Mamut!

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The archeological museum in Mazatlan (located on Sixto Osuno, across from the Art Museum) has a very large visitor on display until August 25. I encourage all of you to take some time to go check out: Mamut: The Prehistoric Giant.

What is Mamut? Mamut is mammoth in English. So, yes, there is a huge frigging mammoth skeleton sitting inside our little, often unnoticed and sorely under-appreciated, museum. This particular mammoth is on loan from Mexico City. If any science nerds are wondering, it is a Columbian mammoth. It was brought here in crates from Mexico City and took a team of five archeologists 12 complete days to reassemble. It is a sight to behold.

The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week. The cost is only 45 pesitos and you get to see much more than a mammoth. The museum is chock full of pieces of history from Sinaloa and beyond with many placards in English if your sciencey Spanish is a little rusty. Pro Tip: get in free any day with your INAPAM card, and Permanent Residents get in free on Sundays. Gilbran, Director of INAH for Sinaloa, is generally there and speaks great English.

As recently as 10,000-15,000 years ago, mammoths roamed Sinaloa and other parts of Mexico. If you think banda is loud, can you imagine the sound and feeling of a pack of fifty 4-ton beasts coming towards you? This mammoth was not discovered locally, but rather in Ecatepec in 1995. The bones displayed are 80% original to this animal with missing parts replaced with bones from other mammoths or modeled. This is the reason one leg appears shorter than the others, as it was missing and another mammoth had to supply the replacement.

Cause of death is not known, but it’s pretty certain that some of our early ancestors ate well off the missing leg—whether hunted or scavenged. This mammoth died early at around age 25. Mammoths are known to have lived easily to be 80 years old. I could bore you with facts and figures, but suffice it to say, it’s big, it was heavy, and it’s here. Go check it out!

Oh, and here are some pictures (thanks Dianne):

Just click any photo to see it larger.

 

A Challenging Race is Coming to Mazatlán

Something Different for the Running Community

Extreme price and info

[UPDATED WITH IMPORTANT DATE CHANGE] As most of you know, I like to run – a lot. I enter most carreras here in Mazatlán with a personal limit of half-marathon (21 km or 13.1 miles). Most of the races close the Avenida Del Mar for a brief period and runners run on the pavement instead of the malecón, where most train. But, it’s still the same view, it’s still relatively flat and many consider it to be unchallenging. With a few minor exceptions, to join a race with hills and trails, you must leave the area of the malecón and often drive or bus a great distance. Next month, however, brings a unique opportunity starting right along the malecón.

If you’re still reading, I will assume you are interested in participating in something different – something beyond flat. A respected runner in Mazatlán, Prof. Sergio Javier Leyva Santos, has put together XtreMazatlán, to be held on Sunday, November 18th (Please ignore the dates on the graphics). This 12 km (about 7 ½ mile) run will have runners going over two hills (Ice Box Hill and Lookout Hill) as well as up and down the Faro. Some will find this too difficult to imagine, and for that there are options to sign up as a pair or as a relay team of five people. He has assembled many great sponsors including dportenis, Powerade, La Mazatleca restaurant, TVP, Eléctrica Valdéz and Turbulence Training. I was fortunate to attend the press conference last week and can tell you that enthusiasm for this race was over the top! Many of us run the Faro on a regular basis and have longed for a race that would include it. Our wishes have been answered. Oh, and the city has agreed to close the Faro to all other traffic during the race.

Extreme group foto

The race begins at the new Sister City Park where Zaragoza hits Paseo Clausen. From there, it is right down to business with a run up Ice Box Hill, down the stairs into Olas Altas, up Lookout Hill, down Paseo del Centenario, and up to the lighthouse. If you sign up as a running pair, you will end your half here and your partner will take over. Once down the lighthouse, it’s up the 175 stairs to the Restaurant La Marea (formerly El Mirador), around and up the backside of Lookout Hill, up Bateria and then back down to Olas Altas, up the stairs to Ice Box Hill and around and down to return to Sister City Park. There will be five water stations, most of which runners will pass twice. The relay points for the teams of five are shown on the map below.

Extreme 12k map

There will also be a 5K (3.1 miles) for runners, walkers and families in the general area of the park and Zaragoza. The 12 km begins at 6:30 am, the 5 km at 7:00 and kids’ runs beginning at 9:00. You can sign up at dportenis locations in the Gran Plaza, Plaza Sendero and in El Centro on Azueta. Cost is 300 pesos per person for the 12 km and 100 pesos for the 5 km. The first 100 people to sign up for the 12 km will receive a dry-fit shirt and a commemorative medal. The first 200 people to sign up for the 5 km will receive a commemorative medal.

Extreme 5k map only

The running community in Mazatlan is very welcoming, supportive and inclusive. Don’t be shy about signing up, and feel free to ask me if you have any questions. In the meantime, click any picture below to click through a slideshow and see all the pertinent details:

While I’m at it, there are a few other upcoming races you may want to know about:

Sunday October 21: Trail run in Cosalá. Choice of 10 km, 15 km or 30 km. Very challenging. Incredible views and lots of hills. This will require a hotel stay the night before. Be prepared to get wet, perhaps very wet, on the longer distances depending on creek levels. The photo below has all the details.

Cosala Trail Run

The same day as the Cosalá trail run there is a Píntate 5K sponsored by MazAtún. If you are not familiar with a píntate, as you walk or run, you will have exuberant youth throwing non-toxic, somewhat clothing friendly, colored powder on you. If you choose to pass through it, there is usually a spray station which will mist you up to enable the colors to stick better. Lots of fun. Price is 150 pesos, no time given, but it will be in the morning. With the malecón construction, I’m not sure of the route.

The most well-known annual event is the Gran Maratón Pacífico, this year celebrating 20 years of bigger and better races. The event is Saturday and Sunday, December 1&2. Saturday features a 5km and a 10km with Sunday featuring a half and a full marathon. Saturday night, traditionally, is the Festival of Lights with fireworks around the bay. Last year, this was postponed due to road and malecon construction. If you don’t participate by running, spend some time cheering on the runners and admiring their dedication. The Kenyans come to town along with a host of International and National runners so the competition is truly world-class.

maraton logo

 

A general tip if you are looking to find competitive running in Mazatlan is to look on Facebook (including joining the group: Mazatlan Running Group), listen to local radio and check the newspaper periodically.

I’ve started training for the hills? How about you?

[FIXED] How to dial in Mexico: “¿Amigo, do you have to make a call?” V 2.0

We found this clever guide to making calls from Mexico and thought we would share it with our readers. Enjoy!

Casa Piña SMA

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Improvements:

  • 4:3 aspect ratio, 11″ x 8 1/2″ paper-friendly
  • Added 045 branch to call long distance from a landline to a mobile in Mexico
  • Accommodated for large urban centres with two-digit area codes and 8-digit local numbers
  • Gave Pineapple a voice

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AC/DC in Mazatlán!?

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AC/DC is easily one of the most recognized names in Rock & Roll. Their music can be heard all over the world, all over the radio and all over Mazatlán, streaming out of bars, nightclubs, pulmonías, aurígas and cars. To many they are Rock & Roll, with an appeal from today’s youth (like my 21-year-old son) to those who rocked to the band’s first album in 1975. After the original lead singer, Bon Scott, died in 1980, Brian Johnson stepped in and became the “voice” and “sound” of the band until his sudden retirement last year. Axl Rose stepped up to finish the tour, but the future of the band is now in doubt. One thing seems to be for sure: the days of hearing Brian Johnson belt out You Shook Me All Night Long are gone. But wait….

What if I told you that you could see a group called Highway to Hell, with a lead singer who can hit high notes like a young Brian Johnson? What if I told you that group will be playing in Mazatlán at the International Convention Center on Saturday, January 28? Would it help to know that this group not only sounds like AC/DC, but looks like them, right down to Angus Young’s schoolboy outfit and Brian’s hair? They have performed all over the world and are respected enough by the real AC/DC to have shared a stage with Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams (bass player, soon to be retired). They rocked Hermosillo in November (https://youtu.be/2fcxqdQeLNg) and recently played to over 10,000 in Mexico City. This is the closest you can get to seeing AC/DC and it is coming to you real soon.

How does something like this come to happen? The commitment and energy of a local expat and longtime music fan, Ray Wright of El Sol La Vida, is making this happen. He has partnered with Tecate, the Mazatlán International Center and TV Azteca. If it’s a success, and I’m sure it will be, he promises to bring more acts to Mazatlán. I had a chance to catch up with Ray recently, and here’s what he had to say. Pay special attention towards the middle for a special promise from the band if the event is a success:

To see AC/DC on their last tour was price prohibitive. Even back in the 80’s, I’m sure I paid over $20 US (plus parking) to see a concert. Call it flashback pricing or whatever you like, but Ray is able to bring us this amazing outdoor open-air event with multiple bands and a DJ, encompassing six hours of music, for only 200 pesos. If you are a VIP rocker these days, 600 pesos gets you a seat at a table. The tables are for eight people, so why not invite some friends to come along as well? Either way you can’t go wrong with affordable food and beverages easily available. Here are the quick facts:

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Saturday, January 28, 7:00 pm
Mazatlán International Center
Tickets 200 pesos (VIP 600) – available all over Mazatlán:

Gran Plaza (beginning Friday, January 13) – look for a special kiosk
Mazatlán International Center
Bikinis Bar in the Golden Zone (Thursday – Sunday 6 pm – 4 am)
Athina Spa – Calla Bellisario Dominguez 1600 in El Centro
Reason’s Hair Salon in the Marina
Surf’s Up Cafe
TBM Offices in Marina next to Dock 7
or by calling Ray Wright 669-146-1626

Schedule is more or less as follows:

Doors open at 6:00 with DJ Nhas starting at 6:30
Opening Act: Local band, Beggars Banquet 7:30 – 9:00
Highway to Hell takes the stage around 9:30 and plays until around 11:30 or midnight
DJ Nhas returns and will play music as long as people are buying beer!

Let’s face it, living in Mazatlán rocks (pun intended). But it means that to see an international performer or band, you have to travel to Monterrey, D.F., or even the United States. Tribute bands are a way to fill the void without traveling. And if you’re going to see a tribute band, you should see the best of breed, which Highway to Hell certainly is.

A Chance to Visit a Mazatlán Organic Farm

v1Just over four years ago, we had the opportunity to go to the community of Guillermo Prieto on the outskirts of San Ignacio and visit the totally organic and innovative farm of Sacramento, one of the regular vendors at Mazatlán’s Organic Market (or MOM for short).

Now, you all have a chance to do the same thing, coming up on Sunday, March 13. This event is coordinated by Verónica Rico, one of the founders and motivating forces behind MOM. At 8:30 a.m., guests will be taken by bus from Plaza Zaragoza to Guillermo Prieto, where you will be shown up close and personal how Sacramento and her team work, teach, learn and live. Highlights include: the water collection system, creation of compost, worms, and the gardens where they grow their beautiful produce.

Later, you will enjoy lunch / brunch in the fields with organic produce, prepared by Sacramento and her team. The cost is only 380 pesos, including the transportation, tour and lunch. You should be back in Mazatlán around 3:00 p.m. or so. This is a great way to understand the origin of organic produce in a small local farm and the people who grow them!

Here is a link to our tour in 2012. I can only imagine how much they have grown since then. Here are a few shots from a similar tour in 2013:

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You can write to Verónica Rico at mazmercadoorganico@hotmail.com or give her a call at 6691-48-4010 for any questions. Verónica speaks English fluently. Tickets will be available at the Organic Market in the Plazuela Zaragoza this coming Saturday from 8:00 to noon.

This is an opportunity that does not come along very often and we encourage you to go if you are able.

More information and updates are available on the MOM Facebook page.