Monday, April 11, 2005

The great escape in Mazatlan

When we stepped off the ship in Mazatlan (one of the stops on our honeymoon), we were immediately greeted by many helpful people with maps wanting us to truly enjoy the hospitality of their city. One particularily helpful young woman offered us a free cab ride to a major resort, two bottles of water and the opportunity to dine for free at the resort restaurant and enjoy all of their amenities. Well, I just didn't fall off the potato truck yesterday. I asked her if we had to listen to a timeshare presentation. Noooooooooooo, she assured us. We just had to take a brief funfilled tour of the resort and then we could kick back and enjoy ourselves.

Did my experience with the Sea Monkeys teach me nothing?

We accepted the offer and they quickly whisked us to a cab for the ride to the resort. I won't go into a cliche description of a cab ride in Mexico. Suffice it to say "Mr Toad's Wild Ride" in Disneyland could learn a few pointers from this driver when it comes to a thrill ride.

So we get to the resort in Mazatlan's "Golden Zone." A representative greeted us and informed us we just had to endure an hour-long tour and presentation and then we could eat and enjoy the resort amenitities. Unfortunately, all of their tour guides were busy and we'd have to wait at the pool area and they'd come get us.

Okay, if you've ever been on a cruise, you know that time ashore is brief and very precious. Tess and I sat fuming at the pool watching ten very portly seniors doing water aerobics and getting pissed at ourselves that we'd got sucked into the timeshare scam. And then it occured to us...all we had to do was make a run for it.

We scurried past a ceramics demonstration and a napkin folding seminar and beelined it for the beach. All the time we kept looking over our shoulders sure the timeshare police would be swooping down on us demanding $10 for the cab ride and wanting their bottle water back. I was bracing myself to ask to see some badges and having this burly guy snarl at me, "Badges...we don't need not stinkin' badges."

We hit the beach at a brisk speed walk, clutching our bottled water. Once we were past the hotel property line we breathed a sigh of relief but then the beach vendors swooped down on us like a scene out of "Night of the Living Dead." I shouted out a string of "No Gracias'" and bolted for an alley that led back to the main street and freedom.

Bottomline is we escaped. We found a small restaurant, ordered a reasonably priced lunch that didn't require us to sit through an hour long sales pitch (though there was an American dude there who claimed to be from West Seattle who tried to get us to check out another resort). He finally admitted to us that all we had to do to enjoy any of the beach resort amenities was order a drink at their bar.

So we ended up at a hotel called Costa De Oro where it was Happy, Happy Hour (two for one drinks). We sat in their beach chairs, enjoyed their pool and it only cost us about $5 US. That's where I snapped the above photo. If you look closely, you'll see a parasail in the distance. Five minutes later the drunk parasailor almost landed on us. He ended up hitting a coconut palm ten feet away from us instead. We finished our four margaritas and caught a cab back to the ship.

I love happy endings.


Anonymous said...

Good to have you back Tim. Sounds like a narrow escape from the time share nazis. Did the ship go into international waters so you could get some cool duty free stuff?
Congrats again on the wedding.

Naughti Biscotti said...

Love the feet!!!!

I also loved your wedding photos. Thanks for sharing with us.

I have fallen for the time share scam myself. You should have had a bit of fun with 'em like you did the African e-mail spammer.

Time said...

Thanks for the congrats "lights in the wake." They did indeed have a duty free shop, but I never did understand the duty free concept. But then again, I don't smoke and I never did see the point of buying a bottle of liquor on a cruise ship that you couldn't crack open and drink immediately.

Hi Shandi!
Glad you appreciated the feet photo. If we'd had more time, I would have stayed and messed with the timeshare people.

Anonymous said...

Nice photo and story. We were in Mazatlan last summer and they seemed to have a large number of stinging jelly fish. Maybe it was the time of year, but the beach was a little less than inviting after my wife got stung.