Back in the Saddle
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
163Trip End May 10, 2011
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Sunday morning rolled around and we all were anxious to leave dusty Baja and start on our mainland adventure. All felt well and the cloudy skies would provide cover for the 18 km ride to Pichilingue ferry terminal.
The Chihuahua Star Ferry (built in Japan in 1997) was scheduled to leave at 5PM. We were supposed to begin check-in procedures 2 to 3 hours before departure. We did not want to leave much to chance so decided to leave La Paz for the 12 mile ride to the Ferry at 11:30. The ride along the Melicon, and then past some resort hotels and condominiums went smoothly. We went up hill past a refinery, then down and up past two other beaches before sighting the Pichilingue port to the left. Wow, we got here quickly.
First stop was the ticket office. It is a well air-conditioned room with a cool water cooler for customers. We topped up our water bottles while the girl processed our tickets and answered our questions. Cabins were an extra 770 pesos for up to four people. Bike an extra 155.. We decided to sleep in the chairs at the 890 peso base price. All the time we were talking and processing our payments, Jason was popping back and forth from his bike with water from the cooler. With nothing said, Jason had topped 4 or more liter bottles. He was reluctant to fill his gallon jug because that would have been a bit much. We then hit a restaurant that provided us with a decent lunch. Then onto the ferry. We had to roll over past customs with our bikes. Dave pushed the stop light and got a red signal. That meant we had to be searched. The inspector was not too thorough and checked one bag each. We were released to ride the vehicle lane onto the ferry. After stowing our bikes, we hiked the 4 flights up to the main deck.
It appeared to be quite luxurious. We noticed the tiny white piano with a paddle locked keyboard. And stained chair cushions on all the seats in a lounge area. And then the large room with airline type seats. This is where we would make our beds for night. Not too bad we thought. For entertainment, they had televisions playing a movie turned up to full volume. With the bright light and loud noise, we were expecting to sleep soon. Later we would learn it would be past midnight before they would turn off the videos. And the lighting was left full bright all night.The ship pulled out about a half hour late and we explore the deck with a swimming pool that looked more like a bilge tank. I couldn't find the 'disco’ (maybe closed for repairs). The bar lounge looked okay!
But our ticket price included a cafeteria dinner in a poorly lighted room. The dull grey lighting made the meager food look even worse than it tasted. It was bland. We all thought a few extra pesos in the budget would have gone a long way. Overall the ferry is quite good. A few minor touches would have gone a long way. After being underway for 14 hours, we arrived in Mazatlan!