My Trip to Zihua - Day 8 (long)

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Posted by Travis in Seattle from ( on jueves, marzo 13, 2003 at 19:20:27 :

Day 8 – Wednesday, 2/19

Allen’s back is on the mend and so is my mood so it’s decided that we will all go fishing tomorrow after spending today at La Barra. Chad and I set out in the morning to arrange tomorrow’s day of fishing.

I thought Bungalows Adelemar, which is very close to where we’re staying, was somehow associated with Ixtapa Sportfishing, one of the outfits that is recommended on Rob’s board. A quick visit there draws some blank stares. Either I’m mistaken, or it’s too early in the morning for my paltry Spanish to work. Still, the woman who manages Adelemar is nice enough to write down a phone number and give it to me. On the way back though, in front of Hotel Brisas del Mar, we run into Sr. Morro who just happens to be looking for people interested in going fishing. (That almost never happens here….) I decide it’s fate. I’m tired of having to arrange all of our arrangements. Why not let something easy happen?

I tell Sr. Morro that the four of us are “Virgins del Mar”, that we know nothing about fishing, but would like to experience it. Sr. Morro tries to sell me up the ladder to some kind of luxury yacht for major dollars but my answer to that is a quick and clear “No”. I flip through his book and point to a perfectly modest, perfectly appropriate and perfectly less-expensive Panga. We’re only doing “small game” fishing so we won’t be going out that far. We arrange to meet at the pier tomorrow at 7:30 in the morning, we’ll come back around 1:30 or so. $120 U.S. is the price. Bing Bang Boom.

The four of us then take La Flecha y Pasajera to La Barra—we thought about going to Petatlan then circling back to La Barra but it’s already hot so we settle for a relaxing day on the beach. We park ourselves at La Condessa, where I had spent the other day by myself. I’m surprised that all of La Barra is much busier, especially La Condessa, than it had been when I came last Friday. Still, it’s all relative here, there’s maybe 25 people total under the enramada.

Allen and I walk down the virtually deserted beach for about 45 minutes. We come upon what we decide has to be a hotel of some kind—huge property, elaborate fencing, green manicured lawns, beach palapa, at least 20 or so chaise lounges plus tables and chairs surrounding a large pool that also has an ENORMOUS poolside palapa and outdoor kitchen/bar etc. (Seriously, the pool area palapa is so big it could work at a Sheraton.) We decide to check it out. After entering the property and walking along the raked, stone-lined pathway for about ten steps, a woman sits up in the pool area and says, “Can I help you?” I say, “This is a hotel, right?” She replies, “No, this is a private home.” OOOOPS. We apologize profusely, and beat a hasty, embarrassed, tail-between-legs retreat. We pass one of the houseguests who’s coming back in from the beach and who had heard our “This is a hotel, right?” query and she says to us with a laugh, “It might as well be a hotel.”

The rest of the day is spent doing nothing, swimming, more nothing-doing, eating, and then doing a little extra nothing to make sure we get enough of that. We buy a couple of hand-painted wooden trays that are pretty outstanding and ridiculously inexpensive for what they are. Over the course of the day, we also choose not to buy 647 hammocks.

On the pasajera back to Los Achotes, a vendor and her very young daughter are seated opposite us. The mother totes a large bag filled with, what else, hammocks. The little girl, maybe five, clutches a small straw purse. She is quite shy. I inquire of the little girl, trying to make my voice sound as impressed-with-her-role as possible, “La nina es el banco?!?!” She bats her eyes demurely. The mother opens their humble purse and shows three US dollars. Knowing she’d prefer to have pesos, I offer to exchange. I open my wallet, but I only have two twenty peso notes and some larger, useless bills. I offer to exchange two of the dollars for one twenty peso note. At this point, the little girl hits her stride and says, defiantly, “No.” Turns out she will, however, accept forty of my pesos for three of her dollars. In mock outrage, eyes wide, I call her a “Bandita”. Her mother laughs. Some other passengers pick up on what’s going on, dig around for a ten peso coin and the exchange is done. We transfer from the cattle-truck to the bus and the ride back to Zihua includes an impromptu guitar serenade by a local minstrel. He’s old, he’s awful and it’s great.

Tonight is spent on another peace-keeping mission. Kim has made it clear from the outset that she wants to do one night in Ixtapa at Senor Frogs since she’s never seen the “Americans Behaving Oddly in a Mexican Nightclub” thing. Allen doesn’t mind, but Chad isn’t interested and neither am I. Still, we put on our game faces and go along for the ride. After an unremarkable dinner at JJ’s in Ixtapa we head over to Frogs. It’s everything it always is every night. Kim is very amused. I try to get in the spirit, surreptitiously sneaking around taking photos of some of the more outlandishly behaving gringos, etc. Amusements are had. This particular night though is chosen strategically by both Chad and I as the fishing trip tomorrow morning offers the perfect excuse to leave Frogs early. We do. Ixtapa done.

Tomorrow we get our sea legs. Well, three of us do anyway.

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