• The Hurricane in Mazatlan

    Last November there was a hurricane that came into the waters near Mazatlan.  What a storm it was!  Alfredo has been through several hurricanes and storms but it was a first for a Canadian girl like me.  I have seen my share of lightning storms but never the fury of a wind that can whip ocean and sand like that.  And we didn’t even catch the hurricane full on..(Thank-God!)   The storm was freakin’ amazing.  It was ripping and pulling and throwing and chucking.

    On one side of the hotel is a private street.  It turns into a path between two walls that lead to a beautiful stretch of sandy Mexican paradise.  The storm picked up all of the sand from the beach and basically tossed it at our hotel. The next day, all the rooms were full of sand. It was mounded up everywhere. You would pull back the sheets from the beds and they would be sandy and gritty.

    The next afternoon,  I walked to the beach and I was amazed to see a wall at the the end of the path were it meets the beach. Who the heck would build a wall here in the public walkway?  And how did they build it so fast, only a few hours after a hurricane?  Who are these people?  What the…?

    When I mentioned it to Alfredo…he pointed out that the 8 foot wall that the path was beside was now an 11 foot wall…that the winds and waves had ripped down 3 feet into the beach and uncovered the wall.  It was usually buried underneath all the sand that we walked on and called “the beach”.  The beach, once sandy and soft was now a mess of rock and debris. We could see the old cement pilings of what was probably a dock at one time. Palapas ripped up.  Walkways torn and twisted.

    Overnight, our beautiful beach was destroyed.  I was in shock but Alfredo told me not to worry.  He said that the beach would come back.  I didn’t see how that was going to happen but sure enough, bit by bit, it did.  It didn’t even take that long.  After two months you could see massive improvement and by three, she was as good as new.

    The hole where the window used to be.

    The storm also brought the wind.  It went into a room and with a deep breath, sucked out an 8 foot window.  Nothing left but a big hole in the wall.  Ripped it clean through!

    It had been fairly calm when we went to bed.  We woke up to the sounds of the wind howling and things crashing.  It raged strong for about 8 hours.   The devastation the next day was brutal.   All up down the street, the news was the same.  We lost a window but the El Cid lost fifty.  Trees and plants were uprooted. People’s storefronts had lost their signs.  Roofs were missing.  Animals injured.

    The Bat at the Beach

    We ended up with a wounded pelican, several squashed geckos and a couple of black moths the size of my hand that hung around for days.  We also found an exausted bat.  Some of the neighborhood kids were starting to poke at it with sticks so we rescued it and put it in a box.  It hung around for about two days and then flew off.

    About two hours after the hurricane stopped,  you could see buses starting to run, people peddling up the street, women with brooms and men with tools.  I was walking around looking in all the rooms…not having any idea where to start…and who do I see cruising up the road towards us.  Marta…the maid. Bless her heart.  She braved the elements to come to work.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.  This angel with a mop bucket.

    I was amazed by how quickly the city of Mazatlan cleaned itself up.

    I guess it goes to prove two old cliches at the same time…how quickly things can change…and how time heals all things…even beaches.

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