MY TRAVEL DAY/ARRIVING IN ZIHUA 2/12/03
The plane went up. I was in it. The plane came down. I got out.
I taxi to Bungalows Pacificos on Playa La Madera, which is where I'll be staying for the first few days by myself, then moving down the street to Bungalows Ley when the others arrive. My driver spoke zero English, but I speak a little Spanish so we managed. He didn't know where Bungalows Pacificos was, so I told him "Hotel Brisas del Mar" on Playa Madera, and when we got to the "T" in Calle Samano I pointed him to the right. (Note to others: if you're staying at a small place, don't expect the driver to necessarily know where it is. It's helpful to either know Spanish, or know of a nearby landmark you can direct him to.)
The taxi pulls up and I grab my bags out of the trunk. Anita, the proprietor of Bungalows Pacificos, is speaking to someone from a balcony upstairs which I presume to be her apartment. Without even confirming who I amshe knowsI hear her call out "Downstairs to the right." That's check in. I sigh, happily. I'm in Mexico again. It's been too long.
The first unit at Pacificos that I was put into was a bit disappointing. Down low, not particularly well-appointed. But it's just me so it was okay. Not three minutes later, without my asking, the housekeeper moves me into the other unit on the same level. It's a bit more nicely furnished, and the (huge) patio offers a better view of the bay. She says "Por la vista". I agree with a smile. The view is magnificent.
There is absolutely no breeze. I take a shower.
I swore to myself I'd be somewhere with a cold one in hand for the first sunset so I head down to Playa Madera. I walk directly to the water .ahh .perfect temperature .then set it down at MJ & Richies for a cold one. (It would not be my last at this location.)
I take a quick walk through el Centro to get my bearings before dark and pick up a few things. I return to Pacificos. Still no breeze .another shower. Enjoy cervezas on patio. Though I have no appetite and little energy, I'm determined to take in a few restaurants so when fellow travelers arrive they don't get "Pot Luck".
After debating whether or not I had the energy for a hike and seriously considering taking the easy way out .instead I summon the energy and walk to Puesta del Sol. Basically, a set of steps down Samano .then up, up, up the hill that is Calle Adelita. Nothing really if I hadn't already been hot & tired, but I was already hot & tired. I get there anticipating a breeze since the restaurant sits up high "if there's one anywhere ." etc. There is none. The waitress notices I'm miserably hot after the walk and immediately turns a fan toward me without my asking. She is a Saint. (I hadn't even noticed the fan behind me. It was pointed toward a bird cage. I guess since toucans don't tip, I'm the priority.)
Eduardo, who I assume is the owner's son, is working the tables. He looks about 13 and appears very sweet. (I would later learn, despite the innocent face, he's a bit of a devil.) I order an avocado salad and a steak. The avocado is practically the size of a cantaloupe, and it's split in half stuffed with tuna salad. The steak is also huge, and comes with a baked potato and veggies. I eat about a third of any of it. Eduardo approaches. "Is something wrong?" I summon my best "Day 1 Spanish": "Todos esta bien pero no tengo mucho hambre." I Ask Eduardo how I did. "Perfecto." Then, in what turns out to be my first glimpse of "El Diablito Eduardo" he says, with the most innocent face you can imagine, "Postres?" I decline.
The table next to me has four people at it and they've finished their meal. Eduardo brings a round of after-dinner drinks, complimentary I figure from their expressions of surprise. Though there are four of them, Eduardo has five drinks on his tray. They ask if one of them is for Eduardo to join in. Suspecting it's intended for me, the one dining alone, but not really wanting it, I encourage Eduardo. "Si, Si!". "No," Eduardo says. Then he turns to me and says, "I will have one with you." He goes back to the bar and grabs another.
I had heard from the other table "licorice" so I figured it was Sambuca. I intended to try to quickly trade with Eduardo after the obligatory table slam to see if his was root beer, but he was too quick for me. After dinner, I head back to Pacificos by way of Casa Vieja to check out their menu. We'll definitely be eating there.
I'm back at Pacificos and I'm sweating again. I have a low threshold for heat. I take a third shower and I've only been here 5 hours. I crash.