We set off for the beach shortly after our arrival. All the beaches in Mexico are public; hotels only get to claim (rope off) up to a certain point above the water line
. The beach vendors are not allowed on the private property but down at the water, anyone is fair game. We were offered necklaces, bracelets, dresses, artwork (including our portrait) kites, fishing trips, skidoo rentals, etc. It has become a reflex to say, "no, gracias" to all offers and the Mazatlan vendors are not too pushy. One guy actually just walked right past us and Jeff felt insulted. They walk up and down the beach so you have several chances to furtively check out what they’ve got and decide if you might want to stop them on their next pass… which is what we did with the dress vendor. Keara picked out two sun dresses that look great on her (no bias here.) Although I’m not sure how happy I am about how grown up she looks while wearing one with my hat. If you’ll recall from a previous post, Jeff bought me a HUGE hat. One vendor at the beach here said to me, “I like your hat, it’s like a palapa.”
Since Adam has never swam with dolphins (both Keara and Nicky have) and he’s too young to take a SCUBA course, AND he was too young to go hot air ballooning in Arizona with us a few years back, we wanted to offer him a special treat of his choice. He chose deep sea fishing - with Jeff… but not Nicky! On the beach, when the fishing trip vendor walked by (for his second time) Jeff called out, “Senor Pescado!” (Mr. Fish) and spent the next 15 minutes negotiating while refusing to pay a deposit. The wake up call came at 5:30am and Jeff and Adam have been picked up and are now gone. Jeff didn’t like the idea of separating but he’s got Adam as insurance that I won’t leave him behind :)
The drive to Mazatlan is all on straight toll-highways (5 tolls booths and about $25 later). There are a lot more 'gringo' faces here so maybe the staring will be less. I parked the van in the hotel lot and the kids got out and announced that I had parked right next to where they keep their dead bugs… sure enough there were several dead cockroaches (the best kind, I always say) in a puddle of dumped soapy (?) water. We are only spending one night here then we are relocating to the Crowne Plaza where I found a great Travel Agent rate (just a little too late after paying a non-refundable first night’s deposit at the roach motel.) The hard Mexican beds we’ve gotten used to were just training for these creaky unforgiving slabs… if you stay in one position too long, one of your limbs falls asleep.