Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo and Acapulco
It is April 9th and we are still in Ixtapa. We have made good progress with repairs to the electronics. The new autopilot is working. We have now replaced the computer, autopilot and GPS. The equipment came with wiring that was too short for the installation on our boat. Although the equipment is now working Antonio ( our techie) wants to install the proper wiring. The wind indicator has not worked this year and upon inspection we saw the equipment upon the mast is corroded and not functional so we are ordering a new windvane. Total bill so far $6000!!. Do you know the acronym for BOAT? Bring On Another Thousand!
We spent quite a bit of time exploring Zihuatanejo while waiting for the repairs to be completed. Every time we go, we visit the fish market on the beach. It is a simple set up but seems to work well for the local fishers.
I took a short video as we walked around a busy down town one night. Most of the people shopping here are Mexican. The tourists seem to hang out more in Ixtapa.
We spent a day at Playa el Palmar beach in Ixtapa. We met a Mexican couple in one of the beach bars. They were a great couple and we had a great time with them. The gentleman, Salvador, was very witty making for many laughs, and of course it helped that he spoke English. Beaches and tourism in general, is the main industry in the area, earlier it was coconut plantations and tile making.
The sun and heat, over the last two years, has played havoc on the dinghy so we are in the market for new. I have tried to stop the leaks but have not had much luck. We found only one dinghy here in Ixtapa for sale and it is not what we are looking for.
We decided to take a trip to Acapulco. We were a little hesitant because we have heard a lot of negative comments and people in general advised not to go there…..We took a five-hour bus ride from here on Tuesday and checked into the Copa Cabana hotel , Acapulco. It is a huge tourist area with many large skyscraper hotels and resorts. Many of the hotels we checked were sold out!! Obviously not everyone is scared to visit!!!
The following morning we took a taxi to the marina area to look for marine stores. We found a total of three dinghies and not really either one we would want to purchase. We talked to a guy at the yacht club and he told us he knows a place that can do repairs so that it what we decide to do. We will stop again in Acapulco in May for a few nights on our way South.
Acapulco compared to Canadian cities is a crazy place, very busy. I did a little video but it does not do justice to the traffic.
Apparently there are over six thousand cabs here. A great number of them are Volkswagen beatles. Back in 1972 we owned one!!! They really stand out. The first ride was a thrill, but not so after Mary remembered, from our first car, the rear window did not open, and the back seat was like an oven!!!.
I have noticed that the cabs here don’t use their air conditioning at all ( comments anyone?? ). Most of the drivers have a sweat rag on their lap. The cabs are every where and cheap, $7 – $8 dollars takes you all the way across the city. The ride itself is an experience and on times nerve wrecking.
The city is full of tourists but we did not see one other caucasian person. Come to think of it we did not see any Asian or black people either.The people are mostly from Mexico City. Very very little English spoken. There are tons of restaurants and street side stands of all types , fruits, tacos, syrups, all kinds of Mexican foods, jewelry and nick knacks.
The people were friendly and helpful. We did quite a bit of exploring the city on foot one day recording 18000 steps. (I Phone app!!) The police and military have a high presence here. They are on every corner and all armed with automatics.I did sneak a few pictures although we have been told they do not like being photographed.
They fear repercussions, especially for their families. Many of them cover their faces to disguise themselves. Hopefully they can get control of the city again and the North American tourist will return. The city has hosted just one cruise ship in the past month! These ships are very popular with the taxis and other businesses in the area. We visited the marinas but were not all that impressed. You can buy a few of the popular marine supplies but anything else has to be ordered in.
We went to visit the cliff jumpers at La Quebrada but missed the scheduled jump times. We took some pictures that can give you an appreciation of the feat. Very beautiful place.
This is a very beautiful and interesting city. With all Acapulco has to offer I hope for benefit of tourist and locals alike that the city once again becomes the tourist destination it deserves to be. We really enjoyed it and at no time did we feel intimated or have a sense of danger. We will return again on the boat in May. Best wishes Acapulco.