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Old 08-14-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Rissask Report to Zihuatanejo, August 2010

I guess I better get at this, we will have been back a week tomorrow.

I will try to make it as short as I can, and it will be mostly a photo report- I took wayyy too many pictures so I will try to only post the best.

This was my husband Don's fourth trip to this area and my third. We stayed at a hotel in Ixtapa our first trip, then our second trip we stayed one week in Ixtapa and the second week at the Irma in Zihua- and this trip we stayed one wee (August 1-8) at the Brisas del Mar in Zihuatanejo.

We quite enjoyed Ixtapa, lovely wide beach and lots of nice restaurants and shops and hotels- but I doubt we would ever stay there again unless we got a super package AI deal. We far prefer staying in Zihua, it's sort of like Playa versus Cancun, although Ixtapa truly is not much like Cancun, it's much more 'Mexican'.




I had JUST started a new job the end of June but hey, a girl needs a break once in a while. I asked for the time off as soon as they offered me a job, since we were planning to go, they had no problem, thankfully!

We looked high and low for good airfares but summer is a tough time to find decent deals from way up here in Saskatchewan. We finally booked on US Airways for about $660 each. Yes, that IS a good deal from up here.

Not only that but we had to fly out of Calgary (flying from here would have added another $700 to the airfare cost). Not a big deal as my Dad lives there and we get to visit them too.

We flew on Sundays so we drove the 6 and a half hours there on the Saturday. I know I have posted these before but here we go again...
my Dad had arranged for my stepmom's grandson to paint my motorcycle helmet with a Day of the Dead/sugar skull theme and it turned out great. When we arrived Saturday evening it was waiting for me.



candles on the sides...



and the three skeletal mariachis on the back...




It has a dark tinted flip down visor and it is super cool!


We visited Saturday and got to bed early....up at 4:30 and to the airport about 1 hour and 45 minutes ahead of departure....flights were uneventful both days, we connected in Phoenix.
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!
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Old 08-14-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Our hotel was the Hotel Brisas del Mar on Playa Madera in town.

Zihuatanejo in the state of Guerrero is a city built around a smallish bay. The mountains come right to the ocean, especially in the Madera area.

If you want to be more on flat land, Playa La Ropa is more of a plain and there are some hotels that don't have many stairs there. Villa Mexicana being one good one. But all the hotels and rental bungalows on Madera (and many on La Ropa) are all built right into the mountainside and have tons of stairs- makes for great views but you have to do a lot of climbing! Which we didn't mind as we were eating pretty good this week as you shall see.

We loved the hotel....it is just a small hotel, about 30 rooms and suites. Nice little pool which we took full advantage of. The beach is very picturesque but the water is a bit murky and the sand is a darker grey colour. When we wanted to swim in the ocean we typically went over to La Ropa or to Las Gatas beaches which have much lighter sand and clearer water.

But we also did quick cool-off swims at Madera when we were down at the beach club, and there were always plenty of people frolicking in the waves there- surfing too, to the left there is a decent small surf break.

Pictures of hotel....


entrance to hotel (does not look like much from this side!)



lobby



sunset bar on the same level as lobby, second from the top level, which is a 2 BR penthouse for families to rent.



wifi/internet room- 2 terminals, A/C! There is also a book exchange with about 150 books and a pool and ping pong tables.



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Old 08-14-2010   #3 (permalink)
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I should backtrack and explain the airport...it's nice and small and you are typically through Customs and Immigration quite quickly.

There is an HSBC ATM right outside the arrivals area, behind one of the middle bright pink pillars. We hit it up for an initial 4000 pesos from each of our accounts.

Then you stroll down toward the outside doors (after grabbing a couple overpriced beers to go from the little bar on your left) and get a ticket for a taxi- 320 pesos (or it might have been 350?) to Madera. Pricey, as the hotel is a mere 15 minutes away, but that is Mexican taxista unions for you. We paid 150 pesos to head BACK to the airport.

There are tons of taxis available all over the area and they are fair prices. We actually walked the entire week, other than one other taxi ride one night (because it was raining) and the one back to the airport. Oh, and one water taxi ride, two fishing trips and one dive trip boat ride- wow....more time in boats than cars, awesome!

Okay, here are some pics of our room...we elected to not get a suite with a jacuzzi, having had negative experiences trying to get those to work in Mexico.

Nice king bed (COMFY!!) with great A/C. Of course being the rainy season, it was a bit musty smelling at times, but that is the way she goes. We were careful to never leave the A/C on when not in the room or to use it during the day, but every night we came back from being out, the turn-down service maid had turned it on. I imagine the desire to keep humidity levels down outweighs the cost of electricity?







Lovely large bathroom with tub and shower and double sinks, a safe and lots of storage room...we had bathrobes too!



the one morning we awoke to rain...




We had some very inventive towel animals left for us every day.



this one was a little interesting!


Last edited by Rissask; 08-14-2010 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 08-14-2010   #4 (permalink)
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More photos of the hotel and from around the Madera area.


Lots of little nooks and crannies in this hotel with neat art...









there was a fountain just around the corner from our room, which provided a great soothing white noise from about 9-9 daily.






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Old 08-14-2010   #5 (permalink)
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hmmm...












beach club and hotel restaurant area...the Bistro del Mar. Nice, but pretty overpriced. We only ate there twice and never for dinner.







The other side of Madera beach is petty rocky/pebbly...not many swimmers here, this is where the surfer boys hang out. The red/clay coloured hotel is the Irma where we stayed last time, also quite nice, although not AS nice as the BDM. It was bright orange then, it looks better now.






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Old 08-14-2010   #6 (permalink)
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More



We sat quite often up on this covered level by the pool.




It was shaded and had a great light breeze all the time, plus gorgeous views of the bay.



The water slide was FAST! I bet I went down it about 30 plus times. I am such a goof.












Even though it was summer and quite hot and humid, we never really felt hot, unless we were in an area with little air movement or in the direct sunlight. It only rained about 4 times during the night and then once it rained until about ten AM and one day it started at about 3 and then rained on and off all evening. Not bad! We have always been lucky with weather on our summer trips.

Twice the thunder woke us up in the night and we got up and sat on the deck and watched the lightning storm over the ocean...amazing! And the mountains being right there, cause the thunder to verberate- twice the thunder and they were BOOMS one night- so cool!
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Old 08-14-2010   #7 (permalink)
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This post is ALL photos of the area our hotel is located in, Madera. (I am not going to do a day by day report, we didn't do THAT much, and I can't remember what we did each day anyway!)

Our first night after we unpacked and went and had a dip, we decided to go to a restaurant close by we had been to on previous trips, the Casa Vieja. Lovely restaurant, great food and service. About a 5 minute walk from the hotel.





Don had ribs and I had conchinita pibil- both were very good, as always.





We were the ONLY people there that night. One other couple came in as we were leaving. The town was packed to the gills all week with mostly Mexican tourists, but most people were eating downtown- the restuarants there were usually full, but never overfull.

Then we went home and collapsed in exhaustion....with my new job I get up at 5:30 every day and believe me, after a year off and getting 8 solid hours of good sleep a night, it has been quite an adjustment getting only 6! We were both overtired and had been up this day since 4:30...plus it was an hour later here than at home....I think we fell asleep by 9:30!


Just some pics of around Madera....





The best thing about going in summer is how GREEN and lush everything is...gorgeous.



what these are, I have no idea?



This is the view from just down the street from our hotel, back over the city....



Casa Azul



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Old 08-14-2010   #8 (permalink)
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Don found a friend one day....looks like our Golly back home but about half as fat.




too bad Sol was so hard to find in this area, it's Don's favourite Mexican beer...



This is the place Don stayed last November when he went to Zihua and to Puerto Vincente de Guerrero with a buddy on their fishing trip...they stayed here at the Casa Adriana for the last 3 nights of their week. He really praised it, the only negative is that there is no pool.



Oddly enough, when I bought these three pictures:



on the day before we came home, I was chatting with the shop owner and his wife Lucy is the caretaker for Casa Adriana! Then we were having breakfast the next day and they were driving by, saw us, and stopped to join us for coffee! Zihua is such a friendly place.
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Old 08-14-2010   #9 (permalink)
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hmmm, yet more from around Madera ....


the beach looking toward town...the bay sort of faces more south than straight west, so the sun sets over that mountain.




one morning we watched this girl holding her pup in this little tidepool area...didn't really look safe...the pup didn't seem to mind though! I think she was cooling him off.





Beautiful!!!!





This is the hotel parrot, named Carola. Apparently she has bitten a couple of people (duh, who sticks their fingers near an unnown parrot?? ) There was a sign that read (paraphrased): My name is Carola. Warning, I am not always in a good mood.

[



video of me talking to her....her entire repertoire was 'hello'...although she would also sometimes say 'hola'...and Don swears she told him to f*ck off once. Click on it! And yes, that is a bad English accent I have put on for some 'hellos'....


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Old 08-14-2010   #10 (permalink)
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Nice !
Beautiful pictures.
Thanks for doing this.....
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Old 08-14-2010   #11 (permalink)
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okay, I will finish up the pics of the Madera area and then I really should go and work outside a bit.

There was a little store to buy beer and snacks across the road and also another one going toward the Comercial Mexican, called Cervefrio, they had better prices.

Also the newspaper offices was by the latter...



one morning after a hard rain....we saw lots of palm fronds and tree debris all over after it would rain hard at night, but by noon the town would be back to normal.

They are pretty good at picking up trash in this city compared to some. There are even several trash receptacles around and they actually GET EMPTIED...amazing.







lime trees were everywhere and we picked quite a few to have with beers in our room!



We really wanted to go to this restaurant again but it was closed for summer....it's VERY good food.




pretty plant .... with pink blotches!




We would walk into town at least once a day, usually twice, for lunch and dinner or going for a walk and a beer or two, etc. It is a nice stroll, about 10 minutes only, no matter which of the two ways you go.

You could either walk along the beach to the oceanfront walkway, seen looking BACK toward Madera, here:



I should mention that I never see so many couples kissing and cuddling as I do in Zihua....it's a very romantic place for some reason! Which is quite, er, inspiring!




When you go the ocean way, you walk down the hotel street to a walkway to the boardwalk...lots of steps!






and this sign, which cracked us up every time because when you walk past it, it is the steepest part of the climb.




or you could walk down the hill from the street the hotel is on, to the main Madera street, Adelita, and down there to Fisherman's Walk, the main pedestrian only walkway 'downtown'.



walking the street way, you pass some ramshackle places where some enterprising families have set up little fondas of sorts...and you might see a chicken wandering around ... or a few.









Lots of charter buses bring in tourists from nearby cities like Taxco and Guadalaraja...one morning we saw people sadly climbing aboard, their vacations almost over.



That was actually our last morning too, we were enjoying breakfast at ITA on Adelita, which was VERY good.

We shared the frittata con tocino



and then she brought us a piece of amazing apple 'pudding' she called it...so good (which of course we insisted on paying for).


Last edited by Rissask; 08-14-2010 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 08-14-2010   #12 (permalink)
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You are so wecome, Friday...I love doing it (obviously)....it helps me remember the trips.


This is the only other pic I have of Madera area....this guy was feeding this kitty half a mackeral one morning....he had to be very patient as the cat was not too sure about him!

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Old 08-14-2010   #13 (permalink)
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your pics are awesome.
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Old 08-14-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
what these are, I have no idea?


i think they are acerola's. like a type of cherry.
i remember them from my time there.

Malpighia emarginata - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 08-14-2010   #15 (permalink)
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thanks, Jeff.

Malpighia emarginata wow what a mouthful!

I would have tried one if I would have known they were edible.

And thanks, I am NOT photographer, but I know I like lots of pics to get a good idea of what an area is like.

Going outside now, but tomorrow I will try to finish this off. I have pics of La Ropa, Las Gatas, many of downtown, and way more food pics and descriptions, and our dive day story.
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