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Posted by Dee from MN from 220.127.116.11 (ec167.ips.PaulBunyan.net) on lunes, enero 27, 2003 at 23:43:04 :
The moral of todayís trip report is, Donít Believe Everything You Read On the Internet! And that includes my trip report. Not that anyone is necessarily trying to mislead you, but things are here today, and gone tomorrow, and one personís experiences and perceptions are just that Ė one personís.
So the plan today was to visit Isla Ixtapa for snorkeling. In most of the trip reports, everyone says to be sure to get to Isla Ixtapa early, before the organized tours arrive. One person (and I wonít mention names ;-) ) even suggested that we go closer to 8AM and have our coffee and breakfast on the island. Sounds like a great plan to us. We have determined that none of the breakfast restaurants near us in town are open before 8AM anyway. We grab our packs and my flippers and set off for El Centro..
Well, we have diddled around long enough so that it is almost 8:00. We pass a few restaurants almost ready to open and Jim thinks we can just as well wait a few minutes and have some coffee and a little food before we leave. I am stubborn and insist we ARE having breakfast on the island. The only problem is, we havenít for sure figured out how to get there. Two options: cab or bus. It seems silly to me to pay cab rates when the buses are so cheap and run so often. Jim points out that we really donít know exactly where to find the bus route since weíve only used it once and canít remember what street we disembarked on. I insist that if we just keep going down the major two way street that leads to the market, we will surely at least see some buses and know what street to stand on. This sounds good in theory, but for some reason we see no buses, and after circling a likely looking block twice Ė no doubt much to the amusement of the waiting taxi drivers, I admit defeat and to save time, we get a cab.
But our problems are far from over. Since our last trip, I have been collecting board members tips on snorkeling and all early reports said that you must go to Playa Linda and buy a round trip ticket for the water taxis to take you over to Isla Ixtapa. Then a couple of months ago, the reports all say no, forget about Playa Linda, all the water taxis have moved over to Playa Quieta (pronounced Kee-Ay-Ta) so you better go there. Then, only about a week before our trip, one more person writes in that he was told to go to Playa Linda by a taxi driver, and he found water taxis were there. Well, I assume the last report must be the most current, so we tell our driver that we want to go to Playa Linda to visit Isla Ixtapa. He has no problem with that, and for $80P we are off. I mean we are offfffffffffffff Ö I think we have hired the cabbie from hell! Heís not so bad in town traffic, but on an open straightaway he builds up such speed that I am truly in fear of going off the road when he hits a curve. Somehow he manages to bypass the Ixtapa hotel zone that I am familiar with, so after a while Iím not sure where he is going. When he comes down those winding hills before you get to Playa Linda, the centrifugal force on the curves keeps us plastered to the back of the seat like an amusement park ride Ė but we are not amused!
Thankful to be alive, we hop out at Playa Linda and he takes off. Right away, we start to get a bad feeling, as many of the kiosks are either not open, or have only a few uninvolved locals wandering around. The ticket office is permanently closed. We uncertainly head out towards the few boats at the pier and a boy on a bicycle tries to convince us that he can get us a ride over to the isla. We are noncommittal, as this is not what we expected to find. Another man comes by and says that he can takes us over for 100 P, but by then we have decided that we will go back and wait for the bus to Playa Quieta since we want the flexibility of a round-trip water taxi in order to come back at a time of our choosing, rather than trying to find an independent ride back to the mainland later. Back at the street, there is a nice man whose job seems to be redirecting lost tourists onto the Playa Quieta bus. We had seen him helping a group there when we arrived, but hadnít been al3rt enough to realize we would have to grab that bus eventually too. It costs us 35P each to get back to Playa Quieta, which we had passed on our way to Playa Linda. The true entrance is just a small casually marked road to the left of a large hotel (Club Med?), not the big official looking Playa Quieta sign on the other side of this hotel area quite a distance away. You must walk a long way down on a narrow road between some chainlink fences (at least itís overgrown and nice and shady) before you get to the beach.
Now we are feel like we are halfway there. But despite our transportation glitches, it is not 9:00 yet, and the ticket office will not open any earlier. Some of the workers are leaving for the island on boats, but it is made clear to us that we must wait for the ticket man. We are the only tourists there. We have not had any breakfast yet. We are beginning to be hungry and more than want our coffee! Almost exactly at 9:00 the ticket man arrives and we happily buy our tickets. However, we are not allowed on the next boat leaving either, as it piles full with more departing island workers. We are waved aside to keep waiting. Finally after 15 more minutes a hurried boat zooms in and we are waved on board. The only good thing about waiting, was that we realized that you must remove your shoes or sandals since you have to wade in the water to board the boat. There is no dock here, the boats pull up right on the beach. The captain is in a rush, no time for chit chat and doesn't even want to look at our ticket. We notice he has two large 3 foot long fish back by the motor. We guess he must have been called in from fishing to do a taxi run and is anxious to get back to more fishing. We zoom over and are put out on the big dock.
So far, so good. Here is a beautiful bay with a great swimming beach.
The sand is lined with tables and chairs and various restaurant palapas. Many workers are still just arriving and bustling around raking and straitening tables. We stop at the first place and look around for a breakfast menu. No such a thing. We ask a waiter type person who seems to be in charge if we can get some coffee. "No, no coffee here. No coffee on the island!" This seems unbelievable, so we continue down the row of restaurants looking at the posted menus. Now we begin to worry Ė he is right! All the food looks to be lunch fare, which makes sense since the island caters to groups brought over later in the day. Nobody comes over here for breakfast! It is getting near 9:45 and we are definitely getting crabby as now it appears that the island breakfast we were promised on the board will not be happening.
Finally we talk to a waiter about half way down the beach, who says he can get us coffee and some eggs. So we end up with an order of quesadillas (on the menu) and scrambled eggs con tortillas (not on the menu) and two giant juices that taste like a combo of orange and grapefruit juice, and the coffee. It turns out the coffee is instant, he brings us hot water cups and we spoon in the coffee ourselves Ė not bad actually, a Nestle brand! The food is understandably very slow in coming, as the regular cook is probably not there yet. But finally, well after 10:00AM our breakfast arrives, all is well, we eat and are ready to start the rest of our day.
Day 6 - Part 2 to follow.
This board is a community service of ZihuaRob's Z.I.P.ģ, Servicios Internet in Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, Mexico.