Decided to get off our butts and take a little hike today. We boarded the “Toreo” bus and took it to the end of the line which just happens to be right in front of the entrance to the path up to El Faro (the lighthouse).
We started down at sea level near the blue building in the photo. If you click on the image to increase its size, you’ll be able to see the switchback trail heading up the side of the hill. The first part of the walk is on a wide dirt path. Not particularly steep but unrelentingly uphill. The last part is over 300 concrete steps. Gets considerably steeper during this part.
On the way up, I smelled the distinct smell of bread and butter. “Bread and butter?” you say. What the heck does that smell like? Well, in my case it smells a lot like sewage. That is NOT a slur on Lulu’s cooking or baking abilities, nor is it a condemnation of my olfactory nerves. No, in my case, much of the reason that I am now retired and able to enjoy this lifestyle is that I spent 32 years in the water and wastewater treatment field. Although I spent the final 9 years of my career working on the clean (drinking water) end of the pipe, before that I cut my teeth (so to speak) on the dirty end of the pipe. Anyway, partway up the hill we got a primo view of the Mazatlán Planta Tratamiento de Aguas Residuales. And, the plant was undergoing an upgrade, an experience I am very familiar with.
Looks like they’re building a couple of aerated bio-filters, new primary and secondary clarifiers, a chlorine contact basin and, possibly, a tertiary filtration system. Can’t wait to check on it again next winter to see how things are coming along. And what a great vantage point.
Once we got to the top (I think I read that the lighthouse is 477′ above sea level), we saw the most welcome sign we may have aver seen: “Se venta agua y refrescos aquí.” Water and sodas sold here. Good thing, too, as I’d sweated out about a liter or two on the way up.
Here’s a little blurb from wikipedia about the lighthouse:
Mazatlán’s lighthouse (El Faro) began to shine by mid-1879. The lamp had been handcrafted in Paris, containing a large oil lamp with mirrors and a Fresnel lens to focus the light. Since the light was static, in the distance it was often mistaken for a star. By 1905 this lamp was converted to a revolving lamp. Today, the 1000 watt bulb can be seen for 30 nautical miles (60 km).
We stayed at the top long enough to get a few photos.
Once back at the bottom, we decided to catch the bus and get off at a really great produce stand on Avenida de La Marina. At the stand, we got a pineapple, cauliflower, mushrooms, 4 kinds of peppers, apricots, plums and peaches for a grand total of $118 MX which is all of $9.00 US. From there we walked up the street a block or two. We decided we either needed to stop and get one of the really beautiful grilled butterflied chickens to-go or visit the taco stand down the street a bit further. Well, the chicken shack had quite a line so we decided to save it for another day and hit the taco stand instead. It was just a little place basically built in a garage and driveway. Don’t know what all they had but we knew they had about four or five different kinds of tacos (at $8 pesos – about 60¢ each). Lulu had two tacos de cabeza and one taco de carne asada. I opted for 3 carne asada tacos. As always, they were delicious. However, I sure wish they’d offer flour tortillas at these little places. I prefer the taste but, even more, I like the fact that you can actually finish a taco before the filling breaks through the bottom of the tortilla. Tortillas de maíz just don’t stand up. Not sure what I’m doing wrong that the Mexicans are doing right. If they had as much trouble as I do, they would have switched to flour tortillas a few hundred years ago. Before we left, we had to get a photo of the staff. It was a big, happy family and they were more than happy to pose for me.