Tag Archives: Running

It’s Not What You Know but Who You Know!

Hi travellers,

Today was another wonderful warm sunny day in this beautiful place.  We have had a chance to poke around a bit and are starting to appreciate the remoteness of our hotel.  I started the day with a run of just over 3 Km.  I had to walk down most of the hill as the roadway was too rough to run on without breaking something.  When I got to the bridge at the bottom of the hill the roadway smoothes out so I got to see some new territory.  I ran down the beach pathway where all the restaurants were.  Some of the restaurants were just starting to open.  I continued down the street, passing the elementary school which, at 7:30 AM, was full of little clean white uniformed Mexicans and parents dropping their kids off.  I continued down the roadway to a traffic circle and then started back towards the resort.  Going back up the roadway to the resort, with roosters crowing and people washing down their stairs and street, became a bit of a strain as some of it is quite steep.  The very killer end is a short steep section followed by 45 (yes I counted them) stairs to the resort.  Wow!  Did the cool water of the pool feel good or what?

We headed back down the hill around 10 AM for breakfast, which we found on the beach.  Fresh squeezed orange juice, large fresh fruit plate, scrambled eggs with bacon scrambled into the eggs, toast, and coffee for about $6.00 each was the what we had at Daniel’s restaurant.

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We needed to change more Canadian cash into Pesos so we headed for the bank area.  After trying several banks, we elected to bus it over to Ixtapa and use our normal bank.  Some of the Zihuatanejo banks did not do foreign exchange transactions, some would not change Canadian currency because they only worked with US funds, while others were so busy that it would have taken hours to get through the lineups.  We boarded our bus and it sat and sat and sat before proceeding down the street at about 1 Km per hour.  Now these buses are not air-conditioned and have only small windows that open.  No air moves in the bus until it gets up to 50 or 60 Km per hour.  The temperature outside was 33 C so you could actually feel the perspiration flowing out of your body and soaking your clothes.  After some time your wet clothes begin to have a cooling effect on you so you become less uncomfortable.  Once in Ixtapa, we were in and out of the bank in a few minutes with our new pesos, ready to spend.

We decided to head back to the hotel and hit the pool as it was the only comfortable thing I could visualize.  After a short bus ride back to Zihuatanejo and another climb up the hill (this was trip 2 for me today so far), we hit the cool refreshing pool.  It was great and we stayed in until supper time.

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Another couple from the hotel was planning to walk down the hill for dinner so we decided to go with them.  We showed them our favorite $10.00 shrimp restaurant and met up with George, the time share guy who, after a lengthy discussion about the problems Alicia had at the airport, said he knew a few people and would see what he could find out.

Well, it seems that here in Mexico, (Bill, pay attention) the head dude at any airport is a Federal Military Captain or above.  They must speak English.  We are told that the Immigration people are his responsibility.  Now the head guy is very aware of the negative impact of things like Alicia experienced.  Anyways, to make a long story short, George called his uncle (The Military Captain at the Acapulco airport) and asked for his help.  George’s uncle called the head dude at the Ixtapa airport and discovered that they still had the goods confiscated from Alicia incorrectly and that the agent who performed the dastardly deed will be suspended for a week.  We have instructions to pick the stuff up for her when we leave on Sunday and are supposed to get an apology for the nurse.  Now we have to buy another suitcase to haul it all home for her!  😉  Now let’s see what actually happens.

It was great news and it will be fun to sell all that stuff back to Alicia when we get home.  Maybe I will just drink the Apple Pop myself.

Oh, and dinner was at Bandito’s restaurant.  We walked back to the hotel, up the hill, making it 3 round trips for me today.


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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!


Zihuatanejo Preview

Hi travellers,

I’m flattered to let you know that for the last three days there have been over 100 hits per day to our little travel blog.  Very nice.  Thank you to everyone following us.  Remember if you want to see larger images, click on them and a larger version will open.  With some browsers, if you click the image after it opens it enlarges it further.

Alicia took me running this morning at about 7:30.  We hit the hills this time and covered about 2.5 kms.  I’m going to miss Alicia when she goes home tomorrow.  She keeps me company when running and sunning.  Crossing the streets is also quicker and safer with her in the lead because cars stop for her.  While running this morning the dump trucks coming out of a construction site stopped while we crossed the street.  I’m pretty sure they would have driven right over me if I had been alone.

After breakfast we went in search of another massage as today is Alicia’s last whole day here.  Andrea had spied a small operator right next to the hotel, on the beach and we had grand plans of squeezing the minimum price out of them.  Unfortunately, they appeared to take the day off.  Anyways, nobody turned up at the shop.  Not giving up, Andrea had spotted another beach massage down the beach next to Senior Frog’s.  As we approached it, three of the girls met us to sell us massages.  They wanted 300 pesos ($30.00).  Alicia told them that their completion down the beach only charged us 250 pesos ($25.00).  I asked for a better price because we were three.  We got the massages for 200 pesos ($20.00) each and the massages were much better than our last ones.  These girls actually knew how to massage!  Now that we have established a rate, we will get the same rate any time we decide to return.

After our massages and being all greased up, we headed back to the hotel to grab some sun at the pool and take advantage of not having to apply any oil.  The hotel is quite busy today.  It seems that lots of locals come to this area on weekends.  We were told that the local vacation time is July and that is when they expect hotels and restaurants to fill again.  They are setting up for another outside wedding today, with dinner tables and a dance floor all set up on the lawn and chairs on the beach for the actual service.  This wedding is not as elaborate as the one last weekend.  Alicia is thinking of putting a deposit down for a wedding at some future date when she snags a man!

Today’s towel art was a mermaid for Alicia and something quite beautiful but yet to be identified for Andrea and I.  Can you help us identify the piece on the left?  These people have too much time on their hands, I think.

The nurse got to choose a dinner place because it was her last night.  She selected Tata’s restaurant in Zihuatanejo where we were last Monday for the great shrimp dinner right on the beach.  Because of this, you get a little preview of what Zihuatanejo looks like.  It is very different from Ixtapa!  We jumped on the bus right outside our hotel and I couldn’t help taking this shot of one of the riders.  She is such a cutie!

Umberto, from the restaurant remembered us from our previous visit and served us another great meal.  After dinner, we moved out on the beach as some of the local kids were performing in the surf.  This is one of those kind of things you run into when you are least expecting it when travelling.  There were a dozen or so kids all lined up along the beach to board the waves coming into the beach.  They would run toward the water on a 45 degree angle to it.  They would throw their board down on the sand just next to the water and as the board slid into the water they would jump on it.  There were some very talented kids there and I hope you enjoy the images.  There were some superb crashes!

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On the way back to the bus, we passed a bar that had swings for seats.  You will see what I mean.  More details on Zihuatanejo when we move there on Saturday.