trip report

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Escrito por jammon desde (?) el día miιrcoles, 09 de febrero, 2005 a las 17:46:08 horas :

24 hours ago my wife and I were toddling down La Ropa after a couple cervezas at La Perla. I have just come in from clearing the snow from the sidewalk and driveway and felt I'd do a short report while the thought of suicide passes.

Excellent flight from Denver direct to Zihua via United. Arrived early, our bags were among the first off, and we flew through Customs. Literally 20 minutes from touchdown to taxi. Paid 250 pesos from airport to Club Intrawest. Not sure if that's good, but it sure was fast!

Spent 10 days at Club Intrawest. Architecturally, this place is spectacular. Had a one bedroom, two bath suite; small kitchenette, big veranda with a view of the beach – excellent! The people are finest-kind – genuinely warm and friendly. I should say the Mexican people. The top management are Canadians. Not so much as a "hello" in 10 days. They seemed to have time, though, for those who were members of CI (we are not). The A/C sucks. It was often warmer in our "air conditioned" room than outside. The bed sucked, too. Now, I've spent enough nights in Mexico to know that their beds are generally much firmer than we're used to in the US, but this thing was a park bench. It was hard. Also, there is some minor on-going construction/repair that occasionally caused some noise, but nothing major. This sounds overly negative, but I'm nitpicking a little. All in all, we'd go back tomorrow. If you're considering staying there, go for it. A word on the socio-political ramifications: I talked to about 15 or 20 people – bartenders, waiters, store keepers, taxi drivers, ex-pats, etc. – about the local feelings regarding the Intrawest, and found little, if any, indignation or animus toward the club or its guests. I believe it's a non-issue.

We had a list of things we might do – snorkeling at Las Gatas, a stop at Isla Ixtapa, perhaps fishing or a day at Troncones. Didn't do squat. Didn't read a paper or watch a TV, either. Not even the Superbowl. It's truly amazing how fulfilling it is to lay on a beach all day. We'd talk to each other about things there seems to be precious little time for in the "real world". We talked to others – the genuine warmth that is practically a disease with the locals usually infects visitors, too. Just to break things up, sometimes we'd lay around at the pool. We'd snooze, we'd read, we'd snooze again. Then, there was the exhausting task of bumbling slowly down La Ropa for a beer somewhere. Glorious!! Got in a little shopping, but that's about it. I need to mention Galeria Lupita on Calle Ejido. Some wonderful jewelry and unbelievable original watercolors of easily recognizable Zihua sites. The owner, Roberto, speaks fluent English and is a great guy. Prices are extremely reasonable – it's worth a look. Not to be confused, of course, with Lupita's Boutique, where my wife found a beautiful embroidered blouse.

We did, however, eat. Breakfast was usually a fruit plate and huervos rancheros. Elviras, Patys, and Dona Prudencia, all on La Ropa, were all good, as was Nueva Zelanda in Zihua. La Casa Cafe was great; Daniels, on playa Municipal, was disappointing and overly expensive. We're not much for lunch, but we'd occasionally have a little snack. The tortodas (sp?) at Intrawest was great. Fresh, crisp chips with guacamole, bean dip, and pico de gallo. They have wonderful shrimp satay, too. Had a nice shrimp cocktail at La Perla, too, but at 145 pesos, it's wayyyyy overpriced, and it took well over half an hour to arrive.

Dinner. Let me start with the restaurant at Intrawest, Zi. The food and service was world-class. The grilled yellowfin tuna is sushi quality and literally melts in your mouth. It is the finest my wife has ever had, and she is an expert on tuna. Another not-to-miss is the grilled flank steak with black bean risotto. It was fork-tender and cooked perfectly to medium rare. And, the prices were really reasonable. This place is outstanding! The venerable Coconuts.was its usual marvelous self. The bananas flambe is a must for dessert. La Escollera is new, on the hillside above La Ropa. The view is tremendous. We didn't meet the owner, Manuel (I think), but his fiancee, Celine, is a charmer. She's French-Canadian from Quebec, so fluent French is spoken here. My wife's tuna was very good; my grilled shrimp were the best of the trip. Seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red chilis – I could have eaten a ton. Villa de la Rocca is one-seating at a fixed price. Cocktails and wine at 6:00, dinner (salad, soup, entree, and dessert) at 7:00. $50US per person includes the tip. The meal was fine – the tortilla soup was killer – but nothing spectacular. The company and the view were, however. It's worth it. La Casa que Canta, Puerto Mio, and Puesta del Sol were also memorable dinners with great food and superb service. Casa Bahai and Kau Kan were average and overpriced.

My wife just came in because she heard me sobbing. She says she has hidden my passport and I have to unpack. Right stinkin' now (she didn't say stinkin' – I cleaned it up). We'll be back in

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