Mexico tidbits #2

I realized during my last blog that I have finally forgiven my ex wife, Vonnie, for all she did to me, real and imagined.  Holding a grudge is not Christian-like and I have finally let go after three years.  My current wife, Praxy, is very understanding as does not resent me writing about the adventures in my past.  We both had many good years with our previous spouses and to deny that fact would be unrealistic.  She also let go her ex husband, Lew, this week.  She is currently in the process of changing her last name.  "We" in the Mexico tidbit series refers to Vonnie and myself.  I’m not going to mention her by name, though, unless the story requires it for better literary flow.

Praxy and I are both relieved.

Chico Takes a Dive2000

It was our first extended RV visit to Mexico and we had just arrived in the city of Mazatlan.  Exploring the area was quite interesting; large markets, hoards of tourists, larger hoards of wandering vendors, and the ubiquitous pulmonias.  A pulmonia was a chopped VW bug that has been turned into an open air taxi that seats 5 persons.  The time between Christmas and New Years is a madhouse.  I now avoid Mazatlan at that time.

We had heard about the famous Mexican cliff divers and after asking around we found that there was a place nearby that had performances similar to those at Acapulco.  Soooo, off we went in search.  There is an old tower just south of the downtown area, either a viewing platform or old lighthouse.  We drove to it and started looking around.

Almost immediately we were approached by a young man that claimed he would jump for $20.  I thought that was a little steep, so I told him we’d wait for next busload of tourists to come by.  The price quickly dropped to $10 and I accepted. 

Chico was his name.  He was young and daring, at the invulnerable age of 16.  So off he swaggered and he climbed up the tower to the diving platform.  Intrigued, I followed.  There was a steep, narrow set of stairs on the far side of this platform.  The diver jumps out over the sidewalk and into the surf.  The Golden Zone of Mazatlan is in the background.

I followed him up the worn and crooked stairs, no hand railing, about 2 feet wide, and gazed down at the water.

Not nearly as high a dive as Acapulco, but otherwise not bad.  Clearly, the landing site is very shallow and filled with rocks.  This seemed terribly dangerous, but Chico was unmoved.  Another young man was sitting up there, and he told me he had been there for hours.  He was too scared to walk down the steps, and he wasn’t afraid to admit it.  I told him that he would either have to go down or starve, I wasn’t about to carry him.  I suggested he sit down and work his way down step by step.  So he did just that and inched his way down on his butt, about 30 steps.  I was scared too, but too hard-headed to admit it out loud.  Proudly, I forced myself to walk down, but it was mighty scary.  It was all an optical illusion, I could have walked down easily if there was a hand railing and not even touched that railing.  So I watched each step and never glanced at the water.  Vonnie was smart enough to not go up there in the first place.

The second picture shows other divers and their "seconds" waiting for tourists.  There were food vendors and trinket salespeople under the umbrellas.

I asked Chico to wait until I had gotten into a position for pictures.  He was very amenable and waited patiently.  As I walked to edge of the rock wall, another diver approached me and muttered "Chico is crazy!  This is low tide, and I’m not about to jump now.  You might get to see something you don’t want to see." 


Chico watched the waves going in and out.  Obviously he wanted to land in the crest of a wave.

Then 1-2-3 go!

He emerged from the water unharmed. 

I gladly paid him his $10.  He had earned it!

Bird Island near Playa las Glorias-2000

Mr. Moros RV park offers a tour of a local seabird nesting island about 15 miles up the coast.  The cost is reasonable, they rent a local panga fishing boat and you ride in the open air through the tidal flats.

To the breeding island for Mexican cormorants and brown pelicans.

This island is just filled with birds.  It is too long a swim for coyotes and predators, so the birds raise their young pretty much in peace.

You get off the boat to this…

It stinks to high heaven of bird crap, but the experience is something I will never forget.

Hatchlings still with their shells.

A little bigger.

A little bigger yet in the foreground.  And finally…

About ready to fly.  Mexican cormorants breed year round, so there is always many different ages of chicks to see if you look around.

Brown pelican eggs.  I’ve been to bird island twice, both in December.  Pelican chicks don’t hatch out until mid to late January.  I’ll bet pelican chicks have a face only a mother could love.

A mama pelican gives me the evil eye while I’m telling her to "watch the birdie!"

Then off to a beach on another island for lunch and shelling.

A good way to spend a sunny day while on vacation.

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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