Following the Yellow Brick Road

The newly complicated bike path has beckoned us like “the yellow brick road”. I frequently have walked on it to Soriana’s and one day asked where it ends and was told Ixtapa. Challenge was on, other friends had done the walk and survived so I rounded up my adventurous friend Bonny and suggested we do this and she agreed (with a barely audible groan.)

We had heard it was a 5 mile walk. Now I am no spring chicken, but Bonny is several years younger than me. We figured it was a challenge, but one that we were up to.

The turn to Ixtapa

We started off early Tuesday morning, 7:00 am and expected to arrive in Ixtapa about 9:30. Weather was pleasantly cool at that hour of the day. I did need Bonny to walk at my pace, but we chatted on and it what seemed like minutes came to the place where the path heads left to Ixtapa instead of straight to Soriana’s. I had no idea what parts Zihuatanejo this path would take us but soon we crossed the main road where we could see the statues of the 4 ladies and knew where we were.

The 4 ladies

That was the last time we knew where we were until we spotted the new high school high on the hill overlooking the highway. Along the way we walked through Mexican neighborhoods where we were not only the only gringos, but the only ones using masks, watched a young lady doing her wash on a stone in a trickle of a creek. Saw a beautiful spread of purple and white morning glories but soon we were in a tunnel and going under the highway and approaching “THE HILL”.

Wash day
Morning glories

The hill had been our concern as it is long and quite steep, and by this time it was about 8 O’clock.

Going under the highway
One rest stop on the hill
Me approaching the crest of the hill
The lovely view of Ixtapa

To our surprise the hill wasn’t bad, we just put one foot in front of the other, stoped only once for a breather and soon were at the top. We stopped to take a picture of 3 Mexican girls doing it on bicycles, used their camera so all 3 could be in the picture and we headed down to Ixtapa. It’s a lovely trip down to Ixtapa and finally we were on flat ground.

Starting the long walk through Ixtapa

But I swear we walked 2 miles (or at least it seamed like it) through the back residential area of Ixtapa before our path brought us to the “Los Patios” area. That was the longest part of the trip. By this time we knew we had been walking for a couple of hours up and down hills and the body was reminding us of that fact.

But here it was 9:26 and we are at Deborah’s ordering the largest breakfast they had. After breakfast we wandered through some of the stores congratulated ourselves with Margaritas at Zorros and finally went to my favorite store when it opened. I went in to buy a blouse and came out with a dress instead and across the way I bought two hats and Bonny found a gift for a friend.

Combi’s looked empty so we took a combi back to Zihuatanejo and were home by one ish. I will admit to having my knees remind me every time I get up from a sitting position that I gave them a real work out today.

It was a great adventure, it’s great to have friends like Bonny to adventure with. Signing off KO

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I’ve been both busy and lazy. Doing quite a bit of reading, with American Dirt being the stand out book of the season. Currently reading Mitchner’s Poland, almost took much history and war to wade through but interesting all the same as I have never known much about Poland and I have a very special Polish friend.

I’ve been doing the majority of my beach time at Playa La Madera. I’m always amazed when people think it is OK to place their towels on the only available beach lounges at 9 am but not come to sit on them still 1:00 or maybe not at all. Further more it amazes me that the restaurant owners allow it. Watched several days where all lounges were occupied by towels only and possible patrons by passed the restaurant as no place to sit.

Pet peeve, towels reserving chairs for people who come very much later if at all

The music scene in Zihuatanejo still exists, Jimi Mamou at Daniels, Steve’s Friendz at Rossy’s, Solo Tres on Wednesday afternoons, weekend dancing at Baracruda for those who don’t mind waiting until 9:30 to start, Jose Louis Cabo at La Canta de Las Sirenas on Mondays, early for the gringos and others here and there that I haven’t quite caught up with.

My Christmas poinsettias are thriving, but I found it necessary to give them a bath last week. As they live on my balcony which over looks a busy street I discovered their leaves were covered in dust and dirt, coming from rain country I’m not used to dirty plants.

Have had the Poinsettias since November 30, that’s my friend “Pidge” who I have lovely morning conversations with. This is what happens when you live alone.

Signing off KO

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021

I don’t believe there has ever been a year more anticipated and more welcome than 2021. Like we all thought everything would miraculously right itself over night. We knew it wouldn’t be overnight but we sure hope and pray for some real changes to be on the way.

The only changes I can be certain about are the changes I can do myself. I have become a bit lazy, watching too many movies, binge watching seasons of shows and reading late into the night. So New Year’s day I did my own version of a “polar bear plunge” and took myself to Playa Madera at sunrise to do my first swim of the year, well it was just after sunrise, 7:00AM and the water was as warm as a bathtub. I guess the real challenge here was just getting to the beach that early.

Playa Madera New Years Morning

Today I walked my laundry up to the “Lavanderia” at the Kyoto Circle and then continued on to Mega Soriana with my cart to pick up a few supplies. The walk is lovely along the “Parque Lineal”, dotted with playground equipment, benches and lovely plantings. Seeing this lovely long park gives me hope that something as inviting as this will be created along the waterfront. I probably should have walked back also, but walking with a mask on challenges my breathing so I wimped out and took a cab back.

Parque Lineal

My next improvement project is trying to out smart a little black cat that has decided that my potted plant on my balcony should be his person toilet. The plant is surviving, but not thriving and I think black kitty has something to do with this. I found a few rocks and put them in the planter and added wire scrubbing pads. I assume this will not be pleasant for him to try to dig and scratch in. This isn’t exactly a concrete jungle around here there are several nice dirt patches down the alley he avail himself of.

Anti cat devices

Signing off KO

Things I Like and Things I Don’t Like

There are so many things to love about Zihuatanejo and most of them are the little things, that which add the spice to ones life. I love little bananas, and an unexpected breakfast guest. Sunsets, beautiful beaches, but best of all I like seeing a “baby day being born” each morning over Zihuatanejo Bay.

I love trying new things and places, like avocado pie along with a dish of ice cream at Casanovas. Shrimp anyway it is fixed, beautiful statues, sun on my face in the morning, sleeping babies, Christmas lights and a fisherman with a big fish.

I don’t like mosquitos, especially the little sneaky ones here that either make no sound or do it in Spanish which I don’t hear. I don’t like going to a beach restaurant early in the morning to find all 6 lounge chairs occupied by towels owned by people who may show up in an hour or two. I find it difficult taking long walks while wearing a mask. I start breathing like a fish out of water. Also I don’t carry and use a water bottle like I used to, sipping along the way. But I do believe in the “power of masks”.

Ok so much for the rants, occasionally one just has to vent. I really do love life in Zihuatanejo with all it’s quirks.

Signing off, KO

Early Morning in Zihuatanejo

Weekends fill up with bus loads of Mexican tourists looking for warmer weather and a fun time at the beach. They come in large family groups, pay little attention to social distancing and frequently don’t wear masks or wear them improperly. It’s a good time for me to stick close to home and stay away from heavily frequented areas.

So very early Saturday morning, before most people are up I took a walk at first daylight. I wanted to see the Christmas display at the Kyoto Circle. At night when it is all lit up it is full of people, but very beautiful as I have seen it from a cab. I decided to take a back street rather than the busy street by the canal. This gave me a glimpse into early morning, every day life. The colorful shops were already opening, and I watched fish being delivered to a local fishmonger. A young man was setting up his display of sausages, and the “fruitarias” were busily getting their wares displayed just so. No shoppers were out yet and few vehicles on the street made navigation easy.

The huge Christmas tree at Kyoto Circle is beautiful and of course Santa is there with his reindeer. An almost life size crèche is on display waiting for baby Jesus to arrive. My favorite part was the large letters ZIHUA completely covered in poinsettias. Nothing says Christmas like the beautiful red flowers.

I crossed the street to the “field” of poinsettias, noting how they came in many colors, shades and mixtures. But I still prefer the true red.

My return trip was to be on the new pathway that now begins at the bridge to La Madera and continues way past Mega Soriana and I know not where it ends. It’s a beautiful pathway, but I couldn’t help but think it would have been fun to have had it in yellow bricks as that is what came to mind as it stretched out before me.

It’s a popular pathway for joggers, cyclist and strollers like me. A lady and her son were bringing water to some of the new plantings along the path. At the La Madera bridge a crew was finishing up more plantings. I do hope there is a plan in place to keep them watered while they take root.

You can tap on any of the pictures to enlarge them. Signing off KO

An Evening Out For A Special Event

Every year I say I will not attend any of these dinners special event dinners that are “one menu fits all” as the meal is usually disappointing, frequently cold, overcooked and/or it’s something that you wouldn’t ordinarily order off the menu. But an evening at Orient Bay complete with a belly dancing show was to irresistible to miss. I’ve been wanting to try the food at this mid eastern restaurant, but as a single diner it was more upscale than I wanted to do alone. So here was my opportunity.

Lights of Zihuatanejo fro Orient Bay

There were six in our group, the location is lovely with a view of the lights of Zihuatanejo below. Plates of appetizers were brought out and every thing was delicious. It would have been nice to have had a printed menu telling us what we were eating so one would know what to order on a return visit. I did recognize the stuffed grape leaves, they were delicious, loved the cucumber sauce and everything else on the plate, but am still not sure what it was. The main course was skewers, one of lamb, one of chicken and one of shrimp. And this is where my problem comes in. The shrimp was edible, I’m not sure about the chicken as I traded mine for another shrimp. I was looking forward to tasting the lamb, as lamb used to be a favorite before I quit eating meat, but it was so over cooked none of us were able to even get it off the skewers. Friends at a different table said their lamb was perfect. Desert included a sweet coconut concoction and a marvelous stuffed date. Could have eaten a whole plate of the dates.

Belly dancers entrance with a tray of lit candles on her head

The floor show was delightful, a beautifully costumed dancer who wowed us right from the start as she danced in with a tray of lit candles on her head and instead of the usual bare feet or curlicued slippers, she performed in high spike heels. Very very pleasant evening, very enjoyable show, great location and ambiance. I hope to return soon to Orient Bay for a good meal. Anyone want to go to dinner?

Beautifull fringed costume

Signing off KO

Back in the Water at Last

Folks have asked if I will be participating in the annual open ocean “Sharkfest Swim” in Troncones this year. First of all I don’t even know if it is happening this year due to the pandemic. But no, my open ocean distance swimming days are done. You come to that point in life where it is best to quit at the top of your game rather than struggle to try to keep up.

I am still a swimmer, not quite the swimmer I used to be. That old adage of “use it or loose it” did it’s number on me during this pandemic. Last March when they closed the pool here in Zihuatanejo was my last swim until back in Zihuatanejo this November. Since then I have been swimming in the Zihuatanejo’s “Alberca de Olympica”, the lovely public olympic size pool, and at Playa Las Gattas and Playa La Madeira. All are enjoyable places to swim and get some exercise, but I’m certainly not up to my previous lap swimming of a mile a day.

Sunning at Playa Madeira
Beautiful sail boat as seen from Playa Madeira

So if your abode in Zihuatanejo lacks a pool and you enjoy swimming or just want to splashing around in a pool there are several nice places along Playa Larga with swimming pools where for the price of a meal, you can enjoy the ambiance of the ocean beach and swim in the comfort of a pool. And let’s not forget Escollera’s infinity pool with the gorgeous view from above Zihuatanejo.

Escollera’s

Signing off KO

Sad, But Putting On A Brave Face for Christmas

Zihuatanejo seems a little sad this year, with it’s beautiful waterfront all torn up, but is certainly trying to put on a brave face as Christmas approaches. The waterfront walkway that were always crowded with locals and tourists every evening are empty. Laughter, chatter and music is not heard coming from the waterfront restaurants as they are difficult to get to through the on going construction. I’m finding it a bit lonely as so many of my friends have decided to sit this one out and not many gathering places to meet new friends. I’m sure 2021 will have a whole different look to it.

The former basketball court this morning

The city’s decorations are starting to spring up here and there and lots of lights are being hung trying to give a Zihuatanejo a festive atmosphere.

Bridge to La Madeira

This kind fisherman was distributing breakfast to some of the waterfront cats this morning.

Much of Zihua is beautiful as ever, signing off KO

My favorite statue and reflections at the canal

The Poinsettias Are Back

The Poinsettias are back and in their rightful place at Kyoto Circle, but not the Piñatas. The couple in the top apartment were kind and thoughtful and brought me a poinsettia. Nothing says Christmas like these gorgeous red flowers that are indigenous to Mexico.

Poinsettia Market at Kyoto Circle
Christmas Pinsettia from my Neighbors
Dinner at La Principal

A couple of nights ago I had dinner here. What attracted me was the beautiful table settings that absolutely sparkled. They had a menu exactly to my liking, lots of fish entrees. I will have to go back often and try their many interesting dishes. I’m feeling a little guilty that I may not have their name correct, but if you continue to the beach from the Artists market, cross Juan Alvarez, they are on that corner.

Signing off KO