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Fri Dec 21 2012: Life's a Beach in Mazatlan

I've never thought of Mexico as being divided up into states, but like the US and Canada, Mexico has 31 states and 1 federal district. Right now, we've crossed over by ferry into our 3rd state, Sinaloa, after riding through Baja California and Baja California Sur. In Los Mochis, we waited till noon for Rick to finish his motorcycle service and then we all rode together southwards along the coast towards Mazatlan. It's about a 6 hour ride including a break for a late lunch.

Not knowing any better, we were routed to the toll road, which has a great speed limit of 110 km/h, but it was very expensive! We estimate that we paid the same in tolls that we did in gasoline. Note for the future, stay off the Cuota (toll) roads!


Cruising the Malecon in Mazatlan

In Mazatlan, Rick showed us to one of his favorite hotels right on the Malecon. It was relatively cheap since it's off-season and it seemed like we were one of the only occupants in the hotel. Rick took off to spend the night at his friends place and we would meet up a couple of times later in the city for a bite to eat.


Beach on the Malecon

Mazatlan is very much a beach town, but unlike the more well-known seaside resorts like Cancun, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, there are more local vacationers and less foreign tourists here. We like that a lot. We got to practice our Spanish with everyone. Man, I really need the practice...


Normally I'm pretty good at seeing where things are headed, but...

ooookey...

We stuffed ourselves with shrimp and seafood. I think this is the biggest meal we've had in Mexico!

After lunch, I felt like this guy...

Colourful parasails punctuate the sand, sea and sky

Sea and sky blend together as birds give chase to the sailboats

Pelicans dive-bomb the waves - the waters are filled with fish!

We tried some Cuban food for a change

Here I'm having a dish called Ropa Vieja, literally translated means "Old Clothes". It's a popular dish in Cuba and it's made of shredded steak in a tomato sauce, some plantains and rice. Although the owner spoke fluent English, Neda made me talk to him in Spanish. From the look on his face, I think I may have ordered "moldy laundry"...


This is the Gringo Tourist section. Everything is done up pretty, but it's way overpriced

This senorita was celebrating her 15th birthday, these are the guys in the party, the rest of the girls were in the nightclub

The celebration of QuinceaƱera, a girl's 15th birthday, is a big tradition in Latin America. It marks the transition from childhood to womanhood, similar to a Bat Mitzvah.

Plaza Machado is one of the oldest places in Mazatlan, lots of architecture influenced by the French and Spanish. It's recently been restored by local businesses to attract tourist $$$. Very pretty area to stroll through, but it felt a bit sterile, so we didn't stay too long.


Walking around old Mazatlan

The steets around old Mazatlan have been closed to traffic, I think this happens every evening on the weekends. There are tons of people walking the street. We felt much more at home in this environment, with street vendors offering everything from tacos to toys, shoes and clothing and stages set up at every intersection playing live music, dancers and DJs. Amazing!!!


The streets are crowded with locals enjoying their weekend!

Indoor market where the locals shop

Now *THAT'S* what I'm talking about! Keep it coming...

Open air concert in the closed off steets outside of old Mazatlan

Dancers strutting their stuff

Pre-Christmas nuptials

Christmas-time outside the Catedral de la Immaculada Concepcion. How appropriate!

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