Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mazatlan

View near Mazatlan. Mazatlan meaning "land of the deer" in the ancient Nahuatl language offers 10 miles of inviting sandy beaches. Located on Mexico's Gold Coast, Mazatlan is the closest Mexican resort to the United States. Nickname: the "Pearl of the Pacific".



Sea Shell City.

The Three Islands (Las Tres Islas). These islands, Island of the Birds, Island of the Deer, and Island of the Wolves, are trademarks of Mazatlan. Each has tranquil beaches of fine sand tempting the visitor to stay all day. Transportation to the islands is provided by panga, or small boat. Great botanical paintings have been found on these islands.


There is a special type of taxi called a pulmonía ('pneumonia'), a small open-air vehicle similar to a golf cart. Pulmonías can be slightly cheaper than a regular taxi, depending on your bargaining skills.

Mazatlán's lighthouse (El Faro) began to shine by mid-1879. The lamp had been handcrafted in Paris, containing a big oil lamp with mirrors and a Fresnel lens to enhance the light. Since the light was static, in the distance it was often mistaken as a star. By 1905 this lamp was converted to a revolving lamp. Today, the 1000 watt bulb can be seen for 30 nautical miles (60 km).

The third highest lighthouse in the world (after that of Gibraltar and Funfria, Spain) is located here in Mazatlan. It sits high on a hill, more than 150 meters above sea level. You can hike to the top in about 25 minutes, but your calves will never be the same. Be sure to attempt the hike only during the daytime as, as there is some pretty rugged terrain between you and the lighthouse, and, of course, it is not lit at night.

A couple of the many statues along the Malacon.



Acapulco isn't the only place famous for it's cliff divers. Here in Mazatlan, these brave fellows jump twice a day from the rocky cliffs into the waters of the Olas Altas, or high waves. Timing is everything, as the water is only six feet deep at times. Co-incidentally, the timing is also in perfect syncronicity with the arrival of the city tour tourist bus. Gratuities are gratefully accepted.


We had a nice lunch in this courtyard restaurant.

A young gaucho entertaining near the cruise ship entrance.


Mary-Jane is whooping it up!


A last margarita before getting back on board the Golden Princess to head for Cabo.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Puerto Vallarta and Shipboard Fun!


Leaving PV.






The bridge overhead is the one between the houses of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor - back in the day.






Chillin' for lunch.





This beach is near Viejo Vallarta (Old Town).




Can you see the iguana?




Checking out the market.








An artisan at work.









The church in PV.




We saw a lot of pelicans in Mexico.










Sandsculpture building along the Malacon.





A "greeter" in Puerto Vallarta.






Our home away from home, parked at Puerto Vallarta.




A drink making competition brought out a lot of potential volunteer tasters!





Fun on board - chillaxin'!









We saw a cooking demonstration on the ship by the head chef for the entire Princess fleet, and then had a tour of the kitchens.








There were many great dinners on board.




Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mexican Cruising!

One of many great sunsets on this vacation.





Mary-Jane and I shared a room - quite well appointed! We had a TV and mini fridge along with the great balcony.




Lots of friendly staff.


This is the main atrium of the ship.



The idea for the cruise was Helen's - to celebrate Earl's birthday. She invited anyone to come along, so thanks to Helen for getting the party started!



Dorothy and Doug made it on the ship just in time!


We were so lucky to have a balcony - there were many little gatherings and mine and Mary-Jane's was connected to Janine and Joy's. We could go back and forth.




Pam, Janine, Linda, Patty and Mary-Jane.




Janine's lovin' it!

Leaving Long Beach.

We left on March 1st from Long Beach. This is Janine, Mary-Jane and Joy about to board.




Well, in early March I enjoyed my Mexican Riviera cruise on the Golden Princess. It was fabulous, like living in a bubble world - nothing to do with reality. There were people to cook for you, pick up after you (like 5 times a day!), entertain you and serve you. Wow!