Escape from the Gilded Cage

Anjuli's home on A-Dock

Anjuli’s home on A-Dock

We have departed the lovely Paradise Village Marina and returned to Mazatlan for a much-needed bottom paint job.  It was very difficult to leave, and easy to see why so many who visit never leave.  When we first got there, we wondered what we would do with ourselves, but we were soon sucked into the luxurious, languid days at Paradise.  Early mornings in the lap pool or at the spa for yoga, afternoon in the swimming pools, happy hour at the beach bar or in the hotel lobby, weekly BBQs under the palapa with our fellow cruisers, free Spanish lessons, and Sunday night Mexican Train dominoes in the lounge which was complete with AC, couches and two big screen TVs.  All of this in the finest marina we have ever stayed in – immaculately maintained with a friendly, courteous staff, free cable TV and wifi, and potable water – throw in the best price of any Mexican marina on the west coast and relative security from hurricanes and it is indeed hard to beat.   And I will never, ever forget watching the Bengal tigers frolicking in the moonlight in their pool.

Girl time with Azucena

Girl time with Azucena

We will also miss the people.  Being in one place for that long (6 months) allows you to establish some friendships.  I made friends with Azucena, a woman who worked at the spa and we met weekly to practice language, she her English and me my Spanish.  We went shopping together and she showed me neighborhoods that I never would have found alone.

 

Spanish class with Laura

Spanish class with Laura

I will miss the Paradise Village Activities team.  Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I attended an hour -long free Spanish lesson they provided.  They worked hard to provide new material for me and I considered them all my friends.  Dan bonded with Martin who worked at the entry gate.  He always had a ready smile and a friendly “welcome back my friends” when we returned.

Our buddy Martin

Our buddy Martin

 

And the cruisers – we played games, we shared dinners, stories and road trips.  Some we will see again and some we probably won’t – one of the bittersweet parts of cruising.  We tried to make sure they will all remember us by organizing a progressive cocktail party the weekend before we left.  We had 11 boats participating – no one fell in and it was a lot of fun!

Cruisers at play

Cruisers at play

The 2-day passage to Mazatlan was brutal.    Seas were calm, and we motored the entire way, but daytime temperatures in the cockpit soared to 110 degrees, only dropping into the low 80s in the wee hours of the morning.  At night we watched spectacular light shows as lightening lit up the sky and drilled into the ocean, fortunately far from us.  Upon arrival in Mazatlan, the first thing we did was get the AC unit plugged in – hopefully the temperatures will begin to subside in the next few weeks.

A well-behaved Pacific

A well-behaved Pacific

On approach to Mazatlan at dawn

Approaching Mazatlan at dawn

We loved Mazatlan when we visited in February.  We are looking forward to attending the upcoming Dia de Los Muertos festivities which culminate on November 1st with a parade complete with costumes, donkey carts with kegs of free beer and live Mexican banda music.  Should be a good time!

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