Published: August 13th 2008August 13th 2008
Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, made famous from Shawshank Redemption (although I do not remember that part) is a quaint town with not much going on. We stayed at "The Tides" which I believe is to be the best hotel in the city as it was definitely beautiful, great service and amenities as well as great hotel food.
I ate Shrimp Ceviche like it would never again be available, 4 days in a row. I also gave in to chicken a couple of times, as strange as it sounds there is not much to offer in terms of vegetarian out here. I certainly did not lose any weight on this trip, I might be back where I was pre Jenny.
Each day Craig would go down to the beach and reserve our palapas (umbrellas over beach beds) about 50 feet from the water. We would spend the whole day out at the beach, occasionally going to cool off in the pool and so Aiden could swim around. He has gotten to be such a great swimmer and has only started swimming a year ago. The ocean water was about 75-80 degrees and moderately clear. The further out we got, near
where the waves would start the more clear it got however not that much. Craig and Cindy saw a manta ray riding the waves which kept us all on the look out. We also found out that there are lots of blowfish, gigantic sandcrabs and water snakes amongst whatever creatures we did not see.
All of the boys and I went on the banana boat thing, pulled by the boat around the lagoon. It was a fun way to see the area and get a little wet. Tyler, Connor and Emilio each took turns parasailing. I was going to try to do it later in the week but we filled our days up and on the last day the weather was windy and not clear at all.
We took cabs into Ixtapa one night, had dinner and then the boys stayed to go to Senor Frogs. The city did not seem to have much to offer, the next night we went to downtown Zihuatanejo (Z for now on) which has even less. The best dinner I think we had on the trip was in Z where I had a cheese and poblano pepper tamale with mole sauce, rice
and beans (but they had the worst tortilla chips).OMG SOOO YUMMY! lol
On Wednesday in the evening we took cabs to a ranch along a beach about 20 minutes away where we all went horse back riding. The beach was lined with a few more dead blowfish and scraps of coconuts from the palm trees that surround the coast. The horses I have to admit did not look so well taken care of, they were scrawny, short and not so clean. My horse was rather stubborn, I got him to run for like 30 seconds on two occasions, nowhere near as much as I would have liked. It is amazing how run down and dirty the beach front property is, I imagine it would be a hot commodity for us gringos if it got cleaned up and built on.
I was so nervous about puking on the boat on thursday, I doped up on dramamine in the morning and then we were off to the pier to find "Hakuna Matata." When the boat departed I was feeling fine for about 15 minutes until the waves caught up with me. It felt like the sea would rise and drop
and you could see the levels as we continued on. It honestly freaked me out a bit. The boat staff got the fishing poles ready and we trawled the lines as we went. I could not hang anymore as it was all starting to get to me so I went up to the flybridge along with Tyler and Emilio. The three of us passed out, the only way to pass the time and nausea. We woke up close to when we would arrive at Ixtapa Island, where a small boat took us to the shore from where we anchored. The water was awesome at the island, on the snorkeling side you could see almost everything. From the sand you could look to the ocean and see schools of large fish going by. The sand was covered in broken coral and the reef was just a few feet our from the break, where the sand dropped down. We had lunch and afterwards everyone went out to snorkel while I watched everything on shore. It was probably better that way since I get so sick and already was queazy. After about an hour or less, everyone came back in as it had
been quite rough. A guy found a small purple octopus and brought it to the shallow area for us all to look at and touch it. We also saw a rabbit eating the leave off of a tree while two lizards chased each other around the bunny through the sand. Strange really... Who brought their bunny to the beach? On the boat ride back to Z the captain pointed out sea turtles and then detoured to where he could tell dolphins would be. Dolphins there were, everywhere... They surrounded the boat on all sides and swam under us, some jumped along the side and some just swam past. It was a great show for us and once they all turned to the opposite direction, we headed back to our destination.
I have always thought about going to Costa Rica to help with the releasing of sea turtles into the ocean, however now I can check that off my list. We woke up friday to find out that a batch of sea turtles had hatched over the night at our hotel. Apparently 2 months ago they were laid there and were kept protected by the staff. Aiden and I spent
a lot of time at the little sea turtle pool picking them up and looking at how cute they were, the perfect size for the palm of my hand. At 8pm the hotel did a sea turtle release and so Aiden and I went to the beach and sat on a towel right next to the zone they created for the event. A guy gave us a talk and told us that these 68 turtles were the first of the season, last year they released close to 13,000 turtles. All of the people out for the release helped by picking up a turtle and placing on the sand facing the ocean. The release was done at a certain time, where most of its predators were away. We all ooed and awed as we watched our little turtles try to find their way to their new home. Once the final little turtle got taken in by the waves everyone cheered. You could see their tiny little turtle heads popping up out of the water as they were dragged further out to the deep blue sea. Unfortunately for the turtles most of them if any at all will not survive.
On Saturday we were picked up by a driver sent from Colima and we were off in the Suburban for a 6 and a half hour drive around winding roads surrounded by shacks, trees, countryside and beautiful blue ocean off the cliffside. I took dramamine and did my best to sleep, I was slightly queazy but still better than the boat ride. We arrived at the Hacienda around 8pm and awaited the arrival of the family.