Wednesday, 18 April 2012

La Paz to Mazatlan (Ferry trip-Tues. 17th)

Well, I was right, you cannot post from the boat. Let's review:

Tues, April 17th: First we arrived at the Baja Ferry terminal in PLENTY of time, like 5 hours before the sailing. I know, that sounds a bit excessive, but we had to still get our vehicle permit for the mainland and we weren't sure how long that would take, etc. We already had our tickets for the boat. Of course, because everything is new AND the language is different, we took precaution to allow lots of time (how every much like us...) The very nice lady at the banjercito (bank-type office) was very helpful and spoke quite good English (so we apologized profusely about our pathetic Spanish....) She helped us with all the permit paperwork. Our perrmit cost about $60 US for the van size. I must say, for anyone heading down here (whether after your Baja trip or going through to the mainland first), do yourself a favour and have extra photocopies of the following: passport & tourist permit for driver (little green one you get at the border when you enter) and Canadian vehicle registration. The fact that we did not have these was okay, we just had to go next door to another office and pay a bit to have them done and then go back over to the nice lady. So if you arrive and have these extra copies (along with the originals, you will help yourself out lots!). Then we drove back into La Paz (5 minutes away) for a cold drink as we were a tad early to line up:

First, he hacks off the top of the coconut...

Cool, healthy & refreshing....

Almost forgot to show you - this is what the van looked like as we had to stick our bikes inside to save us about $100 on the ferry costs, cut down on our overall footage!! These are not always pretty times when we have to do this!!! A bit like a rubic's cube!!!

And now, ladies & gents for our ferry!! The lovely Mazatlan Star. I know this doesn't look exactly like the one I showed you a few weeks ago. I must admit, we were surprised too. Seems a bit more like a big old freighter ferry...well that is what it is, with a few cabins for people and a loungey-type area and cafeteria for everyone. Holy cow, is it ever big.... 

Euri's inside therometer hit 40 degrees C. while we waited!!!

Boarding procedure is a bit different than what we are used to. Only the vehicle & driver go down on the lower decks, all other people walk on through the LARGE back door you see. I just met Doug up in our room. It was small but nice with a little sink & three bunks (hey, someone could have come with us!)  We used the bathrooms down the hall. There are about 48 cabins altogether. Lots of people just travel "coach" on the reclining seats down by the dining room. This trip including the van, the two of us and room cost about $310 USD (bathroom would have been an additional $25 USD, I would recommend getting it - it would be worth every dollar!!)

Floors had been taken up and it was just bare cement in the hallways. We assume that sooner or later new flooring will go down...

Nice decks for walking around...

Looking down on part of the truck deck - yup, that's how you load them TIGHT!!!

So after all that excitment, we departed 15 minutes EARLY!! Sailed out of La Paz on a beautiful evening with smooth seas. One last look at the Baja as we leave La Paz:

Dinner service is from 6 pm to 8 pm. It consisted of your choice of meat entre, beans, rice & tortillas. We thought it was great, not fancy, but good honest food. And besides, we got this for a sunset: 

That was it. We wandered around then went up to our room. We were lulled & rocked to sleep by the gentle roll of the ship at sea. Honestly, we have spoken to people who have been on this crossing that the seas have been massive (20 ft) so we consider it a good omen to have been so lucky to have such a smooth crossing.

I have seperated the blog for today's actual posting. Please see that next



  1. was not the same boat. We were on the TMC ferry line because it was the cheapest and we were allowed to stay in our motorhome while on the boat.

    1. That is the beauty of a "real" motorhome versus the VW van. We couldn't stay in ours so the TMC ferry wasn't an option for us. All the gear has to come out to make up the bed. On this ferry you couldn't stay below deck. Doug said the van was in the VERY bottom of the ship!!