Thursday, November 21, 2019

El Faro, Mazatlan, Mexico, el veintiuno de noviembre, 2019

My mission for the day was to get to El Faro before it got too hot. Well, I don’t know what time that would be - I was sweating buckets.  It didn’t help that it was 100% humidity because of yesterday’s rain.  Thank goodness it has cooled off this evening.  El Faro is at the south end of the city on what used to be an island until a causeway was built in 1828.  The original lighthouse was built in 1879 and they used an oil burning lamp, mirrors and a Fresnel lens to project a beam of light. This was a great improvement over the signal fires they used before.  Even with the lamp, because that signal didn’t move, the light was often mistaken for a star.  In 1905, the light was upgraded to a fully-rotating signal lit by a hydrogen gas lamp.  In 1933 an electric lamp replaced that and is still there today.  The 1000 watt bulb produces light equivalent to 600,000 candles and it can be seen for 300 nautical miles.

The lighthouse itself is only two and a half stories tall-

but it’s on a hill that is 515 feet above the sea-

so that means it is the highest lighthouse in the Western Hemisphere, and second in the world after the Aerobeacon which is found in Gibraltar.  

Looking north to lovely Mazatlán-

A bit to the east is the port-

and La Isla de Piedra and its beautiful beaches-

Afterwards, I walked to the start of the Malecon where I met a couple from Winnipeg who were wondering where they might find some shops.  The man was severely overweight and walked with a cane so I’m not sure how far they thought they might walk.  They had come from a fancy hotel in the north via taxi for 150 pesos, rather than hopping on the Green Bus for 22.  Whatever. They’re from Winnipeg, what can you expect?  We had a nice visit and then I carried on. 

I stopped in at the Museo de Arte to see three exhibitions.  Zapata Vive is the exposition of images by Emiliano Zapata and include Libertad de Expresion-

La familia Serdan inicia la Revolucion de 1910-

I thought that was fitting considering we celebrated the Revolucion just yesterday.

Mexico transforma en una gran ciudad-

and all the things that come with that!

Another artist who had work on display was Maries Mendiola who denounces gender violence as well as violence against animals-

La Cena - (Supper)-

Tocar fondo- (At the Bottom)-

 Un Descansito Pues- (Rest Well)-

The third artist with work on display was Esther Guizar whose exposition is called Cuerpo de Tentacion ( Bodies of Temptation) but the only thing I saw was this oven mitt she had embroidered-

She had a video too but it wasn’t running and that was fine with me.  Pretty weird!

There’s an Art Walk the first Friday of the month that includes about 20 different art stores in the Centro Historico.  I stopped in a couple and they had some very nice things, all of which I do not need.

Lunch was pollo de mole, something I love but this is not Puebla and it wasn’t as good as I remember.  I first had a consommé shell macaroni soup with warm tortillas even served in a warming dish-

Then the chicken mole with rice as well as beans on the side.  Mole sauce contains fruit, chilies, nuts, black pepper, cinnamon and cumin-     

My afternoon was spent in nice AC and I worked some more on my next 7 weeks.  It’s coming together but is so much work.  I have new neighbours above me, but only for one night thank goodness.  They sound like a herd of elephants!  They are Mexicans from Manzanillo, on their way north to surf.  They hauled in three gigantic surf boards that they didn’t dare leave out on their vehicle.  They couldn’t get them up to the second floor via the stairs so they’re in the stair well.  

Tomorrow I’m hoping to go back to Isla de la Piedra for a few hours.  Viva la México!


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

El Dia de la Revolucion, Mazatlan, Mexico, el veinte de noviembre, 2019

I was on a bike on the Malecon looking for the start of the parade by 8:15.  They were practicing gymnastics while waiting for the start-

 I found a nice shady spot and .... well..... North Battleford has nothing to complain about when you’re talking parades.  There were military vehicles-

Police dogs-

Marching bands-

More gymnastics:  first the poles went up-

A couple men climbed to the top-

 and placed bars across the top, then others climbed up too-

And finally-

The group ahead was also performing-

There were women in traditional dress-

I Ike that they’re carrying fake rifles.  After all, it was a revolucion-

And that was the parade!  I took another bike to the end of the Malecon and started walking towards the Galerias shopping mall.  It was soooo hot and humid - I was melting.  Eventually a gringo bus showed up and I rode it to the end of the line.  There are hotels and condos along the coast but you can’t really see much. Coming back, I got off near the marina and walked to the mall. I was there plenty early, like 4 hours early and to me, a mall is a mall.  I walked over to Walmart and visited my first ever Sam’s Club - it’s like Costco, then headed back in time for the movie Contro Lo Imposible - Ford VS Ferrari.  It was in 4D-

and I was very much looking forward to shaking in my seat-

and feeling like I was actually driving the car.  However, workers were coming in, leaving, talking and there was no movie starting and finally we were told that because of the rain - (it was pouring), the cinema wasn’t functioning so we were moved next door to the Platinum Cinema-

which cost a lot more but has recliner seats, menus-

and table service.  I know these exist at home but I’ve never been to one.  The yip-yo waiter spilled half my piña colada-

What a great movie!  And, I was given a free movie pass to compensate for the disruption.  Not sure I’ll go back because there isn’t anything playing I’d like to see, maybe Midway but I’m sure it’s violent.

I caught a couple buses home and am enjoying my apartment.  Tomorrow, I might climb to the faro - but we’ll see.  Looking forward to whatever!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Isla de la Piedra, Mexico, el diecinueve de noviembre, 2019

My mission today was to go to Isla de la Piedra - Stone Island.  I walked quite a distance to get on a small boat to take me across the inlet where a monster was docked-

The island is pretty small and I was wondering where the beaches were-

but once docked, I had to walk to the other side.  Luckily it was only a couple of kilometres.

I was sitting on a chaise lounge by 10:30 enjoying the peace, quiet and a Pacifico-

when all hell broke loose.  In no time the place was very crowded-

I bet throughout the day I was asked by 50! pedlars selling jewelry, sarongs, woven beer bottle holders, wooden beer steins, coconut mobiles, hats, kites, massages, cut up fruit, ballcaps and my favourite: oysters-

 They were so fresh and delicious!  I went in the water a few times and had a little snooze.  Lunch was great too-

Guacamole and pico de gallo!

Leaving the beach, I noticed a lot of people heading the opposite direction I was going and soon discovered I came on the wrong boat this morning.  I went back on one that is much closer to where I live and docks and loads much closer to the beaches. Theresa and her husband were returning at the same time.  It’s such a small world.  Walking home - such beauty-

Tomorrow, November 20, is Revolution Day and there’s a parade starting at 8 am on the Malecon.  That’s where I’ll be too!

Monday, November 18, 2019

Mazatlan, Mexico, el dieciocho de noviembre, 2019

I had another great day.  I spent the morning planning my next 2 months.  It’s nice to travel independently, but what a lot of work!  I’ve pretty much got my schedule figured out, at least for the next month with train tickets understood and accommodation booked.

I went grocery shopping and had a salchitaco for lunch.  It’s nachos stuffed with chorizo, smothered with queso, salsa and chilorio.  They offer large, medium and small-

I had a small for $2.05 and it filled me up for the day.  I added some jalapeños too.  I like them-

My only goal  for the day was to get to Starbucks and buy more coffee.  I came with quite a bit but I use lots each day and certainly do not want to run out.  It was also a good excuse to get a bike and go along the Malecon.  Coming home I went past my usual turn off spot and went as far south as the Malecon goes-

There were a few surfers-

Fernando Valadés Lajarza (1920 - 1978) was a  composer, singer and pianist with a repertoire of more than 300 songs-

Back at Plazuela Machado, where I parked my bike, a young woman was celebrating her 15th birthday-

On my way home I stumbled upon a tailor also selling masks.  I think this would be perfect for Rider games but maybe a little hot.  It always amazes me how people can’t take proper pictures.  Couldn’t she see that string hanging over the front?  Or maybe she thought it just adds to the whole effect, I mean, why is this woman making me take a picture of her wearing this weird mask-

Once back at home, I went upstairs to invite my neighbours from Powell River, B.C. to come down for a beer.  It was 7:15 and they were just going to bed.  WTF I thought - ”we are old!” Theresa said. That’s okay I thought and went home.  Fifteen minutes later there was a knock at the door and guess who?  Theresa said she felt bad so she came fown for about an hour.  We had a nice visit.  She’s a retired elementary music teacher and was saying how sad Vancouver has become.  They used to rent a 2 bedroom home on the West Side for $1000/month and now of course you can’t get anything for less than $2000 if you’re lucky.  They ended up buying a place in Powell River and you need to take a boat to get there.  I don’t think I’d like that. They’ve been coming to Mazatlán for over 40 years because it was the cheapest and easiest from Vancouver.  She did mention Isla Piedra, a short walk and boat ride away so that’s what I’ll do tomorrow.  They go home on Wednesday.

Tomorrow is another day - it’s gonna be great!

El Faro, Mazatlan, Mexico, el veintiuno de noviembre, 2019

My mission for the day was to get to El Faro before it got too hot. Well, I don’t know what time that would be - I was sweating buckets.  I...