Our second day in port was Mazatlan. We were told it was pretty easy to walk once we left the ship terminal, so that was the plan. I wanted the kids to see more of the area than just the tourist shopping centers, where every taxi is paid to drop us in front of a certain store or group of shops begging for our money.
We came out of the terminal and no less than a horde of taxi bus and truck drivers stood there yelling at us to get in the cab and let them drive us around.
“Hey LADY! Hey LADY! I take you all. Where you want to go? Shopping! Beaches! I can fit you in my taxi!”
“Hey Lady, He charge you too much. I only charge eight dollar. Only eight dollar to downtown.”
“Hey Lady! I got more space. I drive for 7 dollar 7 dollar for all of you downtown. Get in. I take you.”
It was completely deafening and made it nearly impossible to get one’s bearings and start exploring. And it was 197 degrees and 300% humidity. I swear- I checked the weather report.
We had a map, and E loves maps and navigating, so I gave it to him. As soon as I put it in his hands, they all stopped yelling at me and started on him. Because obviously, he just became the decision maker.
“Sir, would you like a taxi for your family?”
“Sir, Where are you going? I can take you.”
“Sir, I only charge you 5 dollar to downtown. Golden district, ten dollar”
But, we kept walking. Because there were no street signs, so following the map was not the easiest thing. I know now that is we had crossed the street, we would have only gone a couple of blocks and found ourselves in the downtown area. Instead, we turned right and walked at least 2 miles out of our way, thereby losing every bit of fluid in our bodies, as we sweated it out.
I don’t regret it though. It was really nice for the kids to see the area we saw. The people live a very humble life, unlike anything my kids know. There were chickens pecking along the street, emaciated dogs in doorways, and knots of people sitting in the shade, talking to each other.
They would go dead silent as we approached then, and we in turn would greet them, “Hola.” And then they would smile a little and return the greeting,and go back to watching us and talking among themselves. It would have been very fun to be able to speak to them, but I only actually know about 10 words of Spanish, so the conversation would have been a little awkward.
After about 15 minutes of walking, we were all wishing we had taken a taxi. Nevermind that we still hadn’t seen any street signs and had no idea which way the cathedral even was. Nevermind that all 4 bottles of water were already empty and we would need to refill soon. We still had a good time, where we equals mom and good time equals listening to kids complain as they wilt in the sun and oppressive heat.
And then, in the distance, I saw the cathedral:
Look how sweaty everyone is! They could barely even force smiles for the camera.
After seeing the Cathedral, which Everyone agreed was incredibly beautiful and ornate, we walked right outside and caught a cab to the beach. Except he dropped us off in front of a McDonalds, which was greatly appreciated.
And while at McDonalds, we drank no less than a gallon of Coke.
After McDonalds, N bought a sombrero.
And we went to the beach and gathered an ocean of sand in our swimsuits as a present for our stateroom attendant back on the ship. Because we loved him. And wanted to give him the gift that keeps on giving, 6 swimsuits of sand.
Utterly exhausted and nearly out of money, we accepted a ride from the first taxi driver who would get us back to the ship for $10.
Me: “Room for 6?”
Taxi driver: “Si, Si. This way, this way.”
Me: “All 6 in one taxi.”
TD: “Si. Si. Yes. Uno.”
And he was right, when “fitting” intothe taxi meant all 5 kids in the back, N and T on the laps of the other 3 and me in the front holding backpacks, bags, and a sombrero. Because it was a little tiny Nissan, built for 4, not 7. But it had AC, which almost made his gross inattention to any sort of traffic laws completely bearable. Kind of.