21st April: Acapulco

Trip Start Apr 16, 2005
1
7
10
Trip End May 01, 2005


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Flag of Mexico  , Pacific Coast,
Friday, April 22, 2005

Acapulco is reputedly the birthplace of the Mexican tourist industry. It started on a small scale back in the 30s but really took off post-war with the arrival of international jet-setters.
So it's had a long time to become what it is. And it shows.
It is a "24-hour a day" city, boisterous and loud. It has been dubbed "Las Vegas, Mexican style".  You get the idea.
Here it is from the ship. That's just a bit of it - there's as much to the left and behind me.

In the lecture we attended yesterday on Acapulco, we were warned about the general hustle-nature of Acapulco, and the more specific "don't go near the street dogs - they're vicious". That and the baking temperature persuaded us that it might be wiser to stay on the boat, in the shade.
But then Uncles Graham and Chris offered to baby-sit for Xander in the evening, and it would have been rude to turn them down. So we went with Margaret to see the "clavadistas" - loonies / brave blokes that climb up a steep rock face in nowt but their swimming trollies, then jump off it from 30'-100' into a fast-flowing channel of sea that comes into their little cove.  Mad as pomegranates.

The way the pier is situated, the ship butts right up against the city. It almost becomes a part of it. But Infinity is so immense that it towers above everything else near it; it can be seen from far across the city. Seeing it there as we drove past it, two consecutive thoughts came to me: "By 'eck that's a big ship" and "Now there's a big advert for Open Season On Rich Tourists!!".
Sure enough, the minute you step out of the security zone at the end of the gangplank, there's a crowd of peddlers offering you their wares, and you attract a gaggle of children - some as young as 4 or 5 - offering you beads and necklaces.
Thankfully, Margaret had found a good guide on her afternoon visit and had asked him to wait for her to come back in the evening. True to his word, Mario was there, with his big, air-conditioned Toyota.
 
One thing I'll say about Acapulco is that it's colourful. Many of the buses are fantastically decorated; it's as though they compete for passengers like the birds of the region compete for mates. It being dark and us travelling in the safety of a (rather fast-moving and erratically-driven) car, opportunities for photos were not great, but here's one I snapped while we were waiting at traffic lights.

Another quite remarkable sight is the amount of VW Beetles - almost all the taxis are Beetles, painted distinctively. Once again, poor lighting and opportunities etc. etc....
Beetles!

OK, on to the Clavadistas.

Here's the scene. The lit bit at the top right is the place where the master divers do their thang.


And here's a couple of blokes climbing up. In nothing but their keks.






And one being a water-lemming.
Splash.


So there you go. And all this was washed down with a couple of yummy margueritas; 7 out of 10 on Helen's Marguerita Marking scale.

And in other news, temperature on deck today reached over 38˚C/100˚F.  I have to keep reminding myself that when you go through a door from cool to warm, you're going from inside to outside, not vice-versa, and that when you open the door to the veranda in our cabin, the room will warm up, not cool down!
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