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Posted by Jerry from (dup-200-65-89-207.prodigy.net.mx) on Saturday, December 22, 2001 at 20:37:18 :

Arrived Toronto Airport, Dec. 7th, flying AirTransat. Security was a matter of telling them that there were no sharp objects in our carry-on luggage, which was also x-rayed when going through security. Our camera was taken from the carry-on, looked over, but returned when we said that the batteries were in our checked luggage. For the first time in many, many flights, AirTransat left the loading gate early! (5 minutes). Wonders will never cease. Had two children sitting behind us (5 and 6 years) kicking our seats and after a few unkind words with their mother, as to what I would do with them, if they were mine, it stopped for awhile. They started again about an hour later and continued on and off till the end of the flight. My teeth still hurt from gritting them. Got lucky with the green light at the Zihua Airport and paid $19 U.S. dollars for the airport taxi to take us to the Sirena Gorda Apartments in downtown Zihua. If you want any information about these apartments, e-mail me and I will gladly answer any questions.

Food (2 people):

Breakfast:(Full meals) Zihuatanejo Central Hotel- 74p (average, clean); La Bocana- 94p (excellent, very large servings, but flicked small cockroach off arm of chair beside me); Globs- 72p (air-conditioned, very good, very clean); Daniel's- 80p (on the beach, good)

Lunch: Always had this at our apartment and consisted of rolls and sweet buns (from "pink" bakery near Rob's) and fruit from the market.

Dinners: (most with one Coke and one Margarita) Sirena Gorda-150p: guacamole starter, seafood tacos, and grilled whole Red Snapper (good). Elvira's-140p: Pork Chops (good); Sirena Gorda-110p: fish tacos, quesadillas(good); Daniel's-155p: Spaghetti Marinara(excellent); Casa Arcadia-160p: Garlic Octopus, Tuna Fillet (service and food very poor -would not suggest eating here); Pizza's Locas(upstairs)-100p: small pizza and Oin-Oin Tacos (very good); Fortinos II: this is a new restaurant that opened when we were there. It is on the street, directly behind the Sirena Gorda Restaurant and only has 4 tables. It is very clean and run by a young couple. We ate here 3 times and cannot speaking highly enough about it. The Menu is mainly shrimp, fish and octopus and is very, very reasonable. They are only open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. We always ate at 5:30 and had the place to ourselves, but at 2:30 they are very busy. Meals for 2 people should cost from 90 to 110p, with drinks extra. Try this place! El Patio: closed: now a hamburger place. Senor Pinto's-350p: Mango Smoked Ribs (large, lukewarm portions, unusual flavour, very peppery -would not order them again. Expensive-not worth the money). We ate mostly at Fortino's II and Daniel's- best value and taste for your money.

"Pink" Bakery, near Rob's. Every evening, we would stop here to pick up fresh baked goods for the following day's lunch. Two large buns, 2 large almond like cookies and two large turnovers or muffins would cost from 15p to 20p. Simply delicious!!

Grocery Shopping: Last year we shopped mostly at the Commercial Mexicana, because we stayed at the Solimar Hotel. If you can, shop at the Navy P.X. There isn't as great a selection, but if you are staying near it, the prices are as good or better for your basic needs. Modelo Beer (6 pack-45p). Best price in town for Controy (1 Litre-75.5p) Controy is not sold at the liquor warehouse, but is sold in most other stores and at the duty-free shop after you go through security for 120p.

F.Y.I. For you guys that use a safety razor, make sure that you do not run out of shaving cream. A regular container of Gillette Shaving Cream will cost you 80p ($11.42 Can or $8.79 U.S.). Ouch!!

The Navy P.X. is located just before the bridge over the canal, near the pier. It is a large white, metal building and you will know it by the cashier in navy uniform and possibly by a lady dressed in Eskimo clothes, (Judy from Minnesota ), carrying 6 chicken eggs

Ship Schedule: While we were there the cruise ship Statendam, arrived twice. If you get a chance, sit at the end of the pier and people watch. It is a lot of fun. Take note of the amount of jewellery the women are wearing. While sitting in the hammock on the balcony of our apartment, I had many people taking my picture. I realized after, I missed a chance to make some money by charging them for this privilege. Next year, I'll put a sign up "5 pesos per picture". It should help pay for our trip.

Taxis: Zihua Airport to Sirena Gorda Apartments (Municipal Beach)-$19 U.S.; Municipal Beach to Casa Del Mar Hotel, Playa Madera- 15 to 17p.; Municipal Beach to La Ropa Beach-20p.

Clothing: my wife took 2 3/4 yards of shirt material ($7 Can), buttons and thread and a shirt that I like to a tailor on the street beside the Elektra Store. It is a small 4 bay garage type building across from Senor Pinto's Restaurant. They did a fabulous job. We picked up both shirts 5 days later. Total cost- 90p. A hand made shirt for a total cost of $22.50 Can or $11 U.S., you can't beat that. For the women, there is a new, very large, air-conditioned material store across from the main market.

Bugs and Insects: Now the fun begins. The first morning, when I walked out onto the balcony, there was the biggest cockroach that I've ever seen in my life and I've seen many. These were usually in the apartments in Regent Park and the Kensington Market in Toronto. It was on it's back and must have fallen off of the balcony rocking chair. I figured that if Anne saw him, she would freak out, so I got my shoe and hit him. (Do not do this). It was creme-de-la-cockroach from one side of the balcony to the other. You would get the same effect if you dropped a large egg from a height of four feet. He was big enough that Judy from Minnesota could have used him to pull her dog sled. If I could have trained him, I would have taken him home, attached him to our fridge to keep our son from going in it, when he visits. Our neighbour, Cliff, at the apartment next door was bitten on the ankle, by a small white spider. His foot was swollen and he limped badly for a week. We had an army of small ants coming through 2 light switchers above the kitchen counter. We carry a small container of "Off" with us when we travel. I sprayed this around the switch and we never saw another ant in the place for the rest of the trip. Sitting out on a bench at the back of our apartment, a small black bug bit me on the hand. I have no idea what it was, but it stung worse than a bee. The pain continued until Anne squeezed it and something (stinger?) came out. Needless to say, when we packed to come home, everything was shaken, turned inside out and then shaken again, to make sure no uninvited guests came home with us.

Festivals and Basketball Court: We were lucky to be in Zihua for the Virgin of Guadalupe (spelling?) festivities. Lots of parades and fireworks. Sunday evenings at the basketball court, should not be missed. Many food stands and lots to see. Presently they are building a stage and seating for entertainment, beside the basketball court. This should be finished shortly. ( Mexican shortly )

F.Y.I. The bridge over the canal, near the walkway to Madera Beach is almost finished. I figure about another Mexican month.

If you are taking traveller's cheques, make sure that you sign your cheques, when purchasing them, the exact same way that you sign your passport (or other picture I.D.). Only the cambios will honour them if the signature name is not identical to the letter. Only Banamex, out of 3 banks, would cash Canadian traveller's cheques.

Each evening thousands of birds roost at the intersection, near the Zihua movie theatre. I have no idea why they do this, nor what type of bird they are. Just watch out for the droppings when you walk under them.

Use the walkway from Madera Beach to town only during daylight.. To use it at night, is to take your life in your own hands and would be very foolish.

Zihua Rob. As each year goes by, this guy, with his mustache, looks more and more like a Mexican Bandito. As for Lupita, what can I say? ("Beautiful"). Thats the best way to describe her. Hope you enjoyed your "Single malt" Dr. Pepper, Rob.

I envy you people who are counting down your last few days until your voyage to Paradise. I've also started. Eleven Months, fourteen days to go!!!

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