Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pátzcuaro Bound

We rise for a morning walk on La Ropa Beach, then have a pleasant beach-front breakfast at Doña Prudencia's. At 10:00 AM we start our trek home--with a full tank of gas. We note that it is 125 miles from Zihua to the first and only gas station until one reaches the Uruapan area.

We arrive home at La Jacaranda and it is a sunny afternoon, very mild for December in Pátzcuaro, so we eat our 3:00 PM comida on our back veranda, which is where I always prefer to eat. If we need gloves, Glen says it is too cold.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hanging in Zihua

It has been a tough day. We brunched scandalously late on huevos a la mexicana at the Zihua Pancake House, lazed and read under a shady palapa with a breeze in the afternoon, and I ate a good shrimp pasta for dinner.

Friday, December 28, 2007

On the Road to Zihua

We leave at 9:00 a.m. from La Jacaranda in Patzcuaro and pick up the libre, the old road to Uruapan. The winter sun is low and we drive through chill, misty air and the varying shades of green of the deciduous and pine forest that is typical of the Michoacán highlands. We intersect with the cuota, the toll road that will take us to Zihuatanejo. Our first stop is at a toll booth, where we begin to buy our way in increments to the coast: Pesos $26 for the first installment, then $29, then $28, then $52 and finally $52 again. As we expect, the weather is warm 45 minutes west and some 2,000 feet lower than Pátzcuaro.

We have a few rules for travel by car in Mexico. First, take cash for gas, because it is the only way one can purchase it. Second, allow plenty of daylight hours to reach one's destination--we don't travel at night for a number of safety reasons. Also, be aware that most of the good highways are toll roads and they are not inexpensive. Finally, always start out with a full tank of gas and fill up whenever possible.

The stretch of highway from Uruapan to the coast winds through some desolate areas of the tierra caliente. We drive up to El Tamarindo in 4 hours (minus 5 minutes), with stops only to pay tolls and one for the baño.

We savor our much-awaited, tasty huachinango at La Perla Restaurant on Playa La Ropa . My book signing for "Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide" is in the evening at Coconut's restaurant in the center of Zihuatanejo and I meet some very interesting people. Then we dine well at Coconut's with Catherine Krantz of Another Day in Paradise and delightful Debbie, manager of Coconuts, and her husband Jeff. A special appetizer not on the menu is delicious: tempura fresh oysters.

We make it to bed after midnight, late for us--we are morning people. It has been a good day.

P.S. - "Tony" Ixtapa is not as tony as it was. The destination now caters more to budget all-inclusive package travelers.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Down the Mountain to Zihuatanejo

Tomorrow we will head down the mountain to Zihuatanejo on the west coast of Mexico, about a 3-4 hour drive on the good autopista completed only a few years ago. Temperatures will start warming by the time we reach Uruapan, some 45 minutes west of Pátzcuaro. We will stay at El Tamarindo, a small B&B in the Playa la Ropa area.
On Friday evening, December 28th, I will briefly introduce my book Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide at a book-signing event at Coconuts Restaurant. The event was organized by Catherine Krantz, Editor and Publisher of the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo magazine Another Day in Paradise. The book explains the hurdles caused in cross cultural communication that are caused by cultural difference, and it focuses on United States-Mexico communication to illustrate points.
Glen and I look forward to savoring some good huachinango (red snapper) grilled over a wood fire, probably under an umbrella outdoors. Zihuatanejo is sought out by visitors seeking nature friendly and fitness tourism. It is a real town, in contrast to the tony, constructed resort area of adjacent Ixtapa, which is nice, luxurious--but a different kind of venue.
Intercultural Communication: A Practical Guide -
Another Day in Paradise Magazine -
Coconuts Restaurant, Zihuatanejo -

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Poinsettias in Pátzcuaro

We just arrived in Pátzcuaro. In our garden at La Jacaranda, we are enjoying the noche buena blooms (poinsettias) that befit this holiday season. Poinsettias grow to a height of two to three meters in this region. It is not as cold as usual at this altitude of 7200 ft. This morning it was 51F outside and 55F inside the house, not bad for December 26th, especially considering the frigid weather gripping the mid-west of the United States. Poinsettias, papaya and huevos a la mexicana (scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions and chiles) started our day out just right.