Trip Report Feb.21-26


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Posted by Kathy and Tony from 199.245.112.131 (firefish.nwifc.wa.gov) on Monday, March 04, 2002 at 23:55:24 :

Following is a trip report from our visit to Troncones and Zihua Feb. 19-26.

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start.

Back in August, we booked two nights at Casa Delfin Sonriente in Troncones and five at the Solimar Inn in Zihua. The week before we were to leave, we decided to touch base one last time with Glen, the owner of Casa Delfin. To our surpise, he told he’d double booked the place and could not accommodate us. But instead of just returning our deposit and telling us he was sorry, Glen got on the phone and found several other places in Troncones with vacancies. We chose the Inn and Manzanillo Bay.

After clearing customs we split a cab into town and stopped off at the Solimar, where we stashed our bags, had a few beers and picked up a some supplies. Negotiated 200 peso cab ride to Troncones from Zihua and arrived at the Inn at Manzanillo Bay in time for the sunset. The accommodations are simple, but nice. Big bed and a bathroom in each bungalow, along with a hammock on the patio. Restaurant on-site serving a varied menu. The chile relleno stuffed with spicy mashed potatoes was excellent.

If a beach, a book and a beer is your idea of a great time, Troncones is your place.

We headed toward “downtown” Troncones the next morning, walking down the lumpy road that parallels the beach and serves as “Main Street.” Didn’t make it too far before we were offered a ride from a local resident who took us to the crossroad at the beach. We hung out most of the afternoon at a beach restaurant operated by a husband, wife and their three daughters. Don’t remember the name of it, but it had a round open-air seating area with hammocks around the perimeter.

Toured the village and checked out a couple of other hotels for future trips. The Casitas de Margaritas looked like someplace we would definitely consider for another stay.

After a couple of days of decompression in Troncones we were ready for the bright lights of Zihua. Got a cab into town for 250 pesos and checked into the Solimar. We really enjoyed our stay there. The elderly women (the owner and her sister) who pretty much run the place were a hoot! Very kind and helpful. The Solimar isn’t fancy, but it’s a good value. We liked it because it is in a neighborhood that’s close to everything.

After checking in we hit happy hour on the beach near Daniel’s on the Paseo del Pescador. That’s where I met an elderly gentleman who asked if I might be interested in some mescal. He offered me a taste, then left the table and returned a few minutes later with 2 liters of mescal in a plastic Coke bottle. I had a taste and gladly handed over 100 pesos. The old man disappeared quickly. One of the waiters joined in a few more tastes and I quickly came to the realization that I hadn’t been that ripped in quite some time. Fortunately, my wife took me in tow and guided me through the streets of Zihua to El Mango, where enjoyed a great meal and I returned to earth.

The next day we headed to our favorite beach, Las Gatas, where we hung out at Franco’s place, Otilia’s. We highly recommend this place. Franco takes great care of you. Capped off the day with drinks at the Sotavento/Catalina’s Sunset Bar and a great fish dinner at Daniel’s.

Barra de Potosi was our destination the following day, and getting there is always half the fun. Caught a Petatlan-bound bus from Zihua and jumped off at the Los Achotes, where we caught the pickup to the beach. The ride out to the beach is always fun. The Mexican countryside is beautiful. Rode with some local folks, one of whom was the cacahuate (peanut) man who sells his wares on the beach. The warmth of the Mexican people is incredible. We were made to feel very welcome in the back of that pickup.

Nothing like a day on the beach at Barra de Potosi. Plenty of enramadas and hammocks to choose from. I enjoy watching the birds in and around the lagoon, as well as the fishermen with their small nets.

Sunday was a lazy day with some shopping and checking out the plaza that evening. Lots going on. Elvira’s was the choice for dinner. Always a good meal there. We even got to see Elvira herself.

It was back to Las Gatas on Monday, hanging out at Otilia’s with Franco. Did some snorkeling out beyond the breakwater and saw quite a few fish. Definitely worth the effort.

Tuesday, our last day, was spent getting our stuff squared away and finding room for all of the souvenirs we’d purchased. Got to the airport a couple of hours early. Checked bags were searched, but no problem with the mescal we’d stowed. We had transferred the 2 liter bottle into two smaller water bottles and packed it with our clothes. The security folks didn’t bat an eye.

Left Zihua on time, but ended up about 3 hours late to Portland when our connecting flight was delayed. All too soon we were back to the grindstone.

One thing I did before the trip that really paid off was to work on my Spanish. I got a set of tapes and practiced when I went for a walk or while on the road. It really enhanced our visit. I felt more engaged than on any of our previous trips to Mexico. It’s something I definitely plan to continue.

We want to thank Rob for this board. It has been a real help and provided some great entertainment between trips. We’re going to try Manzanillo and Colima next year, but I have a feeling we’ll be back to Zihua again.

Now, if you will excuse us, we are going to have a taste of that mescal.

Salud!



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