Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Zihuatanejo: Strings, Sand and Sandals

Our furthest south destination this spring was Zihuatanejo, about 200 miles south of Barra de Navidad.  Friends advised that the International Guitar Fest was a fabulous event to attend. ( It had been 14 years since we had visited Zihuatanejo, and that was via airplane)

We had fellow cruisers up for the same timing as us, and four boats (Trinity Rose, Agave Azul, Pangaea and Shindig) departed from Santiago Bay one early morning, arriving in Zihuatanejo's area 28-36 hours later. This is called "buddy boating" and it was fun to keep track of each other through the night, accompanied by a full moon, radio banter with jokes, dinner reports and check ins every 6 hours. Despite a night with limited sleep, all was good.  Highlights included Agave Azul's landing a 120lb tuna, Rob generously granting Nancy one extra hour of sleep, and the gentle dinghy assist for Pangaea when their engine motor stopped.  Lynda and Mike kept our pace steady with their powerboat Trinity Rose,   

Sailboats in Zihuatanejo Anchorage

Shindig at anchor 
After a brief two night rest at the closest island to Zihuatanejo where we slept, ate fish tacos and played in the sand, we were soon all tucked away in the larger Zihuatanejo Harbor, with about 25 other boats.

A spirited race car created from sand
conducted by Hunter (HeavyMetal)
The actual Guitar Fest was a great time.  With only 13 musical groups, the venue and entire week was surprisingly intimate.  We picked several smaller events to attend around the dinner time, which gave us close access, like one table away, from the musicians.  

Tres Hombres, a fabulous group from Dallas 

Later each night we could attend a larger beach concert, which was later relocated when the high tide started shorting out the electrical sound systems and threatened the attendees on the beach!  The wide range of genres such as country folk, flamenco, classical, Brazilian chord, gypsy and latin was inspiring and fun.  

Having great music to hear every day, as well as a charming town to explore with friends made the week go by too fast.  We enjoyed the regional specialities of posole and made it a personal mission to try as many authentic places as we could.  This was also the turnaround point for many cruising friends, as some go north, and others continue south.  One week was not enough time to even begin to say "Adios".  
From the anchorage we would take our dinghies ashore.
Dinghy Boys (men) would help us land the dinghies and watch over them for tips.

Delicious chicken posole at restaurante ANY's with an array of condiments to add.
So we played as hard as we could together, and left Zihuatanejo heading north with new appreciation for the guitar, posole, town and friendships we have made.  Who knows...there may be some new additions to the musical instrument library aboard Shindig soon!

Chili Rellenos and Papas (potatos) at the Mercado Centro

Nancy shopping for fresh vegies and fruits

The Chickens (pollo) are proudly displayed in full form

Rob spent a few days giving dinghy sailing lessons to the boys on Heavy Metal. 

Rob and Heavy Metal Family stroll the Malecon
They are heading south now and we will miss them.
The Khushi spa for hands & feet became a favorite for the gals

A fun dinner and music night aboard Trinity Rose
Nancy on fiddle (first time) and Bob on mandolin

Philbillie and Dave from The Croweaters
San Francisco based folk/country/rock and jazz

A late night dinner at the "dessert taco" Place
5 tacos for 20 pesos ($1.20 USD)

Mariachi Band serenades Rob at the Centro Mercado
Nancy and Deborah from SV Heavy Metal
Those are Jamaica (hibiscus) juices, muy bueno.

Making microwave brownies with Hunter (9) from HeavyMetal 
Bravo!  Magela Romero and Josue Otero, Cuba guitarists perform together at Gala Event
A fabulous dinner concert with Robin and Katie (Agave Azul)

Hogan & Moss perform their lively scorch folk music at Loot
Fun Times with Music and Friends
Katie & Mike and Alan & Elizabeth (SV Vivacia)

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