Trip Report

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Posted by MarieA on February 28, 2001 at 08:57:37:

First, I can't begin to tell you how helpful Rob's guides were. Copy them and take them with you, I promise you they'll get lots of reading. Second, the people are the most considerate, friendly people in the world. Third, why did I wait so long to go?.

We (my sister Gail and I) did an Apple Vacation package and other than the flights (both ways) being delayed 1 hour out 2 hours back we had no problems. Warning for tall people - the seats are small and cramped.

Ok, about the Radisson. Our first room was very small and the mattresses were just set on a wooden platform that creaked and groaned with every movement, and was as hard as one would expect. We spoke to one of the desk clerks and he said we could probably be moved the next day, and to check back then. We slept with our fingers crossed. We were moved to "the other side" the next afternoon and it was a gorgeous, large room. Warning, learn the phrase "toallas facial por favor" We got bath towels, hand towels and finally upon learning that phrase got the washcloths we were seeking. You can check out beach towels at the pool, but they must be returned by 7:00 pm or they'll be charged to your room @25.00. We were late returning towels on two days, however we were able to get the charge removed. Be very careful with the "servi-bar" refrigerator in your room. We bought bottled water across the street (the people in the farmacia right beside Soleadio are wonderful, and the black lab who sleeps in front of the fan is a sweetie) which was the same brand as was in the servi-bar. I guess upon seeing the empty bottles assumed they were theirs and charged us for them. We ended up buying a couple of big bottles which we used for coffee (coffee pot and coffee, @1.00, are in the room) and refilling our sport bottles. The only down-side to being on "the other side" is that you can hear the music from Carlos & Charlies till the wee hours. We were usually so tired that we fell asleep in spite of the partying.

I was awake by 6:00 (too excited to sleep) and our room faced east, so I got to watch a gorgeous sunrise from our balcony. We decided to spend the day at the hotel in anticipation of changing rooms. By the time we got going and finished breakfast all the chairs under the Palapas were taken, but one of the employees got a couple of mats and put them under an empty palapa and that's where we spent the better part of our day. After reviewing Rob's restaurant guide we decided to head for Beccofinos, at the marina (30 pesos by cab). OH, MY GOSH. We had the most wonderful dinner, with incredible service at what we thought to be reasonable prices. We both had two drinks, split an appetizer, split a salad, I had sea bass and Gail had a to-die-for pasta with mushrooms and nut sauce, we each had desert (Tiramisu like none I've ever had - I'd give anything for one now) and coffee and our total bill was less than U.S. $50. Ok, here's a confession - I did what I tend to do at home, find someplace I really like and stick with it - so, we ended up eating at Beccofinos three of our seven nights. We walked back to the Radisson after dinner (and I mention this so I can rave about getting around in Ixtapa). The walking/biking paths are well lit and wide enough for four or five people to walk abreast. We thoroughly enjoyed walking in Ixtapa and felt as safe or safer than walking here at home.

Today is our much anticipated trip to Zihua. After a great breakfast at Soleiado (homemade jam that I'm still craving) across the street from the Radisson, we got on a local bus in front of the hotel and got off in Zihua at the Sony building. I have to admit, I was quite surprised. I was expecting a little fishing village and instead found it to be a very busy, thriving community. Crossing the main street was actually quite an experience. We wandered around town a bit and thanks to our trusty internet map found Rob's place and had a great visit. It's so nice to be able to put a face with a name. Also got to meet and greet Ed K - hope the fishing is going well Ed. After wandering around and shopping a bit we stopped for lunch. Checking out our trusty restaurant guide we were close to Café Marina so that's where we stopped. Great iced tea!!! We must have caught the owner on a bad day, as this was the only place we visited in our 7 days where we weren't welcomed whole-heartedly. I guess it was at about this point that we realized what we really wanted for this vacation was to do absolutely nothing. The hustle and bustle of Zihua was exciting, but more than we were looking for this trip so we found our way back to the main street, flagged down a cab and headed back to Ixtapa. We had the cab drop us off at the tourist market where we shopped for a while and then went looking for Judy from MN. Tangos wasn't open yet, so we hopped on a bus and headed back to the hotel. Dinner at Beccofino's again and every bit as wonderful as yesterday. The owner and our waiter both remembered us and brought us a special appetizer, on the house.

A little shopping and then lunch at Mama Norma's. Met Deborah, what a warm and gracious person, and the restaurant has great food. The humus and chips mmmm, the lime pie mmmmmmmmmmmm. A little more shopping and then back to the hotel. Tonight's dinner at Casa Morales was very good, Gail said the chile rellanos were the best she'd had and, as with almost every place we went, service was great. Back to Tangos and tracked Judy down. We had a great visit with Judy and left promising to return the following night.

Isla Ixtapa - After breakfast at Soleiado we took a cab to Playa Linda (40 pesos), checked out the gators and then got on a panga for the trip to Isla Ixtapa. The panga dropped us off on the Paradiso side, where we were convinced by the owner of one of the restaurants to come to the other side (snorkeling side) and sit in his chairs. Be forwarded, until you decide on where you want to sit you will be cajoled and sweet-talked like crazy. This is my idea of paradise. Sitting under a panga, margarita in hand with my feet wedged in the warm sand. Gail speaks better Spanish than I do and was able to converse with the owner and his employees even if the conversation had to resort to hand signals sometimes. Before we knew it, it was time to leave our palapa paradise and get on the last boat back to the mainland. Dinner at Soleadio was very good but they are a little heavy-handed with the fresh herbs they use. After dinner, Gail was feeling the effects of a day in the sun (she doesn't hide in the shade the way I do) so we decided we'd catch Judy the next night and turned in early.

We were going to head for La Ropa today but we'd spent such a wonderful day yesterday, we decided to just head back to Isla Ixtapa (do you see a pattern here?). When we arrived we were greeted like long lost relatives "mis amigas!, mis amigas!" and were pampered to death all day. I did manage to scrape my knees getting out of the panga and remembered the lime juice thing. It works!!!!! Also works on those no-see-um bites, or whatever they were, as well. That's about the best little remedy in the world. Passed the information on to people at the airport who looked like they'd gone 10 rounds with a swarm of bees instead of being bitten by a few mosquitoes or whatever. Hope it helps them as well as it did us. Thanks for such great information!! About 4:00 we got hungry and asked the owner if we had time for a snack before the last boat. He told us not to worry, to eat all we wanted, and drink all we wanted that he had a boat and would take us back to the mainland. Ordered something with shrimp, told them to fix it the best way and waited. UM, a wonderful spicy shrimp dish with rice and the best tortillas ever. After everyone left the island (what an incredible feeling to have a whole island almost all to ourselves) we put on our watershoes and he gave us a tour of the island. We walked over the top of one of the ridges and there on the beach was a deer! As I stood there trying to get the deer in focus on my camera he/she came up and stuck his/her nose right on my lens. WOW! We toured the rest of the island and saw the turtle hatching area, walked way out on the coral reefs, and in general had a marvelous time. After finishing our final margaritas (I lost count, but boy were they good) we walked back to the swimming side got in his boat and headed back to the mainland after the most incredible day ever. Cleaned up, went back to Mama Norma's for a light dinner and headed off to find Judy. Now, my most comfortable shoes have about 2inch foam soles and normally this is no problem, but I stepped wrong on one of the brick paths and ended up with foot still in my shoe but my ankle turned the full two inches and onto the ground. Talk about pain! I limped to the first cab I saw and headed back to the hotel and put my ankle in ice.

The next morning brought little relief so we resigned ourselves to the hotel pool (it was easy to limp to) and palapas for the day. The hotel really is a very pleasant place to hang out and as usual everyone was very helpful and friendly. Tonight was our final dinner at Beccofinos (I ate as many Tiramisus as possible to hopefully last me a while LOL) great as usual and we were even presented with the silk flowers from the vase from our waiter. Ankle still sucks so I didn't get to take that great leisurely walk back to the hotel, but we sat out by the pool as long as we could soaking up the enchantment of Ixtapa.

All of a sudden our 7 magical days were over. I can honestly see why everyone loves it here and vows to return. I'll not soon forget all the kindness, beauty, and serenity of this wonderful place.

Judy, so sorry we didn't make it back to Tangos. Next trip, we'll get together for sure!! And believe me there will be a next time.

I'll be happy to try any answer any questions -- it's the least I can do to repay the kindness I found on this board.


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