Hi all. The blog and magazine will have a temporary address in Mazatlán, Mexico for the next couple of months, or more. Now that we are here, it is impossible to predict when we will be back in Canada, although it is tentatively February 22.
As incorrigible travelers, Lori and I have been champing at the bit to get back on a plane and go anywhere. We booked 10 days in November and blasted off here, just prior to finding out that Lori was able to work there without an issue. We then booked January 4th to February 20th on WestJet, found accommodations, and hunkered down in Calgary for Christmas. Almost immediately, WestJet scared the crap out of us. We received an email with a flight change. We opened it with both eyes squeezed shut. After squinting with one eye, we saw that it was all good. Our February 20th flight was cancelled, and we could re-book for February 22nd with no charge etc. That worked for us, 2 extra days!!!.
Then Omicron! On our November trip, it was just appearing and when we arrived back in Canada on December 1. I, of course, was randomly chosen for a mandatory PCR test. The first few days were in isolation as I awaited the results of my second test in 3 days. Predictably, they came back negative. Now we waited in total suspense as our leaders tested the political waters on yet another lock-down. Sensing impending travel issues, we re-booked our flight from January 4 to January 1, then watched the various apps for flight cancellations.
Once again, we received an email, this time as we were at an airport hotel on New Year’s Eve. Again, squinting paid off as it was only a notification that our flight was delayed by 2 hours. Another sigh of relief.
The next morning, we arrived at the airport, only to be confronted by check-in lineups about a mile long. Puzzled, we asked an agent what was going on and let him know we had checked in online. He said we did not need to line up with the rest and to get our baggage tags from any open kiosk, then proceed to the self baggage check in. It turns out that there were issues with vaccination records being uploaded in the online check-in process. We had noticed that when we were doing it the previous day but played with it until it worked. Breezed through this as the machines were basically empty, the baggage lineup was also empty and there was no one in the security line. Basically, we were now getting a 2 hour breakfast window.
Next hurdle was getting on a plane. We got to our gate just in time for a flight notice on the PA system. After gulping, all they did was repeat what we already knew, our 9:45 departure was delayed until 11:45. Considering it was 10:25, the notice seemed unnecessary.
The flight started boarding on time, then went for de-icing prior to take off and then we were in the air. Loads of weight off our shoulders.
On landing, we had the most successful entry into Mazatlán that we have ever had. Off the plane in 5 minutes, entry document completed and submitted to passport control in another 5, a luggage wait of less than 5 minutes, no line up at the taxi counter and a taxi right there with it’s trunk open. We cleared the airport in record time for Mazatlán. A good sign for the next couple of months.
As for our first few days, it is a pleasure to be here. The weather is obviously fine. The true upside is the vibe. Restaurants and bars are open, people wear their masks as in Canada, temperatures are taken at most venues, but people are upbeat and having no issues with the protocols.
We have settled into our routines, and will function as we did in Canada, just warmer. I will be posting as much as possible, including multiple reviews on what to do, see and listen to in Mazatlán.