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Posted by Gerald Welch on February 28, 2001 at 19:36:59:

In Reply to: TRIP REPORT-SOLIMAR INN!!! (part one) posted by Gerald Welch on February 28, 2001 at 19:35:01:

Trip Report - Solimar Inn part two

DAY 8.

One week to go before we have to leave. I try not to think of it. Knew that we should have planned on at least three weeks or more. Each morning, awakening to the crowing of the roosters and having coffee on the balcony, with a soft breeze blowing through the palm trees, just reinforces my hatred of the cold, snow and sleet of home at this time of the year.
BRKFST- GLOB'S- We really like this place. -Eggs Ranchero and Scrambled Eggs- 98p.
Anne wanted to find a fabric shop today, to price cotton material (exciting, eh guys). For you women that are interested, the largest material shop in Zihua, is 5 doors to the right of the Elektra, when looking at it. She said that she would only be a minute- just have a look- so I stood there, like a dummy and sweated. The only thing that saved me was closing my eyes and thinking of a cold cerveza in a frosted glass and the cold soothing feeling and taste as it went down my throat.
Normal afternoon. B.B.S. Anne is working on a large jigsaw puzzle that has snow and ice in it. It is enough to make you gag.
DINNER- CAS ELVIRA- Seafood Tips (shrimp, octopus and fish)- Pork Chops(2 huge)- Coke and margarita- total 228p. The portions here are huge. Food and serve excellent. Very good value for your money. one of the panga's came in with a sailfish that took 4 men to carry. Dropped into Rob's and picked up 2 liters of Mezcel. His site is still down. Streets were very busy tonight when walking home. you will notice that Zihua has no stoplights and as far as the taxi drivers are concerned, no stop signs. Be very, very careful crossing any street.

BRKFST- DANIEL'S ON THE BEACH- Scrambled Eggs and Eggs Ranchero- 70p. Off to Playa Las Gatas today. Walk to the start of the pier and purchase your ticket at the window in the green building on your left. You will get one ticket, with two sections for all of the people in your party. Price is 30p per person return. Walk on to the pier and the first stairs down to the water on your left is where you should get your ride. The boat operator should give you back one section of your ticket. Do not lose this. If you do, you will have to pay again to get back. Be sure to take your camera. The beach is only about 1/5th the size of la Ropa, but much cleaner, more interesting and great for snorkeling. We had a cerveza at the second to the last enramada, furthest away from the boat landing. Here it was not so noisy or crowded, very clean, lots of shade, service was good and the washrooms very clean. No sinks to wash your hands, but Anne always carries a small bottle of sanitizing lotion, that she gets from the pharmacy at home. The boat trip to this beach takes about 15 minutes. After 2 hours, we took the boat back and walked home. A very, very hot day.
DINNER - JOAQUIN'S TABOGA - Both Anne & I had the B.B.Q. Ribs - Full Rack - 1 coke & 1 Margarita - Total 203 P. I can't say enough about this place. We sat outside & the service was first rate. The spareribs were the best I've ever eaten. Potato's & veg. done perfectly. People around us commented on the size of the rack of ribs & one said that's what she was ordering next time. The meat just fell off the bones. I'm drooling as I type this.
Walked through the Artist Market & bought a key chain I had been wanting all week. The first time the price was 100P. 2 nights later 90P. & 3 days later got it for 40P from a stall furthest away from the street. Very pleasant walk home. Decanted Rob's Mezcal from the plastic bottles to glass ones for the trip home. While doing this, make sure there are no open flames near you. I guarantee you this stuff will blow.

DAY 10.
BRKFST - GLOB'S - Anne likes this place because of the A/C., its very clean & the food is consistently good.
Eggs ranchero & sausage - Scrambled eggs with bacon - 98P. Anne took off doing what women do best, shopping & spending money. I headed back to the hotel to do what I do best, sit on the balcony,
in the shade & drink cold cerveza's.
DINNER - Took taxi to GARROBO's. There was only 1 couple there & the prices on the menu outside were fairly steep. Checked out EL PATIO around the corner & it was empty. This restaurant has been mostly empty every time we've walked by. To us that's not a good sign. Decided on the CASA ELVIRA - Beef Tips-Mexican Style & Viva La Mexico Platter ( sirloin tips & stuffed breaded peppers ) - 2 margarita's - Total 220P. The portions here are very large & very good. Service was excellent. The people next to us raved about their grilled shrimp.

DAY 11.
The couple in the suite next door suggested we try a small place on the other side of the canal, a short distance from the hotel for BRKFST. Big disappointment.
CASA LA CAFE - Eggs Ranchero & Scrambled eggs - 74P. You will have noticed that this is what we almost always order. It's what we like & enjoy in Mexico. This restaurant is owned and operated by Americans & is just in their 2nd. year of operation. The refried beans were runny & tasted like canned pork & beans. The sauce on the eggs had no taste & was like a watered down ketchup. Anne's bacon was crispy & good but left a puddle of grease on her plate. The bread hadn't been toasted like advertised & was just warmed. Compared to all of the other places we have the same thing, I would rate this place a 1 out of 10 & only that, because they spoke English. I do not expect them to be in business much longer if they do not change.
SUPPER - decided to eat at ARCADIA. Sat for 20 minutes and decided to leave.. Another table with a family of 8 who came shortly after us also left. Service here was terrible. Ate instead at DANIEL'S. We sat at a table on the beach and ate by candlelight. This was very nice.- Spagetti with Seafood- Whole Red Snapper, Grilled- 4 margaritas- total 160p. The food here has consistently been first rate. Service excellent and the waiters are always cheerful. Francisco is the friendliest. Ask for him. Sunday at the town square or basketball court is when the locals gather. There are small food stands set up and a band playing tonight in the bandstand. At dark there was recorded music for an hour, then live entertainment. it is very hard to describe, but each Sunday it almost has a carnival atmosphere at the square. Many of the stores and a few of the artist stalls are closed. But all of the bars and cantinas are open and jumping. Slow, leisurely walk home.

DAY 12
Walked along canal road to the Hotel Zihuatanejo, which is on a side street behind Rob's business.
BRKFST- Choice of eggs with ham or bacon- 64p. So far this trip this is the best breakfast for our money. Service excellent, eggs perfectly done, bread melted in your mouth, refried beans dark and nicely spiced and the coffee had an extra amount of cinnamon in it. Breakfast is served in the part of the restaurant away from the street, near the pool and is very pleasant. Just a 2 minute walk to the Principal Beach. If you want good value for your money, try the restaurant at this hotel. Did a little shopping and walked around the central market, then home through the back streets. Afternoon- B.B.S.
DINNER- CASA BAHIA- Judith (Rob's Mom) gave this place a good write up and Rob's restaurant list also said that it was good. Cab to the Bahia was 20p. This is located on the hillside in the Puerto Mio area, just above the marina. It is a direct line across the bay from the Villa Del Sol. We arrived at 6:30p.m. and got a table up front with only one other couple. If you plan on arriving much later, you would be wise to reserve. We both ordered Margaritas and the B.B.Q. Spareribs. Service and food was excellent. Total 255p. I have no idea what the service is like at the KAU-KAN of the Del Sol, but the view from the Bahia is better in my opinion. From here, all of Zihua-the beaches and the mountains behind can be seen. At night, with all of the lights the view is better than at the Villa De La Selva (Ixtapa), where once the sun is down there is nothing to see, but blackness and the lights of the hotels in the distance. Taking into consideration the views, service and the food, my wife and I agree this is the best value for your money. The price is a bit more than the places in town, but well worth it. Like the breakfast this morning at Hotel Zihuatanejo, you always seem to find these places at the end of your trip, but it is something to look forward to next year.

DAY 13.
Decided too stay home today. BRKFST was just coffee, sweet rolls & whatever. Took the taxi to Comercial Mexicana and purchased some stuff to take back home. Rest of the afternoon was spent at the hotel, resting.
DINNER- CASA ELVIRA- Quesadillas- Shrimp Cocktail- Grilled Pork Chops- Coke and Banana Margarita- 205p. Today's weather was perfect and for most of the day, our front and back doors were wide open. Low humidity, with a high of about 84 degrees.

DAY 14
Today is another day of rest, spent lounging around the pool or in the suite, reading. For a change, we both decided it would be nice to just have Hamburgers and Fries for supper. According to the Day in Paradise paper, the restaurant SIRENA GORDA received a good write up for their hamburgers. When we arrived there, it was closed up tight. I have a feeling it might be out of business, because each time that we have walked by, there was no one inside eating. Went to DANIEL'S- Hamburgers-(off the Tex-Mex menu), Fries- 1Coke, 2 Mango Margaritas- total 97p. Walked back to the hotel, feeling totally comfortable walking the neighbourhood streets now. it feels like home. Not looking forward to packing and going back tomorrow.

Here are some tips that might help you when you visit Zihua.

TAXI'S - Most driver's speak very little English so it is handy to have a note pad & just write the name of were you want to go & show it to him. Make sure you agree on a price before you get in. To get to the restaurants in Zihua on Principal Beach, ask to be taken to the Central Basketball & make the motion like your dribbling a ball.
The fare to the Airport should be 70 Peso's from Zihua & 80 Peso's from La Ropa.
Next year when we arrive in Zihua, we plan on wheeling our luggage outside the airport entrance (a very small walk ) & hiring 1 of the taxi's after he has dropped off his passangers and has left the airport area.

Puerto Mio - When in this area at night, be careful walking the street near the ocean. Street lighting is very bad and it would be very easy to twist an ankle. Also, it is not the best place to be at night if you know what I mean. This is just my opinion.

Central Market - Most bakeries in Zihua concentrate on sweet goods. For the best sandwich buns, buy them here in the market. Also, be sure to check out the stall at the rear of the market outside. We found the best corn here, on the street, being sold out of the back of pickup trucks. Inside the market, there are lots of small places that the locals eat at. The prices are very good.

Comercial Mexicana - Some prices you can expect to pay here.

Peanuts- Large bottle - 15P.
Margarine - Small container - 18P.
Water - 3 litre jug - 17P.
Kleenex - (180 sheets) - 15P.
Litre of milk - 7.9P
Pop - 4P per can.
6 Modelo beer ( cans ) - 40P.
Large bottle of pre-mixed Margarita's - 48P. Also is an excellent bottle to take your mezcal home in when it's empty.

In finishing this report, I just want to say that our stay at the Solimar was everything I had hoped for. The kindness of the owners family and the friendliness of the people in the neighbourhood, the distance to walk to shop for goods needed, to the beach & the restaurants, made it an ideal location. I have already told Edison that we will reserve for next year as soon as we have our flight schedule.

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