One of the many colorful floats in the La Paz Carnival Parade
I've never been to Mardi Gras -- I guess it's on my bucket list and my first choice for
sometime down the line. But until then, La Paz Carnival --
a week long celebration of the beginning of Lent, was a close second.
We headed down to the Malecon to check out the Carnival festivities with our
friend Laurin of s/v Second Wind and his brother Gerry, visiting from the states.
The Malecon glowed with thousands of festive lights for Carnival
Chris and the boys belly up to the table for meat, meat and more meat. Meat, anyone?
After some truly delicious pierna tacos, we hit the Malecon to check out the games,
displays, musical entertainment and countless wares for sale.
A young mom runs this carnival game with her baby at her side. Note the
ocean directly behind -- you can't ask for a more beautiful spot for a carnival!
One vendor sold these crazy, asymetrical Rubic's "triangles."
It gave me a headache just touching the thing!
Some of the prizes for the carnival games were more than a little inappropriate for children:
Variation on the "Happy Face" stuffed pillow
Whiskey bottle stuffed pillow
Cigarette stuffed pillows -- for the 13 year old who has everything...
Don't ask me what this was or why it was there -- I certainly didn't ask. :-/
Colorful sweets for sale
In our travels in Mexico and Central America, I've seen countless mini-carnivals set up in small towns with kiddie rides for the ninos. But this is the first time I've seen actual grown-up (read: dangerous!) carnival rides here in Mexico.
Would I dare ride one?
Yes I would!
Laurin and I took the dare and rode the very large, very fast Mexican ferris wheel, while
Chris and Gerry stood aside praying for a safe landing.
View from the top
The 18 month old daughter of one of the young guys who ran the
Ferris Wheel had free reign of the loading platform while Daddy worked
These carnival queens balanced amazingly tall crowns. My question: how do they "take care of business" at the Porta-potties supplied for the carnival? My weird brain thinks about stuff like that.
Exhausted after a fun evening at Carnival, we called it a night and tried our best,
earplugs in place, to sleep aboard Espiritu as the party and music raged on 'til dawn.
The next day, we returned to the waterfront for the Carnival Parade.
In Mexico as opposed to the states, parades tend to be in the evening instead of the morning.
People began reserving their spots along the parade route a couple of hours before sundown.
Mexico is a famously steamy, warm country, yet year round the Mexicans are hanging in there with that strict "no shorts" policy. I'm sure it's a modesty thing, a respect thing -- and I get it for business, etc. But in the middle of the summer with your kids at the carnival?
Time to get into the 21st century, Mexico!
La Paz citizens wait in long pants and scorching heat for the parade to start
A child and bubbles
This little girl was too tired even to eat her ice cream
Finally, finally...here comes the parade!
Whimsical Mad Hatter-Johnny Depp look alike
These young students of the local Hula dance school were pretty impressive.
But...Hula dancing...and no shorts?
White masks and bright feathers
OK, my dad used to work for Disney, so I can guarantee that this was
not an official Disney sanctioned float or Mickey Mouse character.
This guy with the Tecate beer in the Anonymous mask stared me down ominously as I took his photo -- I guess that's the purpose of the "Anonymous" mask -- to look a little dangerous. The sweet girl at his side lessened my fears.
Students from the local Arabic-style belly dancing school shook their midriffs on a float.
Belly dancing...but no shorts?
This little kid was falling asleep on the job on his float
Many of the floats had an actual Mardi Gras feel --
or anyway, what I imagine Mardi Gras to feel like.
WHAAAAAT? A float with a pole dancer on it?
But STILL no shorts.
Come on, Mexico. Lighten up. We know what legs look like.
Ah, well. Live and let live.
Thanks, La Paz, for an amazing Carnival!