Little Trip Report - a Week on Madera

[Archives Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Home] [Zihuatanejo Ixtapa Troncones Message Board]

Escrito por Kathy desde ( el día sábado, 26 de marzo, 2005 a las 02:09:01 horas :

This was our third trip, the first for my sister and her husband. We stayed at the Casa Sun and Moon, and all of us said, "Yeah, we'd stay here again." The view was incredible from our second floor sun deck. Construction occurred most of the week. One of our party brought beers to the workers mid-afternoon... we thought, we're "worry free" so why shouldn't they be!?

I finally grasp the lay of the land in this quaint neighborhood. We had one person with a bum knee and there are "shortcuts" to avoid some of the steps and hills, for sure! What a gem of a place. We're really "Irmites," that is, we love to stay at the Irma... But this time we booked a place with a kitchenette which was a good decision for the four of us. We bought shrimp from the mercado to cook for a special meal one night, and chips, cheese and salsa and had fresh Zihuatanejo coffee every morning at the Casa Sun and Moon's "broom closet" kitchenette.

My sister and her husband could not believe the incredible view from our deck. Yeah, uh huh, we said. This is how it is here.

Our activities included kind of the normal things... a Las Gatas day, an Isla Ixtapa day, a couple of La Ropa days, a trip to Petatlan by bus (the bus ride being an important part of the experience), a shopping day in town and some night life at the "local" establishments accessible by a short, easy walk from our Madera beach hotel which included the notable Blue Mamou and the Bay Club.

The fishing day we had reserved fell through because it poured rain for a couple of hours in the a.m. so we cancelled. I was impressed at how nice our guide was for recognizing that we might not have as good of time on the boat in the pouring rain... This was Ramon Olea whom we'd called just a couple days before to arrange the trip. Incidentally, it rained that one day, and only for a morning. This was the week that the weather report said "thundershowers" for three days. Other than that one morning, there was only sunshine for our seven days.

We had great food at La Gula, Casa Vieja, Tomales Any and La Sirena Gorda. Other meals were taken on the fly, and not too seriously. Everything was great, as we were "worry free!"

If you're a hiker, you'll love Zihuatanejo. If you're a "foodie," you'll love Zihuatanejo. If you love the beach, you'll love Zihuatanejo. The stimuli is neverending in Zihuatanejo. This time we didn't get to Ixtapa. I thought our guests would enjoy seeing the marina. We didn't get to La Barra de Potosi, and I know they would have loved that. We didn't go to a restaurant high on a hill to have a nice dinner and watch the sunset, which is always a hi-light. But we had such a great time, and really missed nothing! There's just too much to do in one week.

A few observations this time around...

Yes, yes, yes, there are a lot of us midwesterners. One person told me at Casa Cafe that he felt like he was in an episode of Fargo with all the Minnesotans around. I had to laugh. Well, it kind of makes sense. We need to get away. We're just a bit colder than most other people.

A good place to sit and watch the world go by on La Ropa is at La Goviata at the end of the beach. The whole beach and all its activity can be seen from the corner table, although it's slightly more costly for a beer there.

Rick's Bar is fun. Rick was quite gracious to us as "new" visitors. For 1 peso/minute you can log into the computer there. It's the honor system, so you just tell the bartender how many minutes you need to pay for, and that's that. We all checked our e-mail there while listening to Josie Kuhn.

The Blue Mamou has great live music as others have said. And it's a hop, skip and jump from any place on Madera.

We had a good experience at La Perla. Perhaps the owner has taken note of some of the bad press. Our waiters were highly attentive... very much on the ball, and we went twice and had the same experience each time. One of us had "mixed seafood soup" and loved it.

Banditos in el Centro was a new find. We found ourselves to be early birds so we didn't take advantage of the live music nights. But it was fun to sit there in the afternoon after walking around town all day, and look out at the colorful market stands and people watch. Great food, great service, good entertainment from the "kid" who sang and played for us. He was incredible.

We had a great time at Las Gatas, although the snorkeling wasn't good while we were there. It was very good at Isla Ixtapa. We've been to the Carribbean, and even so, I love to snorkel in Zihuatanejo. I'm glad we saw fish at the island.

The "walk to La Ropa" is not a big deal from anywhere on Madera if you take your time. Yes, there's one treacherous hill. It really is quite amusing how this one short hill can cause even a fit person to roll his/her eyes. It's so short though, and once you get past it, it's smooth sailing the rest of the way. When you get to the bottom of the "La Casa Que Canta" driveway, the La Ropa view is just breathtaking. I guess I like rocks quite a bit. Last year we walked to Las Gatas, and the worst part of that walk was the short aforementioned hill.

On three trips now we've checked out places to stay in Zihuatanejo. We walk all over the place and wander in to this place or that. I'm convinced that I'll be missing something if I don't stay on Playa Madera somewhere. However, I fully understand why others would choose La Ropa or Ixtapa, and I don't blame them at all. In Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (and La Barra de Potosi, Troncones) there's something for everyone.

My sister and I paid $2.00/braid at Ixtapa Island. I got one little braid and she got three. The best part was watching the braiding... this woman braided hair like a concert pianist playing Beethoven.

Taxis: Know the rates, and offer the rates or a bit above. I always want to pay more than the going rate, but my midwestern upbringing has resulted in absolute intolerance for BS. Soooooo, I lean in to the cab drive each time, and ask, "$20 pesos to Commercial Mexicana?" He says okay, and we're off. Only once did a cab driver give me some BS regarding the cost of the ride... after the ride, and after having negotiated the price. I didn't like that very much. Mostly, though, the drivers were gracious.

Well, I have a lot more to tell you about, but I'll save it for the next installment. For those of you about to embark on a trip to Zihuatanejo, I'm jealous! Have fun.

Follow Ups: