Trip Report, Day 4

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Posted by Scott from ( on jueves, septiembre 04, 2003 at 21:59:27 :


Waking up this Friday morning is painful. Must have something to do with all of the tequila I had last night. But I drank the good stuff. Who would have thought? Well, M for one, and she's somewhat predisposed to gloat over such things. It doesn't help that J has us up before 7 am.

The coffee tastes especially good as I clear the cobwebs from my head out on the balcony. As further proof that I'm not in the best state possible, I spend the almost the entire first hour doing nothing more than sitting with my eyes closed listening to the surf below. M and J want breakfast and I'm more than willing to let them go down to the restaurant without me. I nibble on the last of the pan dulce as I drink a second cup of coffee and then start on a nearby water bottle. Eventually I get around to my book, but not before I spend a few minutes picking up the room. The coffee table is dedicated to J and it is overflowing with toys, crafts, and books. One balcony has our water stuff in it and every chair and table is draped with various pieces of swim clothes or equipment. How the housekeeper deals with this mess is beyond me.

When M and J return we decide to spend another pool day and that is just fine with me. The lobby is full of people as we exit the elevator. Turns out to be a convention. My mind goes back to last year when we were subjected to the Mega Merzers, but this time it's a business called OmniLife. Without knowing for sure, I guess it is some kind of multilevel marketing company for nutrition. In all, our hotel will have about four buses worth of new visitors. And by the looks of things over at Krystal, the party is going to be there again this year. They're setting up tables outside.

As I enjoy the comfort of the poolside lounge chair, groups of people repeatedly pass by on what has to be scouting missions. These folks aren't dressed for water, but instead look as if they just got off the bus and couldn't wait to change into more comfortable clothes. High heels, dresses, slacks, and long sleeve shirts are the norm. Each has a little blue band on their wrist warning the rest of us that the invasion force has landed. But even without the “Lifers” the pool becomes more crowded as the day wears on. The weekend is here.

About noontime we move our things to a palapa overlooking the ocean. From here I can watch the parachutes sail overhead and I tell myself that maybe this year I'll ride one. The waves aren't too big today yet the hotel lifeguard still flies the dreaded black flag. No sign of riptide and or even undertow and but all up and down the beach black flags are the norm. One disappoint this year is that there are no turtles waiting to be released in the ocean. There are plenty of sticks in the “pen” with dates on them, including some from this week, but no little black tortugas swimming around the bathtub under the lifeguard tower.

With the increase in visitors comes the activity director who organizes a volleyball game on the sand below. That's one job I could never perform well as I'm just too laid back to continually harass people into participation. They game looks fun and they've hosed down the court to keep the sand from burning everyone's feet, but it's still more effort than I deem worthy. Once finished with the game, the director moves back to a tarp set up at one end of the pool where he plays music out of what has to be the largest boom box I've ever seen. From this command station, he accosts our ears as well as our sensibilities as he comes up with various games for people to play. Like some kind of water aerobics where everybody is going in circles. Or the contest to bounce a ball into a bucket. That's everyone's favorite today, but I suspect that's only because the winner gets a free six pack of cerveza. Myself? I'd just as soon have the peace and quiet but I understand why they do this. And admittedly, people do have fun.

For lunch I have ceviche delivered to the palapa along with more cold beer. Of course, J has a cheeseburger which serves both him and M, although M will steal from my plate as well. The ceviche is cold, spicy, and plentiful. After eating, they'll return to the room for the afternoon siesta while I'll sleep in the sun. For once I'm being careful to apply sunscreen regularly even though I'm using spf 8 and not the 30 that M and J use. For a minute, but just a minute, I worry about snoring as I fall off to sleep. To heck with anybody nearby. It's nappy time.

As I wake, I notice the two women sitting in the palapa next to me. How did I miss these two? French, and maybe just a tad bit older than myself, they're quite attractive, with one approaching amazon status in stature yet shapely in all the right ways. As they move from pool to surf, I suddenly find that I also want to do a little body surfing and so I tag along as a discrete distance. But alas, all they want to do is stand knee deep in the waves and so my dreams of lost bikinis and heroic actions remain unfulfilled. Thought I was going to spice this report up, didn't you?

After a little more swimming and sliding once M and J return, we finally get around to going into Zih for dinner. But not until we enjoy a quick happy hour to say hi to Juany. Pina Coladas for M and Vodka Tonic for me. Just one round. Honest. I'm excited to be trying a new restaurant tonight and the driver takes us along the old road towards our destination at Puerto Mio. Everybody raves about Casa Bahia, but wouldn't you know it? The place is closed when we get there. So we drive on back down the road to the bridge where we leave our taxi and walk across to town. It's beginning to rain. I'm thinking maybe we'll try Garrobos but we're not exactly sure where it is. A walk around the wrong block leaves us a bit wet and wanting a roof over our heads and so we go towards Tamales Y Atoles Any. Before we get there, though, we come across Sanka and JJ Grill, and we decide to give it a try. We choose a table towards the back near the open courtyard and away from the television.

J immediately strikes up a friendship with the kids of one of the staff (owners?) and while they play, M and I enjoy cold Jamaica and beer. The tacos come with a nice selection of additions including several different chilies and salsas, onions, nopalitos, and such. The meat is tasty and tender. Another wonderful meal for about 100 pesos including drinks.

It's still early as we exit Sanka and so we walk back to the market to do a little shopping. We buy some small bowls for gifts, a nice sun and moon for our house, and then we find the most incredible shop across the street. Lacas de Olinala is its name. I swear it wasn't there last year but the owner says he's been there two. The shop specializes in lacquered boxes, trays, and gourds from several small towns in Guerrero. The work is intricately detailed and richly colored (with natural pigments from soil, insects, etc), and I'm in awe as I look around at hundreds of items, each and every one a work of art. We decide immediately that we must have something and the effort begins to choose just one thing out of so many that we want. We settle on a small gourd made in Temalacatzingo that's painted a vibrant green on the bottom with a bright yellow top. What looks like peacock feathers encircle the top's opening. I'm sorry, but words cannot describe just how beautiful this is. For the half hour we're in the shop oohing and awing, the owner is happy to describe the various pieces, how they're made, and what's special about this piece or that piece. To top it all off, he gives us, unsolicited, twenty percent off our purchase. In addition to the gourd, we buy a number of small animal wiggle-head figures for J's collection. This is a shop I plan to return to with a vengeance.

Purchases made, we walk back towards the basketball court where we pick up a taxi for the ride back to the hotel. Knowing that we'll spend the day at Las Gatas, we're all anxious to get to bed early so that we're well rested. Over at Krystal, they have moved their first night's party inside because of the earlier rain. The only sound we hear as we go to sleep is the never ending crash of surf below.

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