Everything is Beautiful — Mazatlan

We arrived in Mazatlan at 7 AM the day after the eclipse.  Suzi and I didn’t get off the ship until close to noon.  The night before I had two zoom meetings, one with the Raven Board and one of the Sitka Tourism Taskforce.  We didn’t get through until after 10:30. By then the only place for dinner was “New York Pizza and Deli” on deck 10 and two of the food stations at the Lido on deck 9.

My parents used to cruise, and they always raved about the “fabulous” they always used the word “fabulous” midnight buffets on the cruise ships.  My mother loved the carved ice figures, the swan, water dripping off its bill, and the cakes.  She loved the cakes.  Pop liked the cold cuts. By 2024 that boat had left the pier. 

At the Lido food station I could get beef fajita, sweet and sour pork, pot stickers and French fries.  At the sweets table several little cakes and puddings.  There were only two other passengers there, but the tables were filled with entertainers, having a late snack or light supper after coming off their gigs.  No melting swans.  As they say, nine is the new midnight and by quarter to eleven…

We got off the ship at Mazatlan’s commercial port.  A motorized “train” took us to the port terminal where you could buy all things Mexican, including tacos, Tequilla and T shirts bragging about Mexican Pot (This is Sinaloa.)  Some cruise mates ventured no further than the market. 

We talked to the tour dispatcher, who found us an English-speaking cab driver, George. He had an open-air cab.  It was really a UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) also called a 4-wheeler, the type just recently made street legal in Sitka.

The dispatcher said she was a typical Washingtonian. Working winters in Mexico and fishing summers out of Cold Bay, Alaska.  The driver she found us did not have bad English, but he just had one adjective, “beautiful.”  Everything we drove by was “beautiful” the bougainvillea, the corniche along the shore, hotels, including run down ones, the Cathedral, the market, apartment buildings and even abandoned construction sites.  

But much of it was beautiful.  On our way to the old town we passed Liverpool Street where there are statues of the four Beatles crossing in a zebra stripe, much like on the cover of Abby Road.  There is a London phone box and post box along the street. 

We drove around the old town and then had an hour or so to wander on foot, visiting the Cathedral, the main market and several town plazas. The plazas WERE beautiful with vendors, and lines of shoeshine guys sadly looking at my Teva sandals. 

In the cathedral, not old, built in the 1930s and consecrated in 1943. It, to me, had a number of Moorish touches. I saw a folding chair leaning against a pillar with the letters CATEDRA stenciled on it and thought “what a humble bishop.”

Pricing was confusing.  The dollar sign, $,” denotes both dollars and pesos.  In the market by the cruise ship we were pretty sure “$” meant US dollars.  In the city market we were pretty sure “$” meant Pesos. 

But the stores along the street were confusing.  Suzi found a fabric shop where the bolts marked in $ would be a real bargain in US dollars.  But this did not seem like a tourist store and at 16 Mexican$ to one US$ the bolts would be a real steal, too cheap.

The ship left at Mazatlan 4:30 and we were warned to leave town for the ship early because Mazatlan was jammed with tourists here for the eclipse, which went off well despite early morning fog and clouds.  For a while it was doubtful because of fog and clouds but the skies cleared up in time for the eclipse to visible from the town and there were lots of eclipse souvenirs on sale, especially t shirts.  George proudly showed us a great iPhone photo he took.

As we were driving along the coastal road, along the corniche toward New Mazatlan with its tall building and building skeletons in different stages of construction or abandonment he saw the traffic going the other way and told us we would never get back in time if we didn’t turn around now. 

So, we headed back to the ship with one more stroll through the gauntlet of hawkers, many asking if we would have one more shot of toquilla before leaving Mexico.

2 thoughts on “Everything is Beautiful — Mazatlan

  1. I first thought of going to Mazatlan for the Eclipse since it was the first place on land the eclipse could be seen. But then I figured it would be harder to get all the family to come there, and more expensive maybe too.
    So after giving up on Mazatlan is when I found Del Rio area for the eclipse.
    But I have been to Mazatlan before and really liked it! We stayed near a beach where the turtles hatch, and we got to see 100’s of baby turtles making their way to the ocean after hatching. That is one of my favorite memories in life, and fills me with a great feeling of joy even remembering it.
    We went into town just one day, and saw some great statues there for sure.
    Thank for the blog and all the great photos Rich!

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