Mazatlan, Tuesday 24/02/15

To get to the Grand Canyon I took the Greyhound to Flagstaff. It’s a cool place, with street art, wholefood stores and plenty of shops selling stuff for backpackers. I finally bought some boots for trekking, which I now have to carry around till I get to Peru and the Inca Trail, but they were a good price, lightweight and comfortable. My Ecco sandals have seen me through jungle, sand, streams, desert and mud, but I need better protection in the Andes.

I took this picture on a corner of the old town in Flagstaff.

(null)Route 66 was replaced by the Interstate Highway, but small sections of it still survive and I was on one of them!

Of course I have photos of the Grand Canyon. You can no longer fly over it, so reluctantly I took a tour to get there. The main advantage was the guide’s high-power telescope, to allow views of some of the details. However, she never stopped talking, telling us about meaningless facts and figures, so that I frequently had to slope off on my own to get away from her. During one of the few occasions she left our small group to our own devices, I sat and watched the ravens’ courtship behaviour, with soaring synchronised flying and tangled feet twisting and turning in the wide spaces.

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(null)I have wanted to see the Painted Desert since I was nineteen. I rented a car, which turned out to be at least as expensive as a tour, and drove for two hours along the two-lane Interstate, in almost a total straight line. The park itself has a road running right through and I was able to stop where I liked and walk among the mesas.

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(null)The pictures do not show the subtlety and variation in the colours, nor the expanse of the landscape, but it lived up to my expectations.

I had thought I would take the train to Santa Fe in New Mexico. There was only one train, which left before six in the morning and was quite expensive. I wasn’t sure about how easy it is to take public transport in New Mexico, so in the end I returned to Phoenix. From there I had to decide whether to go to San Diego or Tucson. Again, schedules and prices meant I headed on South. Before I left Phoenix, though, I went to the botanical gardens. There I encountered the Boojum Tree



And a Roadrunner (yeah, everyone went “beep beep”).

The Greyhound from Flagstaff to Tucson carried some interesting characters. There was a woman on the phone explaining that she’d just got out of gaol, another woman telling a total stranger all about her divorce and an old man from New Orleans who claimed to have been in a film with John Wayne. Add in the guy next to me making signs with his hands and muttering. The bus seemed like a scene from a Tom Waits song. 

In Tucson I tried to stay with a Servas host, but somehow that fell through. I found a good hostel in the end and took a couple of days getting to know the place. There is an alternative scene   on 4th Avenue and some interesting buildings on Congress Street.



I enjoyed the Museum of Art and the Historical Museum. The latter was full of relics from the old west. 



The lower of these two pistols is a Colt 0.45 (I think) that belonged to Wyatt Earp and was donated by his widow. 



This is the death certificate of Geronimo, whose long, sad story is recorded there. 



There were some good people to talk to back at the hostel and one of them, Jason, offered to give me a lift in his direction, to Nogales on the Mexican border. He was just starting out on an adventure in Mexico and we found much to discuss. All the best, Jason. 

It’s now 25th Feb. and I’ve been in Mazatlan for a couple of days now, after crossing the border on foot, getting my “tourist card” and taking a night bus to get here. I watched the sun coming up and saw a rainbow spot appear in the sky.





I’ve seen a hummingbird on hibiscus flowers and had my first Margarita, (and second and third), in Mexico. I’m not sure where I’m going next. 

One small thing: they have upgraded WordPress again, it looks nothing like it did before and it may crash on me.

One thought on “Mazatlan, Tuesday 24/02/15

  1. Wow! Quite a few adventures since you were here Rowan the painted desert looks wonderful & I can imagine the subtle hues that a photo can’t capture. Too bad you missed Northern NewMexico But you can’t see everything. I’ve always wanted to go to Tucson actually & weather aside seems like a pretty cool place to live. Have fun in the rest of Mexico & have a margarita or 3 for me Love Kathy xxx

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