I keep my blog as a personal record of what I'm up to, which might be seen as working towards "An elegant sufficiency, content, retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, ease and alternate labour, useful life"

I'm certainly not there yet.  There is quite some way to go!










Entries in Mexico (3)


Loco in Acapulco


Now, where were we?




We were driving back along that precarious, single track shelf back the way we came.  Through the city centre and along the coast road.




The town beaches were fairly busy with local people, out enjoying the sunshine.  As you can see, our ship was the only one in port today and so we had an ace parking spot!




I always like to observe people on the beach.  Habits as so very different the world over – here, it appeared the main thing to do was to go swimming – no lounging about sunbathing.




We’d been told to expect protest demonstrations, particularly about the price of petrol, which is not only government controlled but has been increased considerably recently.  Sure enough, at several petrol stations we passed, there were people with that distinctive orange banner.




We were headed for the other side of the bay, passing this “fishermen’s beach”, currently quiet but later in the afternoon, when they bring in their catch, it will be the place to buy the freshest and best fish in the area.




We stopped in Papagayo Park, a long established part of the city where there was an unrivalled shopping opportunity to buy jewellery and other trinkets.  As always, I used the time to make a few observations!




Driving through the “gold” part of the city, then; a rather more modern series of hotels and fast food chains, Patricia pointed out the sculpture on top of the Hotel El Presidente awning.  It’s by Salvador Dali and is quite a landmark around here.




At the top of the hill, we made another stop for photographs of the view.




and yes, as we are learning around here, every view comes with the bonus shopping.




This is part of the exclusive “Diamond area” of the city, home to the stars including the Seagram family and Julio Iglesias, whose home, we were told, is the one with a banana shaped swimming pool.  My apologies for the reflection which makes it even more difficult to spot – the best I could do as we turned the corner.




Anyway, the reason for coming this far was to stop at the top for a view of Diamond Point, where luxury condominiums and hotels are surrounded by gold courses and sandy beaches.  Here too is the Black Lagoon , the scene of many films including, we were told, the African Queen and Rambo, too!

As we turned around by the Pierre Mundo hotel complex, we felt that this short tour had given us a good overview of Acapulco.  I’m not sure it’s somewhere to which we’d return in a hurry, but I was glad to have been here and to have seen a new part of the world, especially the cliff divers.

Next stop, Guatemala.  But first, a sea day to play with.


Diving and Dancing




We arrived in Acapulco this morning, in bright sunshine and higher temperatures than we’ve had so far.  It seemed like the whole ship breathed a sigh of relief as waiters in La Veranda opened up the outdoor seating and changed into their warm weather gear.




I was looking out over our rail, at what I thought was a small pedalo or similar with four people in it.  They seemed to be just sitting there, basking in the sun, watching our ship manoeuvre into place.  I thought I’d take their picture – and only when uploading it to the laptop later did I see it’s a buoy!  Duh.  I thought those folks were sitting very still…




We decided to skip an early lunch before going off on our tour at 12.15 and instead, tucked into the fruit Suren had left us this morning.  Oh, and that’s water, not gin!




There was a lively musical accompaniment to disembarking and in good Mexican tradition, the enthusiasm more than made up for the intonation!




We drove through the old town, spotting the old VW Beetles still operating as taxis – something we remembered from the last time we were in Mexico, more than twenty years ago (not counting yesterday!)




There was a heavy police presence, hopefully calming those who were anxious about security here.  Some were reluctant to go ashore, though we took a more considered view of the issue and were confident in Regent’s decision to bring us here – something they would most certainly not have done if there had been any doubts regarding safety.




We’d have liked a clear view of the Zocalo and the cathedral but sadly for us, the mobile cancer screening unit was parked in the way.  No matter – cancer screening is way more important than tourist photographs!




As we drove, our guide Patricia pointed out the old hotels, many of which were opened in the 1930s, when Johnny Weismuller, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr, John Wayne and the like began to visit here and build holiday homes in the neighbourhood.  These days, we were told, rooms are available for $10 a night, everything included (with 2 Alka Seltzers in the morning, she added!)




Our destination was the Hotel Mirador perched on the cliff high above the ocean.




La Quebrada is the site where the cliff divers operate and they were going to put on a special show, just for us.




With Pina Colada in hand, we trooped downstairs to the viewing area, unsure of what to expect.




Once there, we noted several divers warming up at the bottom of the cliff face.




Patricia pointed out the ledge at the top, where a small shrine was situated and the Mexican flag was flying.




We spotted someone there on a slightly lower ledge, waiting to dive, perhaps?




But the divers had competition from a bunch of whales out there in the ocean.  Can you spot the spray from one of them over there?




As one offered a few words to the Saints, other divers were preparing for their moment of fame.




Others were climbing up that cliff face, barefoot and with no assistance.  I suppose they’ve done it a few times before but even so, it was pretty amazing.  Patricia told us there are 54 professional divers in all, most in a Union who oversee the whole operation.




We were getting a bit antsy by now.  We’d drunk our Pinas, it was hot standing in the sun, waiting, and we wanted them to get on with it.  Terrible, isn’t it?  Men are risking life and limb to put on a show for us and we can’t even exercise a little patience Winking smile




And then one dived off the cliff!  Wow!  Even though he’d (only!) dived from the lower platform, it was still very high and precarious.




I had my camera on “burst” setting, because after all of that, I didn’t want to miss the perfect shot!




Did I get it?




Well, I guess so!  But at the time, it was hard to tell.  Those cliffs don’t make an easy backdrop to see what’s going on and of course, my camera screen isn’t so clear in the bright sunshine.




Oh, but there goes another one!




By the time he’d struck his perfect diving pose for the camera, he was in front of the rock – but hey, I felt pleased to have captured the action at all.  Patricia had told us that they are allowed only one dive a day, because the repeated action of diving into the water from that height can damage the retina, and that although there have been broken bones and minor injuries, no professional diver has ever lost his life making what looks like an awfully risky stunt.




Now, they were getting clever, doing somersaults and other tricks.




But you know, that “other” show was going on in the bay!




Where to look next?  Watch the whales or the divers?




Well, easy answer: the last diver was about to go from the highest ledge, the one from where we’d been told it’s impossible to see the water when you jump.  Sure enough, he did the fanciest dive of all, a fitting finale to the show.

Loved it!




As we turned around to return to the bus however, someone called for our attention.




There was a dance show for us to see as well.




Gorgeous, colourful dancers who moved with spirit and passion.




And when the music changed to what I recognised as “the Mexican Hat Dance”, I waited for the chap to take his hat off and dance on it…I waited a while!  (He did in the end, though didn’t dance on it but around it!)




And that was that for the first part of our time in Acapulco.  I’ll continue the story in the next post – after dinner!


Salsa, Salsa




We were not due into Cabo San Lucas until lunchtime today, so we spent a lazy morning doing not very much. 




At some point, however, we heard something going on outside and looked out to find the boats being launched.  We were going to be tendering ashore in Cabo and three of the ship’s lifeboats were being lowered into the water.




As we watched the goings on, the Captain waved from the bridge and our neighbours looked out from their balcony.  It’s always interesting arriving in a new port, especially one we haven’t been to before.




There was added interest here too, because the Seven Seas Navigator was anchored there too.  We’ve not sailed on her before, but have an adventure booked for next year.




Anyway, for those who like a map (that’s me and my Hero, needless to say) this is where we were today.  One of the excursions was to Lands End, though we had chosen something a little different Winking smile




The view from our verandah was quite interesting and not feeling terribly hungry (it didn’t seem long since breakfast, after all), we decided we’d order a couple of sandwiches from room service for our lunch.




And so, it was with a view of party central that we made ourselves comfortable and enjoyed a light lunch chez nous.  We seldom eat anything in our suite, normally preferring one of the various restaurant options, but seeing a full size table and chairs on our verandah, we thought we’d give it a try.




We could hear the goings on over the water, but couldn’t quite work out what was happening.  Still, we’d be over there soon and be able to see for ourselves.




Our tour wasn’t until 1.40pm, so I did a bit of needlepoint before going down to the theatre to collect our tickets for the tender.




As we made the journey over, we considered how the scheduled number of passengers could be squeezed onto those uncomfortable little boats in an emergency.  OK, I guess we’d not care in those circumstances, but oh my, the lack of legroom makes us very glad indeed when we arrive.




Now, we’d heard of Cabo from watching American TV shows and we always pictured it as a classy sort of place. 




I’m sure there are indeed classy resorts here and there, but in the downtown area it was much like seaside resorts the world over – cheap and tacky souvenirs and T shirts alongside the million dollar yachts moored in the harbour.




We drove for maybe fifteen minutes to a restaurant perched high above the ocean, to spend the afternoon learning Salsa and Salsa –a bit of cooking, a bit of dancing and a lot of fun, we hoped.




Everything was laid out ready; the ingredients and tools all set out for each of us to work in pairs.  Oh, and just to get the ball rolling, Margaritas were handed round. Ayyy!




Now these three had their work cut out, warming everyone up and getting their class into the spirit.  The “ole” bell was their call to order, because when it sounded, we were all supposed to call “ole!” – but this was not a party group at all and to begin with, their efforts fell on stony ground.  I’m sure the hen parties and the groups from downtown are more easily coaxed into letting their hair down that this one and the idea to get everyone to conga around the restaurant was not altogether successful!




More Margaritas needed then!  The ingredients for two different drinks were on our tables and we quickly followed the instructions to create a fresh Lime Margarita.  Mmmm….tasted good and yes, with two drinks inside, most of us were getting into the spirit.  (I was glad we’d had those sandwiches!)

By now, things were getting a little louder and by the time Barbara was asked to measure some Cointreau for a Strawberry Margarita, the fun had begun. 




So creating of three different salsas to taste with a variety of bits and pieces (tortilla chips, quesadillas and chicken corn rolls) went more smoothly, because needless to say, glasses were filled on request and those margaritas just kept flowing for those who had the head for them.




Having completed the salsa cooking lesson with another three, less complicated salsas, it was time for the “other sort”.  Fifteen minutes of “uno dos tres, quatro cinco seis” and the majority of the group were dancing some kind of salsa, though whether or not it would be recognised as such by anyone else is questionable.  Still, it was a giggle and a fun way to spend the afternoon!




The sun was setting as we drove back to the harbour, to make the tender crossing back to the ship.  The Navigator had already left, so there was just one, beautiful white ship there in the bay waiting for us.




A beautiful evening, too, to make a Margarita-fuelled sail away towards our next destination, Acapulco, the day after tomorrow.