Friday, November 4, 2011

Los Mochis

After our adventure in Creel, we got back on the train with some pan dulces in hand and half a box of hojuelas de maiz (corn flakes). The train is like a real life thunder mountain railroad, turbulence, ups and downs, and the beautiful copper canyon. We arrived in Los Mochis around 8:30 at night and grabbed a colectivo to get to the city. The train station is a bit out of town and we could have taken a taxi, but a colectivo, or shared taxi, is more cost effective and much more authentic. There was also an elderly couple, and another guy in the colectivo with us. We were the last stop and it turned out that the driver had lived in the bay area, good to meet a fellow 49er fan. We are staying at Hotel del Valle, no internet but it has hot water, A/C, and a much more comfortable bed. It feels a bit more safe since there is normally a man watching the front door, locking it at night, etc. Yesterday we wandered around the city, got an agua fresca de piña colada in the morning, and went to the Parque Sinaloa and the Jardin Botanico. This was originally the very large private garden of an American who started the sugar mill here. It has a broad collection of trees and plants from all around the world. Additionally there is a fountain area with a large pool around it and a few small islands. There were literally hundreds of turtles hanging out on the islands along with a few very large iguanas. We took some pictures of the king iguana, and will post them later when we arrive somewhere with wi-fi. Also it is a bird sanctuary and we saw many geese, ducks, and other birds including one that tried to eat my toe. We decided to visit the statue of Don Quijote and on our way we stopped at a Chinese restaurant, one of many in Los Mochis. The food was quite tasty, very similar to American chinese food in the Cantonese style. When we arrived at the statue, we were somewhat underwhelmed and took a few minutes to drink some water in the shade of the VW dealership. We walked around some more, took a quick siesta, and the city was pretty alive at night, not too surprising since it is so hot at night. We had a snack, an "elote en vaso" or corn in a cup. It comes with all sorts of sauces and whatnot that you can have put in it, however we had ours with only cheese, chili sauce and lime. ¡Muy sabroso! To really top it off, the gentleman running the elote stand was wearing a 49er hat, we like this town already!

This morning we made the bus trip to Topolobampo. Topolobampo is a local port on the coast about 20 minutes from Los Mochis. We thought that this bus would take us to a beach, but upon our arrival, we spoke with a few locals and learned that Topolobampo is really a port town, you can get on boats to look at dolphins and go fishing, but no beach. Perhaps that explains all the odd looks at our swimsuits. Luckily there is a beach nearby, El Maviri. We took a taxi there and Sarah determined that El Maviri is currently the #1 contender for the future home of Casa Shapiro, Bed & Breakfast. The beach is pretty secluded, and right now, since it´s the low season, the beach was completely empty when we arrived. We walked through a few restaurants and there was nobody there. We sat down at a table underneath a palapa (thatched roof umbrella) and after an hour or so a waiter came by and started setting things up. We ordered a few beers, played in the water, which was nice and warm, and generally hung out for a while. Around one or two in the afternoon we decided to do some exploring, this is shapiroadventures after all, and wandered farther down the beach. We came across another restaurant and ordered ceviche de pescado and a limonada. We asked if the ceviche was for one person or two and it sounded like an order was only enough for one person, but based on prior experience so far, we got one order for the two of us. Turned out it was more than enough and the ceviche was delicious. The waitress said that the fish was locally caught and it was probably alive a few hours before we ate it. I would tell you the name of the restaurant, but I´m not sure it has one, but its trees are painted yellow and green and there were a few old guys sleeping in the hammocks around the tables. We caught the bus back to Los Mochis, took a quick siesta, and here we are. Looks like we will probably spend another day here tomorrow, hang out in the park, maybe go to some plazas here in the city. I want to see the iguanas and turtles again. Then it´s off to Mazatlan on Sunday.

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