By Chris Foster 5/28/19
After spending 4 days on the hook off of Isla Ixtapa Grande we decided to head back down to Z-Town, but first a quick bit of snorkeling off of a nearby pinnacle.
The snorkeling was rather uneventful other than running into a big sea turtle. Alex then spotted some birds diving a hundred meters away. Of course he had to head up there to check it out.
On arrival he and Johnny threw out some lines. Suddenly, they spotted something swimming toward them, in fact several somethings. Yellow Bellied Sea Snakes ! A very poisonous water snake common to this area.
On To Z-Town
Having survived the snake sighting, we weighed anchor and proceeded on to Zihuatanejo. The bay was a bit choppier there but the wind direction kept us pointed into the swell so the boat didn’t roll as much.
Shopping. No sooner was the hook on the bottom than the women headed into town for some shopping. I guess that the trip was successful because when I arrived about an hour and one-half later they were laden with bags of treasure.
One shop that we thought was particularly cool was this tapestry/rug maker, Cielo Zapotec (pictured above), where they did their own weaving onsite. We spoke with the owner who told us that he and his family owned another shop in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.
The women also made lots of finds at El Embarcadero (Pictured below).
For me, the most important of the shopping expeditions revolved around a serious and worsening condition in the wine cooler. This shop saved us with a pretty good selection of wines from all over the world.
The Parthenon of Zihuatanejo
Megan and I went for a ride on the GoCycles up into the hills above Playa Ropa where the road curved around to head toward Acapulco. We were treated to a beautiful view down the coast in return for our efforts. What we were looking for though was a strange building that we’d seen from the boat. After some backtracking we finally located a steep rocky drive leading up a hill and there at the top was “El Parthenon del Arturo Durazo, “El Negro”.
Durazo was Chief of Police in Mexico City from 1976 to 1982. He was infamous for turning the department into his own racketeering operation where he syphoned off millions from cocaine smuggling and other nefarious activities. In the mid 1980s he fled the country but was apprehended and spent his final days in prison. More information can be had on Atlas Obscura’s website. (BTW, Atlas Obscura is a pretty cool website highlighting lots of interesting places and things to do all over the world.)
The once luxurious home, fashioned in ostentatious greek style with faux statues, massive columns, pools and a lot of interesting artifacts is now in ruin. We bribed a groundskeeper to gain entrance through the giant gates.
A Dinner To Remember
After taking in the Parthenon, Megan and I discovered Espuma, a fine dining restaurant on the road back into town. We went in and made reservations for later that evening.
This cliffside mediterranean style restaurant overlooking the bay is absolutely beautiful and serves some of the best food in Zihuatanejo. An extensive wine list and a harbor view with Embajador glistening in the background clinched the deal!
Playa Las Gatas
The next day we took the tender over to Playa Gatas for lunch, drinks, massages for the women and snorkeling. The “callers” on the beach in front of the palapa bar allowed us to tie up to their string line as our anchor wouldn’t hold on the rock/sand/coral bottom.
The crew also made it over to Playa Ropa where they reported clear water, white sand and plenty of body surfing. Apparently I missed the best beach on the bay.
Next. Join us for interviews with Suzanne and Megan, each of whom have made room in thier lives for major mid-career adventure travel breaks, one completed and the other starting this year. Also, an exquisite dinner aboard featuring lobster and a delicious Black River Caviar tuna tartar concoction prepared from a recipe off the website.