Day 2 - Trip Report Dec. 21 to Jan 5

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Posted by David(in Bellingham) from ( on jueves, enero 16, 2003 at 21:15:02 :

After my mini pub-crawl of the previous night, I decided to sleep in and didnít get up until about 11:00. The first order of business for today was a nice big breakfast to knock off the remnants of a hangover that a cold shower hadnít taken care of.

I decided to head over to Los Braceros for breakfast. This is one of my favorite places in town, so I try to eat there once or twice every time Iím in Zihuat. The tacos al pastor that this restaurant is famous for arenít available that early in the day, so I settled on Hurraches w/ pastor pork and I asked them to throw on a couple of eggs for good measure. I donít remember exactly what my bill came to, but it was probably less than 50 pesos. Thatís one of the amazing things about this restaurant, you end up with a ton of great food, and itís really cheap.

Next I decide to get some provisions for my apartment. Iím not really planning on cooking at the apartment, but itís nice to have some drinks, some limes, and a few other basics. Since Iím not doing a huge run, I decided to walk over to the Navy PX instead of catching a cab over to Commercial Mexicanna. Unlike our military PX stores in the US, anyone can shop at the Navy PX, and theyíve got a better selection than the little tiendaís in the Centro area.

After lugging a couple of boxes of stuff up the stairs to my apartment, I decided that for the rest of the trip, Iíd pick up a few things every time Iím headed home so I donít have to haul large quantities up the stairs.

Traditionally, on my first full day in Zihuat I head over to Playa Las Gatas. Itís a nice beach to hang out on and I need to talk to Amado to set up some trips to go tuna fishing. After buying my ticket for the boat ride over, I notice that Amado is loading some laundry into a small panga over on Playa Principal. He offerís to give me a ride over to Las Gatas, so I jump in, glad to avoid the line on the pier waiting for ride over.

For a few hours, I just hang out in the shade at Amadoís restaurant having a few beers. I think of this as my unwinding period to get me into the proper mindset for being in Zihuat. Amadoís is my favorite place to hang out at Las Gatas because itís most of the way down the beach and away from the area that most of the kids swim. Donít get me wrong, kids are great, but I donít want to be around several hundred yelling and playing kids when Iím trying to relax. After a few hours reading at the beach, all thoughts of work and rainy weather are gone and I'm ready to fully enjoy the rest of my vacation.

Once Iím officially unwound, I talk to Amado about fishing trips and end up settling on four days over the next two weeks that weíll go out and chase tuna.

Since Amadoís is also great place to eat, later that evening as Iím watching the sun go down, I decide on an order of tacos atun for dinner, which are spectacular. I highly recommend both the tuna tacos and the barracuda tacos at Amadoís.

This is my favorite time of day at Las Gatas, after almost everyone has headed back across the bay in the shuttle boats that stop running at around 5:30. Hereís a little trick I picked up a few years ago. I was sitting at one of the restaurants on the beach as everyone was leaving, and I really didnít want to head back yet. When my waiter brought me another beer, I asked if he lived at Las Gatas. When he said no, I asked how he would get back to town. He told me that later, after all the clean up in all of the restaurant was done, boats would come to take the employees home and offered to get me a ride back with them. Ever since then, when Iím spending the day at Las Gatas, I usually get to stay long enough to watch the sunset. Sometimes on the ride back with the employees, you get dropped off in the lagoon rather than at the pier, but itís easy to take the footbridge across the lagoon back into downtown. This time, Amado gave me a ride back and dropped me at the pier, and I headed for home.

After a short early evening siesta, I head back to Florianís for some more conversation, drinks, and backgammon. This time I have to buy Florian about 8 drinks, and he has to buy me 6 drinks to go along with the 8 I bought for myself. This night, closing time comes at 1:00 am (a little early), so I tried to get Florian to go out for some drinks but he decided to head home.

I probably should have done the same thing, but I decided to head over to a couple of little cantinas I like that are over behind the Mercado. These are good places to do some people watching and to see some of the local color. The first place is called Bar Ton Sol. I grab a table in the corner and order an Indio. If youíve never tried Indio, itís a pretty good dark beer. Thereís a group of musicians standing in the middle of the bar playing, who appear to be auditioning for the owner of the bar. After a few songs they leave, I guess they didnít get the job. A little, the police show up. Two officers w/ automatic rifles take positions by the door, and another officer, who seems to be the boss, comes in an walks around the bar looking carefully at everyone in the place. It seems like theyíre looking for someone specific, but they didnít find him, so they move out. Since I didnít run into anyone I know yet, I decided to move on after I finished my beer. When I get my bill, I noticed that the price of a beer had gone from 8 pesos to 10 pesos since last year, but this is still one of the cheaper bars Iíve found.

Next I head up the street to the next place I like, a little bar called El Jarocho. It seems pretty slow. There are a few people at one table watching a movie on TV and one couple on the dance floor dancing to music from the jukebox. After I get another bottle of Indio, the music stops, so I head over to the jukebox to see if recognize any of the choices. While Iím looking the waitress comes over and talks me into letting her pick every other song. I settle on several lively songs by the Gypsy Kings, and she picks a couple Iím not familiar with. Once the music starts, she drags me out onto to dance floor. I didnít realize that Iíd agreed to dance with her, when I agreed to let her pick some of the songs. I probably wouldíve picked different songs if I knew Iíd be dancing to them. As it turned out, Estrella (the waitress) likes ballads that are perfect for dancing slow and close, so I had more fun dancing to her choices than to mine. After our songs were done and we sat down and had a beer together, the police came in and repeated the same routine they went through at Bar Ton Sol. At that point, I thought to check time, only to find out that it was quickly approaching 3:00am. I promised myself that this year I wouldnít end up still at the bar when it was time to head to the pier and go fishing, so I decided to head home and go to sleep before the dancing starts again.

Tomorrow Iíve got to be at the pier by 6:30 am to go fishing w/ Temo on the Secuestro de Amor.

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