Friday, February 24, 2017

Fun with surf pics.

I have been having fun with the GoPro and pulling still shots out of the videos.  I have had a few good days surfing at the rivermouth just norht of Isla Ixtapa and here at the breakwater of Barra de Navidad. Not much else to say.  I just wanted to share the pictures.

Until next time.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Friday, February 10, 2017

Road trip to the quiet ruins of Soledad de Maciel.

 The playing field.

A few days ago we heard about a local ruin site that was only an hour or so away from Zijuatenejo.  After asking around and being quoted around 2800 pesos ($140.00) by a couple of taxi guys, we decided to go at it on our own, even though the taxi guys told us we couldn't get there by bus. In the end we paid a total of 130 pesos ($6.50) for our round trip travel, a far cry from the taxi guys who told us we could only get there by using their services. So we rode the bus southeast out of town toward the town of Petatlan for almost an hour where we got off the bus on the highway at a small crossroad that veered off to the right and quickly turned to dirt.  We were told to wait there for a small pickup with a cage on the back (jokingly referred to as a chicken truck).  That truck would take us and any others going that way about 5 or so miles down the road to ruin site and small town known as La Chole.

 On the bus.

This is where the bus dropped us to wait for the "chicken truck".

Riding the chicken truck into La Chole with our 2 new friends that were heading to work in the coconut farms.

We had to wait about 20 minutes or so before the chicken truck arrived and carried the two of us and two coconut field workers into La Chole.  They dropped us off at the small museum built by the  Mexican government for the archeological site. The Mesoamerican site was first discovered in the 1930s but official excavation was only recently begun in 2003 and it is believed that people have been using this site as a cultural gathering center for over 3000 years. After a brief walk through of the museum and pleasant conversation with the young man working there we continued by foot down the road that wandered through the middle of the ruins.

2 of these were found at the playing field but were laying on the ground and now reside in the museum.

Let it be noted that if you thought you were going to go see the great pyramids of an Aztec empire or ruins like Chitzenitza or Tulum, you will may be disappointed.  This site is much smaller and is in the middle of excavation.  Only about half of the ruins are actually exposed and black tarps and new wooden fences protect the rest.  However, it is definitely a legit site.

One of two small pyramid structures.  The other one is still copletely covered with earth and vegetation and just looks like an average hill in the country.  It is in the background of this photo.  As you can see in this photo this one is only half uncovered.  You can see the dirt and grasses that still partially cover the structure and is yet to be excavated.

After seeing the remains of this lost cultural center we wandered another half mile or so down the dirt road to the small village of La Chole.  The have electricity and TV  but that is about it.  No market, no restaurants, just 300 or so of the most tranquil and peaceful people that inhabit this very old village.  Most were born there, most will die there.

 The local ball field is taken care of by the goats.

A look up one of the quiet streets of La Chole.

We were starving and so I asked someone in town if there was some place that we might find a simple meal or something to eat.  Without hesitation he jumped off his chair and escorted us to his aunt's house just up the road and asked if she would whip us up something.  She obliged, with a smile, and after 20 or 30 minutes invited us in for some eggs, peppers and chorizo with a side of home made beans and tortillas that were about 1/4" inch thick.  It was delicious and as we ate we enjoyed conversation with her and her husband, him talking to us from the comfort of his hammock on the front porch smoking a cigar he made himself from his tobacco plants out back.

 Our lunch stop.

 Our host's adobe oven/stove fired by coconut husks.

 Looking out off the patio.

 The wash basin for clothes.

 Marne enjoying our fresh lunch and then kicking back with this little guy watching SpongeBob Square Spanish.

After lunch we wandered to the only little "tienda" in town where we waited for a chicken truck to take us back out to the highway.  After about 45 minutes with no chicken trucks in site we finally bummed a ride from an older gentleman that was selling baked goods to the store and was headed that way.  When we offered to pay him he declined, which did not surprise us at all.  Only minutes later we were on a "micro" (small bus) back into Zijuatanejo.

 Marne enjoyed chatting with the little girls while we waited for our ride back to the highway.

 Bret and his new little buddy Hermi that Bret gave the nickname of "El Patron".

All loaded up in the bakery truck and on our way home.

The ruins were not life altering but the trip as a whole was well worth it!  If you want more info on the ruins you can find it here ... Ruins of Soledad de Maciel

Until next time,

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Friday, February 3, 2017

Welcome to Zihuatanejo!

This is a first time for us in Zihuatanejo and we have not been disappointed.  The only let down here in Z-Town is the water quality in the bay.  On a good day it is ok and a bad day it is an ugly brown, polluted color.  Other than water clarity being less than desirable, everything else here is a treat. Zihuatanejo has a deep history dating back to pre-hispanic times with the Cuitlatec people who were known for their agriculture, production of cotton blankets and carved scallop shells.  The Cuitlatpan people are dated here pre 1400s.  The Spanish conquistadors arrived in the early 1500s and colonized the area along with making Zihuatanejo a major port of call for ships traveling to the Phillipines.  Acapulco later took over most of that trade but Zihuatanejo remained as a quiet little fishing town into the 1900s.  In 1970 the Mexican government began developing the nearby Ixtapa into a major destination resort for tourism and the small town of Zihuatanejo grew along with it.  It is now a town of about 70,000 people which mostly populate the hills just behind the bay.  It still holds on to it's small town feel with quaint streets, shops and restaurants that are far different than the high rise "hotel rows" that you will find in larger cities along the Mexican coastline like Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco.

 I dont' remember the name of this tree but these flowers only live about 12 hours.  They bloom each day as it gets dark taking about 5-10 minutes to open.  By morning or mid day they have died and fallen to the ground only to be followed but new ones that evening.  Beautiful!

 The captain heading into town.

 The estuary leading inland from the bay.

"El Mercado" is always a favorite in any town we visit.  Here we are having a quick bite before getting some fresh produce and supplies.

 We couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a picture of these pollos taking an afternoon siesta.


 The quaint streets of Z-Town

 Looking out into the bay.

 We ate dinner here last night and HAD to come back for the best key lime pie this side of the Rio Grande!

 A mural on the malecon.

 This is the fish market where we bought a kilo (2.2 lbs) of fresh yellow fin tuna for $5.50.  This place is a hive of activity from 4am to about 9am when all of the pangas are bringing in their catch.  Tonight will definitely be a night of sushi and sashimi.  

Zijuatanejo has plenty to do and enjoy from surfing, beach walking, a trip into the Mercado Central or enjoying the nearby crystal clear, 80 degree waters of Isla Grande and Ixtapa only 5-10 miles to the north.  It was definitely worth the stop.  

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne