Mazatlán con familia

A pulmonia, one of Mazatlán’s ubiquitous open taxis. They are a fun way to get around as a tourist.

Weather just doesn’t cooperate when you need it to. This is true whether you’re in a sailboat or not. Bill’s sister Carol was supposed to be flying down just as a major snowstorm was beginning to hit the upper midwest. She was able to switch flights and arrive a day earlier, before the airport was closed and her original flight canceled. Bill’s other sister Sarah and her husband Brad would arrive from Florida a couple of days later without any weather trauma.

Carol was staying at a hotel in the Zona Dorada. We could catch the marina hotel shuttle and then walk down to her hotel to meet up for dinner or exploring. Carol was feeling adventurous in spite of a twisted ankle (Mazatlan sidewalks are very uneven), so the three of us caught a pulmonia to the historic district and took in the art museum and the archeology museum. Both are small but interesting.

The other tourist transport, the auriga. They came in different sizes for carrying six to ten people. With five of us, we rode one to go to the concert at Teatro Angela Peralta.

One of the attractions in Mazatlán is the Teatro Angela Peralta. Named after a famous opera singer who died in Mazatlán of yellow fever the week after she arrived with her company in 1882, it’s been restored and once again hosts concerts and other performances. We all went to see the Cuarteto Ventura there. We enjoyed the concert, Twenty Songs from Around the World, and then went out for ice cream at Helarte Sano, our favorite ice cream shop. We beat the line. That night we grilled marlin on Gypsy for everyone. Someone else had caught it and given us a piece. It was very good.

The post concert line after the concert at Teatro Angela Peralto. According to a number of locals, Helarte Sano has the best ice cream in Mazatlán. We totally agree. The menu changes often and we make a point to try a different flavor every time we go.

After a week, Sarah and Brad went back to Florida. Carol had another week and her ankle was feeling better. One of our Mazatlán quests was to find a new coffee maker. The glass carafe on our French press broke and our cobbled together funnel, gold filter and thermos wasn’t going to work for the long run. Carol was game for the hunt, and we caught a pulmonia into el centro. The driver was chatty and Nina got to practice her Spanish. He stopped and asked at a restaurant supply store if they had one, no, and then drove us to Ley, a grocery store, where he thought they might have one. They didn’t either so we walked down to Liverpool, one of the big department stores, and we found a stovetop espresso maker. It might dent, but it won’t break.

One of the events while we were all in town was the monthly ArtWalk so we gave it a whirl. It’s an open studio/gallery night and there was some fun art to look at in the historic district. Our other excursions included hiking up El Faro, the lighthouse hill down by the harbor. We also caught a pulmonia to take us to the water taxi for Isla de la Piedra (Stone Island). It took us to a different dock than we’d used before, but it was fun to see a new part of the harbor. We enjoyed the beach and caught the water taxi back from the beach dock. We had fun and then it was time for Carol to head back home.

We remained at the marina after everyone left. If you stay a month the rate is much better than if you only stay a couple of weeks. Bus service from the marina into town is frequent and runs 12 to 13 pesos apiece. Other than the couple of times we ended up on the wheel well, we enjoyed our bus rides.

Waiting for the bus at Mercado Pino Suarez. The white fronted buses cost 12 pesos to ride. The green fronted buses are usually nicer, have air conditioning, and cost 13 pesos to ride. Each bus is decorated by the driver which makes it easy to tell if you’d ridden with that driver before. The cathedral is in the background.

We talked with a couple of Mazatlán volunteers one day when we were having an ice cream at Helarte Sano and they recommended a restaurant nearby. When there’s a cruise ship in town, the historic district is full of volunteers to help visitors maximize their time ashore. Our volunteers recommended a restaurant nearby that we hadn’t tried yet called Chon Mariscos. The restaurant has been around for at least forty years and specializes in seafood. We had whole corvina. There was a family at the next table with a couple of small boys and it was fun to watch them dive into their ceviche. One of them stood on his chair so he could get his spoon in the glass it was served in and he was clearly savoring it one bite at a time.

The whole fish at Chon Mariscos. A bit messy to eat, but very good.

Finally our month was up at the marina and it was time to get ready to cross over to Baja again. It was nice to have hot showers and laundry, but the daily bingo and same playlist everyday at the pool was getting old. It took a couple of tries to get out of our tight slip, but our neighbor helped and no crunching noises were heard. We topped up our fuel at the gas dock and headed off to the harbor to wait for good weather to cross to Cabo San Lucas.

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