Trip Report - Part III

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Posted by The Other Mike from Minnesota from ( on viernes, enero 30, 2004 at 06:45:09 :


This is my fourth trip to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. I have gone there three years in a row. In all my previous trips, I have heard about the crocodiles, but I never had seen one. I was beginning to think the crocodile stories were somehow a local myth. So Kayleen and I walked down to the lagoon that feeds into Playa La Ropa. We have lunch at one of the adjacent restaurants and try and avoid the rain. The lagoon is draining into the sea. We look, and look, and look and look. No crocodile. People have told me there are crocodiles there, and I still sort of believed them. But seeing is believing and so far, no see. A couple of days later, we walk down again. I look into the lagoon and see a log that wasn’t there before. “A crocodile?” I ask myself. I watch it, no movement. I start digging out my camera, and sure enough, it starts swimming away! It is a crocodile! I miss my photo op, getting only the lagoon sans cocodrilo. Kayleen strikes a few poses by the Cocodrilo Zona sign, and we go away, sadder but wiser. We make a third pilgrimage to the lagoon, about 11:30 am. And sure enough, there by the warning sign, is a crocodile with its mouth wide open. It was totally motionless. I stared at it, snapped a couple of photos, but it remained totally motionless. Suddenly, I started getting this idea that it was a stuffed croc put out there to fool the tourists. But I wasn’t sure. I took a couple of small, tentative steps toward the stuffed (?) beast and it remained motionless. I took a few more steps. I have never claimed to have any extrasensory perception, but suddenly the beast opened its eyes and turned its eyeballs toward me. I received a mental image from the cocodrilo saying, “Just a little closer and I can have lunch!” If they have an Olympics for 57-year old chubby guys, I would bet I could have won a gold medal in the 10-meter dash! Folks, this guy was real. Believe me, every time I walked on that beach at night from that time onward, I was as jumpy as a smoker in a fireworks factory! I was told not to worry about being devoured by it, and I am sure it is safe, but every time I stepped on something other than sand, I jumped!


One night we were walking down the beach (La Ropa). I was nervously keeping an eye out for crocodiles and I almost stepped on what appeared to be a long pole coming out of the water laying on the sand. Of course, I jumped. It was fairly dark, but I could make out shapes in the water. I heard a man saying, “Could you help me, please?” I walked over and there was a young man (anyone under 50 years of age is young to me – he was anywhere from 28-35 years old). He was trying to lift a rubber dinghy. He said, “I’ve capsized. Can you help me turn my boat over?” I helped him turn it over. It had a 15-horse outboard motor on the back, and the motor, we discovered, was caked all over with sand. Another couple happened by and helped. We recovered two oars for him (one of which was the object I had just spotted and jumped from) along with a life jacket, his sandals and a few other odds and ends. He was using some profanity, excusing himself every time, but still using the profanities. He went on and told a story that pirates had raided his yacht – taken his GPS, money, electronic equipment, etc. etc. He said he reported the theft to the harbormaster. The harbormaster told him that was the first such case that ever happened in Zihua bay. The man said the police had almost caught the pirates, but they had escaped. He said that he himself had seen the pirates, and tried to run them down in his dinghy, but was unable. It wasn’t clear how he had capsized his boat, but based on the fragmented story he gave us, it seemed he tried to ram into the thieves’ boat and ended up flipping over. This incident happened fairly close to La Perla, so I suggested he go there and asked for Don Francisco, who knows English very well and would be able to call the police for him. He headed that way. I don’t know what to believe about all that. I hope things work out for him.

Our second day in Zihua was Sunday, so we walked downtown and took a cab to Ixtapa. We went to the Christian Fellowship meeting there downstairs from the Capri and handed over the medical supplies, bibles and shoes we brought. We attended services there and enjoyed seeing many people we knew. Kayleen went with Rose a few days later and visited the area where the mission does its work. She got to see the children in school as well as the living conditions. This area is up the mountain behind Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo and could be considered the “slum” area.
Here’s a plug – if you are coming to the area and can dedicate a suitcase, contact the folks at the Christian Fellowship and ask them what they could use. We have gone to pharmacists, physicians, local church groups and asked for items or cash donations. We also have contacted some health care organizations and asked for contributions. Last year we brought several diabetes blood testing kits and plenty of packages of steri-strips (those tend to be a little spendy, hence the soliciting of cash contributions). They can always use Spanish bibles. This year we brought children’s shoes, children’s vitamins, prenatal vitamins and a couple of ventilators and a whole suitcase full of air hoses for the ventilators. These supplies are always in demand and it is difficult to get items like that shipped on a regular basis. We take pictures of the people and the areas and give those pictures to those who contributed. That encourages them to become more involved.
The second Sunday, we attended the service that is held behind the Mediterranean restaurant on fisherman’s walk in Zihua. We had a great service and enjoyed meeting more folks from various places.


Inspired by Curly’s Cooler at the Irma, we purchased a cooler for $60 pesos in downtown Zihua. We used it for good purposes, keeping our refreshing beverages cold and maintaining a supply of ice cubes for the purpose of mixing various concoctions. As the time of our departure neared, we decided to follow in Curly’s wise footsteps. We wrote our names (Mike and Kayleen) with the dates of our VM stay (1/10/04 – 1/24/04) and passed it on to a couple from Vancouver, with instructions to keep passing it on. Perhaps we will see it again next year? Or perhaps not, who knows?? I wonder where Curly’s cooler is right now? I wonder if Curly will be coming back next winter? So, whoever reads this board and comes to the Villa Mexicana, be on the al3rt for a special cooler! If you exit the front door of the VM, turn left and walk down the street about a block and a half, there is a little tiendo there that sells a big bag of ice for $16 pesos. One bag lasts for about two and one half days. Good luck – buen suerto!
Still to come: Sea Snake Adventure, Construction Noise, Commerical Mexicana, Restaurant reviews and more!

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