Trip Report

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Posted by parsavr on March 13, 2001 at 15:19:09:

We landed in ZIH March 2 on an Apple "Air Only" ticket from ORD. The plane was on time and the flight uneventful but full. Customs took over an hour as two Apple planes landed at once and inevitably there's people who don't fill out the immigration forms ahead of time (grrrrr!). The unofficial transportation director wouldn't let me out of the terminal without buying a taxi "ticket". 150 pesos to Zihua, but only 70 to get back!….tell the "director" a friend is picking you up and then go outside and grab your own taxi!

My 4th time in Zihua and Maureen's (my new bride) 2nd. We stayed in an apartment some real estate lady (Judith is her name, maybe Rob knows her ;o)) set us up with fronting on the beach boardwalk, Paseo del pescador, directly across from the Coast Guard station. The flag raising ceremony in the morning and the nightly serenade from the strolling musicians below our porch made the location entertaining. The siestas on the porch hammock were to die for also.

After shedding the long pants and socks we went out to shop for "provisions". Thanks for the microdyne tip, Rob; it made fruit and utensil washing a lot easier. First night we had drinks & dinner @ TaTa's on the boardwalk. A light meal of pescadillas. We stopped for a nightcap @ La Sirena Gorda, luckily, because while there the monster storm blew in. The wind was unbelievable! Power went out, so we made our way home (upstairs) to watch the unending lightning storm over the bay. Luckily I had brought candles (after all it was kind of a honeymoon) and it turned out to be a memorable evening. Power came back on during the night, we're not sure when.

Saturday we had breakfast @ La Bocana. A lot of locals seem to eat there and I've never had a bad meal. A breakfast there will last a while. Afterwards we walked out to La Ropa Beach and got a little sun. Stopped to see Francisco @ La Perla to pick up a few Cubans from his unbelievable humidor/room. He was busy hosting a gringo wedding with 80 guests. Back to Zihua and hora feliz @ TaTa's. Later on we dinner @ JJ's Grill down the street from Rob's. Their blackboard specials are a good deal.

Sunday breakfast @ Daniels (the beach front places in Zihua are so great its hard to bring yourself to eat "indoors"). We grabbed a cab and went to Petatlan. It was an interesting trip back into the countryside. I wished I had kept my annual promise to myself about learning more Spanish, because our driver had a lot to say about things, but all in Spanish. We arrived during mass and it was a full house. The gold markets around the church were interesting and we tried to help the local economy just a little bit. Hora feliz @ TaTa's and a great red snapper @ Casa Elvira. Of all the restaurants in Zihua, Elvira was the only one that was always busy. We've noticed the past couple of years that the crowds are not as big as they have been, that's OK w/me but it has to be tough on the local business people.

Monday was a lazy day for us….TaTa's for breakfast, a long siesta (was kinda a honeymoon!?!) and a walk to Madera Beach for a few hours in the sun. Hora feliz? You guessed it, TaTa's and then dinner @ Emilio's. Mexican pizza is great!

Tuesday we had breakfast in the apartment…fruit, coffee and fresh bakery. Mexican bakery is very good and they stay open 'til 10:00 PM so you can get fresh the night before. We took the bus to Ixtapa and met some friends staying there. We had planned to hire a driver for the day and Sandy @ Elizabeth Williams Realty hooked us up with her husband, Vidal. What a gem he was. A native of Zihua and perfect English. We went to an archaeological site (the gov't has not yet become involved in the excavation so the locals are too willing and able to sell artifacts to tourists…a shame and reason enough not to promote the site so it will remain unnamed…we were offered artifacts but at Vidal's insistence we did not buy) and toured the small village it was located in. How Vidal got the car back in there I'll never know, we should have been on horseback. We were invited into one of the small homes to watch the Mrs. Making tamales. Mr. also made cigars from his own tobacco crop and I bought a couple….crude but not too bad a smoke. The home tour gave new meaning to the word "underprivileged", but the people seemed cheerful and were all busy making their way. I wonder if in general single parent families in Mexico a much rarer than the States? Is that the difference? Even in the face of extreme poverty people seem generally industrious, polite and crime free. Does religion play a bigger role too?

From here we went to Barra de Potosi. Had a wonderful abalone lunch and a long walk on the pristine beach. The whole day was memorable. Muchos gratias Vidal!

Hora feliz @ TaTa's and dinner @ Paul's Swiss Restaurant. Again, hardly anyone there. Meal was OK, but pricey for Zihua. We'll skip Paul's in the future.

Wednesday breakfast again in the apartment. Mexican coffee is great! Don't forget to bring some home. Walked around the corner to the municipal pier and took the boat to Las Gatos for the day. Pescadillas on the beach. Hora feliz @ ????? you guessed it…TaTa's. We're getting to know all the regulars here by now. Maureen got a little too much sun so we skipped dinner and I finished a great book I had been working on.

Thursday we tried a new café on the boardwalk, Café Pescador and for breakfast it was fine. This was our shopping day and Maureen got some wonderful silver pieces. Also got a wonderful piñata @ the central market for an upcoming birthday. Hora feliz @ TaTa's (the last one ;o(…dinner @ Puesta del Sol. Get there by 6:30 for the sunset. Our 2nd time there and this year was as good as last. The place was full. Wonderful, well-presented meals for both of us, bottle of wine, complimentary tequila poppers and bananas flambé @ the table w/coffee. $477!!! The guys that run the place really hump but they make sure everyone has a good time too. We'll be back next year.

Friday, our last, saw a big cruise in the harbor, so we had breakfast @ El Mirador on the second floor of the building at the beginning of the pier. A good place to watch all the cattle being let off the ship tenders. Great breakfast here too. Time to pack up, hail a taxi and back to the airport for the uneventful flight home.

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