25 March 2006

Guadalajara and such

Another hot, sunny, day here in paradise. 98’F with 79% humidity! Since our last entry we had another round of visitors, a trip inland, and are still trying to leave for the South Pacific.

My mom and sister arrived the first of March for a week’s stay. The following week Tom and I set off to tour Guadalajara and the surrounding area. When we got back to Ixtapa, we cleaned up the boat, then left the marina to anchor at Isle Grande for a few days. We are currently back in Z-town, anchored out, awaiting good weather (wind) to leave for the South Pacific.

My mom arrived first and stayed with us on the boat the first night. The next morning we headed into Z-town, showed mom the sights, Rick’s Bar, and headed to the hotel. Our hotel, the Hotel Brisas Del Mar, was great! Great views of the bay. We even saw a whale breaching from our balcony. Awesome!

Shannon came in on Saturday and we checked into mom’s condo at Hotel Emporio in Ixtapa. Tom and I crashed their pad all week. Air conditioning, nice beds, hot showers, swimming pool, and easy access to the beach. We pretty much just kept low all week, sleeping in, hanging by the pool, reading trashy mags, and sippin’ on margaritas. Shannon was the brave one and went parasailing, which she loved. Sure was great to spend the week with the girls. It just went by way too fast.

We left for Guadalajara, Sunday, March 12 via bus. It’s about a 9-hour ride, but it goes by fast. We spent the time checking out the scenery, watching crappy movies ('White Chicks'), and even an occasional pit stop. The bus station in Guadalajara is enormous; think LAX, just with buses.

We stayed at Hotel Frances, which dates back from 1610. Guadalajara is a big, old, historical city. We took a group tour which took us through the old cathedrals, museums, opera house, and finally to Tlaquepaque, an artist suburb of Guadalajara. We fell in love with this town. So we made arrangements to come back and spend a night here.

Our guide introduced us to Leo e Hijos por siempre Piel, a leather store in the heart of Tlaquepque. Tom loved it and everything in the store. We ended up buying leather jackets.

The next morning we hoped on the bus again. This time headed for Lake Chapala, Mexico’s largest lake. The town of Chapala wasn’t all that grand for us, so we jumped on another bus to the town of Ajijic. We found a beautiful B&B, the Hotel Mis Amores, and stayed here for two nights. Ajijic is a Canadian/American retirement town. The town is almost all gringos, but the ones we spoke to love it. Rent is cheap, great weather, lots of activities, and they will ship your body home after you die.

After hanging with the old folks we went back to Tlaquepque, stayed one night at Casa Campos, toured galleries and lots of small art shops. We tok the overnight bus back to Ixtapa, arriving about 6am on the following Sunday.

Once back in the marina we cleaned the boat, filled up the water, and checked out to hang out at Isle Grande for 2 nights. Isle Grande is only an hour north of Marina Ixtapa. But it’s a great place for us to check the bottom of the boat since there are no crocs in the water. And the water is clear. We hit something coming out of Bahia de Nevada. But when Tom dove on the bottom, everything looked OK.

Two nights of relaxing. Then we motored over to Z-town bay.

Since being here, we’ve reprovisioned, replaced belts, filled up with fuel, filled the propane tanks, done the laundry, and scrubbed the bottom. We’ve been listening to the radio daily, checking on the weather. So far doesn’t sound like there is much wind out there. Hopefully this change soon, because we are anxious to get going.

No comments: