Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Or well it has been for us for 3 weeks now! If you can believe - we came to Zihuatanejo for a night and stayed for 21. It's THAT kind of place. We got Zihuaitis as our friend Freddy would say.

Sorry to disappear on y'all for a week ..... too much beach time over the weekend mixed with the three of us coming down with some illnesses - me my stomach and D and C head colds, we've been out of commission the last few days.

Don't worry - you didn't miss much. And what did go on is right here for you now.

I thought I would sum up our time here at Playa La Ropa with a post dedicated to it - life at the beach - the Playa La Ropa beach that is. Things are NEVER boring here that is for sure!

Just sand and water you say - nope - a ton more! Mostly in the way of food! LOVE beach food!

But first! Sorry that I scared a few of you with our crocodile post - guess a little too close for comfort! I should have mentioned that I don't believe there has ever been an issue here with these guys. They are kept well fed by the El Manglar crew. Plus there are all sorts of little things running around here with no problem - cats, dogs, kids. I'm not saying we'd take our chances but we didn't feel any threat at the distance we were keeping.

That is until the day after my crocodile hunting post! For the first time we actually came across a croc out of of the water AND had to walk right by! Can't say THAT wasn't a tad unnerving! (We left Derek to take the pics!)

Quickly Cas - Q U I C K L Y!

I don't think he cared much - didn't even bat an eyelash - and from the distance we were I WOULD have been able to see that. Seems he was just trying to deal with the heat in his own way.

The rest of the pics are random shots that I took over about a weeks time. I started to realize that we were spending a lot of time watching and with the vendors. Figured I may as well take some pictures - they seemed to be a huge part of our beach life here at La Ropa. Little snippets of our days....

Here we go.....

The taco lady. I won't even admit to how many times this little event took place. Let's just say that the taco lady ended up telling us her beach schedule.

We could NOT resist her pescado, camaron and papas tacos. We'll miss you taco lady!

Not a bad deal for $60 pesos for the three of us ... beach prices of course!

And always room for the Nieve guy! But darn if he went missing for the last week or so. 

The fresa nieve was beyond good! Right Cassia?!

We never did buy from this guy but I had to admire his energy pushing his cart around. Shaved ice with fruit flavouring.

The dulce guy - you'll see him again in a minute.

All sorts of ladies selling all sorts of snacks. I felt a bit awkward taking a picture straight on as they could see me do that - so I ended up with quite a few back shots. Sorry!

And not just food! Lots of music at the beach. Which is quite nice to listen to in the background. Makes it all feel so festive. But boy do I give these guys credit - baby it is HOT outside. They are wearing that AND carrying their instruments AND playing, while the rest of us can barely handle the heat in our swimsuits and dips in the ocean!

Another round of nieve!

Ahhhh we FINALLY succumbed to the dulce fellow. Boy - was he a nice guy! Glad we bought from him - wish we'd bought more really. He even went and found change for me. 

We went with the Mexican coloured coconut - NOT Derek and I's first choice but Cassia's of course, and the nuts on the far right. 

And here is the fruit lady. Another bright star - super lady with a great hat. Again - won't mention how many times we bought from her either. We always said good bye with maƱana!

A mixed fruit cup for Cassia today.

Hey more music. Again - can't BELIEVE these guys are out all afternoon at the beach in these clothes!


..... and going. Actually, it was pretty funny - the minute I snapped this pic someone came running to call them back so they passed by me a third time! All smiles!

Some vendors take a creative approach to carrying their goods. A cooler of popsicles in this case. Yup - sampled a few of them too!

 A mango on a stick from the fruit lady.

Our hearts did go out to a few of the vendors in particular. All the necklace ladies for sure and this mum with I believe five kids - that we saw anyway. We watched her each day trying to sell her painted animals and coral her kids. One day the little boy on her back in this picture refused to go any further. They had a bit of a stand off and she was all smiles - bet she didn't feel like that inside. I really felt for her.

Ice cream the other day with our friend Joan.

After a few days of not even stepping foot on the beach we returned today for our last Playa La Ropa visit this year. We decided to get a late lunch. El Manglar would have been our first choice but they are closed on Wednesday's. We went to El Pirata instead and were a bit disappointed with our meals. Can you guess how Derek feels about his fish soup?

Berny - the cheese guy was making his way by so we had a chance to say our good byes to him. We had already done so yesterday when buying our last bag of cheese. Joan was with us at the restaurant.

A little later we decided to buy Cassia a beach memento - she was picking out a shell necklace.

We were glad that we could buy it from Julia. She was one of our favourites over the weeks. She always stopped to speak with Cassia. One day she was telling me that Cassia is a flor (flower) which is true - a flower and cinnamon oil. Super lady.

And one last trip for Cassia to get some gum. The three of us went this time - it was usually a dad and daughter trip. 

She's very particular about her gum choice. Bubbaloo the current favourite.

And don't forget. If you are EVER in Zihuatanejo or Ixtapa make the trip over to the El Manglar restaurant. We didn't try many restaurants here but we didn't have to - all the meals are great at this fine place - everyone agrees. Also a great choice for camping.

So, the sun sets on our time here at Playa La Ropa and Zihuatanejo.

You may have noticed that we didn't do a whole lot here - the Basketball courts once, the market once, grocery shopping a few times and a death march. The rest was beach or hanging out at the van.

We did meet MANY MANY great people here though. All I can say is -- there are some super folks hanging out at Playa La Ropa. One of the reasons that kept us here so long...... Thanks to all of you -- hasta luego!

Tomorrow we will TRY to make an early start of it. First stop - the Commercial Mexicana to load up on groceries for the next week or so. We figure it will take about that long for us to get back to Villa Corona. We are headed up the Michoacan coast - it is supposed to be quite breathtaking. We are going to stop here and there along the way. The first night not too far - only just past Troncones - to La Saladita - another quiet little beach side community.

I sure hope I can get wifi along the way to keep you up to date or that our telcel stick works. If not - I'll post when I'm able even if it means not until VC.

See you up the road!


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: There is a family staying at Playa La Ropa with a blog of there own. They are a family of four from France traveling in their RV for two years! Canada to South America. Here's their blog -- Ensemble autrement au bout du monde - no way to translate as far as I can see - but pictures don't need translating - right?! Check out their map - makes me shudder! All that driving!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


As you can imagine, our brains are pretty much on neutral these days. The sun, sand and surf has a way of doing that, doesn't it. 

So, the fact that today progressed in a totally different way then I expected AND this post is therefore also completely different from what I had planned, my mind is in a bit of a twisted state.

Still, trying to wrap my mind around it all.

The day started innocently enough. It was a very           s         l           o         w         morning, let me tell you - even though it started early enough. We were awake by just before 7:00 am because Roofous was barking at the dog outside the gate, working on the garbage left last night for the garbage truck. With a morning of coffee and internet, we were still without breakfast by around 11:00 am. Don't worry - we DID feed Cassia in the mean time! 

With our date with the beach quickly approaching, we made a quick decision to put the two events together. Go out for breakfast on the beach - then move down 50 ft or so to our lounging position.

Breakfast on the beach here means Rossy's. I showed you Rossy's the first day we arrived. We had yet to sample their food - so today - our last day here at El Manglar - was obviously the best time.

This is the view from our table. Not so bad - right?! The tide is still quite far up.

I know! Enough of all the food shots! Just had to show because it was a pretty good deal for $12. At first I was a bit leery when I saw 'eggs and bacon' for $60 pesos. They really should expand their menu.
Although the jugo de naranja is a bit steep at $25 pesos when you can get about twice that amount in Villa Corona for $8 pesos. Ahhh the beach, bring your pesos!


Well, this is when the day took a turn and became all very interesting for the next few hours!

While we were eating - we watched as three municipal policia walked by. Something you don't see everyday here on the beach - remember - they are dressed in black uniforms with BIG guns. They tend to stand out. As they were moving along the beach - people were getting OUT of the water. 

Hmmmmm .......

Our vantage point - people were now standing and looking out to the water.

Me - not one to miss a good photo op - took off with camera in hand. By this time we had figured out from all of the talking going on that there was a CROCODILE in the water! WHAT! A crocodile - in the ocean - by the shore - the same place that we swim everyday?! Yup!

Somewhere about now - we actually SAW him! HUGE - probably 8' to 10' long - he surfaced slightly, just enough to give us all a good show. A picture - nope - I'm not THAT good.

And who would these fine - small men be you ask - the crocodile hunters?! That's them - interesting, very interesting - a rope and a stick.

'A crocodile hunting we go, a crocodile hunting we go.....'

Notice, not a soul in the water - news travels fast.

The event garnered quite the group of people. Funny how many of us stood around for the better part of an hour moving down the beach this way - and down the beach that way. Standing, looking, standing, looking. 

To no avail - after the sighting it appeared that the croc went back in the other direction and was last seen on the south side a few hundred feet out by the rocks. We all went back to our lives - we paid our bill and went to our spot just down the beach. 

Derek did go swimming but as I watched him from shore, I realized that he wasn't going out very far and did more standing and watching then anything else. 

A while later as Cassia and I were in the shallow part and Derek still out in the waves (getting a little bolder) I looked up the beach to see the croc hunters moving down towards us and people pointing in to the water. 

NOT a good sign.




He stood there a few minutes looking towards the area - interesting approach I thought - looking for the croc while standing in the water!

What a guy!

Anyway, he did saunter out fairly quickly after that.

So, here we are again all looking for the elusive crocodile. You can just see the head of one of the hunters in the middle of the group on the right.

It took a few minutes but we all spotted him again. And so did the hunter - amazing - he crouched down in the water like he's going to sneak up on him. I ACTUALLY got a shot of him - can you see his snout?

They didn't get him this time either - but look what they are using now! Gone are the rope and stick - now they have a HUGE hook and fishing line. Fishing line to catch an 8' crocodile?

I mentioned it to Art here at the park later and he said that they get him in and wrap the line around his mouth and then haul him out. 
Wonder what those guys get paid? 

In the end, these two guys went back down to the same place they did in the morning and were gone. Did they get THAT crocodile? Who knows. It seems to be an ongoing thing here. By the way - where are they coming from? Why about 50 ft from where we are parked. Nothing stopping them from showing up under our van actually.

Cassia and I go croc hunting every morning. Because the restaurant doesn't open until noon we have the place to ourselves each morning - so we go over and look at the swamp area to see if we can get a look at one. Some days we do others we don't. They stay fairly submerged.

Except for yesterday.

You may be seeing a trend here, but yesterday we decided to go out for lunch. Livin' large, livin' large. The hamburgers are REALLY good here at El Manglar - a bit hard to ignore. Again, being that we were planning to leave here soon, we decided to go out in style.

Waiting for our order gave us a chance to look at the wild life in and around the swamp which we sit right beside in the restaurant. We thought we do our own crocodile hunting.

We could actually see the top of one - he was on the other side.

We couldn't get a good shot from where we were - Cassia was quite enthralled though.

The swamp is very nice to sit beside and look at. Lots of birds to listen to also.

And you can dress Cassia up but she'll STILL try to climb the trees!

Enjoying our limonadas.......

Until our food came! 

We have a crocodile of our own moving in on our food.

Not long after lunch we were rewarded with a really good view of one of the crocodiles!

'Don't mind me I'm just passin' through.'

And shortly thereafter, Cassia sitting on the rock waving to another one!

'My, what big teeth you have .....'

So, there you go - no pictures of the crocodile in the ocean, but pictures of crocodiles in the swamp.

And if today couldn't get anymore exciting after the beach events - there's more.

As we were coming back to the van through the restaurant, Cassia - who I was carrying - says 'An animal!' Nothing to strange about that - there are lots of animals around here.

But I took the bait anyway.



And sure enough - there was a HUGE iguana sitting about 8 feet from us! I dropped Cassia - dropped our stuff and got moving. Here he is!

Obviously he was quickly on the move as I was closing in on him.

 Have you ever seen an iguana in the wild that close?! 

I haven't - they are quite beautiful aren't they?

QUITE the day. Crocodiles swimming in the ocean, crocodile hunters with a hook and fishing line, AND a blue and orange iguana. 

I so wanted to watch those little guys hall that crocodile out of the water! I MAY still be able to ......

cuz ......

We've decided to stay here ANOTHER week!?! 

Crazy, I know.

I don't know what it is - the food, the beach, or the fact that we just can't get our lazy butts moving - but we are going to stay on until NEXT Thursday. Three whole weeks here - a NEW Wood Clan record!

I THOUGHT we'd be spending the day packing up and I THOUGHT I was going to be posting a bunch of pics that I have collected from the beach. 

It's obviously better to stop this THINKING nonsense. 


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: The El Manglar restaurant is pretty popular for the wildlife and the food - if you come this way - we highly recommend the food. Here is a write up on the El Manglar

Also, remember Bill and Carol, our travels buddies back in December?! Well, Carol sent me the link today to their blog from when they were here in 2007. I had to laugh - NOTHING has changed - including the cold showers - brrrrrrr.

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