Trip report March 13 to 20 (long) (Part One)

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Escrito por Jack from BC desde ( el día sábado, 27 de marzo, 2004 a las 18:28:54 horas :

Thanks to the many great people who contribute to ZihuaRob's message board our recent trip to the Zihua area was a trip of a lifetime. We met many wonderful people and a few truly marvellous people.

Our trip started with an 8-hour drive from Prince George (BC) to Calgary where we stayed overnight with our daughter. Our Westjet flight (a charter through Airtransat)left right on time at 10:00 a.m. on the 13th. For those of you that ever have the choice fly Westjet--the staff are just excellent.

Some headwinds put us into the Zihua/Ixtapa airport about 20 minutes late which translated into a 15 minute wait the unloading area to clear. After a short panic search for a suitcase we had no trouble going through customs--green light for everyone it seemed. We have always travelled with just a driver's license and birth certificate and it has always been accepted without question.

Thanks to this site we knew to say no thanks to the "free taxi" from the timeshare guys. We paid $250 pesos (brought $1000 with us and then used bank machines)to get a ride in to the Villa Vera Puerto Mio. Gilberto met us at the lobby and was everything his reputation had led us to expect (thanks, Don--he appreciated getting your pictures).

After a quick shower we headed in to Zihua, stopping on the way to make reservations at Casa Bahia. We had drinks at a nice place (can't remember the name but has beautiful multi-coloured tablecloths)right on the beach. We stopped in to say hello to Lupita just as she was closing. Since our planned visit to Laura and Noyo was set for Tuesday, we wanted to know if she had anything for us to bring along.

Our dinner at Casa Bahia was everything we had been hoping for and more. I had the Maui (?) tuna and it was simply the best seafood meal I have ever had. L had quesadillas and said they were excellent.

On Sunday, we walked to Playa Madera and had the good fortune to meet Marta, a waitress at MJ & Richies. She treated us as guests to her home, rather than patrons of a restaurant. We ended up seated with Richard from New Brunswick and Barry Thomson, creator of "Mas Mementos Magicos en Mexico", a wonderful photo magazine of the area. We will always treasure our autographed copy. Our main meal, along with super margaritas, pina coladas and more than a few cervezas, was the "seafood platter" which we shared. Lots of lobster, shrimp, crayfish, Spanish mackerel with the trimings--all for $250. We could barely eat it all.

In the evening we knew (again thanks, Rob and contributors)to be at the zocalo. We enjoyed the singing, dancing and street vendors great cooking. The children made the experience so much more real than other more typical tourist destinations.

On Monday we went to Isla Ixtapa. On the boat ride from Playa Linda to the island we met Santos, who along with his charming wife, Susana, operate La Pescador restaurant, near the end of the the first beach. Since we had been told that the second beach (Coral Beach) is better for snorkeling, Susana walked us over and set us up with drinks and snacks at their "second locat1on". After 2 or 3 great hours of nachos, Pina Coladas and Margaritas and good snorkeling we went back to Susana's for our main meal--excellent garlic shrimp.

We got off the bus for 20 minutes on our way through Ixtapa. We didn't see anything that excited us so we continued on to Zihua. Not to knock Ixtapa--we just love everything about Zihau.

Dinner (late due to the great food at Susana's)was at La Sirena Gorda. It was great. L had marlin, a first for either of us while I had seafood tacos. I also had my picture taken with the lovely Sirena Gorda (toasting her with a strawberry margarita!).

Tuesday was the day we had looked forward to the most and it exceeded our highest expectations. After a bus ride to Los Achotes (we were ripped off for the first time ever by the driver's "helper"--he charged 30 pesos for what should have been seven or eight pesos and then wanted that much for L as well.) At Los Achotes the pasajera was waiting for us. The trip in to La Barra was great. We met a young fellow from London, Ontario, who has lived in the Zihua/La Barra area for the past three years.

It was really deja vue getting off the pasajera and walking to Casa del Encanto. As soon as we saw the beautiful huge bouganvilla shrub, I knew we were there. Noyo was working in the courtyard so we met him first. Laura arrived shortly and greeted us with such warmth and appreciation (we had taken a box of school supplies)that it really made us feel thankful to have had the opportunity to meet her. After a glass of delicious juice of various fruits, she took us through their wonderful home. I will add pictures in Part II. After more conversation at the courtyard table Laura walked us through La Barra. At the home of one of her neighbours we purchased the most beautiful "family-sized" silk fibre hammock we have ever seen. Laura then took us through the Kindergarten school where we met Anni the teacher and several of the children. "Danisca" absolutely stole my heart with her beautiful smile and repertoire of animal hats. We continued through La Barra and arrived at the beach area where I took the opportunity to have a short but enjoyable ride along the beach on "Palermo", one of the horses in Roberto's string.

Leaving La Barra, we felt that meeting Laura and Noyo was one of those rare and precious moments. Hasto pronto, mas amigos!

Tuesday evening was spent in Zihua with dinner at Tamoles y Atole Any. The pina coladas were, without question, the best I have ever had. We both had the enchilladas--the chicken were good, the beef excellent.

Wednesday was our day for Las Gatas. We took the water taxi from the main pier in Zihua and were at Chez Arnolo's by 11:30. Laura had written us a note of introduction as Noyo's family owns this marvellous restaurant. The note was addressed to Choy (pronounced Chai, like the tea,the manager of Chez Arnoldo's. You must make a point of meeting this incredible man if you ever visit Las Gatas. His kindness and friendliness must be seen to be believed. We also had the privilege of meeting his wife and charming daughters. We spent the next five and a half hours in paradise: incredible food, marvellous drinks and great companionship. A real highlight of the week happened when Choy announced that Noyo had arrived. He sat and chatted with us, bringing "special margaritas", without question the best I have ever tasted. They have special ingredients, and are served "on the rocks". I will never go back to blended margaritas again! It was great to see Noyo again so soon after meeting him and to hear the kind words sent to us from Laura.

The last panga left at 5:05 so we left on it as difficult as it was to tear ourselves from Las Gatas. It doesn't look that far across Zihua Bay but I don' think I could swim it, especially after those "Special Margaritas".

(to be continued....)

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