Sunday, March 4, 2012

Catching the Love Bug in Acapulco

As a sailor cruising Mexico, without a doubt, Acapulco is the real wild card. We're heard everything under the sun about this place. Mostly what we've heard is warnings.

Many sailors simply skip Acapulco altogether, passing her city lights far out to sea as they head further south.

But we were optimistic. Acapulco is far too iconic a destination to be skipped over due to unfounded fears and rumor.

Elvis had Fun in Acapulco -- so why shouldn't WE? 

                Well, let me clear up the confusion right here and now: We love Acapulco!

Local children frolic on a pristine Acapulco beach

The lovely new waterfront at the Acapulco marina

Chris delivers groceries to our boat at the end of the new dock in the Acapulco marina      

The Acapulco marina is a happy surprise. It is in the process of a massive face lift. We scored a slip at about a dollar a foot. There is ample power and water, but unfortunately, no shower yet. There is also a new supermarket adjacent to the marina.

There is also a bit of middle-eastern money tied to the dock here at the marina

After we got settled in with our buddy boat Talaria, we headed out to explore the town.

The tourist beaches of Acapulco beckon

First off, Acapulco is definitely the most exotic city we've visited. It feels for the first time like we're in a steamy, seething far off locale -- it has a real Rio de Janeiro feel to it.

One of the countless beaches in Acapulco Bay

One crazy thing about this city: for reasons unknown to us, it has a taxi fleet of thousands of early 70's era Volkswagen Beetles!

VW Beetle taxis are everywhere here!

It felt like we stepped into the movie The Love Bug!

Who knew that Ashton Kutcher spoke Spanish? 

There's no escaping McDonalds, even here in Acapulco

Evidence is everywhere that we are, truly, in a lush, tropical locale 

Beachside vendors sell their wares

Evidently if one is hot enough, and thirsty enough, they could kill for an ice cold Pepsi

       We toured the Fuerte de San Diego (fort) museum which is 300 years old.  It's a beautiful place, well maintained, and air-conditioned, which from this point on rises any locations stock price as far as we're concerned.

    It's easy to forget that the Spanish had already explored and conquered Western Mexico 200 years before the Mayflower even landed on Plymouth Rock!

   One interesting item: according to this mexican museum, Captain Cook was a "pirate" and not a hero. If memory serves, London museums beg to differ...

A group of precocious kindergardners posed for us as they waited to tour the museum.
Not sure how to interpret their body language...  :-/

The ubiquitous panga

We also watched the famous Acapulco cliff divers

This was truly exhilarating and horrifying at the same time. 

     Even scarier and more dangerous than the dives themselves, the young men scale the nearly vertical           rock wall which rises a couple of hundred feet from the ocean to where they would make their  dives.


 This virgin mary altar is built into the rock wall right where they dive. They pray and kiss her, then cross themselves before making each dive. I dunno...I'm not sure if this would help my confidence or not...

As these handsome, smiling young boys (average age: 17) waved to the crowd before diving, I was surprised to feel myself swell with emotion. This was not a TV show. This was real.  Tears sprung to my eyes. Deena and I held hands and said a prayer for their safety.

I'm happy to report that the show went off without a hitch. I could not recommend the cliff divers highly enough!

After the cliff divers show, we were ready to go for a dip in the ocean. We headed down to a non-tourist beach filled with locals. It was saturday, which means bus after bus emptied out thousands of Mexicans from the stiflingly hot inland areas onto the warm sand and into the sea.

Deena and I took the plunge and swam amongst hundreds of frolicking Mexicans.
We were the only gringos in the water that we could see. We had a blast!

A boat selling trinkets floats among the happy locals

After a wonderful 3 days here, we've filled up our water tanks, charged out batteries and provisioned at the supermarket. Tomorrow morning at first light we head south with Talaria for the two night passage to Puerto Angel.

XO Liz and Chris

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