Leaving La Paz for Mazatlan required the use of a ferry. Ferries to the the mainland of Mexico run twice daily. For some odd reason they seem to require or insinuate at least that to travel on the ferry requires a check in three hours before the ferry departs. The Ferry journey takes 17 hours in total. For this trip I packed two books to keep me company. The first book I finished on my third day in Cabo . My last book I finsished when I was in hour two of the check in. This SUCKSªªªlOOKS LIKE i BETTER COMPRENDE ESPANLOL real fast or lse this is going to be a trip full of alot of quite time.
The ferry departed at 5 in the evening just as the sun was setting and for the first two hours I was wandering around the boat looking for something fun to do or anything really just to waste some time. For a bit of time I watched a GANG of Mexican youths playing street fighter. They had total control of the arcade..I was standing patiently in line waiting for my turn and whenever it came one of the GANGSTERS would just cut in front of me throw in his peso and start playing. I would have said something... BUT I just didnt want to get thrown over board by a bunch of guys that are as tall as Dominic. These gangters had some good fashion sense going for them though. You all know how popular throwback retro jerseys are . Well these THUGS had the ultimate throwback jerseys look going One guy had a Cedric Ceballos Laker jersey on. Another dude had a Charles Barkely 76er jersey... thats old school.
AS I walked from one part of the ferry to another I got the impression that this was quite the ferry. It had several cabins.An Infirmary. Two bars, one with a kareoke thing going on. It also had a cafeteria. When dinner was called I found myself in line behind a fellow backpacker. There were only four of us altogether. I was so lonely. It was Thanksgiving and Jessie and Dominic had called me and told me they were going to Mom and dads for dinner. I needed a friend. AFter getting my food I decided whether this guy liked it or not I was going to befriend him. As we gather our trays of food I slowed my pace enough to give me a clear view of where he was going to sit. Once he sat down I just sat in the seat directly across from him.
Me:Whewª Man talk abouthaving a feast for Thanksgiving dinner, I think prisoners on Guantonomo bay are eating better. ¿Humor is the easiest way to friendship?
Dude: ¿Stares at me with a bewildered expression for about three seconds before replying... Oh. Hello. You are American.
Me: You bet your sweet ass I am hombre(¿Not really) Yeah I am , where are you from?
For some odd reason he didnt seem like he wanted to talk to much with me. This guy was definetely a samurai warrior. he was riding a bike for 11 months. He had started in Alaska and had not stopped. I was really surprised. He only had a small back pack with him and he couldnt possibly carry anything else with him. Tough guy nonethe less.
AFter he got up from the table and left I finished my meal and continued to walk the ship. Going from one end to another. I had not bought a cabin and had opted for the cheaper seats below decks. As I walked around I finally got bored of that and decided to sit down at a table and begin writing some postcards. A few minutes later another one of the back packers made his way to my vicinity. I think he wanted to make friends but I looked at him and decided that he was a bit weird looking. He was about 50 years old sunburnt to the point of looking like a shrimp and worst of all he was wearing black socks with his sandals. Hello Guy Are you trying to commit fashion suicide or what? Just because you are back packing doesnt mean you have to wear sandals with black socks. You see people there are two types of backpackers. The non sock sandal weares and there are the sock sandal wearers.
In the world of backpacking this issue of to sock or not to sock has not only divided fellow backpackers from interacting with another it has split families. Brother has turned against father, father against son. Sock wearers are more of the traditional backpackers. They wear fanny packs are generally older, quite often have Germanic origins. They swim in speedoes dont hit on any women or men when they travel but use hookers. They dont tip very well. They also carry thier stereo types with them and travel not to experience any other cultures but to feel above anyone that is different then they are.
Non Sock wearing backpackers are generally younger, always good looking well dressed, clean, good tippers, intelligent and most importantly we are humble about what we got going on compared to other people. We generally try not to flaunt our superior attributes.
Sock wearers are the ultimate conformist of travel. They carry more then one guidebook at a time. They have two phrase books. Most of thier trip is planned out ahead of time with tour groups, reservations at hotels, maps to keep them from getting lost and anything else that insures a safe trip.
Yeah us non sock wearers I guess you can say were a little different. You see we dont play by the rules. We certainly dont follow all the rules that are i nthe guidebooks. you see we push the envelope whenever we can. We are the bad boys of the traveling world. Reservation? Whats that? Sunscreen. Never heard of it. Tour groups... hey man if I wanted someone to hold my hand I would call my momma.
The ultimate call out for a non sock wearer is to insinuate that he is a sock wearer. Something along the lines of "Hey bro, if you dont want to get your feet sunburned you better throw on some socks". Ultimate form of reverse psychology.
So I was not going to talk to the guy. Luckily for him he got thrown out of the area by security for trying to sleep on the bench. I continued walking around the ship. The sky was really very nice. The stars were shining in all of thier glory. I need to buy one of those books with all the astrological constillations. Finally after trying to sleep on a bench my self and getting woken up by security I headed into the lower decks of the ship where my seat was assighned. no one was sleeping in the seats though they were all sleeping in the aisles. I slept as best I could but the AC was on full blast and it was freezing.
Finally the boat landed at Mazatlan. I took a golf cart to a hotel that was suggested in my ONE guidebook and told the driver to take me to it. For those that have not been Mazarttlan is quite nice. So far every city has gotten progressively better and this is a trend that I hope to see continue. I arrived at the hotel sort of late and as a first I jumped in the shower. My room was only 20 bucks a night. I took the bus from the Maleconto the city center. This place is the Mexico that I like to see. There was an old Church from the late 19th century in the plaza as well as a huge market(not huge but big). I ate a shrimp cocktail at a stand for 8 bucks and the owner even threw in the octopus and a piece of sea snail in for free. SCORE! The man was really nice. I was speaking to him in English for a bit because he wanted to practice and then he would speack to me in spanish. I continued walking around the centro and lo and behold who do I run into but the Japanese guy from the ferry. I immediately went up to him and said whats up.
Me? Whats up dude?
Dude> Oh. Hi. How are you?
Me: (At this point I was feeling good because I had found such a cheap hotel) So where are you staying man?
Him: Up the street....
Me: is that a fact. (with a big smile on my face) Well hey man, I found this place on the beach for only 20 dollars. You cant beat that. According to my guidebook thats the best price in town and before I came i made sure it was. I checked all the hotels in the area with the internet. I think they still have rooms available. I could even go with you to get your bags man. So how much did they take you for?
Dude: TAke me for...
Me: Yeah, how much did you pay brother?
Dude: 15 dollars.
Me: 15 dollars...*(smile fading)...you paid 15 dollars?
Our conversation continued for another 5 minutes talking about what we were going to be up to the rest of our time there and what not but before we headed our separate ways I looked him in the eyes and asked him "You seriosly only paid 15 dollars". I just couldnt believe it.
The rest of my time in Mazatlan was spent on the beaches in town during the days. AT night I found myself in this club called Bora Bora. Man I think I really need to turn down the partying. Thats the thing about Mexico. About 80% of the times I have partied in Mexico I have gotten into some sort of trouble or just been completely gone. I have been deported once.(Ill cover that in the next post). I got beat up by a girl and never knew it would have happened if my brother Tony hadnt stepped in and saved me(All I suffered was a black eye). Countless nights spent crouched over a toilet or with my head hanging out of a tent. There was also the time when me and Paul had to pay off the cops or they were going to throw me in jail. My weekend in Mazatllan went off without a hitch. I hit on about 90% of the women in club Bora Bora. All I can really say is GREAT SUCCESS!!! There was a group of girls that was all international, learning spanish for four months in Mazatllan. I hit on every single last one of these girls. One time I sat between two of them got shut down by one turned my head got shut down by the other stood up walked to the end of the bench sat down and started talking to another one of the friends. It was especially funny because I ended up hanging out with a member of the group at the beach and as we were getting off the bus one of the friends that I had spit game too was getting on. She was staring at me with her friend and I got introduced to her. She tells her friend" Yeah we already met". I had a big smile on my face a bit awkward, a bit funny. As Borat would say VERY NICE!!! Man I am so behind with the Borat lines. That stuff is probably so old by now just like when Napaleon dynamite came out with HECK YES!!! Or ACe Ventura with ALRIGHTY THEN!!!
Oh well. Im in Puerto Vallarta rightnow. Im taking it easy here. After this stop I will be heading into the interior and visiting the colonial cities. Guadalajara, Patzcuaro, Guanajato, Puebla, Oaxaca, Taxsco are at the top of the list. A couple of HCers are going to host me so it should be fun and very insightful. I have lots of questions to ask I cant wait for the answers. Until later, Hasta Luego