December 5, 2014
We arrived in Zihuatenejo yesterday, dropping the anchor after a pleasant morning entry into this beautiful bay. It almost looks like a Swiss lake, surrounded by steep green hills, but the “chalets” have thatched roofs and there is a smell of charcoal and ocean fish in the air. As much as tourism is a driver of the economy here, there are far more locals and Mexican visitors than gringos, and the pace of life if friendly and measured. I can’t vouch for what it’s like when a cruise ship pulls in – we’ve been spared that so far.
In keeping with the relaxed spirit of the place, the interaction with officialdom – the Capitania del Puerto – was quick, trouble-free and fee-free. We followed up with a walk through town, pozole with everything (avocado, chips, oregano, chopped onion, chicarrones, chopped green chilies and mescal), then coffee and cribbage under trees by the fisherman’s market on the beach.
We’ll shift to the Ixtapa marina today, for the convenience of stocking up on water, food, doing an oil change, getting showers and so on, but it will be a come-down from being anchored here in front of town. Luis and Janice will join us tomorrow for the sail to Huatulco and a much anticipated trip to Oaxaca City.
We had a wonderful, leisurely stay in Tencatita – swimming off the boat two or more times a day, rowing to the open-air palapa on the beach for good seafood meals – but when we moved to one of the previously more isolated beaches, it was being patrolled by cops, the palapas were vacant shells, and the story was that a “resort development” was under way. Zihuatenejo has been a good antidote for the impression that lovely spots on the Pacific Coast are rapidly being destroyed by a system of rationing that dictates that natural beauty will soon be available to only those with lots of money.
The farther we get from the US, the less the pressure of “development” seems to be, or at least it is proceeding at a much slower pace. Good to see.
Meanwhile, of course, the ocean is still the ocean. Our two day trip here was enlivened by dolphins and birds, we had a big, nearly full moon at night, and the water was 85 degrees F (nearly 30 C). We had our first nighttime watches in only t-shirts and shorts. We’re getting used to sweating all the time, just when the Christmas decorations are starting to appear everywhere!