5 Things Thursday: Mazatlan Surprises

I’d visited Mexico twice before this trip, but both of those instances were over 10 years ago, and I hardly ever left the little border towns we were staying in.

So, even though we’d done plenty of research on Mazatlan before we came, I still found myself surprised by a few things.

1.

That things here aren’t much cheaper than the States. In fact, sometimes, they’re more expensive. Especially groceries.

mega

Ice cream, particularly, is sky-high, with a quart of Haggen Dazs costing about $8 (even though we’re on vacation, we couldn’t quite bring ourselves to pay that one).

2.

That none of the taxis have meters.

Instead, you negotiate the price ahead of time.

They start high. You bid low. Then you reach an arrangement somewhere in the middle.

It’s kind of fun…except when there’s a guy literally yanking your shopping basket toward his taxi while insisting that you pay a fare that you don’t think is, well, fair.

pulmonia

This is a pulmonia, or open-air taxi. The word pulmonia literally means pneumonia, but we’re not too worried about catching that here.

3.

That lots of people wear JEANS.

jeans

When it’s 95 with a heat index of 100+ outside, the last thing I want touching my legs is denim. But, even though I’ve seen plenty of shorts and some skirts, I’ve also seen an inordinate amount of full-length jeans while we’ve been here. Makes my legs itchy just thinking about it!

4.

That I really like fish.

fish

Okay, so the kind with the eyeballs still in (or even simulated) isn’t my favorite, and I had already started being friendlier to fish (if you can call eating them “friendlier”) a while back, but a simple lunch of grilled fish and veggies, in particular, convinced me that my lifelong aversion has largely been a result of eating the wrong kind of fish for my taste-buds.

Of course, then last night’s swordfish reminded me of exactly the kind of fish I don’t like at all. Bleh.

Ah well. Can’t win them all.

5.

That everything is so dry.

dry

Everything except the air, that is, which is practically sagging with the weight of all the moisture in the atmosphere.

I live in East Texas, which is nowhere near the ocean, but other than that, the climates of Mazatlan and where I live are extremely similar for this time of year.

And where I live is GREEN.

Green grass, green trees, green vegetation everywhere you look (at least until summer REEEEEALLY kicks in at which point, it gets a bit brown).

Here, it’s a bit more desertish, with pops of red and yellow from trees like this tabachin:

Tabachin_Tree

It’s pretty but not what I was expecting at all.

Apparently, their rainy season is from July to November (or so), and I would be very interested in seeing what happens to the vegetation then.

Oh!

And a few bonus discoveries (don’t know if they count as “surprises” or not):

Mandarin Gatorade (so much better than orange)

Mango tart with ice cream (YUM)

&

Cookies and Cream Oreos (okay, so I haven’t tried those yet, but we bought a sleeve of them last night, and I’m intrigued)

{And, yes, I realize those are all food-related…we’re on vacation!}

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “5 Things Thursday: Mazatlan Surprises

  1. Hi Abbie,
    I’ve traveled quite a bit in Mexico both for work and for vacation. I find Mazatlan much more industrial with touristy areas mostly at the ocean. I have many other favorite coastal towns that are much less commercial, but Mazatlan is a fun escape. I agree that safety has never been a concern, being aware of your surroundings and following safe travel rules is important. I never travel alone at night and talk to locals about safe areas to visit. I love Mexico and I’ve never had a bad experience. I’m envious of your trip, wish I was there. Have fun!
    Lori D.
    Atlanta

  2. Mazatlan is considerably less touristy than, say, Cancun and Cabo, which are nothing but resort towns, but it is more touristy than your average Mexican coastal town, which, in some ways makes it safer.

    It’s actually where the locals come to vacation, so it’s supposed to be a bit more authentic than other places.

    I don’t know about traveling alone with a girlfriend, but here with my husband, mostly doing things in daylight hours, I haven’t felt unsafe at all.

  3. it’s my understanding that Mazatlan is quite touristy (and my bf fears not very safe), is that your experience? And on the topic of food any local treats that you’ve discovered (in E Asia, sometimes ice cream is *cheese* flavored!)

  4. I would die living someplace that hot and being in jeans! Yuck!! Looks like you’re having a wonderful time! Enjoy..

  5. What a fun trip! It’s probably a good thing you didn’t like the swordfish, it has high levels of mercury.
    I can’t imagine wearing jeans in hot weather, I need my legs to be freeeeeee…. :)

  6. I love how authentic Mazatlan is compared to other Mexican locations I have been too. If you haven’t hop a water taxi over to Stone Island. I can’t remember the name, but there is an amazing restaurant with hammocks. Totally worth the trip. And maybe not for this trip, but another, they have super cheap horseback rides on the beach that are well worth it!

  7. Hi Abbie,
    I’ve traveled quite a bit in Mexico both for work and for vacation. I find Mazatlan much more industrial with touristy areas mostly at the ocean. I have many other favorite coastal towns that are much less commercial, but Mazatlan is a fun escape. I agree that safety has never been a concern, being aware of your surroundings and following safe travel rules is important. I never travel alone at night and talk to locals about safe areas to visit. I love Mexico and I’ve never had a bad experience. I’m envious of your trip, wish I was there. Have fun!
    Lori D.
    Atlanta

  8. Mazatlan is considerably less touristy than, say, Cancun and Cabo, which are nothing but resort towns, but it is more touristy than your average Mexican coastal town, which, in some ways makes it safer.

    It’s actually where the locals come to vacation, so it’s supposed to be a bit more authentic than other places.

    I don’t know about traveling alone with a girlfriend, but here with my husband, mostly doing things in daylight hours, I haven’t felt unsafe at all.

  9. it’s my understanding that Mazatlan is quite touristy (and my bf fears not very safe), is that your experience? And on the topic of food any local treats that you’ve discovered (in E Asia, sometimes ice cream is *cheese* flavored!)

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