Down near the radio towers, at the south end of the Malecon, is an eatery called the Shrimp Bucket.
It is right on the road and if you stick your arm out from a table closest to the rail that separates you from the road, a car will take your arm off your shoulder.
From our table Alan, Dave and I can see the Malecon, the beach, a rock hill where San Francisco type homes rise to give the grandest view for miles. After an appropriately long wait in a place where time itself is on a holiday, a waiter brings us a menu that is the same as it was in the 1950’s. There is, after all, no reason to change your Menu when everything on it is something someone once paid money for.
The marlin stew catches my eye.
“Good for hangovers,” the menu says. “A traditional Mazatlan delicacy.”
After a large hotel breakfast, a bowl of stew is enough for lunch and if it is good for hangovers it will also be good for a travelers malaise that strikes at some point in every trip where sun, surf, new surroundings, different language, lack of sleep begin to take a toll. We have taken a taxi to the Historical district and are walking back to the highway to catch a pulmonia back the Hotel Plaza.
Marlin stew is pungent and Mexican. It is packed with peas, carrots, onions, cabbage, green olives, and small reddish bits of marlin. The marlin has a distinct flavor and its taste is softened by queso piled on top of the soup and crackers broken and dumped in the bowl like you did when you were a kid. The stew is hot and spicy and was ordered with a cold local Pacifico beer.
After I finish lunch I want to cross the road, descend concrete stairs to the beach, lie down on a bench under a thatched shelter, take a long siesta, and dream of long winding Kerouac sentences that get lost in their own waves.