Our day in Mazatlan was really a lot of fun! We decided not to purchase a pre-paid tour and just kind of "wing it". Jen and Jim came along with us to choose our own adventure.
We took this open-air taxi through to city and over to the shopping district.
We ended up getting some great souveniers for really great prices. :)
We went through a flea market and there was this little restaurant on the corner with this sign that caught our eye. Thankfully pot is not allowed!
After shopping we walked out to the beach. At first the beach was a huge disappointment. Not because it wasn't really pretty. It was because of the massive hoard of people waiting to sell us pretty much ANYTHING! Holy cow! It was a mess! I had no less than 10 people approach me in a 3-minute period to buy anything from jewelry, to toys, to dresses, to art, to pottery, to excursions. You name it! I did cash in on a cup of perfectly ripe ready-to-eat mangos for $2. That was it. After that I just wanted everyone to go away and get out of my face.
Jeremy cashed in on something as well. On the ship we could have purchased a parasailing trip for $82. Right here on the beach this group of men were giving parasailing rides for $30. He decided for that price he couldn't pass it up.
They were launching people from right off the beach and it certainly didn't seem very safe. Especially because the guys were hurrying to give instructions to Jeremy as he was getting ready to lift off!
Here he goes!
Thankfully he managed to get up in the air without incident. :)
The boat took him around the bay for an 8-10 minute ride.
As he was coming back I was talking to one of the guys giving rides and mentioned something about "when" he gets back safely. The guy said "IF" he gets back and kind of laughed. I told the guy that Jeremy had BETTER get back safe from his ride or that guy won't be going home to his wife. He said, "I get that."
Needless to say, the ride went well and Jeremy had a wonderful time!
However, we learned from some of our friends who saw the parasailing operation later in the day that several people did NOT land safely. Some in the water . . . some on those rocks behind Jeremy . . . and some swimmers almost got taken out by the rope pulling the parasailers! So, I'm extremely grateful that Jeremy's ride went well and he had a great time.
Here we are on the crazy beach. See the little umbrella with 2 chairs? Troy and Heidi had to pay $10 for that so they could give their baby some shade.
After the parasailing ride, I was quite anxious to get away from the craziness on the beach. I forgot to mention that even as I was trying to photograph Jeremy taking off on his parasailing adventure, a lady got out some necklaces to try and sell me and was shoving them in my face - almost in front of the camera! GET A CLUE!!! I thought it was really rude. Jim, Jen, Jeremy, and I started walking down the beach to the hotel zone. After walking for about 10 minutes, the salesmen pretty much disappeared! It was like magic!
I loved our walk down the beach and the water felt perfect. I saw our first pufferfish too! It was dead and washed up on the beach. This is a snorkel boat that was sitting out on the beach.
We walked about a mile and a half down the beach and started to get hungry. In trying to find an exit from the beach back to the street, we walked right up into the middle of the pool area for this hotel. We went through the hotel lobby and ran into the manager.
Jim asked him if he knew of any decent restaurants in the area we could eat at. The manager said we could eat right there at the hotel if we wanted to. So, as a trade off . . . we asked, "If we eat here, can we also swim for a couple of hours?" SURE! Here I am sitting next to Jen.
We ended up eating a fantastic lunch (a plate of loaded nachos) right by the pool. Jim is enjoying his nice cold drink.
Isn't our lunch setting beautiful?
Our lunch ended up being about $10. Then we got to swim and play for the afternoon!
We met up with some friends from the cruise who coincidentally paid to go to the hotel as an "all-inclusive excursion" and played some water volleyball.
So, we enjoyed for $5/person, what our friends each paid $55/person to do! Can't beat that! This is a picture of our friends as we were leaving the hotel. This is their "taxi".
Once we got in the taxi to head back to the ship, we were calculating what time we had left before we HAD to be on the ship. We figured we had about and hour and a half left. The taxi driver heard us and said, "If you want, I can take you on a tour of the city and to the overlook for an hour. It will be $30." So, for just $15/couple we could take a tour of the city that the ship's excursion team was offering for $29/person. AWESOME!
The taxi ride was going to be $5/couple anyway, just to get to the ship. So for $10 more we went on a ride to see the sights. It was fun!
Here are Jim and Jen in the taxi. I shared the back seat with them and Jeremy got the front.
This was our driver.
I thought it was neat how many statues and all the art around the bay. Our driver took us to all different statues and told us about them. This one is funny - it's a statue of the open-air taxis that drive the tourists around.
We drove up the steep hills across the bay to where we could see a view of the whole city.
This is all of us at the top.
While we were up there snapping pictures we noticed something growing right there next to us, in the wild. See it?
Jim and Jen with their beautiful view! And there "it" is again . . . to the left.
Yep, you guess it! A HUGE marijuana plant! I guess we always just see them on tv all withered and dried up. We took a picture of Jen's hand next to the leaf so you could see the size of it. Interestingly enough, when we first arrived at the top of the overlook, Jeremy noticed a lady walk away with a couple of leaves from this plant.
I also wanted a picture of this really pretty fern tree that was up there.
This is our cruise ship, docked on the other side of the overlook.
Another statue by the water.
We also drove by the devil's gate. None of us chose to go in.
Our time was wrapping up. We came down the hill, into the historic part of town. The buildings in this area were really pretty - all nicely fixed up along very narrow streets.
We stopped at this cathedral and went inside to take a look. Then we were on our way!
Here we are with our taxi driver/tour guide. :)
We made it back to the ship in time to get cleaned up and eat dinner. Instead of going to the ship's entertainment in the theater for the night, we opted to get together as a group and play some games in the game room upstairs. James or "Sparky" also had an eventful shopping day. He bought THIS! A sweet Nacho Libre mask!
The "Nacho" clench. He seems to like it a lot.
We played apples to apples in a huge group, but still managed to have fun. In this picture is Jen, Carlie, Jeff, and Cathy.
Sparky and Yun.
More game night pictures.
After awhile we wanted some munchies, so Jen went on a secret operation down to the buffet. She put on the mask and went downstairs to get a plate of cookies! Wasn't that nice of her? And she wore the mask the whole way! Way to go, Jen!
Mazatlan day was very full and eventful, but we had a LOT of fun!!! :) My only regret about Mazatlan was not buying more souveniers. The shopping there was cheaper than anywhere else. So, for next time I'll try to remember that.