December at Bungalows Ley

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Escrito por Celeste desde ( el día miércoles, 16 de marzo, 2005 a las 08:37:00 horas :

December 1st, we bid a fond farewell to Troncones and headed back to Zihuatanejo via taxi (N$300.) Thanks to the excellent trip report with pictures by The Shroyers, I could direct the taxi right to the door of Bungalows Ley…or at least the arch, leading to the steps that go down, down, down…to the office. There we were met by Carlos, the day office manager who had been so very helpful to us in making our reservations via email to stay there. Soon we were very comfortably installed in Bungalow #2, which is a large air conditioned bedroom with small sitting area inside, a nicely-equipped kitchen outside and a very large patio. We especially appreciated the sturdy little in-room safe. The patio is a few steps down from the kitchen, so both areas have great views out to the Zihuatanejo Bay. We spent most of our time cooking, perched on the kitchen stools or relaxing and reading on the deck, as it stayed nicely shaded nearly all day. Carlos was most helpful all through our stay, bringing us big bottles of purified water, arranging taxis and helping us make various phone calls. Elizabeth and Luisa were very cheerful and efficient keeping everything clean and tidy in the apartments, and Elizabeth loaned us a book to help us with our Spanish. Elizabeth and Luisa are both masters of the art of towel designs with flowers. Since I am a mad dog gardener at home, I especially appreciated the bursts of fresh flowers every day. Richard and I both felt that everything possible was done by the staff to make us comfortable and happy at Bungalows Ley. The large patio was a wonderful place to do yoga early in the morning under the stars, then as morning dawned, we could walk down a couple more flights of stairs to the beach for a swim. Playa Madera is such a nice small place that we quickly came to know the “regulars” who come to the beach every day to walk, run or swim.

Elizabeth, Luisa and Carlos decorated for Christmas with gusto…we had a small tree gaily lit with Christmas lights on the wall of our patio. Christmas week a family from Mexico City moved into all of the other apartments at Bungalows Ley. They very kindly invited us to their Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. This is the first Christmas dinner I ever had dining under a full moon and sparkling stars. Truly a magical experience!

One of the treats for us of staying on Playa Madera is being able to walk along the charming footpath into town. We went every day, usually going to the Mercado to pick up whatever we needed for dinner and 1 ½ blocks further to Pinovery Internet (Antonia Nava #13, between La Calle Vicente Guerrero and Cuauhtemoc…N$8/hour.) Ricardo Pino Orozco always gave us his personal attention when we needed help, he had a good fan going to keep us cool and since it is a bit off the “beaten track,” it was quieter than other internet places. One of our favorite things to get at the market was tamales from the ladies with the big pails…what a treat to heat up back at Bungalows Ley, with some beans, rice and fresh salsa! We also enjoyed buying shrimp for our own shrimp with garlic feed. So many fabulous fresh fruits and vegetables, we felt like we were eating like royalty!

We found quite a good book exchange at Café Marina, which is in the Marina Building next to the basketball court. The staff was most accommodating to us for our multiple trips there to exchange books. It is a 1:1 book exchange.

I must join in the praise of La Gula Restaurant. It is in Playa Madera on Calle Adelita. Go one block down the steep street more or less in front of Bungalows Ley (the only through street for cars between Calle Eva Samano Lopez Mateos that runs along the top of the Playa Madera hill and Calle Adelita, which runs along the bottom of the hill.) At the foot of the hill, turn left onto Calle Adelita. La Gula will be a bit further along on your left, upstairs. They have a sign out front on street level with their menu. We had quite an excellent meal there, enjoying multiple courses and a nice bottle of wine. The first course was “on the house,” a lovely little fish appetizer. We knew we were on our way to a good meal! The presentation of each dish was perfect, and we were well looked after by our waiter. This restaurant is a real treasure; I highly recommend it. When we got back to Bungalows Ley, we made a wonderful pot of coffee with coffee from the Café Zihuatanejo and had a New Year’s treat from our neighbor at Bungalows Ley: Jose Cuervo-filled chocolates! He had brought the chocolates from DF. We looked for them in Zihuatanejo, then later in Mazatlan...where I found some in a liquor store, but they looked like they had spent part of their life melted :-(... We finally found a very nice box of the chocolates at a little store in the airport in Mexico City, near Gate 34-35.

We also stopped several times for a cup of coffee at Café Zihuatanejo on Calle Cuauhtemoc 170. What a pleasant little oasis, with excellent coffee.

We also had excellent meals at Tamales y Atoles Any. How they produce such good food at such reasonable prices, I don’t know. Go! Enjoy!

We were very disappointed when we arrived in Zihuatanejo to be told by the Immigrations officer that we could only have a 90-day stay on our tourists cards, and that if we wanted longer, we would have to go to the Immigrations Office in Zihuatanejo to have it extended. Every other port of entry into Mexico has always given us 180 days if we ask for it, so I couldn’t understand this. So we had to take time to go to the Immigration Office to have our tourist cards extended. It is near the Post Office, #60 on Jared’s map. From Playa Madera, walk across the bridge over the canal to Plaza Kioto. More or less straight across the Plaza is (Calle) Marina Nacional, but of course you must go around the traffic circle to get there. Walk about 5 blocks down Marina Nacional, where it splits into Morelos on the left and Colegio Militar on the right. Bear right onto Colegio Militar and you will see the Immigration Office across the street. The office opens at 0900. There is a book on the desk to the right where you must sign in. There was one man in the office who spoke English while we were there. Bring your passport, credit card and tourist card. You will also need a copy of each page of your passport and a copy of our credit card. There is a copy center about two blocks towards Centro, on the same side of the street as the Immigration office. We had him copy both my husband’s and my passports together on each page (N$0.70 per page.) You will have to fill out an application for extension; the form is in Spanish, of course. After the staff reviewed our applications, checked our copies and looked at our passports and credit card, they printed up a bill for us which we took down Colegio Militar to the HSBC bank to pay N$210 each. (They told us to go to Bital Bank, but fortunately we had seen them change the sign of Bital Bank to HSBC last year while we were in Mazatlan, so we knew to look for HSBC!) Then we brought our receipts back to the Immigration Office, and the boss had to sign our extensions. He unfortunately was not there, so we had to go back to the office twice until he finally signed them. I hope that all of this is advice that nobody else has to use!

Now it is snowing in West Virginia, and we are remembering those lovely 90 degree days! Next up: February at Hotel Palacios (January was in Mazatlan.)

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