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.