Trip Report, Days 1-3 of 7

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Posted by Linda on October 04, 2001 at 22:46:17:

9/22 - 9/24:

DAY 1: We will not be intimidated, we will fly to Mexico, we will help the economy by supporting the airline industry. We will not feel guilty. Ready, set ... Go!

My agenda: Swim, explore, see Petatlan, rent horses in Barra & ride to the turtle beach, take walks, eat. My husband's agenda: Eat, swim, rent horses, eat, swim, eat.

We arrive at the SFO airport at 9:15 a.m. for the 10:40 a.m. flight. We weren't underestimating our time; check in took all of 10 minutes. We limited our carry on baggage to almost nothing, so security check was a breeze as well. It's a very foggy day in SF town and the first thing I wonder is whether the fog will affect the flights. I didn't have to wonder long ... a flight to Puerto Vallarta has not yet left from the same departure gate we are scheduled to use. That flight's plane is still in Seattle; so is ours. There are updates on all departure flight times but ours. Finally the updates come -- SFO to Zihua will leave at 11:55 p.m. Later, 1:40 p.m.; still later, 2:55 p.m. Everyone is incredibly patient. There are so few people on our flight, & so much time, that we get to know one another in the waiting area. No one would possibly misbehave over a delay -- since Sept. 11 we have a new standard to live by in airport etiquette. We got on the plane around 3:00; it left at 3:40 p.m. After 4 hours in the sky we approach Z and the eye-popping flashes of lightning all around the plane. We are actually sitting next to the wing and when the lightning flashes, I expect see a little man sitting on it a la The Twilight Zone. The captain breaks in to inform us that we've hit some weather and will not be immediately able to land; please fasten your seat belts. We're bouncing around like a grocery store bronco& I feel that old familiar panic ... Then I think about the real airline tragedies and I am no longer afraid. I loosen my vise grip on Hubby's hand. We circled for almost an hour and - hallelujah! - finally touched down in Z at 10:30 p.m.

On to pick up our rental car; poor Elvis at Budget has been waiting for us to show up for the car so he can go home. We release him from his behind the counter bondage and get into the car for an adventurous drive in the rain to Zihua. By 11:00 p.m, when we arrive at Villas Ema, sans reservations, the front gate is locked, lights are out, and we are S.O.L. at this place. The Sotavento is always open, however, so we've got a roof over our heads for the night.

DAY 2: Still raining and not a sliver of blue in the sky. We go swimming anyway and the water is divoon. There's something wonderful about the water in the rain, especially in Z. It feels like warm liquid velvet on the skin. The waves are gentle - I can swim beyond them and do a few laps in the water. Hubby is content to bob around and pretend to body surf. We go back to the room to check out of the S.

Comes the battle cry from Hubby: "Let's eat!" We go to Las Brasas on Cualtutemoc and scarf chilaquiles & huevos rancheros for breakfast. The food is great.

Checked out of the Sotavento & into Villas Ema, to the same room we had before. It felt like home. We reserve it for Thurs. & Fri. after we return from Barra de Potosi. We spent the rest of the day swimming, eating seafood and listening to the rain.

DAY 3: Rained all night and still raining at 12:30 p.m. We stop by to meet Rob & he tells us we're in the middle of Hurricane Juliette. Hurricane! Heck, in California we call this rain. Doesn't look promising for sun on the old weather chart Rob shows us, but we've been rained on in worse places.

We're booked for 3 nights in Potosi, so it's off to the new Supermercado for supplies. Omigod, it's a Mexican Super Kmart, bigger than I'd ever imagined and nothing quaint about it. We stock up and head out to Barra. We booked Sid & LaRae Baker's Casa Puesta del Sol and it's perfect for us, like having a little studio apartment, fully equipped with 2 adorable puppies. We unpack and move to item #1 on hubby's agenda: lunch. Afterwards, item #2: swim. A few hours later, back to item #1 at one of Barra's enramadas - guacamole, ceviche and coco locos, the bottomless cocktail.

The palapa owner & his family came in from the beach and we struck up a conversation. Hubby doesn't speak Spanish (unless it has to do with food) so I was busy chewing, talking & translating. Not a pretty sight. There was a very drunk guy with their group who kept counting to 5 in English, one finger at a time. Meanwhile, halfway thru my coco loco, I'm starting to forget how to speak Spanish. I thought a coco loco was made with coco & vodka. I asked what was in it, which came out "que hay in esta pedito?" (What is in this little fart [fem.]) instead of "que hay in esta bebida?" (What is in this drink?) The owner began to tell me it had 5 different liquors -- rum, tequila, gin ... and the drunk guy interrupts in English: "won, too, tree, fore, fife!" Fife indeed! I sipped on it all the way back to the bungalow and finished it the next afternoon. Ahh ... Zihua, land of the bottomless coco loco.

[ASIDE: I am reminded of the story of a friend who traveled to Spain and had occasion to meet a matador. With limited high school Spanish, she meant to ask him "Tienes miedo cuando vees el toro?" (Are you afraid when you see the bull?), but what she actually asked was "Tienes mierde cuando vees el toro?" (Do you shit when you see the bull?), to which the matador replied, "No, mi amor, soy muy regular." (No, my dear, I am very regular.) True story.]

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