Trip report day 4, the day before the ride on the bus of death

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Posted by Leonard on July 22, 2001 at 15:17:51:

After recuperating, sort of, following day's three encounter with Neptune, we decided to go to Ixtapa. We needed some pesos, so we went to the bank in Ixtapa. No M 16 guards. I did not know whether to feel reassured or alone. We got in and out quickly since it was early.

Next to the bank is Two Fat Tropical Boys Restaurant. I suggested earlier that we forego the $40 breakfast at the hotel and look for something more reasonable. We ate at Two Fat's. It was quite a pleasing breakfast. I had an omlette with shrimp. The wife had eggs ranchero. We had bloody marys. The price was very reasonable, probably $15 with the propino. From there we explored Ixtapa. Later we took a taxi to the marina.

There are two grocery stores at Ixtapa near the bank. Between the two, I found appropriate snacks, beer (Modelo Especial which is hard to find), gin, tonic, limes, cookies, chips and pan dulces.

At the marina, I saw a sailboat exactly like my boat. Of course we thought we ought to move our boat to Ixtapa. We contacted the person in charge of the marina. She was as lawyer. We discovered that she knew how to get our boat to Ixtapa on a twice a year ferry which leaves out of Florida and passes though the Panama canal. Price unknown, but the ferry mounts the yachts on its deck. The ferry is huge and I guess the price would be also. We also discovered a company in Oklahoma that advertised floating lifts for sailboats and motorboats. Since a shore based boat lift is either in Manzanillo or Acapulco, the floating boat lift might be a viable alternative to frequent bottom jobs considering a two day or more sail to Manzanillo or Acapulco. (The floating lift suspends the boat out of the water and away from encrustation). In any event, we priced the slip rental. The price increases during the winter about 20%. The off season price was about $500+ per month for a 35 foot sailing yacht with water and electricty billed separately (elec. at $0.15 per kilowatt hour as I recall). Its quite a good size marina with excellent floating piers. The boats were new by and large and well kept as was the marina. Holding tank clean out service is available. There were a couple of really big cruisers. The off season price is about twice the price of Galveston Yacht Basin prices. I suspect that the winds in Ixtapa were minimal. I did not get to speak with any sailors about the wind velocity and frequency, though. (I never saw enough wind near shore to sail. The Nirvana and the other sailboat put their sails up for show I suspect and motored since it appeared the wind was too calm to sail. I think I saw one morning with about 12 knot winds and that was due to a storm cloud. There was not enough wind at the marina to move a pendant!). Still, the price is a bit of a relative bargain since you can live aboard and forego the hotel prices. (Time share on a yacht?) The Mexican government has a 10 year approval for foreign vessels. According to the attorney/marina captain, there are only small fees for Mexican documentation during the 10 year period. I suspect US federally documented vessel is the way you want to show up with your boat in Mexico. The marina is surrounded by restaurants and stores. There is a chandlery nearby, but it was not stocked with much. We looked for the
"good" bottom paint at the chandlery, it had US made Interlux and none of the "good stuff" so to speak.

We toured the marina area and had a beer or two. We checked out the restaurants in the area. They had a lot of eye appeal and the prices were comparable to US prices, maybe a little less, but not much if any less.

Well, I found that moving about with a strained back was fine as long as I did not bend over. But, we decided to return to the hotel.

At the hotel, I "found" a Cuban cigar or two. Cigars in hand, we headed to the pools at Las Brisas. I have always enjoyed the pools at Las Brisas. They are tiled in blue and make the water look that much bluer. At this time, the electricty was shut off for two hours for repairs to the grid. So, I guess most of the area was without electricty. Therefore, it was a good time to go to the pool. We met some folks from Chicago and Oregon at the pool. And, a couple showed up whom I dare not introduce my self to since the lady had on a Thong. Celos is the word, I think. Well, a few hours at the pool did wonders for the back, the psyche and tan.

BTW, we bought some Oso Negro gin, tonic water and limes and made ourselves a few tall ones. I had the foresight to take a collapsable ice chest in my luggage, so we filled the chest with ice the night before and mixed the drinks in tall plastic cups and took them to the pool. The hotel does not want you to bring liquor on the grounds, but there is something about being captive in this sense that irritates me. I can see not taking it to the pool, but what I choose to do in this regard in my own room should be my business. Not so at Las Brisas. Oh well, we broke a rule. We survived, so did Las Brisas.

After gathering some sun, we went back to the room and took a siesta before supper.

Supper was at La Mexicana restaurant at Las Brisas. It was great as was the service. The fare was Mexican food. I had a tequila and sangrita with my meal. The sangrita was made at the resturant and they gave me the recipe. Can't wait to try it. It was really good. We both ate poblano peppers suffed with lobster and shrimp. The sauce reminded me of the flavor found in etouffe. The peppers were extraordinarily hot for poblano peppers and delicious. The price was as usual high, but we skipped the expensive wine and had beer, tequila and water. A bit more reasonable for the pocket book. We ordered an appetizer, but it was unnecessary in hindsight since bread and an appetizer are complementary regardless of the meal ordered. We were stuffed and took a doggie bag to the room.

Notwithstanding our taking of the required pills to prevent stomach disorders, my wife became ill this night. She was better by morning next. I think it was the gin and sun and the beer and the spicy food and not a bug.

Once again, we fell asleep listening to the crashing surf which was intimately familiar to me. It sounded like more of a roar this night.

To date, we have had no rain even though each morning had clouds on the Pacific horizon with lightening in them. This day was especially beautiful. In fact, glorious.

I had plans to parasail and hanglide on this day, but considering my luck of the previous day, all I could envision was falling out of the sky and making a big splash. So, no parasailing for me. Discretion seemed to me to be the better part of valor.

Finally, we took the micros from the marina to the Hotel. On the way, a boy of 6 or so and two adults, attired in cowboy regalia, and armed with musical instruments boarded the bus. They began to play. The locals on the bus smiled and looked at the forgeiners to see our reaction. We all began to grito and sing as best we could. Everyone was "tranquilo." If we had known the route the bus would take and how long it would have taken to get back to the hotel, we would have stayed on the bus throughout the entire route to listen to them. It was a special moment. Everyone was paying the trubadores, so they kept playing a bit of norteno, ranchero and mariachi. I love the acordian sound and they had one and they sounded a bit like conjunto.

So, day four ended peacfully and without additional injury. I got to explore; the wife got to eat. It was nice. The thrill was yet to come as tomorrow we take the "autobus de muerto" or what ever the heck the call them to Petatlan. It was an UNFORGETABLE experience.

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