Trip report addendum


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Escrito por dwight in wa desde 66.82.9.40 (AC5-Webproxy20.direcpc.com) el día miťrcoles, 19 de octubre, 2005 a las 12:59:36 horas :

After my first two postings in which I was hesitant to recommend businesses and facilities that we use during our trips. However, I have been encouraged to do so by ZihuaRob and other users of this board so here goes an update.

We go to SeaTac the night before our early morning flight and stay at the Holiday Inn Express on International Blvd. We love the internet price, $95 including tax, the shuttle service and for those of you who come down for a week, you can make arrangements to leave your car in the motel parking lot. They used to have a very reasonable price for this service-in fact it was free if you stayed your departure night and your return night in the motel.

We fly on Alaska Airlines and keep the costs down in one of two ways: First, we use a Capitol One credit card throughout the year and use it to pay for everything possible, utilities, telephones, groceries, medical bills, etc. etc. You would be surprised how fast you can build up a free ticket using this card. For qualified small businesses there is no annual fee. Second, we have an Alaska Air Visa Card ($75 year annual fee). Each year on this card you get a certificate for a companion fare for $50+tax. So you pay the cheapest round trip fare and the companion comes along for $50 + tax.

We always rent a car from Hertz and get the smallest standard transmission, A/C car they offer, usually a Dodge Atos. The price ranges from $27 per day including tax to $41 per day depending on the season. Our Ďupon arrivalí rental is for two days and this gives us plenty of time to do our initial stocking for our rental in La Barra de Potosi.

Lodging in La Barra: OK, letís discuss the Hotel Barra de Potosi. This hotel is four stories and was built some years ago (15-20?). Since that time structures higher than the palm trees will not be approved-yes, they do have to have building permits. A few years ago seemed to be the low point in maintenance and management at the hotel and it appears to have improved. We have several friends who have stayed there and they really like it and return year after year. No hot water to be sure but the views are out of this world and I understand you can get a room very reasonable if you stay for 5 nights or more. They have kitchenettes or single rooms.

A note on lodging in La Barra: Most establishments advertise a nightly rate but all that I know will give you a weekly rate, even better for two weeks and a month or more can be a real bargain! Just call them and give them the dates and let them give you a bid. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting. Virtually all establishments include complete maid service, fresh bottled water with personal laundry service available at extra cost. There are a few, very few, that are just renting you the room so maid service, bottled water, etc. are extra.

We have stayed at the Casa Puesta de Sol (just south of the hotel) and certainly can recommend them. Syd and LaRae run first class lodging and you wonít be disappointed. They will be on site and will help you get comfortable in your surroundings. They have three options for rooms.

We have also stayed (two different years) at the Playa Blanca Casita; coming back for a return trip should be evidence of our endorsement. There is a bedroom and bath upstairs plus a very large screened in veranda. Downstairs is another bedroom with bath, a large kitchen and living area with another full bath and a patio out front. This is an ideal place for two couples for a long term stay. Maid service is available from Paula and she does an outstanding job.

A few years ago we stayed in a small house on the estate-style property of a Mexican businessman. Since then he has built 5 bungalows (4 more plus pool to come next year) and we are the proud first occupants of Unit # 1 of Bungalows Solecito. I daresay this is the top of the line lodging on the beach and I do mean on the beach. In my younger days I could literally throw a baseball into the Pacific from this property. There are two styles presently available: The first (and of the type where we stay) is two rooms plus large bath. The bedroom is oversize and has a large closet and storage space. The kitchen is well equipped right down to a microwave, blender and a cabinet full of accessories. The overall size of the unit is 16 x 32 feet with a 12 x 32 foot patio across the front.

Now there are other places that offer very suitable lodging but we havenít stayed at them. Each offers its own distinct advantages and uniqueness. If I mentioned one I would have to mention all of them to be fair so let me say there isnít anyplace I wouldnít recommend. Each is unique. There is one delightful place right in the village, another across the road from the beach road, one primarily built to cater to handicapped but will take others, another owned by a former chef who will make you feel right at home, one near the Enramadas with its own special ambiance, another with separate bungalows but a common kitchen, some will prepare meals at additional cost and the list goes on and on. The most complete list and a map can be found at www.labarradepotosi.info. If you want to email me at infoqbi@aol.com we can talk about them there.

How to get here, itís been covered several times but Iíll briefly go over it again: (1) Take the commercial taxis from the franchise inside the terminal. Yes, a little pricey but you will be tired and a quick trip in a comfortable A/C vehicle is pretty darn nice. (2) Walk outside the airport parking lot property with your luggage and catch a local taxi as it departs the airport after dropping off their passengers at the airport. Expect to save 1/3 over the terminal franchise taxis. (3) Ask your lodging host in La Barra if they offer airport pickup. Many do so at no extra or very little extra charge and might even go into Zihua so you can pick up supplies. (4) Rent a car. In any case I recommend going by the beach road to La Barra. Using the maps available on this website: http://barra-de-potosi.info/en/

The tiendas (small stores) in the village offer what might be called a ďspartanĒ selection of staples but let me assure you that you can find all of the basics you will need for cooking and personal care. In fact, on our first visit we stayed for a week and did ALL our shopping in the village (not one trip to Zihua)! Toilet paper (a bit of trivia: do you know this is the one material thing most missed by prisoners of war!), fresh veggies, fruits, canned goods, soap, rum, beer, coke, sprite, rice, eggs, - itís all there and the prices are reasonable. Then there is the tortilla and bread man every morning in his pick up, the tamale and corn on the cob man on his bicycle every afternoon and the fruit and veggie vendor on Saturday mornings.

OK I have had my time and space, now it is your turn. Next trip report due Sat Oct 22.




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