Posted by Barney on July 22, 2001 at 10:18:38:
In Reply to: Re: Trip report day 3 posted by Peter on July 20, 2001 at 20:20:34:
Note: Someone is using my name to sell jeans & bash Coconuts.
The plan was to go to Playa Blanca. But while sitting at my mother-in-law's eating a sausage and egg breakfast (I love Mexican sausage), I noticed the mountain looming over Zihua. I asked my wife if she'd ever climbed it. She said no, so our plans changed.
We pack 6 liters of water, extra shirts, some protein bars, and a camera.
There are no discernable paths to be found, so we head up stream gullies where possible. There are very large (several acres) patches of cactus and I realize I should have worn long pants like my wife. My wife grew up in Zihua and used to climb up the big Mango trees in her backyard to do her homework. She's a tomboy when it comes to the outdoors and this climb is harder on me than her. I'm carrying all of our water, so I mentally use this as the excuse when I fall behind.
After several hours we make it to the tower just south of the hilltop. Here we stop for food and water. I'm sweating like a pig, my wife is just laughing and ready to go. So we continue our climb to the hilltop. From there we can see all of Zihua and all of Ixtapa, the contrast is striking.
From the hill both Zihua and Ixtapa are very beautiful, but there the similarities end. Zihua looks like a picture you would take of your little girl when she's playing in a pool or swinging in the park. Ixtapa is your daughter's school picture.
After taking several pictures from the hilltop, I change shirts and wring out the used one. My wife, who at this point has climbed a tree for a better view, just laughs.
Going down the hill isn't too bad, but some of the gullies we follow lead to cliffs so we have to back track now and then.
When we get back, we take a shower and head to this little restaurant we found by accident. It's across the street from the path that follows the canal, near Notario No. 1. The restaurant is new and has great food, but it isn't doing very well. The owner has a "for sale" sign on his truck. My wife talks to him for a while and finds out he and his family are from Veracruz. They expected the restaurant to do better, but there just aren't many customers.
I ask him if he'd like me to help. He says yes, so I ask him for some paper and a pen. We write down all his expenses and figure out how much business it will take to stay afloat. The amount is surprisingly small since his family lives in the back of the restaurant and his wife is the only other worker. We then go over a few methods for attracting more people to the restaurant.
At this point, I'm exhausted... my wife is just smiling. We walk back to the Hotel Flores and call it a day.