Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Mazatlan was the 9th stop in our Mexican tour. It was such a relief too when we arrived on our bikes. We had no agenda and I really had no desire to explore. I wanted to relax on the beach. period. Ernesto's family was there for a couple days with us and we enjoyed hanging out and eating (the main focus of every Mexican family).

Normally I would want to walk everywhere, especially in a beach town, but after the 200 mile bikeride I was happy that no one in Ernesto's family wanted to walk. ha! We got around on the little open air taxi's called pulmanias. It was HOT there and they were refreshing in the humidity.
I do get some attention in Mexico when walking the streets. This guy whistled at me while I was walking in front of his restaurant. I usually don't respond to this, but I went straight to him.
There were 10 tios from ernestos family and his cousin Lucy. Traveling in a group of 13? for two weeks? I must say it's really impressive that they all get along so well, most families can't do this at their age [or any other]. We patiently sat on the sidewalks while some tias went shopping. Nobody cared. There was no agenda. No one was in a rush. I married into a Mexican family.
All the Espinoza's were already checked in to the Hotel San Diego (how appropriate!) It was a great location, right across the street from the beach on the main drag in "new" Mazatlan. The beach is beautiful there. White sand and very blue water. Water that looked so inviting, but due to side effects of biking 200 miles, certain parts of my body would not react well to salt water. (do I have to say it?) I still enjoyed it though. Im a beach girl in any way, shape or form. There are several rocky islands as you see in the background. There are many boat tours or "booze cruises" that take you for the day to explore. Ernesto's parents and tios went one day while Lucy Neto and I did absolutely nothing on the beach. And loved it.Tourism is the bread & butter of Mazatlan and all the vendors cater to the tourists on the beach. You can shop right from your lounge chair. Jewelry, sunglasses, sarongs, baskets, pottery, braids, or henna tattoos. My favorite beach shopping is for the food. Ceviche anyone? Oh yes! You know we had to buy a couple ceviche tostadas go with our beers. Mazatlan is in the state of Sinaloa, and is known for it's seafood. We took full advantage of this, eating seafood everyday and eating it on the beach. Welcome to Mazatlan! I was also introduced to a delicious vanilla soda from Mazatlan called ToniCol. I had this on the home stretch of the bikeride and think it may have been the sugar kick that got me to the finish line. So sweet, so good! Gracias ToniCol! Lucy, Neto and I took a pulmania to "old" Mazatlan for dinner one night. The old town was so cool, this is where you'll find all the Mexican charm of the city. (new Mazatlan can feel a bit too Americanized with the huge hotels with cheezy tourist shops) The old part has gone through a major revival in the last 10 years, and is, in my opinion, the best part of the city. There was a concert going on that night in the center and all the restaurants had outdoor seating, it was great for people watching.We ate at a restaurant called Pedro y Lola, which is named after 2 beloved Mexican singers Pedro Infante and Lola Beltran. It was featured in Food & Wine Magazine in October 2008. Im not sure if it was sitting under the warm glow of the lights in the square that evening, or the 3 peice band playing on the sidewalk, but it was there that I ate the best pulpo alajillo (garlic octopus) I have ever had. No, wait, I am sure. It was the best pulpo ever, the best! Oh, and the young girls were flirting with Neto so he would buy us flowers. After dinner, we wandered the cobblestone streets, and hung out on the benches of the plazas. The next day the whole family 13 of us took a couple taxis back to the old town. They were all leaving that afternoon and we told them how nice it was and that they had to see this area of town before they go. We walked to a couple plazas and just poked around the streets taking pictures. Here is Ernesto with his dad and 2 tios.
...and again with his mom and 2 tios
The next pictures are of the Catedral in the center, and some of the old colorful buildings and streets of Old Mazatlan.
Later that afternoon, after the family had left, we were invited to a carne asada by a couple new friends we met on the bikeride. Eliazar and Abraham are in their late 50's to early 60's and do the bikeride every year. They live in Durango and have this condo about 20 minutes down the beach from crazy Mazatlan. The beach was pristine and the beach less crowded. Their condo is a 2bd/2ba is in a high-rise and has a huge pool and grills outside, it's really like a resort. And by the way we were told to come stay when ever we want...anyone need a vacation?? The cookout was fun. Lots of food, tequila and beer. One lady tried to "get the gringa" by giving me a really hot pepper because she thought I couldn't handle it! ha! I think she thought I was going to cry, but I just got up and put another on my plate. I love hot peppers I told her. (and hello? Im married to a Mexican) Eliazar had this little muscle stimulater thingy. Have you ever tried this? You wire yourself up and then adjust the strength of the electromagnectic waves. It makes your muscles contract. It was such a weird sensation, but after I got used to it, it felt good. Eliazar uses it to relax and I could see how that helps. I had it on my back and Neto tried it on his leg. We turned it up full strength.
The day ended with fun in the water and a beautiful sunset. Ay, la vida mexicana!
The next day we visited the tiny pueblo of Quelite, one hour outside of Mazatlan. It was so cute and quiet. Eliazar and Abraham invited us. They said we had to eat at this restaurant called:
They were right, it was the most unique place. An experience. They had birds everywhere, so of course I loved it right away.The most charming part was the decor. Open air, full of lush plants and Mexican history on the walls. The urinal in the mens baño was a huge ceramic pig. In the womens baño, the sink was a copper pot and with the water spilling out of two old trumpets. There was so much to look at, all while eating amazing food too.
This is one of my favorite pictures that I took. The colors and simplicity. I say this only from an artistic standpoint, since I know the actual conditions for the bird are not the greatest. Unfortunately, you will see this all over mexico. Cages are hung by a nail on the outside of houses. Im a total bird lover, but would never put a parrot in a cage this small. (just so we are clear)
I am also loving this picture. Classic. Mexico. Everyone in Mexico was preparing for Independence day celebrations on Sept 18. I had to stop this young girl on the street in her awesome outfit to get her picture. She was going to be performing in cultural dances later that day.
This is cool. As we were sitting on the front porch of the restaurants in rocking chairs, I noticed that the roof accross the street had cacti growing out of the tiles?? Do you see?
After lunch we stopped for a respado (ice slushy) made with fresh mango and tamarind at a little outdoor shop. Here is Neto with our new Mexican buddies! On to Guadalajara! The last stop on the tour. To be continued..................

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