Today, PJ celebrated 11 years clean and sober, always an inspiration to me. We started the day with the usual dog walk down to the rocks at the north end of the beach. PJ decided that she wanted to take our friend Suzie’s advice and go for a hike up to the lighthouse at the south end of town. At 523 feet above the high tide line, El Faro de Mazatlan is the highest lighthouse in the Americas. We flagged down a pulmonia out front and when we got in Hank, another one of the campers from Mar Rosa, hopped in with us and got a lift down to the bank. Known to all the locals as Santa Claus, Hank looks the part with his big white beard. He’s been coming down to Mazatlan for the past 16 years and is a favorite with the pulmonia drivers.
The driver left us at the base of the hill next to the sewage treatment plant where the trail begins its zig zag climb up the hillside. Towards the top, it turns into steps and there are 320 to go to reach the lighthouse.
The views get more and more spectacular the higher you climb. There were a few people scattered around at the observation area at the top. Amazing views from all sides. The lighthouse operator lives up here 24/7, selling refreshments by day and manning the light at night. We took a bunch of pictures and sat on a bench and enjoyed the view. We could see all of Mazatlan and the beachfront at Stone Island and miles down the beach from there.
We hiked back down the hill and wandered around the marina looking for a pulmonia. We caught a regular taxi and rode to the central market. The driver kept the windows up and the too weak air conditioner on. Felt really claustrophobic after cruising around in the open air pulmonia. Super aggressive driving, passing where there was nowhere to get to in tight city traffic causing a pedestrian to leap out of the way or die.
We noticed that the cathedral had the doors open today, so we hopped out there. We went inside and sat quietly for a while before walking around a little taking a few photos. A woman from the church was selling souvenirs at a stand out front with the proceeds going to fund the orphanage. PJ bought a wooden cross to help the cause.
Our first stop was the Parisiana store to get another mat and some material that Pamela had seen there the other day when we bought my sheets. She figures the brightly colored fabrics will make nice table runners or even tablecloths for a smaller table. The store was packed and people were pushing and fussing at the clerks. You choose the items you wish yo purchase then the clerk gives you a ticket with the items and prices and takes your things to a counter near the front, then you pay at a cashier and get a receipt which you then bring to the front counter to exchange for your stuff. Cumbersome and awkward, but I guess it keeps the staff from ripping off their employer.
We crossed the street to the Panama Restaurant, a squeaky clean Denny’s like eatery with a nice bakery attached. After having lunch in the market stall the other day, it seemed only fair that we have a seemingly more sanitary dining experience this time. The food was excellent and the prices really fair. Gotta thank the Trump Effect for trashing the Mexican economy and driving the peso to a new low vs. the dollar, today at 20.75 pesos to the dollar.
After lunch, we shopped in the mercado central buying produce and browsing around a few other stalls. We headed over to the bank to get some more pesos, but it was packed and the ATMs had a long line waiting to use them so we bailed and caught a pulmonia back to the campground.
We let the dogs out and walked around on the beach, then it was time for an afternoon nap. The laundry guy, Gerardo roused me from my rest delivering our batch of clean laundry. Joe was at the fence talking to Gary, so I joined them for a while but slipped away to rest inside. I hadn’t realized how late it was getting, but soon the sun was setting and we had yet to hit the bank for more pesos. We hailed a pulmonia out front and rode down to the Banamex and withdrew some cash. PJ has been wanting a poncho/shawl kind of garment like her friend Clair used to often wear. Something casual to keep her knees warm if we are sitting outside and the temperature starts to drop.
We walked around going in and out of the market stalls and some women’s clothing places. Couldn’t quite find the right material, style or size in any of the shops. Finally, we came across some soft blanket fabric ponchos with NFL logos on them. Seemed like they might fill the bill even if only temporarily, so Pamela picked out a Patriots labeled serape and we headed back to the main street. Along the way, we picked up a pair of fun sunglasses for PJ and a Mazatlan cap for me. Busy shopping evening. We had in mind to stop at the Thrifty ice cream shop and get a cup of ice cream, but we must have missed the location.
We walked almost the entire way back to Mar Rosa when we spotted Mary’s ice cream shop down near the El Cid. We sat at the retro-styled booth and ate our cups of custom flavored ice cream, then walked back to camp. We started breaking things down in anticipation of heading out tomorrow morning. We’ll see if we make it this time.