March 24, 2009 GMT

Unhappy as I was about a 14-hour ferry crossing, the time went quickly and we arrived at Mazatlan around 8 in the morning. We rode off the ferry and after a quick reconnoitre of the locale, rode up to the Hotel Mexico, one of Andrea’s recommendations, where we checked in, changed clothes, parked the bike, and were out. The sheer Mexican-ness of Mazatlan, compared to Baja, revitalised us, and we both felt our fatigue slip away the more we discovered about this gorgeous old town. We stumbled across the Cathedral, and the main Plaza in front of it, as is the custom in most Spanish colonial towns, the Café’s lining the Plazuela tempted us in for coffee and fruit salad, and then the lack of sleep caught up with us and we walked back to the Hotel Mexico for a nap.
Mazatlan is a lively, vibrant city. The market was a hive of activity, and the people were friendly and welcoming. The city itself was a maze of streets, anda joy to get lost in. We would walk around aimlessly, following the sounds of the local brass “Bandas” until we would find their source, usually in the form of a sort of Mexican working men’s club. The bars would have kitchens but no menus. Patrons would buy their seafood from the local fishermen or the “Camaronadores” and bring it to these establishments for them to cook it, in any way you wanted it.
We were always made very welcome in these places, even though we felt extremely out of place, especially as Jacquie was nearly always the only girl in the place apart from the busty waitresses.
In the week or so that we were there-our stay was extended due to both of us having a bit of a problem with our stomachs-we must have covered almost every inch of the town, from its 32km stretch of seafront and beaches, from the lighthouse (the second highest in the world) to the drag strip.
Jacquie realised her dream of horse riding along a sandy beach, whilst I finally got the Tattoo I had been talking about for some 15 years.

Posted by Dan Shell at March 24, 2009 02:52 AM GMT

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