Wednesday, February 22, 2006

February 22, Zihuatanejo

We arrived back in comfortable and calm Z-town on Saturday. Kurt and Abby did a wonderful job of boat sitting, and we enjoyed spending their last day or so in Mexico together.
Our last days in real Mexico (that is, away from the coast) were very interesting. We successfully left Amy at the Mexico City airport and the city and drove north. Our sinuses started clearing immediately and we enjoyed an afternoon at the grand pyramids of Teotihuacan. We kept going north into Hidalgo state where we made a pilgrimage to Grutas Tolantango, a canyon at the bottom of a 3000 foot range where a river springs out of limestone caves at about 100 degrees, in full technicolor turquoise. Tom had visited 10 years ago with his sister, before electricity and somewhat more paved road, and the addition of about 40 hotel rooms. We also drank pulque (maguey cactus magic beer) from a roadside farm. Pretty amazing. We tried to do back roads back to the coast but between lack of signage and maps, exhaustion, and massive industry and traffic, we gave up and took the toll superhighway.
Back in Zihuatanejo, we are preparing to start our sea voyage to Ecuador on 2-25, working through numerous contingencies and boat issues and crew issues, it´is relatively hard work (what a thing) , not much lollygagging, especially for Tom. There is not much I do with respect to engines or electricity or diving other than hand over the tools upon request. With luck I get them right. And then sometimes I dont.
There are about 35 cruising boats in the harbor now. Most are from the Northwest , Seattle, Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, Anacortes, with a few Californians and Canadians sprinkled in. On the street here Tom met someone who turned out to be the hairdresser of someone I know in Seattle (but we couldnt figure out whose) and the boat next to us belongs a man whose father was a bridge building competitor of our company´s in the 60s and 70s. Small world.
This community keeps forming and reforming as boats arrive and leave. Every morning at 0830 everyone gets on their radio (ham-type) and participates in ¨the net¨ which is run by a moderator with an agenda including self introductions, weather, and upcoming local happenings, along with fielding questions and answers such as ¨where can I buy Delo oil", ¨can anyone cat sit for me while I go to the States for 10 days¨, etc. There is an entire section called ¨Treasures of the Bilge¨where you can trade stuff you dont need (dinghy wheels, air conditioners, pots and pans) for ¨coconuts¨ (no money exchange allowed by Mexico. There is also ¨Mail Call¨where you can send packages to the states via someone who is flying there that day. (Mex. mail service isnt very good still). The community here is also anchored by Rick´s Bar, where they serve outstanding margaritas and food and have a variety of other services including showers, laundry, book excahnge, lecture and meeting hall, propane tank filling, and answering every kind of question a boat owner could have about where to find what service locally. It is definitely like the bar in Cheers. Everybody knows your boat name.


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