Tag Archives: Airport theft

Bye Bye Mexico!

Hi to you all,

Well, today is our last beautiful, sunny, warm day in this Mexican paradise.  We had breakfast at the hotel for the first time today, while waiting for our taxi to the airport.  As we sat in the relaxed atmosphere I realized just how beautiful this place is.  Our table is open to the magnificent view of the bay and you feel the soft breeze from the water directly in front of us and from the slowly turning overhead fan.  There is classical music playing softly in the background.  The staff is friendly and attentive and the food is good.  I don’t want to go home!

The main doors to Villa Vera are large beautiful carved wooden doors.  They contain intricate carvings and are in very nice shape.

As we reflect on our week here in Zihuatanejo there are some positive thoughts that come to mind that you may find useful if you ever come to this part of Mexico:

  1. We think the Zihuatanejo area is more authentic than Ixtapa.  The downtown if full of small shops and the city has put roofs over many of the sidewalks so the shopping experience is much more comfortable;
  2. The resorts here are smaller than in Ixtapa.  A smaller resort offers a much more intimate experience.  You are far more likely to meet new friends and it is much quieter than the big resorts in Ixtapa with their poolside sound systems turned up to 3 decibels above the threshold of pain;
  3. Most of the resorts are located adjacent to Playa La Ropa.  While our resort was located across the bay from Playa La Ropa, it was quite isolated.  If you are not prepared to either taxi or walk down the mountain to town you will be fine.  It’s only a 15 minute walk but by the end of the week coming back becomes a bit of a chore particularly with a full belly of food;
  4. Food prices here (and in Ixtapa) run around half of what you will pay at home.  There are lots of restaurants to choose from and the food is excellent.  Don’t take the all-inclusive option.; and
  5. The beaches are excellent.  Both the downtown beach as well as Playa La Ropa are great beaches.  The downtown one tends to be a bit quieter and the water is less rough as it is protected somewhat from the ocean access to the bay.  This would be better for swimming, although Playa La Ropa tends to be busier with both tourists and locals.

You may remember from Shame on You Mexico and from Its Not What You Know But Who You Know, that we were supposed to have a solution to the materials stolen from Alicia by the airport security staff.  When we arrived at the airport, we asked for the person who was supposed to return the soda pop and toiletries taken from Alicia on 21 May.  Nobody seemed to know of the person.  We eventually found a security supervisor working for Continental who told us that the manager of the airport did not work on the weekend and was not the person we had the name of.  We explained what we were supposed to recover and she explained that she knew that there was no Apple Pop seizures in their inventory.  Well, you can’t believe everyone I guess!

The process of checking in at the Zihuatanejo airport involves a physical search of checked luggage before you get to the desk to get your boarding pass.  We were told that this process will disappear soon as they are soon to receive x-ray equipment for the luggage.  All passengers go through an inspection, it’s not just a spot check.  As we were having our luggage checked, the line up next to us, for an Aero Mexico flight was also being checked.  I watched as 4 cans of soda pop were removed from a protesting passenger’s checked luggage.  When we got to the desk the security supervisor we had talked with earlier was there so I asked her why the pop had been removed from the checked luggage.  Se indicated that there was a crush hazard if the luggage was stacked or handled badly.  I asked her why there was no sign warning travellers that soda pop would be removed from checked luggage before they entered the luggage check area.  People might want to sit down and drink it themselves and not donate it to airport security staff.  Also, you cannot take pop through the personal security screening and in your carry on so it would be better to remove the pop from checked luggage and give it back to the traveller.  They could decide how to dispose of it before they went through personal security.  Anyways, the response from the supervisor was a typical Mexican shrug.  It seems that, although pop in checked luggage provides no security hazard, in Mexico they seem to want to protect travelers from themselves.  As far as I am concerned, if I want to take the risk of having soda pop leak all over the inside of my luggage, I should be able to do so.

Well, this brings our trip and my postings to a close.  It has been lots of fun for me to share our trip with you through my ramblings and images.  This blog software works well, once you get used to it.  To date we have had 1,367 views, and I would consider that a success.  If anyone is interested in doing a blog, WordPress.Com gives you 3 GB of free space and the use of all their different templates and widgets.  All of this blog has only used up 36.8 MB including the 181 images uploaded to the site.  I would definitely use this process again.

Now, I have no way of knowing who the 1,367 people are, as I only get a hit count.  As such, I will produce one more posting with a short survey attached and ask you to give some feedback for future uses.  Also, if you would like to be advised of our next trip we do this for, please subscribe to this blog by providing your email address at the bottom of the right column of this posting.  I will send you an email before the next trip with instructions of how to reach the blog for that trip.

Thanks so much for your interest in our trip.  Remember, if you ever need someone to document your vacation, I’m available.  It will just cost you airfare, accommodation, and food.  Also, if anyone wants a higher resolution copy of any of the images in this blog, at a reasonable cost, shoot me an email at khowie@shaw.ca.  Tell me the image name (mouse over the image and the name will show) and what size you would be interested in.  I will get back to you with details.


Shame on You, Mexico!

Hi all,

Well, today is our last full day here in Ixtapa and the day that Alicia leaves for the great white north.  We started the day with one last dump truck stopping run of 3.75 Km and a leisurely breakfast.  After an hour on the beach, we put Alicia in a cab and sent her on her way.  By-by Alicia!

Andrea and I spent the rest of the day lounging on the beach, which seems much more under control that it has the last couple of days.  The waves are down to normal levels.  The hotel has filled up with locals.  The parking lot is full and there is evidence of preparation for a large wedding on the beach at the resort next door.  We had one yesterday at our resort as well as a large graduation party in one/some of the inside meeting rooms.  This place is way too busy.

We hung around to catch a sunset from our room before going to dinner at the Red Hauchinango Grill.  We arrived around 7:30 PM and passed by several empty restaurants before settling on this one.  It was a one man show tonight with Willie, our server, greeting and seating us, bring us drinks, taking our order, cooking dinner, and handling the bill.  It is the first time we noticed this happening in a restaurant.

I had garlic snapper and it was absolutely the best fish I have eaten since we arrived.  Willie is, shall I say, on the very large size.  Obviously he has eaten too much of his own cooking.  The price?  Less than 400 pesos for two. (about $40.00)  This place would be on the recommended list, if I had one.

We noticed that people were coming out looking for restaurants around 9 PM.  You can tell that they are Mexican as they are all dressed up.  Even the little kids.

As the sun sets on our Ixtapa visit, I thought you might find some impressions of the place useful.  You never know when you might be looking for a place in Mexico to go for a vacation.

We all liked Ixtapa very much.  Andrea and I have been to a number of the Mexican tourist areas and this one, by far, has made a very positive impression.

  1. The weather is consistent.  This place is quite far south on the west coast and, as such, has high temperatures.  Here we have been in the sun and low to mid 30’s throughout the whole visit;
  2. The place is a reasonable size.  The hotel zone in Cancun is 21 Km long.  The one here is 3 Km.  It makes for a much more intimate experience;
  3. The beach is also one of the best I have seen in Mexico.  It is wide and immaculately kept.  There are teams of Mexicans sweeping the beach from end to end, picking up anything that does not belong from cigarette buts to coconut debris;
  4. The beach has no stones.  There are no stones or shells so the only impediment to walking the beach is the hot sand, where the surf does not cool it;
  5. There are lots of restaurants.  We tried a different one each night and never had a bad meal.  Some were average but many were exceptional; and
  6. There is variety here.  Ixtapa is the big flashy resort area but you can be in Zihuatanejo on the bus or in a cab within a few minutes.  There you will find a more authentic smaller Mexican experience.

All in all, this location would be a recommendation for anyone.  If you come, don’t pick an all-inclusive.  There are too many wonderful local restaurants to experience.

We just heard from Alicia, who is in Houston tonight.  She reported being checked in and through security at the Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo airport in minutes.  She did, however, experience an incident at the airport that Mexico should be ashamed of.  As a girl traveling alone, it appeared that she was singled out for a luggage search.  Her CHECKED luggage contained several cans of pop and shampoo and conditioner which were confiscated by a security attendant.  When she questioned the seizure saying she was able to fly in with these materials in her checked luggage and asked why she could not fly out, she was advised that there are different rules for different airports.  We think that some security person simply took advantage of the situation and stole the materials from her.  Nice way to leave a positive impression of your country, Mexico!  Drug lords are not the only problem here, it seems.  You also have to guard against thieving airport security agents, as well!