I arrived in Mazatlan on a Wednesday ready to celebrate carnival. The city was founded in 1531 so there are a lot of old buildings and areas. I stayed in a cheap hotel in the northern area of what is now known as Old Mazatlan. This is where most of the locals work, live and play. The new Mazatlan area is where all the American and Canadian tourists now holiday, so a lot of condo's are now being built. The city has over 400,000 people living there so it was pretty big compared to what I had been used to so far in Mexico. I caught a taxi from the ferry terminal to the cheapest hotel listed in my guide book as there are no hostels here. I went in and they informed me it would cost $350 pesos per night (approx $35AUD). The guide book had written that this hotel was $120 pesos. The prices on the hotels had more than doubled due to carnival. I said no thanks and started wondering around the town looking for another. I found a dodgy looking hotel. They were full. Found another who had rooms available and was only charging $200 pesos. I decided to take it. It was called Hotel Mexico. I could feel the springs in the bed, there was no hot water, no toilet seat and no shower head ….. just a hole in the wall for the water to dribble out. I didn't care though, was happy to have found accommodation. I was tired after the ferry ride so just headed out to grab a bite to eat and then to bed for the night.
On the Thursday night a few of us from the hotel headed down to the local plaza to check out what was happening. There were bands and people everywhere (I forgot to take my camera). I started chatting to a couple who ended up being from Mexico City. Again they spoke about as much English as I now speak Spanish, however we had a blast and many drinks including a "Grande Ballena" bottle of beer. Ballena in Spanish translates to "Whale". The standard Ballena beers are 1 litre. The Grande ones are two litres. None of us had anything on us to swap contact details to meet up again, so just decided to meet back in the plaza the following night. I was a little bit late getting there but waited around in case they didn't already left. Didn't catch up with them again which was a shame. After parting ways with them I headed off to the local gay bar to check it out. Met a nice guy……
On the Saturday night they had the streets blocked off along the beach ready for the fireworks display. I headed down with another guy from the hostel who was from Sweden. He wasn't much of a talker. Had a few beers while watching all the big bands playing and then the fireworks display. It was fairly impressive.
Sunday was parade day. I headed down to the beach front at about 3pm to try and get a good vantage point. I didn't realise that all the locals had been down there since about 8am. I did manage to find a spot on top of a fountain wall. Chatting with some of the locals around me until the parade started. The parade itself was fantastic, however I was a little disappointed in the atmosphere. I was expecting people to be partying on the streets but this was not the case. The all just stood around watching the parade. After it had finished I started walking towards the tourist area to find some people to go and drink with. About halfway there an older couple stopped next to me in one of the Puimonia's (like a golf cart taxi). I asked them if they minded sharing a ride the rest of the way, which they didn't. As we were driving we past a bar that had a live band playing. I jumped out of the Puimonia and headed in. Here I met quite a few people who were fun to drink with, mainly Canadians. Had many tequila shots bought for me. One of the guys in one of the group was gay so we decided that we would head off to the gay bar. Well ….. I can not really elaborate any more on this night in this blog, but can say it was fantastic.
Spent Monday recovering and then jumped on a bus Tuesday morning for an 8 hour ride to Guadalajara.