Thursday, January 1, 2009

Driving to Stone Island

You can take little boats over to Stone Island from downtown but we decided to drive so we could bring Maggie with us. Now this isn’t as crazy as it sounds—because it’s actually a peninsula and not an island. The peninsula curves around past the airport and ends up in a long sandy, palm-fringed beach directly across from the Old Town. The little pangas go back and forth dropping people at the beginning of the beach and from there you walk along deciding which little palapa restaurant you’ll sit at. Each restaurant has a covered area where they cook and serve buckets of beer, and then in front some palm leaf shelters and often hammocks, tabled and chairs and chaises. By ordering a drink or a little lunch you can stake out a place and stay there all day.

Anyway, we decided to drive. I had seen the turnoff on the way to the airport and it was well marked and easy to find. There was a little part of the road that didn’t show on the map but it looked like it wasn’t too far. Here’s the map showing the location. That’s Stone Island in the middle just across from downtown Mazatlan. And at the bottom right at the edge of the map you can see the road leading across the peninsula to the little town and the beach area.

So off we went. A few miles past the turnoff the pavement ended and we found ourselves driving on a dusty gravel road through coconut plantations and scrub brush. I kept expecting the village to appear on our right or the beach on our left--but the road continued for mile after mile. What I didn’t know was that the body of water called Estero Sirena that narrows in at the edge of the map in fact widens out again and continues for quite a distance. It was Jamie who pointed out the other side of the map that showed the big picture. So we spent more time that we’d planned (like over an hour each way) getting to the beach, but once we got there we had a lovely time. Next time for sure we’ll take the panga.

We left Stone Island in time to swing by the Mega store and pick up a few ingredients for our New Year’s Eve dinner. We invited our friend Steve, who is living here at the Fiesta Apartments, to join us for barbequed big shrimp and pineapple seasoned with achiote paste. Then we walked around the neighbourhood looking at all the parties taking place in homes nearby. Everyone we saw was dressed up and in a festive mood to welcome in el ano Nuevo.


Stephanie V said...

We very much enjoyed our trip to Stone Island. We did go by boat as we wanted to see the bird sanctuary. This involved a long journey in and out of the small channels and ended up with a jeep ride through the coconut plantations to that lovely beach.
Happy new Year!

Joanna and Harry said...

A visit to a bird sanctuary sounds wonderful. It's amazing the variety of bird life we can see here--even just from the patio.

Just Shucking said...

The best shrimp I've ever had. I even left a little for Harry. 'Must of been the scent of that wood fueling the flames, the achiote, the onion, the pineapple... Joanna, however, is less friendly as a Scrabble rival. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." (Leonard Cohen) ---Steve