We didn’t make it far from the marina but we’re really enjoying being on the hook again. We dropped our anchor at Stone Island just outside the old harbor in Mazatlan. It’s very pretty here with just a few boats. There appears to be a lot of tourist activity on shore but we haven’t made it to that side yet.
Our guidebook told us about a place called Benji’s Pizza. It’s located on the opposite side of the anchorage as the tourist area and it’s supposed to be the best place to land the dinghy, so we gave it a shot.
I’m trying to think of a good way to describe this place without offending anyone (Andy gave them our blog address so you never know who’s going to read this). I’ll try it this way. At first you walk in and you think, this place is a dump. After thirty minutes, half a margarita and a chat with Eli (the guy that runs the place) you think, this place has character. After finishing your margarita and devouring a garlic shrimp pizza you think, I’d like to hang out here every day.
Benji’s is run by an American, Eli who came down and fell in love with a local girl. After a long pursuit and finally getting her family’s blessing (it’s a tight nit group here on the island), they married and live here full time. There are all sorts of characters here and the cool thing is that they are all very friendly and it’s not uncommon for them to pull up a chair and make you feel like you’re part of the group. We met Mark, a guy who was backpacking to his friend’s wedding and got side tracked and is now working on one of the charter boats here. He keeps his tent at Benji’s for a very reasonable price (free) while he decides whether to continue on to Rio or go with the charter boat to Hawaii next summer. Tough decisions. There’s the guy that chops up the coconuts with the great sense of humor. He’s from England and is currently making his way around the world without using any kind of air travel. He works at Benji’s and keeps his tent there as well.
Aside from the people, the food is delicious and the drinks are even better. We had a garlic shrimp pizza (the best pizza in Mexico so far) and Jake had a huge plate of fish (which he tried his best to finish). We came back the next day for the fantastic margaritas and tried out the ceviche. All of which did not disappoint.
Today we’re going into town to get some $$ to drop off for Eli as he’s going to get us some of the freshest shrimp around so we can stock our freezer. His father in law is a shrimp boat captain…very convenient for us J.
We also did a beautiful hike yesterday up the hill behind Benji’s. It’s covered with goats (and goat poop) and when you get to the top you can see all of Mazatlan. Jake was a trooper and was insistent on going all the way to the “tippy top” despite my nervous nature. He thinks I’m nervous for myself so he keeps telling me “you can do it mommy.” But every mom out there knows I’m really nervous for him! The kid is a walking disaster and he insists on looking back while walking forward and I can just picture him going straight over the side. I’m considering one of those leashes for our next hike…
|One of MANY goats on the hill.|
We’re still planning on having Thanksgiving here tomorrow and heading out on Friday for Isla Isabel. The wind is supposed to die down Saturday and pick back up Monday so maybe we’ll at least get a good 2-3 days there. It’s said to be the Galapagos of Mexico with the various different critters and underwater life.