Trip Report: February 2005

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Escrito por Celeste desde ( el día lunes, 21 de marzo, 2005 a las 22:24:35 horas :

Having won a two-night stay at Villas Paraiso last Fall (as all of you regular Boarders will remember,) we spent two pleasant days there in a Jr. Suite in February. The hotel is about a block back from the ocean, away from the hubbub of Ixtapa Blvd. The ground level of the hotel has a large open area around a very well-maintained pool, where we enjoyed relaxing and reading. Close to the pool is their little restaurant, where they serve an excellent made-to-order breakfast, included with their room rate. It seems that quite a number of gringos regularly stay at this hotel for the winter, planting basil in the large pots of tropical plants around the pool. The suite that we stayed in was spacious, but needed attention. We had to ask for several things to be done/repaired upon our arrival. The staff was all most pleasant and accommodating, but the microwave never was repaired or replaced. Perhaps we should have been more persistent in asking about it. It was surprisingly quiet at the hotel, most restful and relaxing. The hotel is quite close to the bicycle/walking path, which is lovely for early morning walks. You can walk to the Marina or to a Nature Preserve along this path. It is also close to all the popular restaurants in Ixtapa and the very frequent buses to Zihuatanejo, and a fairly easy walk to the Ixtapa grocery store.

We spent the rest of February at Hotel Palacios on Playa Madera. We had #29, which is on the lowest level, by the swimming pool. This is the only unit on that level. There is a bedroom with an excellent, low-noise air conditioner, a ceiling fan and bathroom. Outside the room is a surprisingly well-equipped kitchen, wonderful non-stick cookware in excellent condition and a matched set of dishes…but no coffee pot. I perfected the art of “combat coffee” there. We created many fabulous meals with the wonderful fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, shrimp and yogurt natural from el Mercado. The kitchen (including a kitchen table with 4 chairs) is enclosed in an open-weave wood grillwork, with a locking door, and beyond that is a picnic table where we had all of our meals. Beyond the picnic table was a lovely large patio where we could do yoga with the beautiful view of the sea before us. The downside of #29 is that there is also a large covered patio with lots of tables and chairs a few steps up from the unit, so if the wind is from the South or non-existent (it usually fails at sunset,) people smoking on the patio can be annoying. Also, there are no posted rules for the swimming pool (which is just beyond that patio,) so pool parties, especially on the weekend can go fairly late. One family left their (probably) 5- and 8-year-old sons play unsupervised in the pool all day every day until well after 10 pm. However, we found that letting our air conditioner run on low provided enough “white noise” to neutralize any night time patio/pool noise. Apt #29 also has screened windows across the top of the room on two sides, so this provided nice cross ventilation when the a/c wasn’t going. The hotel has lots and lots of lovely tropical plants, which added a lot for the mad-dog-gardener me. It also has a small book exchange by the front desk, where I found an out-of-print book by one of my favorite authors (thank you, whoever left the Angela Thirkell!)

Once again we enjoyed walking along the footpath into town from Playa Madera. What a pleasant walk that is! Every day, we enjoyed saying “Buenos Dias” to our heroes, the lovely couple who daily clean Playa Madera and the footpath. Once again, we would inevitably find our way to the Mercado, then a block and a half over to Pinovery Internet (Antonia Nava #13, between La Calle Vicente Guerrero and Cuauhtemoc…N$8/hour.) Ricardo Pino Orozco always gave us his personal attention when we needed help, he had a good fan going to keep us cool and as it is a bit off the “beaten track,” it was quieter than other internet places. Sometimes we would have lunch at Fonda Paloma at el Mercado, usually comida corrida. What a treat! We also returned to Tamales y Atoles Any. The pozole verde was fabulous; I love all those little dishes of things to add, though it was so good I hesitated to change it. One night after dinner, we had a real treat, as a children’s parade (part of Carnival) came by…little tykes all dressed as turtles and other adorable costumes, too cute!

And so, after four fabulous months in Mexico (January was in Mazatlan,) we returned to 5 inches of snow in West Virginia. Now the daffodils have started to bloom…but we are still Zihuatanejo dreaming!

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