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December 8th, 2007

Teaser tour

Tuesday I took a tour to Stone Island. It was a fun boat ride, and the uh, talker was pretty fun. (saucy) "How about that? Take a picture..."

For $35 it was an excellent deal, and I had two vacationing married women for good company.

Once on the island you could do 2 activities. I chose snorkeling and horseback riding. The snorkeling was only adequate, but better than I had hoped for. I got to follow a stingray for a while, and played tag with some fuflar fish. (a Harry Potter fish if I have ever seen one)

For the horseback ride I was worried about the tiny little horses, but they pulled out a big beautiful arabian for me to ride. He was easy with the reign, and I was able to walk him around to everything I wanted to look at. When we got out to the beach I (after asking permission) got him up to a run for a good stretch. Unfortunately the other horses decided to come along, and I had to slow down to a walk so that the other riders didn't have heart attacks ;-(

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Touring the countryside towns

This morning I took a tour of the country towns outside of Mazatlan. I'll post the pictures later. They aren't quite third world, but it's definitely an eye-opening experience. It was probably the best tour I took all week.

On the trip I met a pair of recent divorcees who were vacationing together to celebrate the conclusion of one of the pair's divorce. We chatted, talked, laughed. I ended up spending the rest of the week in their quite excellent company.

I can't post about most of the cool things I saw until a few people receive their gifts ;-) I'll deal more in the pictures.

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The most excellent snorkeling

So everyone downplayed the snorkeling here. Low visibility, nothing to see, etc. Thankfully, they were most definitely wrong.

I took a tour of Deer island. The boating was fun, but after we landed I grabbed my fins and headed for the rocky shoreline. I was told that the view got better the closer I got to the edge. Mmmmm. Not so much. More to the point it didn't even start until I reached the edge of the island. I was following a cute little fuflar fish and then ran into a school of marlin. Wow. So I looked up, and was staring at at least a thousand fish of different flavors. I can't describe all the fish I saw, and most of them I need to look up in a book. Just spectacular.

I went around the edge and out to the sea side of the island, and it was fantastic. Not as many fish, but the fish were much better. The surf was tossing me around, but I could generally free-dive underneath it. It was huge openings and small caves in huge rocks. The ocean floor had discarded chains, a huge anchor, some metal plates from a ship... just tons of stuff to see. I swam beside a tuna with the dimensions as my chest. I met at eel much longer/taller than me. These blue fish with a pretty white border kept getting bigger and bigger the farther I went out. The marlin and sailfish were all over the place.

I kept going until I was about to loop around the top of the island, then slowly came back. It was fantastic. Hands down the best snorkeling I've done since Hunama Bay in Hawaii.

In the evening the divorcees (Pam and Dorraine) and I got together for a light dinner, a bottle of wine and some improv deserts. Wonderful relaxing evening.

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The plaza I will go to when I die.

Today, Pam and Dorraine and I descended on the fabled Golden Zone shopping district in Mazatland. The street facing shops were typical prices, but we kept finding kicking deals in the littler bazaars that stretched off the main streets. Since most of what I purchased was gifts for others I can't talk about most of what we bought, but it was so very excellent.

After the shops closed we wandered down to city centre to the Plazuela Machado Square, where they close the streets and all the restaurants put their tables out on the cobblestone streets. Musicians play at each of the corners and even sometimes in the middle. We stopped at one corner for drinks, a second corner for dinner and hours of some very lovely singing, then had desert at a third corner with an excellent Jazz band. Pictures to follow.

Absolutely one of the very best nights of my life. I am so totally stealing luckinspades down here for a lazy week with every night ending here.

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