Trip Report

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Posted by Hood Canal Gale from ( on sábado, noviembre 01, 2003 at 09:47:40 :

(My wife and I just got back from sixteen great days in Zihua/Ixtapa. Since I didn't journal the following is a condensed version of our trip. I hope it helps those trying to get the most out of a vacation there just as we did by reading this message board.)
I tried not to think too much about our trip as the days were winding down before our departure. I'm a busy contractor and had many details to arrange for jobs in progress. But as the "day" approached I couldn't hold back the anticipation and excitement of returning to Zihua after our six-hour teaser a year ago via Carnival cruise lines. This time, it would be for sixteen days.
My wife (D) and I went through the usual list of questions about where and how we would spend our time. I scoured this and other message boards comparing hotels, golf, places to eat, happy hours, and a host of other details. I was anxious to see in person the places I had read about. We finally decided to divide our time among three hotels. I wanted to play golf so we chose the Continental Plaza in Ixtapa for the first five days. They have reduced rates ($35 each) for greens fees and cart. We then planned to move to Villa Carolina in Zihua for seven days and finish our trip with four days at Villa del Sol.
Our flight from Seattle via Alaska was smooth and without incident. We managed to get exit row seating (we always ask)so had a comfortable and relaxing trip. D settled in to her first of several books and I began to devour the first of two golf magazines. After a couple of cups of coffee I had my first five dollar beer. Weren't they four dollars last time? Oh well, we're on vacation!
We switched planes in LA and were joined in the exit rows by two non-working flight attendants on their way to Zihua for some fun. Their party started early as the working flight attendant kept slipping them free drinks. They became increasingly more friendly and began to share with us. As we approached Zihua we saw more and more thunder clouds but still patches of sun. Would we see the ominous storm faces of the weather report or would it be nice? As we approached for landing I saw sunshine, a huge coconut plantation, and a peek-a-boo view of the surf crashing the beach. What a wonderful feeling!
After being greeted by the hot blast of humid Zihua air we breezed through customs, found a $22 taxi and headed for Ixtapa. It felt a little wierd driving through Zihua to get to Ixtapa because of our fondness of this quiet town. Upon arrival at the Continental Plaza (CP)we checked in and found ourselves in a second story room. Our reaction was that it was adequate and even "nice". Their was good AC and a slight ocean view. The decor was nice for a typical hotel-type room. We threw on our swimming attire and headed for the pool. The hotel was almost deserted and we saw only one other person in the pool. The swim-up bar was closed but no big deal. It felt great to immerse our sweating bodies in the almost too warm water. After ten minutes in the pool I wanted to jump in the ocean-in fact, I wanted to do everything all at once. I guess I hadn't slowed down yet from my busy work life. Their were just a handful of people on Playa del Palmar as I headed for the surf which consisted of about a 4-5 ft closed out shorebreak type wave. I had wanted to do some body surfing but not in that stuff. It just didn't have the shape. (The hotel has a series of colored flags for warning people about the dangers of the surf. I laughed as I saw a black flag with the descr1ption of "fatal". The flag never changed while we were there.) The ocean water was just about as warm as the pool, though, and it was wonderful to splash and dive in total comfort.
After about an hour of swimming we changed and began walking the beach southward. We only got to the Krystal and decided to have a drink and a snack. We found a great table to watch our first sunset and ordered two drinks and some nachos/guacamole. Only 750 pesos which we thought was great. However, I didn't have any pesos yet but was able to put it on the credit card. We talked, and marvelled at the opportunity to be in two, so distinctly different parts of the planet on the same day. We uttered, "This is so beautiful", several times and then just sat and stared for a minute as the sun dodged a palapa and then peeked through a palm branch on its way to the horizon-the first of many beautiful sunsets...

more to come...

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