Mazatlan, Pueblo Bonito, Zona Dorada

Yesterday, I decided to take a power walk around the property.  There is a beautiful spa and a gym here, but I resented the $10 fee charged for using the equipment, so a walk seemed to be a good alternative.  The resort is quite spread out and situated on several levels, so I walked up and down the stairs and in and out of buildings.  The architect/designer of this place had to have a soft spot for ancient Greeks.  Two stone lions guard the entrance, a row of Greek goddesses grace the colonnade, a winged Nike looks over the pool, and last but not least, a statute of Socrates looms over another pool.  Another ancient Greek sage, yet to be named, looks over the newly built section.  The underlying message of placing a statute of a Greek philosopher in a Mexican resort completely eluded me!

Last night we took a shuttle to Bonito’s sister hotel in town and from there, a local bus  (when is Maztlan, do as Mazatlanians do) to the restaurant called “Pancho’s.”  The part of the town we went to is called Zona Dorada or the Golden Zone.  The name might have been chosen to describe the beautiful new town to be built, but right now could only stand for the money extracted from tourists.  The town, or rather the strip, is trashy, teeming with cheap eateries, junky souvenir shops, ugly hotels, and flashy silver jewelry.   The restaurant, as recommended by Fodor’s and a fellow hot tub soaker, was a breath of fresh air.  Once we passed through a gaudy gallery of shops, we were seated by a pretty hostess (Crissy’s Mexican sister) by the waterfront.  Waves were literally licking the steps leading up to the restaurant floor.  The restaurant didn’t fight its Mexican nature but went along with it.  The guys ordered lobsters, served spread eagle on the plates, and exuded the aroma of freshly grilled seafood, and I ordered some Mexican dish of beef, cheese, and vegetables in hot sauce served in what could be a small stone cauldron or a large mortar – very primeval in appearance, and it kept the dish hot and sizzling until I finished it.

Halfway through the meal, a group of Mexican drummers dressed in African garb performed for us below, on the beach, with powerful African-style percussion, tribal dancing, and fire joggling.

Once out of the restaurant, the town looked even more seedy.  The resort, all of a sudden, looked bright and welcoming.

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