Saturday, December 12, 2015

Raining in Mazatlan

It's raining in Mazatlan!  I haven't seen hard, steady rain for a long time due to the drought in California. It's refreshing!

Yesterday we visited the old part of town. We walked around, stopped by the cathedral, wandered around the muncipal mercado and then had a great early dinner at Topolo, a very nice restaurant near the very pleasant Plaza Machado.

I am really enjoying Mexico. From what I have observed so far on this trip, it seems to me to be enjoying the beginnings of a cultural renaissance. The Mexico I am enjoying is so different than the corrupt drug war Mexico featured in the media. It is very safe and the people are warm and friendly. The country all seems noticeably cleaner, more sophisticated and economically better off than when I've visited in the past. There is still a long way to go to reduce poverty, clean up the environment and improve education, but I keep seeing things that make me believe the country and its people are on a definite upswing. A recent article on Mexico in The Economist seems to back up my view. I think the emergence of a middle class and the influence of Mexicans who have returned after living abroad are the main driving forces.  I call it a cultural renaissance because what I see is not just economic progress and modernization in the image of the US, but rather a distinctly Mexican version that's a mix of American, European and Latin American influences.

Well, enough with the social commentary. Back to sailing.

We originally intended to depart Mazatlan this morning for Ensenada de Matanchén, near the port of San Blas. The weather forecast called for rain the whole trip and building winds during the night as the effects of an offshore cold front skirted our path. We figured out that if we delayed our departure until tomorrow we could miss the rain and catch the higher winds at the beginning of the trip during the day and let them peter out for when we would be approaching a new, open anchorage the next morning.  So here we are, sitting in the boat in the rain, writing holiday cards, emails and blogging. I have also taken a couple of naps as I think I have contracted some form of sleeping sickness on this trip, an illness that seems to be aggravated when I drink a beer at lunch.

Here are some photos from recent past days:
Renee and her tuna catch of the day.
Renee devouring her catch of the day.
Street vendors outside the cathedral in old town Mazatlan 
Inside the Mercado Municipal, old town Mazatlan

Christmas decorations in Plaza Machado

A vey blue building in old town Mazatlan

A street in the old town approaching a trendy new restaurant

The interior of the trendy new restaurant in old town Mazatlan
Garden dining at the Topolo restaurant  where we had a great dinner and good wine in old town Mazatlan. (Image copied from their website)

Old school bicycle repair shop, fittingly located in old town. (Photo note: This was taken on my iPhone, on the fly in low light which resulted in a nice watercolor effect.)