Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 16 Shawn's Log

Aquatic Adventures in Acapulco!

One of Mexico's biggest industries today is international tourism. Places like Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Acapulco draw millions of tourists and billions of dollars each year. Beautiful beaches, lots of sun, and festive Mexican culture are the main attractions, and the relatively cheap accommodations and food make Mexico accessible to the middle class from all over the world.

Stormy AcapulcoNeeding a rest from the pollution and crowds of Mexico City, Monica, Jonah, and I took off to Acapulco with my host sister Lucy as our guide, to relax a little and see what all the hype was about. The first thing we learned upon arrival was that September is not the month to head out to the Pacific Coast of Mexico for a vacation. Tropical storms are abundant this time of year and as we descended from the coastal mountains, we were greeted by cloudy skies and stormy seas. Not to be easily put off from having a good time, we decided to be adventurous and check out the club scene. Acapulco is a city of 1.5 million people, and it is literally packed with hotels and nightclubs.

As we meandered up the beach looking for a good spot to sample the margaritas, we had no problem finding a place with a nice view of the ocean and pulsating Mexican and American disco music. No sooner had we gotten there, it started to pour, and I mean it was as if the ocean had been turned upside down on top of us. Unfortunately like most of the beach clubs, the place we had chosen was designed for nice weather which meant that there was no real roof; only a few separated awnings to keep out the rain. It had not let up at all when we decided to leave, and by the time we got back to our hotel we were so soaked that we jumped into the pool with all our clothes on. Monica lost her glasses in the pool and couldn't find them until the morning.

Shawn's Arial EnthusiasmIt rained all night and in the morning let up just enough for us to take a walk on the beach where we were enticed into trying out parasailing. This consists of being dragged behind a ski boat with a parachute on until to you are launched about 150 feet into the air. Then you sail around the harbor for about ten minutes until the boat slows down and you gently land on a floating platform about the size of half a tennis court. I was chosen to go first because of my enthusiasm for aerial sports. My flight was exhilarating and I took off and landed without a hitch. Monica was up next, and letís just say that hers was not quite so uneventful. The boat was not going quite fast enough on take off so she was not airborne by the time she made it to the end of the platform, and was dragged a couple of feet through the water before taking off. Her landing was even less graceful as she veered too much to the right, missing the platform entirely and knocking two of the employees into the water with her.

Our aquatic adventures did not end there. The next evening we decided to swim out to an island about half-a-mile out in the harbor. That it was evening and raining did not deter us. The sea was kind of rough and it took us almost 45 minutes to make it. As we approached the island we discovered that it was rockier and more dangerous than it had seemed from the shore. Navigating through the razor sharp rocks was quite difficult because the water was so rough and all of us had cuts and scratches on our body and feet by the time we managed to crawl onto shore. The island itself was very rocky and tall and as we climbed to the top, we disturbed a nest of bats which circled us, screeching eerily. From the top, we watched the fog roll in over the enormous city and the light fade from the sky. By the time we decided to swim back, it was dark and we had only the lights of the city to guide us.

-Shawn

 
Related Dispatches: 
Shawn - Aquatic Adventures in Acapulco!


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