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Escrito por flaco desde 126.96.36.199 (?) el día viernes, 04 de diciembre, 2009 a las 09:51:42 horas :
I just returned from 12 days in Zihua. While there, I caught the swine flu, bought two timeshares, got robbed and had a terrible case of Montezuma revenge from brushing my teeth with the hotelís water.
Just kidding! Now that I have your attention:
I have made this trip about 10 times before, and never offered a trip report. The "crew" consisted of me, the wife, and our two kids 4yrs and 8mos. I will spare the day to day breakdown, and just point out some highlights and observations which I hope to be helpful to others.
Brisas del Mar: We have stayed here a few times before, and love it. The staff are exceptional, the rooms and property are clean and the locat1on is perfect. Since we were traveling with children, we opted for the Zihua suite with a kitchenette so that we could prepare breakfasts in house and have a few meals in.
Dining: Some Hightlights and notes...
Letys....cooked the dorado I caught earlier in the day fishing with Adan (La Gitana). Outstanding. Two beers, the fish preparations and sides and an appetizer for about $14US.
Cafe Any...Still good. Tamales are some of the best I have had. Should have skipped the pozole though, wasnt as good as others.
Daniels (near the basketball court)....not so good.
Ruebens in Ixtapa, good as always.
I was able to get away for three mornings, one to fish and two for surfing. Fishing was great. I was looking to catch something for the table, so I told Adan I was looking for dorado rather than sails. We caught three nice dorado, and lucked in to one sail as a bonus. I called it a day and was back to the pier by noon.
The surf was great as well. I rented a board from Leon (catcha la ola in Ixtapa). Decent selection, and a great guy. For about $25US, you can rent a board and get a ride out to Playa Linda.
Change (part one): Having not been in two years, I was anxious to see what had changed. I was impressed with the airport, seems much more efficient and tidy. The city itself seemed cleaner as well. Lots of save the planet signage on the fishermans walk, etc. A lot of restruants I remembered in Ixtapa have closed.
Change (part two): Does anyone else have a problem in dealing with money change while in Mex? I swear next time I am going to the bank and getting a grand in 20 peso notes and walking around with a wad of small bills. A 500 peso bill (roughly equivelant to $50US) is pretty much unusable if you require change back, and if you try to pay a cab with a 100 peso bill it is a coin flip if he can break it.
Safety: I have to admit that I was a bit leary after hearing the media reports. If it were me by myself, I wouldn't think twice, but with bringing the young ones I had to put a bit of thought into the reports. At no time did myself or family feel anything other than 100% safe and secure. We took buses to La Barra and Playa Larga, walked all over town in both Zihua and Ixtapa at all hours of the day and no issues.
Gringo Tax: They say there are two things certain in life, death and taxes. You WILL pay the gringo tax, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Your best bet is just try to minamize the impact. I saw two ladies on Las Gatas who paid a beach vendor some crazy money for a boat ride to Las Gatas. They were promised snorkeling gear and other things were included, but once they were dropped off that was not the case. They did not know there was a public water taxi to the beach, which they would have paid 1/10th of what they paid from the shark.
It amazes me that people seem to not do any research when going on vacation. Have a bit of a plan and idea about where you are going, so you can try to avoid these type things. That said, I got a small bill from the tax man on Ixtapa Island. Anyone with children can relate, that you seem to have to pack a ton of stuff when going to the beach with kids. With both arms full, and a long hot wait on the pier, I had my gaurd down. I was approached on the dock by a Billy Mays type, who talked me into going to "his" restruant. I knew better, or should have. The end result is our bill for some nachos and guac, a pina and 5 beers was about 500 pesos, about 200 more than it should have been. Oh well, live and learn. Next time do as always, just keep walking and go where you want to go.
The locals love the children. We seemed to be minor celeberties walking around with two young ones with blue eyes and light skin. Eveyone was exceptionally freindly with the kids.
Banana boat / jet ski rental guy. I swear they must clone these guys. You can go to any coast in the world, and I promise you will be able to pick these guys out of a lineup. They all look the same!
Las Gatas: Good to see Franco, same corny jokes. The snorkeling seemed off, a lot of grass in the water made it pretty cloudy.
Playa Larga: A must for anyone who has not been. For me, the most relaxing beach around.
This year was the first time my wife was not ready to leave. Usually, after a week or so she starts to get homesick. Not so this time. The whole crew was really dreading leaving. My son wanted to go back to work with Franco, picking up litter and setting up napkin holders on the tables for him. For me, I somehow think I can stop the rotation of the earth magically by consuming lethal amounts of michaladas on our last day, but it never works. Oh well, try again next year.