Monday, March 7, 2011

Short Stop in Mazatlan

We arrived in the hell-hole that Mazatlan has become, about 2:00 pm after a drive from Los Mochis. After a few false starts, including a google map that showed our hotel in the wrong place, we found Hotel San Diego and tried to check in. Despite e-mails showing we were welcome to bring a dog, they were not happy with Fergus. He was too big and too dangerous. Nancy looked at the room and it was dirty and dingy. We had no reason to stay in Mazatlan other than it was halfway to Durango.

It was "carnival" and Mazatlan was humming with activity, and Nancy speculated that we'd have a difficult time finding a place that would take a dog on the eve of "carnival". Mazatlan has road construction with no detours, no barracades, people ignore stop signs, and the poverty, if you get off the Malecon, is depressing. Beggars and con artists clog the intersections. We watched a blind guy and his helper beg at a busy intersection. The blind guy was the one out in traffic. It can't be particularly safe choice, to say the least.

(Incidentally, it is a strange experience to walk the streets of Mexico with Fergus. About every other person reacts with horror when they see him. They give him a wide berth on the sidewalk, and keep their clearly terrified eyes on him as much as possible. On the ferry, the staff was obviously worried that Fergus would tear some limbs off some of the passengers unless lots of distance was kept between he and his victims. In the U.S., and in France that reaction is pretty much absent. All I can say is that Mexicans must have had some pretty bad experiences with dogs, and perhaps it is understandable; there are lots of strays running loose because there are no spay and neuter clinics nor humane societies. Yet lots of dogs are chained in yards for protection.)

So, since Mazatlan was such a horror, we decided to move on to Durango, up in the mountains. What we have found is a delightful, colonial city that sits on the old Camino Real connecting Mexico City with it's once far flung outpost, Santa Fe, in Neuvo Mexico. And it's beautiful. We'll post pictures after we mosey around.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember putting you on the bus for home Christmas of 1975 from where ever we were, near Las Hadas. After having driven on those roads in our old VW bus with those crazy Mexicanos I was sure we would never see you again. I really worried that our bus would be the one that went over the side like the one we saw driving from Mazatlan to PV. All the people were sitting at the side of the road, it was a cliff, eating their lunches and watching the workers clearing up the site. Presumably, bring up bodies, etc. Remember the one car we saw that was coming at us on the road from the place whose name I can't remember, it was vering at us, diagonally from his lane to ours? I thought we would die every time we got on the road. If you ask me, the Mexicans are the worst drivers in the world. I think at the time we decided that it had to do with the poverty. Remember all the crosses on the roadside, marking deaths? Be very, very careful, please. LRO