By LYNN FRIZZELL, Special to the Star
I guess it was in the 80s that I first saw the sights of Zihuatanejo on the Pacific. I had long ago heard about it and finally just had to go. I called my brother, John and a coworker, Mike. My old memory machine just doesn’t work as much these days and I have forgotten his last name. No problem.
We got together and discussed the exciting possibility of going to this jewel on the Pacific. We knew we should fly rather than drive. It would take about two or two and a half days to drive. I talked to a friend, Bill Rountree, who had been there and got some good information and recommendations. Back in those days it was safe to be in Mexico almost anywhere. Our plan was to drive to the Monterrey airport and catch a one hour, nonstop plane to Zihua.
I didn’t take any notes on this trip, but will try to give you a little about the fun we had. The hotel that Bill had suggested was super. I think the name was something like Hotel Naranjo.
The hotel was built on a hillside and had three levels. The only negative of the journey, save the bad fishing trip, was that there was no air conditioning. We would stay up outside until it cooled down before we went to bed. The top level was at ground level and our room was there and faced the ocean. With colorful plants, it just an exciting place to be. We had a large landing with a stone wall about three feet high, just a perfect place to sit and have a cold Mexican beer and watch he sun go down over the Pacific Ocean.
The taxi’s there were mostly Volkswagen Beetles and, while crowded with three of us, the price was only about $1.50 wherever we went. There were several restaurants in town, but we found he best to be at our hotel. The morning breakfast buffet was a sight to see. The restaurant was on the middle level and was a large place with lots of room should a large party came. The breakfast buffet had everything imaginable, such as fresh orange and pineapple juice. The spread contained all the fresh fruits of the area, followed by bacon, sausage and ham and eggs anyway one would want them. Breakfast was a “Happening”.
We had charted a fishing boat through a guy at the hotel and paid him. “Suckers!” At the marina we found the smallest boat in the fleet and it had very little room to sit. The captain and deckhand looked like they had been shanghaied and the equipment look liked it had come fresh out of the pawn shop.
Zihua is around a huge bay with a rocky shoreline. From the bay, one had one of the most magnificent views in the world! It was just heavenly! The
boat captain ran for maybe 30-45 minutes which put us about in the center of the bay, and stopped and put two liters of motor oil in. All the way the smoke from the engine sank in on us, but we couldn’t get out and walk. We didn’t get any bites and about halfway through the time agreed upon, I told the captain to pull in the lines and take us back to the marina. It was time to give up and I intended to shake down the agent, but when we arrived at the hotel, he was nowhere to be found. Oh well, it was the worst thing of the trip and for $100, it was good entertainment.
My brother, John, and Mike got along very well, and we had good times and lots of laughter, which is good for the soul. After lunch and a nap, we strolled down to the beach, a real beauty with huge Pacific swells, there were palm frond covered small palapas all around and we chose one and sat on the sand, enjoying every inch of the bay. I was in a trance, not focused on anything, just floating neutral. I had noticed some movements out of the corner of my eye and suddenly realized that iguanas were scattering all over the place, almost crawling over our legs! Fun!
The surf looked inviting, so off we went into the Pacific Ocean, hoping to play around in the surf. It was great until I decided to body surf like the big boys. I got into a huge breaker, not like the size of tiny South Padre lazy breakers. These were alive! I made a big mistake! The breaker caught me up into it like a rag doll and turned me over a couple of times and slammed me, headfirst into the bottom. I heard bones changing places in my neck. There was not much damage done and I only have a reminder once in a while.
Back home and at the deer lease that I and my two brothers shared, we would go over pleasant things of the past, such as this one, and enjoyed the medicinal laughter that went straight to the soul.
The highlights of the trip were, the beautiful sunset, the breakfast and all the good food, the view from the boat in the bay, and the fantastic companionship.
Time to go! It was another memorable adventure in Old Mexico.
Lynn Frizzell, a Harlingen native, has spent a lifetime hunting and fishing, has traveled extensively throughout Mexico and continues to write about his many outdoor adventures.