Mazatlán, again..

The price of airfare is important when we are choosing our next spot, however Mazatlán had nothing to do with cheap airfare and everything to do with timeshare points. Actually airfare to Mazatlán was the most expensive cost to our travel budget in the last year and a half and it came with an entire day of travel! A positive though, was that we have never made it through Customs and Immigration so quickly on a trip. 

Priority Pass lounge

We had an hour and a half layover in Mexico City and because it was a short connecting flight we were escorted past the long Custom's lines and went straight to an "express" line. That gave us about 45 minutes before we left. It just so happened the airport had a Priority Pass lounge that was right next to our gate, worked out perfectly, as Jim stated. But, not so much for me, I like to be at our gate about 35-45 minutes before boarding, but because I could see our gate from inside the lounge, why not? 

We ordered a drink and a quick bite and then took off to the gate. As we approached the ticket counter I asked the lady when our plane was boarding she yelled in broken English, “we are waiting for you!”  We both took off trying to keep up with the ticket lady, who finally stopped and pointed us to a door. Everyone we passed seemed to be pointing us in the next direction that led to a bus outside, where we waited. SHIT! Surely they won’t take off without us. Finally the bus.

As I boarded the plane, I noticed everyone was buckled and ready to go and I put my head down and did the walk of shame to my seat. I quickly got settled, dripping sweat as I’m dressed in travel clothes which consist of the heaviest and bulkiest clothes, oh and add my winter jacket for some stupid reason. My heart is pounding because I am totally out of shape and it's hard to control my heavy breathing while wearing my mask so I don’t fog up my glasses, which I need to see to find the only two empty seats on the plane. Ughhh! I finally sat, caught my breath, pulled my mask down, took off my glasses and looked at Jim, so he could see and understand the importance of what I was about to say. But before I could say anything, he said to me all excited, I've never been the last person on a plane before. Ughh.

We finally arrived at the resort, where the 26th floor would be our home for the next month. We had two bedrooms, two kitchens, three bathrooms, two balconies, (daily cleaning if needed), beautiful sunset and ocean views ahh, I am reminded why I love Mazatlan.  After choosing a room, unpacking and getting all settled I finally got in bed exhausted. At about 10:00 pm the newly built club in the old vacant lot next door started to rock it. I switched rooms which didn't really help, earplugs only muffled the sounds and the vibrations were so strong they shook the bed.  Finally around 4:00 am, when all was quiet I fell asleep only to be awoken at 6:45 am to the sound of construction on the high-rise going up across the street. This went on for the whole stay and for some weird reason time in Mazatlán seemed to stand still. 

Getting around Mazatlan was extremely easy and safe.  Transportation by taxi or pulmonia can seem very reasonable but used often can definitely dig into the budget. Ubers were cheaper but unreliable and you could be waiting for hours (don't ask how I know). Take the bus. It runs from the north side of the Golden Zone, all through Centro and then to the south side of town for only $12 pesos one way. By taking the bus it was a savings of $12.00 USD every round trip to downtown and the buses were very clean. 

Once we realized Walmart delivered to the resort for only $2.00, we no longer got funny looks carrying two twelve packs, a couple bags of ice and two 6 lts of water home from the Oxxo every couple of days. Most bellhops are used to unloading luggage, ours was just three weeks of groceries and he earned every peso we tipped.  Most of our meals were cooked at home on a tricky burner that would shock you, but you'd never know when. Thankfully Jim enjoys and does most of the cooking and when he left it up to me we usually ordered from Didi and UberEATS.  In the past, I loved the resort's coconut shrimp and we always splurged for all inclusive bands and I would order that almost every day. This trip I had them one time, a kilo for $35.00😲. We had free vouchers otherwise we would never spend that much and it was totally disappointing! My two favorite places to eat were Birria & Tacos by Maria Bonita (don’t be fooled by appearance) and Taco Time, you can't beat amazing food for under $3.00. 

The Malecon was an OK walk with the ocean on one side, but little else until you get close to Centro and no shade during the day. I enjoyed walking through Olas Atlas, passing Casa de colores, it was beautiful.  The Plazuela and Centro were always busy, but definitely worth spending a day and evening having some fun. I would highly recommend booking a show at the Angela Peralta Theater. It’s an old restored theater with beautiful architecture. Tickets were cheap, $6.96 (USD pp) even the best seats were cheap, so don't wait like we did, because it is not your normal theater and it does have "not so good seats." Even without the best seats, we both enjoyed the Nutcracker.

We rode the Centro bus to the end of the line which takes you to the base of the Faro. As far as lighthouse views go I wasn’t impressed. This is not something I'd do again, but it does only cost $1.00 to walk out on the Mirador. We paid for the ticket but skipped it. Just make sure you bring water and do it early. From the Faro you exit and walk past a water filtration or sanitation plant (that you smell and see as you come down the Faro) and it stinks like shit for what seems like an eternity, as you walk this road that is void of anyone but vendors. At one point I thought I could jog, but I  was trying to control my breathing so I didn’t inhale too much poop air. We had the pleasure of walking this road not once but twice, of course the second time by accident. I am sure we were a sight for the vendors as we both half jogged, stopped, bent over and gagged the whole way up the road.  At the end of "Shit Lane" you go left almost straight up "Steep Ass Hill" to the Observatory. It was a slow incline, not that bad. Once you get to the top take the funicular up to beautiful gardens, museum, and a bar...the views were breathtaking. 

The biggest and best improvement in Mazatlán was the investment in their sidewalks; they are no longer ankle breakers. There is new construction, both commercial and residential going up like crazy,  it has locals questioning where the money and people will come from.

This trip to Mazatlan was so much different than previous trips and it saddens me to say this, but Mazatlan was not what it once was, neither good nor bad, just different for me. Mazatlan and myself have done a lot of growing up and a lot has changed in nine years. I am starting to understand that there is no way for me to recreate something that once was, but instead embrace and be thankful for those moments; while appreciating change and growth in all that life brings and offers me. So, thank you Mazatlan for once again giving me the gift of time; time to think and reflect, time to smile and laugh, time to be grateful and thankful, time to dream and plan, and most of all the time to enjoy your beautiful sunsets.

(Even if you now come with a side of impending realization of nighttime thumping techno terror)


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