Advocate's Editor Fired up about Cruise
Second port of call: Mazatlan.
I woke up this morning to the sound of roosters waking up the people living across the harbor from this Pacific Coast city of about 650,000. But I didn’t have much time to soak it all in because my boyfriend and I needed to prepare for our shore excursion to a zip line in the Sierra Madre Mountains (about an hour’s drive outside of Mazatlan), which we signed up for at the very helpful suggestion of RSVP president Charlie Rounds.
If you’ve never heard of a zip line, check out this video (it does a much better job of explaining the concept than I do). Huana Coa, where we went this afternoon, is a series of nine zip lines high above (and sometimes through) the trees in the Sierra Madres. I expected it to be more jungle like (the tour guide even told us on the way up that she had recently seen a baby tiger there, which is very doubtful), but the trees were still mostly bare and there was nary a tiger, monkey, parrot, or tarantula in sight. Still the experience of zipping through the air was exhilarating and exactly the sort of thing I hoped to get out of this trip -- my first-ever gay cruise.
But as it turns out, the zip line won’t be what I’ll be writing home about. On our hour-long journey back to the boat (on a lonely, dry, dusty two-lane Mexican highway), the bus caught on fire. And -- it gets better -- our only warning that we should probably get off the bus was when the driver charged out the front door with fire extinguisher. If only the bus had been equipped with a working fire extinguisher. So, after the rest of us piled off the bus, the tour guide and the sole woman (and only lesbian) in our group rallied the rest of us to dig out the bottles of Evian we’d purchased on the ship that morning and to pour them on the flames -- as if we were some kind of French Alps fire brigade. It still wasn’t enough. Neither were the bags of dirt we then tried to smother the fire with.
Finally a truck driver tossed his own -- working -- extinguisher our way as he drove by, and our bus driver was able to put out the fire. The charge I felt this afternoon on the side of the highway as the bus was burning was as strong -- if not stronger -- than I felt on the zip line just hours before. Still, it wasn’t quite enough to keep me entertained for the next 45 minutes or so, as our group waited (next to two grave markers and a stinky animal carcass) for a new bus to arrive. Sitting there on the side of the road, I couldn’t help but wonder two things -- What in the world must all the people in the passing cars think of us -- a couple dozen flamers sitting next to a burning bus? And, Where are those Y Tu Mama Tambien boys when you need them?
But burning buses aside, I’m having a blast on the cruise -- and am really looking forward to Puerto Vallerta tomorrow!
Jon Barret, the Editor in Chief of The Advocate and Advocate.com(the world’s leading multi-platform news provider directly targeting the LGBT audience) has agreed to experience his very first gay cruise and send us back these periodic reports. Check here all week and be on the lookout for his article about first-time gay cruising scheduled for later this year in the Advocate.