Monday, January 19, 2009

Mexican Cruise Day 4

Got up decently early. We’ll be docking in Acapulco at noon which is great as we’ll get to see the view coming into port which we don’t usually get to do as they come in early to most ports. We had our room service and hung around on the balcony as we neared the port. In the shallower water, there were sea turtles everywhere – they’d pop up by the boat every couple of minutes – I guess the boat disturbed them and they had to pop and see what the deal was. Bonnie and Howard are going on an excursion today to release baby sea turtles so I’m anxious to hear how that goes. Yesterday I thought I saw a whale – several others did – but I just got one glimpse so who knows. As we came into port a pod of dolphins zipped by us followed by what I have to describe as two planks lashed together with an out board motor. I couldn’t decide if it was two fishermen or Gillian and the Skipper making a run for it.

Acapulco Bay is really beautiful and we decided that since the boat will be docked until 1 am, that we’d wait until it was a little cooler and then get out and wing it and hopefully find a great place to eat and maybe shop a little.

I spent the afternoon in the library working but I was also highly entertained by the crew as they took some of the lifeboats out for maneuvers as they often do at the various ports. These life boats aren’t the little inflatables, but the 50 person hard shelled fully enclosed types – so they aren’t small. The lifeboat right in front of the library window had an issue. At first it got stuck as they were winching it out over the water and then about the time six or eight ship’s officers showed up to see what the deal was, one of the cables broke and they dropped it on top of the rail. It bounced off the rail and swung out and smacked the side of the hull until the other cables caught it but it was funny to see the guys in white uniforms scatter like mice. The head guy started yelling something in Italian that I didn’t understand, but I’m sure it translated to something like “Who’s dumbass idea was that?”

They had to call some repair guy from the port and he showed up looking like a surfer dude from California. Again, don’t know what was said but one of the guys in a dark blue jumpsuit (these guys are the maintenance crew who keep everything running) was telling the story to the repair guy and they were all laughing – until a white uniform showed up. So I have to believe they were definitely having a chuckle at some officer’s expense. It’s interesting how much you can gather just from watching people interact even if you don’t understand one word they are saying.
We got off the boat about 4:30 as the sun was going down. There was a breeze and it was in the low eighties so it was nice. We met a cab driver named Leonardo. The first cab guys you met at the terminal are the ones who are the ‘offical okie dokie’ guys there to make sure you don’t get in with an unscrupulous cab driver. We also learned they are the only ones who are allowed to drive Tahoes while all the other cabs are Volkswagens – not the sedans mind you but the bugs. This is because in the old part of town the streets are very small and only the smallest cars can navigate them. Kevin was a little hesitant at first, but when he found out he could be in a VW bug he was thrilled. Besides, I’ve met enough slimy Mexicans to be able to tell the good ones and Leonardo was a good one – reminded me of my ex’s dad actually and very nice. We told him we wanted to shop for jewelry and find a good restaurant and that’s it.

He told us we had to see the cliff divers, but we thought it was really a tourista thing so it wasn’t on our list (we watched the opening of the Love Boat for years and saw the cliff divers so how great could it be?). Leonardo took us to a small jewelry story on the edge of their big market. He cautioned us that many of the 400 booths in the market did not sell real jewelry – just the junk - so we needed to stay with the ones he pointed out. They probably get kickbacks from those booths, but as it turns out I found exactly what I was looking for at the first one and at a great price so I don’t care if they have a whole cartel going. Kevin got a couple of shirts and Leonardo Sr had to go back to the terminal to pick up a scheduled group so he turned us over to Leonardo Jr who was a beginning cab driver and had a Grand Marquis.

I know many of you have heard me say that once you go Mexican you never go back – for seconds - due to the fact that my first husband was Mexican. However, I have to say Leonardo Jr would make a nun rethink that. He was HOT! About 25ish with a mustache and great smile. He took over from his Dad and drove us to a great restaurant called El Zorrito….and I have to say it is perhaps the best Mexican steak I’ve ever had in my life!!

Leonardo Jr. also said we just had to see the cliff divers and that it was really nice at night as they have it all lit up – not too tourista. So after dinner he drove us over and we got in free (not for the $35 admission fee (apparently only stupid gringos pay that price!) and we watched front row as nine of these guys swam the little channel of churning water and then free climbed 510 feet up the sheer side of this cliff – while they were wet! I now think that all those free climbing hot shots on the discovery channel with their chalk and safety gear are wooses! Try doing it in a Speedo covered in sea water with a whole crowd of spectators watching. What really got me was how fast they were. They scaled this cliff in less than a minute flat – they have to have amazing spidey senses… and then they jumped one by one from various levels doing flips, jumping backward – showing off really. Then suddenly three of them jumped at once!...after that a guy jumped from the very top spot…it was amazing and I’m so glad we went. We then returned to the boat and needless to say the ‘Leonardos’ got a big fat tip…..Viva La Acapulco!!!


Travis Erwin said...

Have some rum for me.

And thanks for the brick donation as well as being a true friend. Without them I can't iamgine how tough this ordeal would have been.

dee said...

anytime Travis just glad I could help

Jennifer said...

Am reading about your cruise w/great envy. I love Mexico! Glad you are getting a much needed break.Sounds like fun.