THREE cruise ships yesterday, and two today! Busy times in the city! Lol.
I’ve been waiting for guests, or down with a cold, and then not being able to turn my head – so I haven’t been signing up for shifts on the Mazatlán Tourist Aide crew, but I’ve been putting my blue shirt on and pulling my weight when I can. Did both yesterday and today, and I’ve found the busy spot that is frequently not manned.
Tuesday there were almost 13,000 passengers & crew wandering the streets, and it was noticeable! I don’t have the numbers for today, but I’d estimate about 7,000 total. Most of them do tours, but yesterday and today a significant number were on foot as well.
Several years ago, the real estate agent who sold me my apartment (Roger Culbertson) saw the cruise ship tourists wandering the streets lost and confused, and decided something needed to be done. He got together a group of ex-pats and snowbirds, had some shirts (they’re blue) made announcing the wearer as a “Mazatlán Tourist Aide”, and had the city paint a blue line on the streets from the cruise ship terminal to the Plazuela Machado (the main plaza). Now whenever a cruise ship is in port, we man several stations in the city, and have a few people ‘roving’ around as well.
Most of the stations are the typical tourist sights like the Plazuela Machado, the Cathedral, and the central Mercado. Volunteers also sit outside the cruise ship terminal so they can let people know about the blue line, and the volunteers – and hand out a map or two. I’ve discovered that some of the stations are almost always visited by tour groups, and the tourists have already heard about the spot, or will ask their tour guide if they have questions. The clavadistas (cliff divers) are one of these spots. It was my preferred area to park myself as it’s very pretty and few others seem to sign up for it – but then I figured out no one had questions, so I went to roving.
From the Plazuela Machado to the Cathedral, you walk down one street, make two turns, then walk through a park. The first turn, on the corner of Ángel Flores and Carnival, isn’t one of our stations – but it should be! This is the point where it seems everyone diverges to their desired destination. Playa & cliff divers (turn left), Cathedral (turn right), Mercado (go two blocks past the Cathedral) – and about half of them have their maps wide open, and their heads are spinning! On busier days, with a lot of coverage, I’ve seen Roger or another volunteer at that corner while I’m roving – but this week it’s been un-manned. So, I’ve alternated roving with a stint on the corner. Seems to work pretty well, gets me my 10,000 steps and some rest on the shady side of the street!
No strange questions this week, except for another tourist asking for a jewelry store! I’m going to have to stop shaking my head 🙂