Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lulled to Sleep in Mazatlán, Mexico

My second day in Mazatlán, Mexico, I am up bright and early to walk along the malecón to the Gold District where I am told there are plenty of good shops. I grab a breakfast torta along the way. It was quite delish. I finally reach the Zona del Oro and begin browsing the shops. After buying a few souvenirs and a bracelet, I look for lunch. As I’m wandering, I spot a McDonald’s. Oooh, I bet they have my beloved caramel sundae, which I can only find in the States in California. Lo and behold they do! Quiero una sundae de caramelo, por favor. I also order an apple pie, take a seat, and read. I savor every bite.

After Mickey D’s, I spend a few hours moseying along neighborhood streets, taking in the sights and sounds of daily life in Mazatlán. I wanted to visit the local cathedral located in the old town, so I head back to the hotel for a rest. Along the malecón are beautiful sculptures, so I pause to admire them and read the inscriptions. My favorite is ‘The Fisherman and His Naked Woman.’ He’s washing his nets while his woman sunbathes nude. Sexy and organic. My feet begin to ache something awful, so I hail a cab to drop me off at the hotel where I will take a brief rest before heading to the cathedral.
Half an hour later, I am off after getting directions and assurances of safety from the hotel clerk. It’s dusk and I want to be sure it’s safe for a woman to walk alone. The cathedral was easy to locate after confirming my directions with an older gentleman along the way. It sits across from a local park on the main square. Some type of festival is going on so there are tons of people, food vendors, and musicians milling about. Lucky me to have stumbled upon this tonight! I take a peek inside the cathedral, which has a service going on. An interesting fact about the cathedral is a local Jewish family made a sizable donation to its construction, so in appreciation a Star of David is painted on the upper windows. After a yummy dinner of fried fish, rice, beans, and salsas at a local restaurant (Yum!), I walk back to the hotel.
I’ve done quite a bit of walking today, so I am exhausted and ready for bed. My window opens to the Pacific Ocean and at first the traffic drowns out the sound of the surf. As it gets later, traffic slows & the ocean grows louder. I lie awake listening, thinking it'll be another night of insomnia. I think about how I've always loved the sound of waves & how blessed I am to be in earshot of such greatness. I think about how cool the breeze is. I think about how much my pillow feels like a soft, fluffy marshmallow and...8 hours later I am suddenly awake, wondering how and when I fell asleep. I listen & the sounds of the surf tell me.

(Click pictures to enlarge)

View from hotel room
Hotel: $45/night

Fisherman & Woman
           Local Street

               Local Cathedral

              Street Festival

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Sunset in Mazatlán, Mexico

I'd read from online reviews about the wonderful sunset views from my hotel, so after walking the Malecón in the late afternoon, I hightailed it back to my room to get ready for the show. It was difficult not to stop at all of the interesting sights along the way, i.e. Diablo Cueva (Devil's Cave), but I made it just in time.

Once in the room, I pulled a chair onto the balcony, repositioning it until I got the perfect view, readied my camera, and waited for the magical event. Suddenly, the sky was awash in shades of bright orange and pale pinks, yellows, and blues. Slowly, the sun appeared to sink until it was sitting on top of the water. After bobbing in place for a while, it shrank to the size of a tennis ball. I continued to stare in silent awe until there was nothing left but rainbow layers of yellow, pink, orange, and blue hovering above the rippling ocean.

There is no greater artist than nature.


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