Trip Report (long one)

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Posted by Bachler#1 from ( on viernes, febrero 21, 2003 at 11:33:39 :

I have the time to do this today (the boss is out) so it is a one shot deal instead of installments.
This was our 3rd trip to Zihua in as many years. We travel on a budget & like to get away from the crowds. We flew out of Minneapolis on Ryan Air on the Sat. Feb. 8th flight. I liked this flight because it saved me a day of vacation & also gave us Sunday to unwind on our return. We booked a room in Eagan Minn. at the Best Western at Washington Square where you can leave your car for free while you are gone cheaper than the parking fee at the airport. They run a 24 hour shuttle & with our 1 am return worked just fine. This year we rented Casa Rosa from Francisco at La Perla. We were very pleased with it. About 100 yds. from the beach at the far end of La Ropa up the hillside in the “jungle”. We were initially concerned with two things, being off the beaten path a bit, safety & bugs. Neither of these concerns were a problem. The path to the casa is well lit, although I would suggest taking a small flashlight along, & there were guards at night on the road leading up the hill. There are patterned steel bars on the bedroom & kitchen windows & deadbolt locks on all the doors. We had only a gecko as a visitor. No spiders or bugs. The cleaning staff of 3 kept the place spotless every day, which I’m sure helped with the pest control. Franscico was a great host & very helpful. He gave us a 20% discount on all food & drinks at La Perla which was real nice. La Perla is the class act of La Ropa.
Our second day there we took a $10 US cab from La Roppa to Playa Larga & spent the day at Quarto Hermanos. Playa Larga is a fine place to get away from the crowds & relax at a great beach (thanks David). We had a wonderful day playing in the waves, eating good food, (the shrimp brochettes are excellent) & drinking cervesas. Very reasonable prices & great service. I hit one of the hammocks there for an hour or so before leaving around 6pm. Day well spent!!
The next day we went fishing with Santiago & Adon on the panga Gitana. We met Santiago on the pier at 6:15 am & away we went. I like fishing on the pangas because there is plenty of room for 2 people to fish & they are allot faster than the larger boats. Santiago runs a 75 hp Yamaha outboard & we had passed everyone else up before we were out of the bay. Santigao is a fine fishing captain & a gas to fish with. We decided to fish for sailfish early & then go for some tuna. After trolling for an hour or so we had our 1st sailfish strike, as always I let my wife Jayne take the 1st fish. This sail was a true acrobat, flying out of the water flipping & spinning high in the air several times. After a 45-minute battle we had tagged & released the biggest fish of the day. She was exhausted & if it wouldn’t have been for her ears, her smile would of gone all the way around her head. Next it was my turn, a couple of hours later the line was ripping out again & a short time later another nice pez vela was tagged & swimming away. Then we turned to tuna. Tuna fishing is a rush & Santiago has a gift for out guessing the baitfish. We followed the flocks of diving birds and passed them up hoping to get in line with their route. As the baitfish & birds tore up the water around us so did the tuna. We had several hits but only managed to hook 2. It is still fun flying across the water chasing the schools. Santiago filleted the tuna & took us to a restaurant on fisherman’s walk & had a great lunch prepared from some of it. Then it was off to playa manzanillo for some snorkeling. This place is by far the best snorkeling beach around. Many fish, rays & eels to be seen in the clear water. It was pushing 6pm when we were dropped off at La Ropa.I highly recommend spending a day with the crew of the Gitana on the water doing whatever you like.
The following day we took the bus to Troncones. We had booked Casa Canelita from Anita (Tropic of Cancer) for a night so we wouldn’t have to hurry out of town before nightfall. Casa Canelita consists of 2 bedrooms with baths & a common kitchen between them. It’s a neat little place just across the road from Burro Borracho & the beach. The garden & grounds are beautiful & the bedrooms & baths are well kept. Troncones is a great place to go. The beach is awesome & the drinks are poured well. Beware of the large beakers rolling in for they will body slam you like a 300 lb. line backer on steroids. We hung to the pool at the Tropic of Cancer for cooling off. We wanted to take the Jaguar cave/ canopy tour but, it was just Jayne & I that day & Bill needs at least 4 people to make the canopy tour worth while. The people there that we talked to said it was a good time & not to be missed. We didn’t get all the way down to Manzanillo either this trip but plan many more to this little piece of paradise.
Friday was Valentines Day & we went to town in the morning to do some last minute shopping & see the sites. Stopped in at Rick’s bar 1st to say high! & have a couple of Cubas which were poured very well & put a whole new light on the day. Banditos was the next stop. I hung there while Jayne hit the artisan market across the street. Then we strolled down fisherman’s walk to the pathway to La Madera beach & found ourselves at MJ’s & Ritchies. We had a much needed bite to eat & caught the bus at the top of the hill back to La Ropa. Took a little siesta & headed down the beach to Paty’s Mar Y Mar for 2 -4 –1 happy hour. We worked our way back along the beach & watched the sunset from the balcony of the restaurant Rossy. Jayne had gotten roses from all the places we had stopped that day, it was quite the bouquet.
Saturday (Sadder day) was our last day there but we didn’t fly out till 9pm. We just beached it at La Perla for the whole afternoon soaking up that last bit of sun before heading back to northern Wisconsin. We brought the last of the tuna we had froze up & shared it with Francisco & Javier. They had it grilled with garlic (our favorite) with a large spread of side dishes. No cost but for the drinks. Then it was off to the airport & home again.
We want to sincerely thank all the people on this board & those whom we have met along the way that have helped us out in so many ways. Judy, Marty & Betty, Francisco, Santiago,Paul & many more. You all have helped make our dreams come true. Till next year.

Mark & Jayne
Shell Lake Wis.

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