Friday, February 7, 2014

Long weekend in Acapulco

Last weekend was a 3-day holiday weekend for Constitution Day (actually February 5th, but always observed the first Monday in February). A friend of ours is temporarily living in Acapulco, Guerrero for a work project, so we decided to take advantage of the long weekend to visit him and his wife and play in Acapulco. We weren't the only ones with the idea of escaping to the beach: we saw license plates from Mexico City and the State of Mexico everywhere! This was my first time in Acapulco and I really enjoyed it!

A = Mexico City, B = Acapulco, Guerrero
source: Google Maps
What I did not enjoy, however, was the traffic! Between the 3-day weekend (which also coincided with payday), construction, and a ten car pile up on the highway on our way there, the 5 - 5 1/2 hour bus ride became 7+ hours both ways. Yikes!

We arrived Saturday afternoon and went out for some yummy seafood. While we were staying in Acapulco Diamante (the "new Acapulco") on the southern end of the bay, that evening we went to "old Acapulco" on the northern end. Our first stop was to watch the cliff divers at "La Quebrada" (which means ravine/ gully/ gorge) -- a famous Acapulco attraction.

statue of a cliff diver at "La Quebrada" 
Cliff diving at "La Quebrada" is a tradition that started in the 1930's (thanks, Wikipedia), when young men would compete for fun, seeing who could dive from the highest point into the water below. Later the divers began asking for tips. Nowadays, the divers are professionals (though apparently the diving profession often runs in the family) and there are various shows throughout the day, for a 40 peso (3.00 USD) entrance fee. 

view of "La Quebrada" 
waiting for the show to start
The show started with the divers coming down the stairs built into the cliff wall, making their way through the audience. 

divers making their way down the steps, through the crowd
At the bottom, they dove into the water, swam across, and then scaled the cliff wall. 
climbing the cliff wall
climbing the cliff wall
The divers prayed to the shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe before diving from 28 - 35 meters (92-115 ft) into the water below. The inlet is only 7 meters (23 ft) wide and the depth of the water can vary from less than 2 to almost 5 meters deep (6 - 16 ft) depending on the waves. Because of this, timing is crucial and the divers wait for the perfect wave to come in and the water to rise before diving. 

all the divers at the top
getting ready to dive
It was very impressive! Here's a video from the show:
(Note - It's a compilation of various dives. I mostly edited out the long wait times between dives)

after the show
after the show
with the diver statue after the show
From there we grabbed dinner and then had some drinks at a deck bar while we watched people bungee jump next to us, (almost) over our heads.

bungee jump platform
On Sunday we went to Revolcadero beach.

Playa Revolcadero
Playa Revolcadero
That evening we went to watch the Super Bowl. Yay football! (Though it wasn't quite the same as watching the Ravens win last year!) We headed over to "La Isla" ("the Island"), the open-air shopping center that's apparently a hotspot in Acapulco Diamante. We thought we'd go to the restaurant/ bar Carlos'n Charlie's, but they wanted 1,000 pesos (75 USD) per person! No thanks.

in front of Carlos'n Charlies
We ended up watching at the open-air restaurant / bar "Perros y burros" ("dogs and donkeys"), enjoying burritos, hot dogs, and beer in glasses held up but metal hooks that reminded me of a science lab. As usual, I missed the entertaining commercials (just normal boring commercials here), but I definitely didn't mind the weather!

watching the game at "Perros y Burros"
On Monday we had another beach day. I don't know the name of the beach, but it was further south (?) and less populated than Playa Revolcadero.

in the distance you can see the cliffs that were
right next to us at Revolcadero Beach
After a couple hours at that beach we headed further south and found a restaurant on the beach. The place was fantastic! I wish we had more time there. There was a restaurant, picnic tables and hammocks under a palapa, a pool, and of course the beach (with palapas for shade).

our lunch spot
the beach at our lunch spot
the beach at our lunch spot
the beach at our lunch spot
We picked out a huachinango (red snapper) for lunch...

fresh fish
the boys with our fish
... and then swam in the pool and relaxed in the hammocks while they cooked our fish.

 We enjoyed our red snapper "a la talla," salad, rice, and sopes, as well as our ocean view! 

My lunch plate: salad, rice, fish, and a sope

Unfortunately, from there we pretty much had to eat and run to have (just barely!) enough time to shower, pack, and make it to the bus station. It was a fun weekend and a great mini escape from the city!

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