Trip Report 4/26 to 5/3

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Escrito por WaltC desde ( el día jueves, 04 de mayo, 2006 a las 14:27:13 horas :

After reading this forum and then seeing the area first hand I was impressed. OK, everything may not be spotless but saw people raking Playa Madera of trash every morning, small white trash buckets on the walkway and sweeping the streets in the several blocks off Playa Municipal. Did walk down a city street one night and found a Mexican gentleman passed out face down in the middle of the sidewalk not moving; hey, we all have a bad day every once in a while. I would like to admit we were down there looking for a vacation place but don't want to elicit remarks like "damn, another gringo spoils paradise". Other than looking at property it was all drinks, food and beaches. We stayed at Hotel Irma which I would highly recommend; reasonably priced, great locat1on, great view, friendly and spotlessly clean. My wife stayed at Villas Miramar in February and spoke highly of this hotel which is only 20 meters down the hill. It was slightly less expensive, just as friendly but not the great view Hotel Irma has.

We were very lucky and only had one marginal meal. Porto di Mare was our first restaurant the evening we arrived. Great red snapper and for the first 5 days held the "best margarita" award. Next night Tamales y Atoles Any, nothing much to say but great Mexican food, lots of beer and very reasonable, higly recommend. Next was Coconuts. This was the worst of all of our dining experiences and I actually sent the margarita back. A margarita is made with limes and this one had 1/2 lime and 1/2 orange juice. What they forgot to tell me was that the orange juice replaced half the tequila. To their credit they gave me a normal replacement after explaining what I was looking for and it was much better. Food was OK, just too touristy. Had to see a great sunset and took our only trip to Ixtapa and had dinner at EL FARO at Club Pacifica. Fantastic view, best margarita and an OK meal but food not worth the price. Ate on the street one evening with our daughter who came over from Mexico City. For three, one beer each, one bottle of water each and more Mexican food than we could eat the bill came to $11.50 inlcuding tip. It was close to the canal and an outdoor dining place the began with a C which I think was spanish for grilled or charcoal. They cut slivers off of a large hunk of meat that was good but loaded with fat. May not be recommended for gringos as the next day my stomach felt a little quizzy. Don't think it was a bug, just too much fat, too much spices from the bowls on the table and too much beer from the day at the beach. Saved the best until last. For great Italian food and hands down the best view of the bay I vote Il Mare, a beautiful restaurant between Madera and La Ropa with good service and a friendly low key atmosphere. May 2 was our anniversary and we went to Kau Kan. They tied for first as the best margarita, was able to get a nice Albarino to drink with dinner and hands down the best non Mexican cuisine. Open air dining (no roof or walls) and as good a dining experience as I have ever had, including some rather pricey joints in the US. No comments on breakfasts as they all seemed very good and quite reasonable. I alternated beteen a stack and Mexican eggs, always with good Mexican coffee and fresh squeezed OJ.

Some short notes on beaches. Our hotel overlooked Playa Madera and Playa Municipal. I don't think I would swim in either one. One day Playa Madera had yellow foam and the next day it was nice and clean. Always wondered where the stuff went that made yesterdays yellow foam. I liked La Ropa and unless I knew of a reason not to, would swim there. Playa Las Gatas was very pretty, clean and clear but with a rough bottom once you got out a little in the water. We were there over the Mexican labor day so Las Gatas and La Ropa were crowded when we went. Took a great trip to Playa Larga for a day and this is where I would spend a day at the beach. It was 5-6 miles long, several little places to get snacks, beer and lunch on the beach and almost nobody around. Don't know if I mentioned it but the weather was great every day, wait, guess it is always that way in paradise. Great trip and lots of fun.

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