Trip Report for 10/17-10/24

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Escrito por Country Dancer desde ( el día domingo, 02 de noviembre, 2008 a las 00:51:01 horas :

Back from visiting Zihuatanejo for our first time.
Wish we were still there, hubby's already saving for next year.

Fabulous, Wonderful, Amazing, Terrific, Incredible, Beautiful well, you get the idea. Let's sum things up this way... Catalina Beach Resort, La Ropa Beach and Zihuatanejo as-a-whole have replaced my previous "favorite place in the world": Megans Bay, St Thomas USVI.

Our accommodations: Catalina Beach Resort.

We chose the Catalina based on recommendations of many friends and several posters on the board. The hotel is built into the hillside overlooking Playa La Ropa, a beautiful white sand beach.

Ralaxing, Laid Back, Comfortable, though it is a bit older than some places on La Ropa - it was absolutely perfect for us. I'd give it a 9 1/2 out of 10 !

We stayed in Deluxe Bungelow #42. The room had air conditioning and a ceiling fan above the bed. There were Two good sized built-in couches, a large chair, another couch and loveseat. There was a TV setting on a small dresser and an additional 2 drawer dresser in the bedroom. There was a closet with ample room for our clothes. There were also shelves on one side and built-in concrete "end tables" with storage shelves. Lot's more room and lots more "storage space" than we expected. There is a small refrigerator in the room also.

The beds may take some getting used to if you like a plush/soft mattress. The beds in most all of the hotels are simply a very firm mattress on a cement slab. Me, I really like a firm bed, I slept like a baby, so did my hubby.

Each room has it's own private terrace with hammocks, a couple of chairs and a small table. Then there is a huge "shared" terrace (for the four rooms on each level) surrounded by Palm trees and bordered by planters with bougainvillea and other beautiful flowering plants.

Our good friends Harley and Diane stayed next door in Room 43. The four of us often sat out on the shared terrace in the early morning and again in the evening. The View of Zihuatanejo is unforgettable !

Our terrace (Rm 42) was actually built AROUND a huge palm tree. Now remember, we were on the fourth level of this's wonderful how they built in and around the tropical plants and trees which allows for a feeling of seclusion and privacy.

The Catalina is actually several buildings connected by “the stairs”. Now, The Stairs...there are a lot of them.
53 from the beach to the pool, 86 from the pool to the level where rooms 40-43 are located. Another 106 to the top of the hillside where the office is located. (This is a count of the "stairs", there are additional steps on the various landings on your way up or down.) The landings give you a great opportunity to rest and take in the amazing view.

None of the four of us can be considered svelte - or in great physical condition, the stairs were not too much of an obstacle. Hubby has bad knees, a bad back and is a very big guy yet after a couple trips down to the beach & pool and back to the room, he said it was "getting easier". As I mentioned earlier he's already making plans to return.

The only negative (and it's almost not worth mentioning) was that the shower heads were a bit clogged by calcium deposits. Not so much that you couldn't get a good shower, it's just that the water spray went in more directions than down. I had planned to get some "Lime Away" at the Commercial, to soak the shower head while we were in town, but forgot to.

The staff of the hotel were superb, from Eva (the owner), to Celso and Javier to Kat (our maid), Blanca and Alberto in the restaurant - gosh I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. THANKS EVERYONE ! Hope to see you next year! (I'm gonna try to find a Spanish class so I can communicate better with you all)

When you are ready to go to town, it's not necessary to go all the way up to the office...simply call the desk and ask for a cab. Depending on the locat1on of your room, you'll either go up or down 15 to 20 steps and head down the hallway to the south end of the hotel. There is a long driveway where the cab drivers drive right up to meet you. With us being on the 40-43 level, we went up on level to the restaurant and walked a short distance down the hallway to the driveway. Or, if you happen to already be on the beach, you can walk a short distance South...between Elviras and Paty's is a walkway that leads to a Taxi Turn-Around you will almost always find a taxi waiting.

Note a cab into town runs about $3.50US and takes about 10 minutes.

La Ropa Beach: Definitely not crowded (granted we were here in the "off" season). There were plenty of palapas and lounge chairs with thick, comfortable cushions. Each time we went down to the beach, we were usually the only ones there though occasionally there were one or two other individuals.

The fresh water infinity pool at the Catalina is great we spent many an evening swimming or just standing near the edge looking out at the bay.

Since breakfast was included with our room, we had breakfast at the Catalina each morning. We also had dinner there several times. The food and service were fantastic.

We had dinner a couple times at Paty's Mar Mar - what a great experience. Good food, good service and so relaxing sitting on the beach, toes playing in the sand enjoying a meal with dear friends. Note: If you go down to the beach at night....use "OFF" or other repellent. We got quite a few bites our last night on the beach.

We didn't even consider visiting Ixtapa, we're just not into the crowded beaches and high-rise hotels.

Captain Moses and Cap't Kenny took us on a wonderful sunset cruise, out of the bay and into the open ocean. We passed through (3) pods of porpoises. Of course we thought they were Dolpins, but we learned that in comparison to dolphins, porpoises are very small. Porpoises seldom exceed 7 feet in length, whereas many dolphins can exceed 10 feet in length. Porpoises are also "chubbier", less "lean" than dolphins.

The sunset cruise was great. We ordered taco's from "Lily's" and ate them before heading out in the boat. The plan was for a 3-Hour cruise, though motion sickness shortened the time by about half. We did make it north past Ixtapa, then headed back in.

Lily's was a favorite spot for food (usually taco's), aswas the hamburger cart on the corner of the pier across from Lily's. We also ate at Garribo's (not sure if I spelled that right) though a little pricier, the food was excellent.

We had a great time at Bandido's one evening, Listening to Moses on keyboard, and DJ Doro during Moses' breaks. Diane and I even got in a little line dancing.

OH GOSH I almost forgot...Our second night at Catalina, the hotel staff released a large basket of sea turtles into the ocean. The Catalina has a protected incubation area just to the right as you get to the bottom of the stairs on the beach. It's all enclosed so that predators can't get to the eggs as they are incubating. There are little sticks noting the date the eggs were removed from the beach and buried in the enclosure.

Information from ZihuaRob about the las tortugas verdes (green sea turles): They lay their eggs on the beaches between June and September (during the rainy season). The eggs hatch 45 to 60 days later.

There are many local volunteers that monitor the beaches searching for turtle nests to collect the eggs and take them to protected beach areas for their incubation.

Though this has been a very long report, I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things. (Sorry, I'd post pictures, but I don't know how to do that).

CURLY and Susie hope you're having a great time !

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