Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hasta Luego, Mazatlán

It’s hard to believe that two months have gone by and our glorious time here in Mazatlán has so quickly come to an end.  Technically, our two months finished up a week ago but Millie, that ever so conniving little beach dog, figured out a way to extend our stay a few more days so she could get in a few more swims and beach walks!

A couple weeks ago, Millie developed some minor eye and ear infections.  My RV park neighbor, Jackie, had just taken her dog to the English-speaking vet, Dr. Rafael Aguilar at Veterinaria La Jungla, so she offered to accompany us to town and show us the way to his clinic.  It was Millie’s first ride on a panga boat taxi...

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and her first ride in an open-air pulmonia taxi (“where are the doors on this thing, Mom?”)

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Dr. Rafael got her all fixed up with a couple meds and we were soon headed back to the Isla.  Gotta love these Mexican vets-- same-day appointments and the bill (including drugs) is rarely ever more than 100 pesos (US$8).

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After a week, Millie’s ear had healed up fine, but her eyes were still not improving, so we made another trip back to Dr. Rafael for some stronger antibiotics.  This time, our trip coincided with Caeli and Carmeh’s visit to Dr. Rafael, so Colin and I took all the dogs to town together.  What a difference it is to transport 2 quiet, well-mannered 8 lb wiener dogs versus one 80 lb cry baby (who kept wanting to jump out of the boat and the pulmonia!)

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But the end result worked out exactly as Millie had planned—more time for beach walks and swimming!  Instead of saying our goodbyes to everyone at the RV park’s farewell party for us and another RVer, Ferne (and birthday party for Rolf & Jackie), I announced that we’d now be staying a few extra days to be sure that Millie’s new meds were working. 

The party was a lovely night with a great group who have now become friends after our 2 months on the Isla. 

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The extra days also gave me more time to clean, pack, and test out the rig.  Everything checked out fine except for two items--- my cab battery was dead (leaving your cab radio on for 2 months can do that kinda thing!), and the brake lights on the Tracker were still not working when in “toad” mode.

It’s a good thing I needed to open the hood to recharge the battery as some little critter had made itself quite a comfy nest of bougainvillea petals on top of the battery (thankfully, no dead critters or chewed cables to be found).  This little “bed” could have started my engine on fire had I not looked first!

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The RV1 guys got to work on the toad brake light issue.  It turned out to be a more difficult affair that took an extra few guys with extra testing tools, some “MacGyvered” diode switches robbed from some other electric panel, and a healthy dose of electrical tape, but after 2 days, John M, Rolf, and John L managed to get it fixed and working better than ever….this, despite no help from the canine “supervisors”!

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The extra days also gave the opportunity for a few more farewell dinners.  Bob and Marjorie took me for a Valentine’s Day dinner to Miguel’s, my favorite little Mom & Pop grill on the Isla.

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Then, on Saturday night, Colin, Contessa, John, Val, Rolf, Jackie and I all went out to my favorite beach restaurant, Carmelita’s, for one last fish dinner with flan for desert (pic courtesy of Contessa’s camera!). We happened to get a pretty nice sunset as well!

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Finally, on Sunday morning with Millie now on the mend, we hitched up and pulled out of Tres Amigos to leave the Isla (photos courtesy of Contessa).

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I will forever be grateful to Contessa for introducing me to this magical and very special place.  Her daily sunset photos got me through a very tough winter last year, and after both recently losing our moms, I believe these past couple of months on the Isla have been quite healing for both of us.

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So as I made my way down the long, bumpy, dirt Isla road one last time, and was thanked by the exit sign for visiting, I resolved that there will be no more goodbyes to Mazatlan…simply, “hasta luego” (until later).

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I will be back again to travel it’s wonderful new highway from Durango through the rugged Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range across the world’s highest suspension bridge (the Baluarte Bridge)…

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and travel the highway’s other impressive bridges and tunnels..

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I’ll be back to take more peaceful afternoon strolls through the lush botanical garden behind the RV park…

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I’ll be back to cruise the paved and unpaved roads of the Isla beneath the coconut trees…

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and buy more fresh fruit and vegetables from the back of Israel’s truck every morning…

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I’ll hope Maria is still here next year to sell me more of her delicious homemade vegetable tamales!

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I’ll look forward to more panga rides across the harbor into town with all sorts of interesting (and cute!) passengers…

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and more pulmonia rides around the city.  The open-air taxis unique to Mazatlan are driven by some of the happiest cabbies I’ve ever met!

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I’ll be back to explore more of the colorful Centro Historico and enjoy watching the world go by from a park bench or dining table in one of it’s small plazuelas…

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I’ll attend more symphony concerts at the lovely, restored Teatro Angela Peralta…

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and have my spirits equally rejuvenated at the city’s main cathedral…

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I’ll take another hike to the top of El Faro, and to the tops of Icebox or Watchtower Hills to enjoy more panoramic views of the city and Olas Atlas beach.

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I’ll also be back to marvel at the literal menagerie of goods for sale at the Mercardo…where one can buy sundresses and raw chickens right next to each other!

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I’ll return to walk the long Malecon along the beach and admire its bronze statues and cliff-top homes.  Hopefully, next time I’ll also actually get to see the “Clavadistas” (cliff divers), and be here to attend the Carnaval parades!

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But most of all, I will yearn to return to this quiet and peaceful Isla to enjoy long beach walks, enjoy it’s music, it’s always-interesting passers-by, and be renewed and healed by it’s magical sunrises and sunsets.  Hasta Luego, Mazatlan.  Until next time!

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16 comments:

  1. good lord, Lynne ... this makes me sad and glad and wishful and danging it and all manner of emotions. ~ from ~ what am I doing to .. just relaxing and looking at your photographs... beautiful!

    sigh

    I gotta kick it up a notch...

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  2. Loved this post and your awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. What a testimonial to a beautiful place and a wonderful piece that you have shared with us.

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  4. Beautiful photos! My dog has allergies (German Shepherd) and I had to take her to the vet for ear and eye medicines and an exam. THAT was $200.00!!! (Here in the U.S.)...Your $8.00 visit was a real bargain, even if you had to return.
    Cheryl Ann

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  5. Beautiful pics as always!
    !!!!! ? $8 for meds AND vet visit??? GEEZ...........

    And I think Millie might have been jealous of those doxies in their little carrier bags. "Mom, please get ME a carrier bag and haul me around on your shoulder and then I won't try to jump out this water taxi!!!!" HA. Of course, she has no idea she might weigh a smidge over 10lbs........

    Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to your continued travels........!

    Lacy

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  6. Glad Millie is OK. The wiener dogs are priceless! Safe travels!

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  7. That is truly a magical place. I cannot even imagine how you were able to leave it. Thanks as always for sharing your travels and your beautiful pictures with us.

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  8. Thank you!!! Keep writing, you are awesome!

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  9. Yet again another fabulous post by you my special friend. Love your photos! They make me miss you even more.

    Hasta luego mi amiga! The Isla awaits your return.

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  10. What a great vacation you had. Been missing you blog for a long time. I'm drooling over these great pictures. Happy Millie is well again.

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  11. Good grief! This post has my eyes giving Millie some competition! (sniff, sniff!) The Mazatlan Tourist Bureau should be calling any minute now.

    VERY nice shot of Contessa. You captured her sunny spirit very well!

    Hope to be your Isla neighbor one day!

    Suzanne

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  12. Really nice post. I followed you posts during your visit and enjoyed your trip.

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  13. It must not get much better than this--a close-knit community of like-minded people in a gorgeous place with a healthy dog! Woot Woot!! Happy trails!

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  14. This one had me in tears that you have to leave! I love how you do your homework so you know what everything is and the spanish names for all of it, and everything! You certainly saw Mazatlan the right way, and a whole different way than I did! I am envious! And sad for you that you have to leave. But yes, hasta luego, not hasta la bye bye! You will be back! Maybe we will come too :-) I love your photos too, as always! I am looking forward to the rest of your trip. OOOO

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  15. Thanks for sharing your winter stay in Mexico, Lynne!

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