Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Gold Coast: Mazatlan, Sinola

Fishing pangas at rest on a Sunday afternoon while everyone plays
Mazatlan is a rapidly growing seaport of over a half million people, with as many tourists visiting this Gold Coast resort spot each year. There are a number of full time expats residing both in the heart of the city and along the coastline. Invasion by outsiders is nothing new to Mazatlan. Since 1851 Spain, France, Germany, Britain, and America have all taken active roles in reaping the benefits of this "Pearl on the Pacific". In fact, American troops occupied the port of Mazatlan from 1864 to 1867 during the Mexican War. Mazatlan harbor gave adventurers from the sea access to the silver and gold mines that lie in the Sierra Madre mountains and the port became essential in importing the equipment necessary for mining. Today it is also home to one of the largest tuna and shrimp industries in the world. Yummy!
On Sunday morning we took a long walk through peaceful Viejo Mazatlan (Old Town) in order for me to photograph the colorful restored colonial buildings from the 1800's. We started at Plaza Machado, and wound our way through the maze of cobblestone streets.

Plaza Machado

Sunday Morning Brunch

The unrestored buildings are just as interesting as the restored.

Lots of ornate decorative entrances
 The colonial architecture in Viejo Mazatlan reflects the rich and varied history of the town. The invasions by outsiders gave rise to the use of heavy carved hardwood doors, elaborate iron gates, and spiked bars on the windows to serve as security measures. Today the traditional black wrought iron is often painted in bright contrasting colors to the building, adding to the charm of the finished product. And behind those gates and bars lie lush secret gardens with fountains creating a cool serene environment away from the heat and fray of the busy town. No wonder artists and architects gather from around to world to practice their craft in Viejo Mazatlan.

Lots of bright colors are used in restoration

Muy Tanquilo - Graceful Aging at it's finest

In the midst of the elegant and tranquil setting of "Old Town" Mazatlan, looming high above the neighborhood on a hill is a mass of communication towers. We are fairly certain they are used to communicate with all the cruise ships than enter the commerical harbor. Another striking contrast of Old and New.

Are they talking to the moon?
 Or just the mass of cruise ships descending upon the commerical harbor of Mazatlan?
After of couple hours of Darrell waiting patiently for me "capture the right mood" of the town in photos we ended up at the beach. We had a nice long stroll along the Malecon  - which was a dramatic contrast from Old Town. 

Sunday afternoon at the beach

Now that's a great view to enjoy a cerveza

Perhaps a little shopping after lunch?
On the coast of Mexico, Sundays are major family days filled with live music, laughter, food and drink at the beach. No surprise that Sunday is our favorite day of the week.

An impromptu band jams outside the restaurant
The Malecon in Mexico is a wonderful spot to people watch, exercise, and to enjoy the many wonderful bronze sculptures that line the boardwalk. Some are comical, some are lovely sealife pieces, some are religious in nature, and some are darn right erotic. The people of Mexico have a very healthy attitude towards sex - and there is plenty of public displays of affection - lots of hand holding, kissing, and well simply put, " making out" by the younger generation. I am not sure if life imitates art, or the other way around, but I do know that this sexy Sirena has definitley reeled in her catch.

No lack of phallic symbols here
Despite all the interesting sights to explore we did not stay long in Mazatlan. The mornings had been cold and foggy and we were anxious to make our way south to warmer weather and water. We were also looking forward to quiet anchorages lined with palm trees and beaches with palapas offering cold cervezas and fresh fish tacos. We also knew that after a week of "Beach Therapy" we would be ready for the buzz of Puerto Vallarta in Banderas Bay and El Tib would be in need of some boat maintenence before pushing further south. Mystic shared a similar desire, but left a couple days before us. Poor Spark was really confused when we returned from a dinghy ride and found Mystic's next door slip empty.

Hey, where's Betsy and David?

Before sailing the 131 nautical miles south to Mantenchen Bay Sparky needed one final beach romp before enduring the 20 hour passage.
Spark and Chelsea, from Santa Cruz, play chase one last time.


  1. You did an excellent job of capturing the beauty of Maz!

  2. Aw, poor Sparky. Where'd they go?

    We miss you guys - sounds like you're having a great time on the mainland.

    Had a fantastic dinner at El Corazon tonight, where they flawlessly accommodated the vegan offspring and again wowed us with their mole.