[ Mazatlan, Mexico ]
Warmest regards from Mazatlán, on the sunny Pacific coast of Sinaloa, Mexico. I can’t begin to express how magnificent it feels to be traveling internationally again; to be moving across borders and into parts unknown after our inescapable global shutdown. I feel like I’ve escaped from purgatory, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it.
To that end I’ve spent a couple of extra days here—sorting logistics, shaking off my usual pre-ride jitters, wandering aimlessly. Though my room is near the beach and tourist areas, I have chosen to explore my immediate environs instead—a working class, residential neighborhood. You’ll not be surprised to hear I’ve become a regular at two nearby restaurants, or that I’ve eaten tacos stuffed with everything from beef tongue to octopus. Oh how I have missed the glorious deliciousness of street food!
In search of a decent café I stumbled instead upon Raul Flores’ wonderful shop La Gracia. Raul is a passionate roaster of locally sourced coffees, providing beans and blends to area restaurants, hotels, and lucky visitors like me. After two mornings of experimentation, my go-to is an espresso brew of his “mezcla de la casa” (House Blend), which is amongst the best—and strongest—espresso shots I’ve ever had. (Seriously: no hyperbole here, kids.) I took a few pics of his shop to share with you, below.
Sunday I took an obligatory ride along the seawall—a standard, touristic thing to do, I suppose, but also a good way to verify Fargo’s road-worthiness and acclimate myself somewhat. This is off-season in Mazatlán—too hot and rainy for the summer crowd—a fact reflected in the near-deserted roads and quiet beaches. The sounds of a few, hopeful banda musicians echo off the high-rise resorts, but no crowds gather and the heat quickly forces the players to retreat into the shade of trees or abandoned buildings. I find a nice coffee shop (yes, yes, I’m predictable) that also rents bikes, and after a brief conversation the barista invites me to stay at his grandmother’s home when I pass by—located in the mountains a couple days’ ride east of here, directly on my route.
And so begins the hospitality of strangers!
I’m sure there’s much more to tell, but this should be good enough to get us started; I’ll be setting out early tomorrow morning, and wanted to thank you all for following along and sharing my journey. I’m optimistic that I’ll have frequent network access with my spiffy new telcel SIM card, but as always the timing and frequency of my updates are subject to the vagaries of local conditions. In other words: stay tuned, I’ll post as often as I can!
Take care, one and all, and hasta luego amigos,