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except from the airport. Their fares are negotiable. I will discuss them and
other modes of transportation later in the book.
I usually ask the driver to stop at a bank ATM to pick up some pesos. I give
the driver a dollar or two tip, depending on how long he waits for me.
At the hotel: When you check in, be sure and ask where the best hospital is
to go to if you have an emergency. If they do not reply with the name of Sharp
Hospital they are badly mistaken. Most hotels have on-call doctors in case of
emergencies. Ask if safety deposit boxes are available. Usually they are free
unless you lose a key. Place your return airline ticket and tourist visa card and
any other valuables in your safe deposit box. Once you've dropped your lug-
gage in your room, head for the beach or the main drag (Camarón Sábalo) for
some scouting around and fun.
Babysitters: Most hotels can help you get a babysitting service. Current cost
is $4 to $5 U.S. per hour. So as not to be disappointed, be sure to arrange for
them 24 hours in advance.
Police: If you have a problem, don't be afraid to contact the tourist police,
914-8444. Most of the time you can get an English-speaking officer and they
are usually very courteous and helpful.
U.S. Consul: It is located in the Golden Zone, across the street from the
Playa Mazatlán Hotel. The consul recommends that you register with them as
soon as possible after you arrive, so that people in your hometown can get in
touch with you if there is an emergency. The telephone number is 916-5889,
and the business hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through
Canadian Consulate: It is located south of Playa Mazatlán Hotel, but part
of the same complex. The telephone number is 913-7320, and they are open 9
a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Pacific Pearl: Try to find a copy of this
English-language newspaper at your hotel.
Among the advertisements, it contains use-
ful information about schedules of special events, emergency telephone num-
bers, maps of the city, and restaurant guide. It is free of charge and is an excel-
lent paper. Michael Veselik is the Director General, and his wife Maricha De
Veselik is the Executive Director. Their address is Camarón Sábalo #1000, L4
Plaza San Jorge, near Dairy Queen, and the telephone number is 913-0117.
They also have a web site, and an email address,
M a z a t l a n I S P a r a d i s e