You never know what you might see when you are out walking around down here. One day I happened to bring my camera with me while I was playing tennis, and I came across this remarkable sight. If you can't quite make it out, I invite you to click on the photo for a shot with my telephoto lens. By the way, that fence is about 20 meters high, and is there to keep the golf balls inside the driving range.

The sun is setting over the horizon with a pink and purple sky. A beautiful Mazatlán sunset. This shot was taken from our bedroom window in the new Mazatlán marina. Mazatlán is in the middle of developing a new marina which promises to be one of the largest in Mexico. Those of you among the glitterati can sail your yachts down here and dock in one of over 500 slips. We just like to watch the fish jump out of the water.

Speaking of beautiful sunsets, my friend Dave Siengo sent me this sunset on the right. He and some other great photographers have sent me some of their other spectacular shots on display here.

The Beach to the north of the El Cid hotel goes on for at least a mile, and tends to be relatively uncrowded. Similarly, to the south the beach continues for at least two miles until you run into the disco called Valentinos, which juts out on a rocky promontory. At the northern extreme of the beach is the Hotel Camino Real. After that you have to walk on the road because the entrance to the new marina is just behind the hotel.

At low tide you can walk out more than 50 meters, because of the extremely gentle slope of the beach. There are almost always volleyball and soccer games going on somewhere on the beach. Feel free to join right in.

The Olas Altas area at night Another scenic area, and great walking spot, is the Olas Altas area of Mazatlán, down by the Shrimp Bucket restaurant. This is the area where the rich and famous lived back in the 40's and 50's, and was the center of town at the time. Since then Mazatlán's center of gravity has progressively moved further north. Still, it is a neat area, and well worth walking around in. I am grateful to Kevin Wu, who sent me this wonder photo of the Olas Altas area at night. He also sent me a great photo of what the view is like when you go parasailing. Thank you Kevin.

Water Hazard on Golf Course This is the hardest hole on the El Cid Golf Course, the dreaded hole number 8. Your first shot is across about 120 yard of water. In my case my first two or three shots are into the water and then I put my dress on and walk over to the ladies tee on the other side.

All seriousness aside, living on the golf course really is pretty nice, unless you happen to live in a house that is a bad slice away from the tee. The course features 18 holes, a driving range, putting green, and pro shop. You must either rent a cart or hire a caddy. Personally I recommend a caddy, since apparently one of their job requirements is ball radar. I've never lost a ball when playing with a caddy, yet when I play without one I use them up by the dozen.

When you are done with your round of golf, or you have run out of balls, you can relax in the clubhouse bar. Here is a golfing tip: Don't bring down too many golf balls. One of the favorite activities of the caddies down here is to retrieve golf balls from the water hazards and sell them to tourists by the bag full. The last time I bought some, it cost me one peso per ball. At that rate my round was almost affordable. Pool with waterfall The swimming pool at the El Cid hotel is one of the largest I have ever seen anywhere in the world. This picture is only a small fraction of the total. It wraps all the way around the hotel. You can swim here, play water volleyball, or just hang out on one of the lounge chairs. A great time to come here is during college spring break week, when all of the beautiful young ladies are catching some rays and driving the poor waiters crazy. The kids love to jump off the rock waterfall in the background.

Attached to the hotel is an arcade of small shops, enclosed under a glass roof. Here you can find the usual tourist goodies as well as beautifully crafted leather goods. For the readers amoung you, there is a small bookstand in the hotel gift shop. They carry the USA today daily, and some local newspapers. You are probably better off bringing your own reading material down, however. Senor Frogs Restaurant The original Señor Frogs. This restaurant chain includes Carlos and Charlies, The Guadalajara Grill, and The Shrimp Bucket. All in all there are over 60 restaurants in the Señor Frogs chain. The owner lives here in Mazatlán, and this is a photo of the original, which is still going strong. At Frogs, the ribs are delicious, the Margaritas are deadly, and the music is deafening. At night, after the tourist have had one or ten too many, people start taking off their clothes and dancing on the tables. Judging from the number of names that are written on the ceiling, this seems to be quite a popular activity. If you are looking for a nice quiet evening, look elsewhere. A view of the new beachfront golf course at Estrella del Mar There is a new golf course and residential development in town, which promises to be beautiful. It is only about a 5 minute drive from the airport, and contains over 818 plush acres with more than 3.5 miles of ocean frontage. It is called Estrella del Mar, or Star of the Sea. It features an 18 hole Robert Trent Jones golf course, with is really first class. A round of golf, including green frees and power cart is $63 for 18 holes and $32.65 for 9 holes. This course is currently open to the public. Call 982-3300 for a tee time. The exact location is 23 degrees 6 minutes 16 seconds North and 106 degrees 18 minutes 10 seconds West. Chances are the taxi driver will be better off with "near the Airport." The new clubhouse at Estrella del Mar The plans include a hotel, Villas, condominiums, patio homes, and estate lots. The price range is from 80K for a condo to estate lots at $250K (just the lot, you still need to build the house.) So far only the golf course and clubhouse exists, so we'll have to wait and see if the promise becomes a reality. If it does, it will definitely add a new lustre to the Mazatlán area. This bicycle has everything So you think you've got some hot wheels, huh? Well meet my friend, Roberto, who rides back and forth to work, listening to his audio cds and radio on those humongous speakers, and catches up on the latest movies with the addition of a dvd player mounted on the handlebars. The amp and cd player is on the back of the bike.

Quote of the day:
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice Doggie" until you can find a rock.
Will Rogers

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