Three: Mazatlan

The forecast had been dubious for our day in Mazatlan as well so we were positively delighted when we awakened to bright sunshine beckoning us to the beaches. We found another couple who wanted to head to the Zona Dorado (the gold zone) and shared a cab. Our first impressions of Mazatlan were not as favorable. We were dropped off in a less than attractive part of town and felt overwhelmed by cheap stores and goods. We decided to make our way to the beach. We could see that the beach space was fast disappearing so we secured two lounge chairs and staked our claim. The beach was fast filling up with folks like us, one day cruisers who were pouring onto the Mazatlan beaches. If we had been there for a week long vacation it would've been a total drag, but for a day, we took in the cultural reality of people piling on top of one another, seeking to enjoy the beach front!It was lovely and the water was warm, but vendors stalked and every 30 seconds you had to tell someone "no gracias" as they sought to sell you a dress, jewelry, hats, and sunglasses all for "practically free today." The sun was hot and lovely however and we topped up our tan in a nice way.Para sailing is quite the sport in Mazatlan and it was fun to watch the tourists take off behind a boat in their parachutes. More fun was watching them land. Vendors were selling action figures attached to a parachute as a kite and the lure of pulling a para sailing Batman behind our boat in Stockholm proved to be too much and we bought one! I do think we'll be the hit of the archipelago next summer as para sailing hasn't really caught on in Stockholm!
We finally tired of the crush of the crowd and decided to act upon a tip one of the breakfast waiters had given us at breakfast to head for the Ramada hotel. We made our way down to the beach and found this little haven of quiet and beauty. We jumped in their pool, sat on their deck and soaked in a few more hours of sunshine. We eventually found a more attractive area of town and did some browsing, eventually finding our way to a neat little restaurant where we enjoyed some good Mexican treats. We made our way back to the cruise terminal in this cute little golf cart type of taxi.Even though the Mazatlan port is in a highly industrialized area, we enjoyed the deck departure because it was such a beautiful evening. The departure was lovely and Doug, my parents and I enjoyed being on deck watching the world go by as we made our way toward Cabo San Lucas.I enjoyed our day but would never choose to return to Mazatlan for an extended vacation. Too many people in too small a place but for a day, it was a fun experience. My tan was looking pretty good now as well!