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Thursday, January 20, 2005

New penalty for falling in at a dock party

January 18, 2005
Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Coast, Mexico (17o 38' N 101o 33' W)

We (and a group of about 8 friends) took a big walk over the hill the other day. The best exercise we've gotten in a long time. The best thing was the destination, it was a beach with no one on it. A very strange thing for Zihuatanejo. I guess the reason the beach was deserted is because it's surrounded by 'Neo Ruins'; the remains of a failed attempt to build a luxury hotel on the beach. The complex was complete with a huge four level swimming pool, beachside palapa bar and nearly a mile of smooth concrete roads. We had a great time looking into the murky water in the pool to see if there was anything alive within. Unfortunately the surf was too rough for swimming so we contented ourselves with walking around the complex speculating about what went wrong.

After completing the 5-7 mile trek to the beach and back we just had to treat ourselves to lunch out. We all agreed to go to the local Tamale place and started through town when I remembered a side trip we just had to do. One of the local hardware stores has something out front that I'm sure very few people in the US have seen, so I decided to show the rest of our group. On approaching the store I pointed out these interesting items and several of our group said 'Oh, they're gourds.' No, I said, look closer. They do indeed look like hollowed out dried gourds with small handles. They come in many colors ranging from almost white to almost black, but mostly they are flesh colored. They are about the size of a cantaloupe and have a smooth texture except for small hairs covering the entire surface. Have you guessed what they are? Well I'll tell you then, they are dried bull scrotums! This bit of news just about freaked out a couple of the female members of our group so we beat a hasty retreat to the tamale restaurant. (It turns out you can get them in several sizes, ranging from 'key chain' to '5 gallon bucket', go figure that one! Anyone want one for a Valentine's Day present?)

A friend introduced me to a new term the other day: 'A Goat Rope.' I had no idea what that really meant, but apparently we were responsible for starting one. We planned to take Doug and Karis (our friends visiting from the States) to Pozole on Thursday and put it out on the net in case anyone else wanted to come. We ended up with 30 people. Apparently, there's no need to herd goats, all you really need to do is rope one and pull it along and all the other goats will follow without hesitation. Yep, Pozole was a goat rope. We had a great time anyway and this time we didn't drink a huge quantity of tequila, so it was easier making it to the bus.

After Pozole we decided to go to a dock party in Ixtapa, and since Doug and Karis's time share was on the way they suggested we stop by to check it out. Talk about sweet! They had a great corner suite on the 8th floor with a full ocean view. Between the view, air conditioning and two full bathrooms we didn't want to leave. Unfortunately there were six people and only two beds, and since we couldn't decide on who should sleep on the floor we felt it was best to let Doug and Karis enjoy their suite by themselves for the rest of their vacation and we headed out to the dock party at the marina.

The dock party wasn't much to write home about, it didn't go very late and it didn't get very wild. I'm sure the reason is that no one wanted to get so tipsy they might lose their balance and take an un-wanted swim. You see, Marina Ixtapa is home to several 12 ft Crocodiles, the divers won't even clean your bottom in the marina. In fact there's a rumor going around that a poodle got snatched off the dock last year by a large croc. Yep, you definitely don't want to get falling down drunk at one of these parties...

(I'm running a little behind on posting, stay tuned for a report on John's birthday.)