Loading Map

Saturday, December 18, 2004


December 18, 2004
Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Coast, Mexico (17o 38' N 101o 33' W)

Well it's been some time since I've updated the blog so I thought I'd write a few notes down to keep everyone informed of what's been going on. I guess the reason I haven't been writing is there's not much out of the ordinary happening, I guess I like to have something interesting to write about.

We spent 9 nights in this large bay on the Colima coast. There are a number of anchorages. Once again, we arrived 'in company' with several other boats. Same as before, we didn't announce our plans to leave Careyes but at soon as we were out of the anchorage we heard the other boats on the VHF talking about getting underway. I guess you could say we're trend-setters.

Our first big activity in Tenacatita was to take the Jungle River Trip. Several of the boats in the anchorage agreed to make the run together (perhaps thinking that ten dinghies would be less likely to get attacked by crocodiles). We got up early in the morning (1000) and headed in.

The Jungle River Trip is a 4 mile dinghy ride from the north east anchorage, inland through a mangrove swamp, to the outer anchorage in Tenacatita bay. It was pretty cool, kind of like cruising Georgiana Slough in the Delta, only shorter and much narrower. For about half a mile the water is completely over hung with mangrove trees and the channel is only 10-12 ft wide. At the end of the trip you can pull your dinghy up on the inside of the sand spit that separates the outer anchorage from the mangrove swamp. The 'town' of Tenacatita is on the sand spit and there are a number of palapa restaurants to relax at after worrying about the nasties in the swamp. We made the trip in company with about 7 dinghies which was fun. At one point we had three dinghies rafted together so only the center dinghy had to run its motor.

The next day we took a taxi to La Manzanilla, the closest town, to do some shopping. We got an unexpected treat, when we got out of the cab the driver said, "Don't miss the crocodiles!" We walked over to where he was pointing and there in the lagoon were about 15 crocs up to 15 ft! There was a chain link fence around the lagoon for protection, whether it was the crocs or us being protected is uncertain. We followed the road around the lagoon to the beach where we found a flaw in the protective barrier - the fence was laid flat, one of its posts having been toppled. There was a clear path all the way down to 'Crocodile Beach' although no one wanted to take me up on my offer of 20 pesos to the first person to touch a crock. I wonder why!

One of the other boats in the anchorage told us about a laundry service through the hotel. You drop your laundry off at a palapa on the beach and the hotel on-call doctor comes and picks it up (there aren't enough emergencies to keep him busy so he does laundry on the side). He takes it back to his home based facility and washes, dries, folds and packs in plastic all of your laundry for 10 pesos per kilo (40 cents per pound). He supplies the detergent, softener and big plastic bags. Linda wasn't 100% satisfied with the results, the clothes weren't quite dry and they used more softener then she normally does, but she's having a hard time justifying doing our own laundry. Our cost to do it ourselves is usually more then 60 cents per pound!

After a few days we moved over to the outer anchorage which I liked much better. There were no big hotels to blast disco music at night and all the palapa restaurants closed up at 7 pm so it was very quiet. It was here that we had out first experience getting water outside of a marina. We'd noticed several water delivery trucks drive through town and stop at the various palapas. One day we stopped one and inquired about the price. 13 pesos (about $1.15) buys you 5 gallons of purified water. There is a one time deposit on the bottles (they are water cooler style 5 gallon jugs) of 40 pesos, presumably we can turn the bottles in for a refund. We decided to get 5 jugs, for a total of 265 pesos, and loaded them into the dinghy. It was a little challenging rowing them out to the boat (we didn't have the outboard on because the landing was so close to where we anchored) but it was easy enough to put all 25 gallons on the boat and get them into the tank. The next day we repeated the experiment, however this time while we were waiting for our specific water truck to come by a 'local' told us he wasn't working that day. We decided not to wait any longer and bought our jugs from one of the palapas for a slightly inflated price of 15 pesos. Sure enough, as were loading our 'expensive' water into the dinghy we saw our water truck drive by out on the street. Sooner or later I'll learn who to trust when, I hope.

That's all for now, I'm writing more but want to get this posted before the end of the weekend.

Next up:
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride from Tenacatita to Zihuatanejo
How not to lose weight by shopping and eating at the public market
NAKIA fun facts, where the heck are we and how far have we been anyway?