Trip Report 2

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Posted by Hood Canal Gale from ( on domingo, noviembre 02, 2003 at 21:30:29 :

After the sunset we wandered further south down the beach past the Dorado and Riviera and went as far as the Presidente Intercontinental. We decided to walk through the hotel to the commercial strip and see what was there. We were confronted by a curious security guard who questioned us about our intentions. I muttered something in my best Spanish but he thought we wanted to have dinner in the dining room. He escorted us there at which point we peeled off and walked through the hotel to the street. I figured out later that there is more security in the all-inclusive hotels-probably didn't want us to get in the chow line unannounced.
As we walked we remarked how hot and humid it still was but how good it felt. We were still hungry so we wandered into Casa Morelos next door to Sr. Frogs. What a good choice. We both had red snapper fillets, mine with mojo de ajillo (mucho garlic)and D's with mango sauce. The service was great and the drinks were cold. From there we walked north and heard music upstairs at Chimachanga's (I think that was it). We sat and had a nightcap while listening to a sultry Mexican guitar player. We couldn't have imagined a nicer first day and after a little while walked back to the hotel and turned in.
I had wanted to get up early the next day and play golf at the Marina course. D, however, didn't sleep well so the early departure was out. I got up and headed directly for the hotel restaurant for morning coffee. I found a table nearest the pool and ocean (and under a fan) and drank mucho cafe while watching the shorebreak pound the beach. Later, D joined me and we still decided to play golf. After all, we had to justify carrying those heavy golf clubs all the way from Washington. We grabbed a taxi and headed for the Marina pro shop. The time is now 10:00 AM. The air conditioning was on in the pro shop and I lingered there trying to somehow absorb the cool air and save it for later. I asked if there were others playing and was told that we were the only ones. Not much trouble getting a tee time! The local help loaded our clubs on the golf cart and pointed us to the first tee. We headed to the quaint bridge and handed our paid receipt to the security/starter. There actually was a crossarm like you see at a railroad crossing at the start of the bridge. I guess they were worried about people sneaking on to the course. Not this day. It was probably already 90 degrees with about 95% humidity. We made it to the first tee and had already seen several beautiful birds. It felt more like a field trip than a round of golf. We teed off and I actually hit a decent drive in between the sand traps on both sides of the fairway. I glanced back to see if any of the locals were watching (it's amazing how my ego keeps raising its ugly head). Now it is D's turn. Not intimidated by the water crossing the fairway she hits it down the middle about 150 yards. We're off! We appreciated the breeze generated by the speeding golf cart and thought this wouldn't be so bad. On we went and by the seventh or eigth hole we were wilting. Fortunately, there was a beverage cart and since we were his only business he was never far away. We drank copious amounts of water and then beer. After nine holes D stopped swinging and just rode in the cart. I kept playing because I wanted to see the whole course. The golf course, while not in great shape, is a remarkable design and was a definite challenge to play. (I will post a more in depth comparison for golfers later). Back at the clubhouse we had more drinks and a snack and tryed to cool down. The alberca (pool) was sounding really good so we headed back to the hotel and took maybe two minutes to change and jump in. We swam, rested, and did pretty much nothing the rest of the day. I started to feel my inner motor slowing down a little and relaxation began to replace the rapid-fire life I am used to living.
The next morning I did the coffee routine again and am now on a first name basis with the friendly staff. D joined me for breakfast and we decided to head for Isla Ixtapa. We caught a bus and enjoyed the ride past Punta Ixtapa, Club Med, and the Melia Azul. Stopping at the crocodile stream at Playa Linda we got our first look at the Iguanas and the crocs. I tried my best impersonation of the Australian crocodile guy on tv and we moved on to catch the water taxi to the island. It was a calm, clear day and we were hoping for good snorkeling. We met a guy on the boat that told us about his uncle's restaurant on the island and also wanted to sell us a fishing trip on a family boat. We got off at the second pier and walked through the restaurants to the coral beach. We plopped under a palapa and our "friend" says he will take care of us for the day. He brought us snorkeling gear, a bucket of corona, and a towel. I had heard about not enlisting the services of a guide but I thought he was just working for the uncle's restaurant. Later that day we got the bill for the day which included $2.50 coronas and $5 for the towel rental. Moral of the story: Beware of guides. You don't really need one. If you want something find a legitimate waiter and establish the price before hand. In spite of the inflated bill we had a wonderful day there. The snorkeling was good and so was the cerveza. There were more people there so we engaged in some people watching. D actually suggested that we play the game: "Breasts, true or false?", to which I heartily agreed. (I can't believe she said that!). After a little while we changed the game to "What we will look like in five years". That was a real hoot as we studied the effects of age on various parts of the body. After ceviche and more cerveza we paid our bill and wandered over the hill to the first pier. There we saw the sign for three cerveza for 25 pesos and knew that we couldn't pass up the deal. We sat there as long as we could as little local kids played at the water's edge. We caught the last boat off of the island which also carried several roving musicians. I tried to talk them into a song but it wasn't going to happen. As we climbed onto the hot bus we reflected on the wonderful day we were having and even laughed about the bill we had run up. Ixtapa Island was definitely on the list of "things to do" and we wanted to return again...

more to come...

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