Posted by ZihuaRob on April 02, 2001 at 08:23:23:
In Reply to: Re: trip report -- Ixtapa Zihua posted by Tanya in Rosenberg Tx on April 01, 2001 at 23:50:50:
I believe she meant that Ixtapa seems to provide more entertainment geared towards young people. Though I personally disagree, I can certainly see her point of view.
I first came here with my mother and younger brother when I was 16. Uh, that was back in 1974. Ixtapa was only a small construction site then. There were no hotels, boulevards, discos or glitzy shops.
In Zihuatanejo many of us had no electricity (we had it for the first 3 months and lived without it for the last 3 months we were here), and water was not plentiful. It often didn't flow through the garden hoses that were the municipal water system for weeks at a time. I believe there were about 4 or 5 phones in the whole town. There was no TV, only radio.
Now, maybe I am an oddity, maybe there is a fundamental difference in teens today, maybe I don't know what the heck I'm talking about; but I was never bored in the least for the six months I lived here back then (except the last two weeks when I was laid up with amoebic dysentary).
What did I do? I LIVED (and almost died), LEARNED and EXPLORED!!!
The first thing I did was to make some friends, and you don't have to try very hard to meet friendly people here. You just have to get out and go to town and wander around a little. Same then as it is now.
I played a lot of frisbee and soccer on the beach, played lots of backgammon, snorkeled every place I could find, walked from one side of the bay to the other (most days), "discovered" Playa Manzanillo and Playa Larga via paths over the hill behind La Ropa, read a lot of books, danced around bonfires on the beach and at our local discos (there were 2) on weekends, fell in love, sailed hobie-cats, body-surfed, swam every day (unless it rained), watched a lot of sunsets, saw many sunrises (thanks roosters!), and generally squeezed all I could out LIFE!!!
But LIFE did not revolve around "provided" entertainment. Discos were fun but not important, there was no such thing as a video game, shopping was for food and basic necessities, and it was not important to see just how much alcohol one could consume in a day.
Now we have jet-skis and parasails and glitzy discos and tour guides and water-slides and a thousand other ways to separate visitors from their money. And you can do all those things and still not have a good time.
Mexico is the experience. Not the tourist services and entertainment. Make a friend, shake a hand, share a special moment. Enjoy the warmth of the local people and their simple, unique, tropical island-like culture. Learn a little about their history and their roots. Visit their homes, share their food, meet their families and friends. Explore their world. Above all, don't limit your experience to what you can imagine. Open up your heart, your senses and your mind to this unique place. Your life will only be the richer for it!
So, it matters little whether you and your teens stay in Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo. Unless you limit yourself to "planned" entertainment and "gringo" culture you should never have a dull moment here.