October 3rd, 2011
I arrived at the ferry terminal just before 2pm, right when I wanted too. As I was riding there I found I had a little time to kill, and found a beach.
Finding beaches was becoming something of a habit, and I was glad I have kept my chair all this time.
I hd to pass through a customs station before reaching the loading area. I wasn’t surprised they all spoke English, though I tried my Spanish anyway. One man checked the bike’s papers, a woman checked my passport and made me press a button, like for a crosswalk. The light was green as I was through. I asked about the light, and if it had been red they would have had to search the bike, its completely random so no ‘profiling.’ Of course, I wondered about the tour buss they were completely emptying, did the driver hit the button or were all the passengers just unlucky.
Once through I rode over to the staging area, which was broken into three parts. Freight-
Passenger cars, which I somehow failed to get a picture off, and motorcycles
We were the only ones allowed shade, and even access to the water the workers were drinking, though I passed on that. Only the drivers were allowed to stay with their vehicles, so all the passengers embarked on foot while the drivers waited for their turn. We were given enough warning to get our riding stuff on, even in the shade it was over 100.
We rode down to the lowest level of the ship and were give straps to secure the bikes. Actually the workers started to do it for us, but seemed to want to hang them from the ceiling. Jeremy and I took over and, while we were taking up more room than they probably wanted, the bikes were going anywhere. It was very hot and stank of fish, you will just have to imagine.
I had gotten a cabin, which was quite cozy
even though I didn’t need three beds. Jeremy was across the hall, and Mike and Nastaja were down the hall. Other English speakers were around us, so we decided this was the Gringo Wing on the boat.
Despite the heat, we all were on deck as the boat pulled away
And we generally chatted until the sun set and we all tried to get our obligatory pic.
One thing we had learned upon boarding, a pleasant surprise, was that dinner and breakfast were actually included in the ferry ride. We had been expecting something like a restaurant and paying. The annoucement (in Spanish only, of course) had said dinner would be from 6-8. So, after the 7pm sunset, we walked in to find dinner had been changed to 5-7, and was no over.
Mike, despite being Canadian, managed a good example of an American having a fit, and soon there were four plates of hot off the re-warmer food arrayed before us. After eatting we sat in the lounge, talking, drinking and playing a couple of games of Cribbage. I went out on deck a couple of times to watch lightening off in the distance, but the ship stayed under a starry sky.
In the morning I made sure I was up in time to eat, setting an alarm again. My cabin was interior, no windows, and once the door was closed it was impossible to tell noon from midnight.
Rocks off the coast of Mazatlan. There had been dolphins in the early morning, but I had missed them.
We pulled into the port, which was generally busier than the one in La Paz, and were met by a pair of tugs and a pilot boat.
There hadn’t been any of that in La Paz, we just pulled away and sailed off.
Once were were docked we had to wait for the freight to be unloaded. There was a lot of that.
(looking down from the deck we were allowed on), but eventually we were called to our bikes, loaded up the few things we had removed, and rode out of the ship.
Mazatlan needs to spend some money on signs, and without the help of the customs person (who checked the paperwork for me and the bike, didn’t speak English, and generally seemed to be way more interested in Jeremy than me) I think getting out of town would have been tricky. It wasn’t, and soon we were headed south, Jeremy opting to follow me for a while and probably getting better gas mileage than he has all trip.
We stopped in the area of El Rosario, Jeremy off to find a hotel and me off to find a beach. Aqua Verde was a wreck,
and when I go to the beach the wind was oven like and smelled strongly of fish. Probably because of all the fishing boats.
I looked around some to find a place to camp, but the beach area was depressing somehow and I ended up back in El Rosario. I picked (at random) the same hotel Jeremy choose after riding around town some. The price wasn’t bad, but I was feeling overbudget (I wasn’t, just a feeling) and the 400 pesos was five time what it cost to camp. I resolved to camp the next night no matter what, then went to the pool and ordered dinner.
I’ve been to Alaska.
After dinner there was cool cloud formation, lit by the sun setting in the opposite end of the sky. I tried to get a picture, but none of them really turned out.
Jeremy commented he was antsy with the pace I set, not surprising really, and was gone in the morning when I got up. I headed south towards San Blas.