Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Arrival in Acapulco was simple - we did not have any issues on the road nor in finding the resort.  In fact we arrived at the resort without realizing it and found out when we asked the security guard at the gate 'Donde esta Grand Mayan?' and he told us that we had arrived.

The resort has a great atmosphere, very pleasant respectful staff and we are greeted warmly wherever we go. We did not have to attend the sales presentation because we had already been through that in Puerto Vallarta - of course that means that we don't get our valet parking refunded (then again what is 380 pesos worth anyhow, about $22 for the week).  Our suite is awesome and the first night we unloaded our bags and headed for a restaurant on site for a celebratory (Rosalind's birthday) buffet supper.  We were the only guests there for most of the time and were serenaded and presented with a birthday message on a plate - a very special evening all round.  We rounded this off by soaking in the pool on our balcony so that we were nice and cool and relaxed before bed.

The next morning we took a short ride to the Mega grocery store (right next to Wal-Mart) a couple of blocks up the road.  Mega is a really nice grocery store, much better quality than Wal-Mart and we had fun picking up a few supplies to see us through the week.  We even stopped at the coffee bar in the middle of the store and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee (they give a couple of little pastries with the coffee) before continuing our grocery shopping.

After that it was time to explore the resort, catch up with some more green iguanas and chill out on the beautiful beach.

The beach here is so beautiful and easy to walk that one day we walked for a full hour before stopping to try a 'coco frio' (coconut with the top chopped off so that you can put a straw in to drink the coconut liquid).  It was OK and was certainly welcome as we had not intended walking that far and were thirsty (needed to hydrate before heading back), but it is not the type of coconut that we are used to and did not have the coconut milk, more of a funny tasting cool water.  There is none of the white meat that we usually associate with coconut flesh.  Chalk up another one to experience, we have now tried it but won't bother again.  That end of the beach with all its vendors and stalls was not too pleasant but it was certainly interesting seeing the locals, the many breastfeeding mothers and the squalid conditions in which they sold their wares.

One day we walked the 3 km to Mega to get some more milk and stopped for lunch at Al Sabor Del Chef which is a little cafe type eating place in the mall.  After a discussion with someone eating (Gerald asked what he was eating because it looked so good and we could figure out most of what was on the menu), we order "costillas de puerco en chile morita" (Pork ribs in chile sauce) to split - it was what they called a comida correr and for the grand price of 60 Pesos, it came with water of the day (delicious papaya water), pollo caldone (chicken broth/soup), the main meal of pork ribs, beans, spaghetti and also came with postre (desert) which was a mango mousse - a delicious meal padded out with jugo verde (green juice - made from green vegetable juices and bananas, very good!) and we were well satisfied.

Another day we decided to drive into Acapulco and check out the divers, after all isn't that part of visiting Acapulco? Acapulco is huge and busy, full of the vast differences between the wealthy tourist and the struggling Mexican.  It was an interesting drive and Gerald really has his Mexican driving skills well honed now but we are not city people and it is hard work getting into non-existent gaps in the flow of traffic and watching constantly in all directions.  It is also no good just watching the traffic lights because they may be red and a traffic cop is waving you on or vice versa - just make sure to be super aware when you hear whistles blowing.

Once into Acapulco, before heading out to the diving site, we took a detour through some very narrow, winding, steep streets up to the San Diego Fort - well worth the detour.  There is so much history laid out in the rooms of the pentagon shaped fort, everything is displayed beautifully.  The place is impeccably clean, the views are absolutely amazing and the admittance fee is only 55 pesos each (around $5).

Water cooled cellar off the main kitchen

Within the inner walls of the pentagon shaped fort

Entrance has a drawbridge over the moat, thick wooden doors and a portcullis

Royal Carriage

Until visiting the fort of San Diego, I had never realized quite how powerful the Spanish were and how many lands they controlled, nor how much of an influence has been exerted by the Filipinos. There is a strong eastern influence especially with food and culture.

Looking out over Acapulco over the ramparts from the fort, we got a good idea of what a great vantage point this was and how the many cannons could easily take out ships in Acapulco bay.  This is probably why the fort never fell to any pirates or buccaneers.  We also saw several hundred cars lined up ready to be exported.

There are a lot of decaying buildings because of lower rate of tourism (cruise ships no longer pulling in to port here) caused by the drug related violence as well the the over abundance of vendors from the every growing number of shanty towns that cling to the hills.  However, there seems to be action to encourage tourism back (the main source of income) with the strong police and security presence as we have been seeing on most of our travels.

There are lots of signs of people trying to beautify their surroundings and labor is nearly always manual - look at the mosaics being painstakingly applied to a wall of a music college in a narrow street across from the fort.

Unfortunately we missed the cliff divers because we got there after lunch and their next performance was only going to be at 7:30 in the evening, we had to pay 20 pesos to park the car before we found that out so went for a stroll around the area but there is nothing there except for some really questionable looking dirty food stalls and the usual mechanic shops etc.
Site of the cliff divers with viewing platform
We got out of there quickly and headed down towards the beach area to look for somewhere to get something to eat.  Once again it was a bit of a fight with the traffic and the very narrow streets - somehow it just works though.  Look at the bus stops in the middle of the street, pretty clever really because there is a bus lane in the middle of each side of the road so you can get off the bus in the middle and get another bus going in the opposite direction without having to cross the street.

Enough already of this city, let's get out of town and head back to Playa Diamente to get a very late lunch.  On the way back I saw the most beautiful bay with a Marina, surely with all those big boats out there, there must be somewhere where the more wealthy people don't mind eating?

Looks beautiful doesn't it?  Well the up close and personal truth was not a beautiful site and there were many food vendors that I couldn't (wouldn't?) bring myself to get food from but we finally found one place that looked better than others so we decided to take a chance.  The restaurant had a lovely view of the bay and even had it's own swimming pool - I can only imagine the fun that is had there late in the evening when tequila and swimming pool come together. It was actually a pretty nice place and we had 'dedos de pesco' (fingers of fish, nothing like fish fingers though) with rice, lettuce and tomato slices which we washed down with a corona and a coke - when we questioned the waiter about type of fish it was (it was a very firm nice flavored fish) we found out that we had been eating marlin.

One the way out we saw some more examples of the exciting wall art that is quite prevalent in Mexico - there is actually quite a following of Mexican graffiti and murals.

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