Contined good times in Zihuatanejo!
05 February 2011
Lots to talk about here, not necessarily in the order in which they occurred, but Zihuatanejo, or Zihua as they say has continued to be a great destination. Marisa has been busily adding more photos to our Zihuatanejo folder, I won't bore you with all of the details and hope you enjoy the pictures.
Mike arrived by bus here on Tuesday morning, Lee and Cathy had to scrub their plans to join us because of her chronic back issues and not wanting to exacerbate them with an eleven hour bus ride. Kudos to Mike for making the trek! That said I think Mike had a great time here taking in the sights and sounds of Zihuatanejo and Sailfest, but I'll let him talk about it on his blog.
Thank you to those of you who attempted to make a donation on our behalf to the orphanage through the Sailfest site, it seems there was a missing link, sorry about that and thank you for trying. We did sail in the race with 17 other boats. We didn't get the modified handicap that some boats did, but it wouldn't have made much difference anyway. We were doing well almost to the windward mark, but I missed the wind shift and over stood the mark and we never caught up. That said, it was perhaps to our favor because we had the best whale show ever after the mark rounding, which was a large rock just off the entrance to the bay. Anyway, after that we had no chance to catch up, but we gave it our best effort. Thanks guys! With our crew, (Mike from So Inclined and Russ from Liberty) we had two passengers. Tammy and Jackie, who are visiting from the San Diego area here on vacation. We asked them to join us on the race. I know none of our photos actually caught the beasts in the act, but hopefully we will get one from one of the ladies that came along with us. It was spectacular watching two humpback whales breaching, turning and twisting before splashing back into the water. This went on for about 10-15 minutes and we actually had to sail off course to avoid their path; fascinating to watch, but scary too.
The Sailfest events have continued to be engaging and a lot of fun with good music, dinners, auctions, a chili cook off (sorry Mark, we didn't enter), a street fair and the race and sail parade events. Today we are actually taking a day off and staying onboard to get some things done (like catching up on the blog). Yesterday, Friday, we went with Russ and Kaersten aboard Liberty for the Sail Parade, and then moved out of the main anchorage that afternoon. We are now anchored off La Ropa Beach, still inside the bay but away from the main area. It was pretty congested over there and a rocky and rolly place. This has not turned out to be much better in that regard, but we are anchored bow and stern to keep us into the swell and the water is better, we can swim here! It has been warm, close to 90 during the day and we are using our white sunshade over our dark blue boat canvas to cut the heat retention, but that said we look like a circus with all the stuff we have up top, sun shades, wind scoops, solar panels and jerry jugs on deck!
I finally got a haircut! I found a local barber and for $50 pesos received a very good hair cut and he even shaved my neck and around the ears. It's been a long time since I have had that service at home. The man was an artist. No trip to town is complete without visiting the Centro Mercado. This is a good one, possibly the best one we've seen, not the fanciest, but the most thriving, energy filled place full of people mingling through the small isles and mounds of colorful good the merchants had to offer. We also paid a visit to the Commercial, a large US style grocery chain store. As it turned out we could have done without the Commercial; the walk was a long one and we lugged stuff back that we could have gotten at the Mercado. The Mercado had the best prices on fruits, vegetables meats and fish, its closer and is surrounded by an entire district of retail stores from ladies fashion to auto parts. What were we thinking?
The down town area or Centro is laid out with the tourist oriented shops and restaurants right next to it and it is all accessible just off the beach and pier or 'muelle' so it's close at hand to us boaters. The Port Captain's office is at the foot of the pier and he has a fellow named Alfonso there to assist the boaters with their dinghies. Alfonso meets us to assist with landing and launching through the surf for $10 pesos each way, and watches the dinghies while we are in town, and he's a character.
This city has a street fair on Sunday night were we found churros, corn on the cob slathered for you with mayonnaise, shredded cheese and a spicy red sauce (no we didn't eat one), tamales, BBQ, and what have you. They have entertainment almost nightly in the plaza, one night it was Aztec dancers in costume, another night a magic act, then music or just a local basketball game. The restaurants are plentiful and varied, top end to get this, 5 tacos de pastor for $20 pesos, that's about $.17 US each and they were great. We had the best tamales ever, prepared in plantain leaves at "Tamale Any's", and great wood fired pizza at Pizza Loco. Of course we took Mike to Fajita Queen for their tacos pastor and so that he could put his name on the wall too!
One afternoon, we went up to Las Brisas Hotel with the crews from Swift Current, Tivoli, Blue Rodeo, Panta Rhei and Cloudy Bay for a sunset cocktail. This is a locally owned boutique hotel (which seems to be the theme here), no large chain hotels or destination resorts here in Zihua. I believe those are all over in Ixtapa, which will be our next destination. We will head over to their marina on Monday to take a couple of days to clean-up, desalt the boat, do laundry and get ready to start the trek back north to catch up with Sirocco and So Inclined, before we head back up to Bandaras Bay.