Little Ol' Me
4 days left to go
alex: Skydiving, an experience like no other. I´ve been cliff jumping, naked cliff jumping, bungie jumping, and parasailing. nothing else compares. It´s something I´ve always wanted to do, it was alot cheaper here and the time seemed right so stacey and I talked prices and made reservations.
it was a Chicago based company so no extra mexican related safty issues there. the people were all very friendly and joking around as they straped on our harnesses and told us the things we needed to know. Once we loaded up onto the bus, I couldn´t pay attention to anything anybody was saying. I think my mind was trying not to think about it to much so as to not psych myself out. I just couldn´t focus, I kept thinking about weird stuff that had nothing to do with the current activity.
it was a short bus ride then once we got to the airport we walked barefoot aross the run way towards the plane. The plane was Canadian in origin and we were told it was one of the best kinds of planes to skydive out of. I can´t remember the name but I was told that they had used it for charting the arctic. so I imagine that my grandfather likely flew one cause he did that for a while. twin somthing am I think they were called.
My instructor told me that he got third place in the American skydiving compatition, no small feat as I understand it. It sounds like what he did was a bit like EXTREME SYNCRONIZED SWIMMING.
there was no seats in the plan as one might imagine but instead a gym mat like material on the ground. Stacey and I crawled along to the back of the plane with our instructors. you have to sit kinda between their legs as the person in front of you does aswell. you have a seatbelt but it doesn´t go around you it just hooks on to your gear.
we took off and went up and up and got a beatiful view of Zihua. on the way up one of the mexican sky divers was leaning out the window and doing these weird tricks with his face as it hit the wind. his skin had a rubber like elsastisity as it flapped int the wind he also managed to whistle a tune which I thought was kindof impressive seeing as his whole mouth was wide open. I had never seen anything like it.
once we reached a high enough altitude our instructors strapped to us and went through all last minute training. the other people exited the plane then my camera man held onto the outside of the plane waitin to get a shot of my exit. I would say that the falling out of the plane was the hardest part, not really for fear factor but because you have to go on your knees and belly first with your head way back so that you can´t see. this was a problem cause it seemed that I was a bit tall for the exit. you have to go belly first beause if you were to somersault out of the plane or jump from a crouching position our instuctors who were strapped to us wouldn´t have any control and nobody wants that at 13000 feet.
the first feeling of no connection to any groundlike serface, like the ground or plane is the most alarming. I forgot myself alittle bit and kicked my legs once I couldn´t touch the plane, this a no no, but I steadied myself in time. I wasn´t really allowed to move my legs, but I could do whatever I wanted with my arms and I certainly did. that was one of the best parts. the only way I can really explain it is if you were to put your hand out the window of a car driving on the highway. well.... that times about a million.
I pointed to the ground and then went limp my hands would fly up in the air all willy nilly. I tried swimming in the air and dancing a bit. the robot didn´t really work without the use of my legs. then I started playing with my face and sticking my tounge into the air then I started hitting myself in the face a sensation that is much different on the ground.
after a beautiful one minute freefall the camera man pulled away as I grabbed my harness and my instuctor, Kenny, pulled the cord and out came the parachute. he let me stear the parachute as we fell to the earth. he showed my how to spin in the air, how to fall quickly and then pause mid flight. I figured this part would be nothing next to the free fall but it was an amazing expericance all its own. Swooping and diving through the air, all the while looking out at the majestic scenery below. we flew over the dolphin tanks where Stacey and I had swam just two days previous. I landed with a bit of a jolt and a skip. Ground huh??.... right, I rember this, its that hard stuff isn´t it. well, hard enough, it was a sandy beach to be percise. I was greeted by the camera man who breifly interviewed me about the trip. I was alittle speachless at first, difficult to imagine I´m sure.
It wasn´t long before I watched Stacey come hurtling towards me I think I could see her bright red face before I could see the parachute. Her experience was alittle bit scarier then mine. the camera guy and Kenny both told me that I had been going crazy up there and that if Kenny hadn´t been very experienced things might not have gone so well, I didn´t really know what they were talking about until later when I saw the dvd. anybody who wants to see it is more then welcome. it cost over 100 dollars american so I want to play it for all its worth.
Sky diving WOW!!! :alex
alex kept hitting his face while he was freefalling to see what it felt like. ha.
thumbs up to skydiving. alex with his instructor, Kenny.
both of us on the ground. my face is so red because on the way down i don´t think i drew a single breath. ha.
we booked our bus tickets to Mexico City today. We leave Zihuatanejo at 12:30pm on February 27th, and should arrive by about 9:30pm or so. (It´s supposed to be a 9 hour bus ride.) we´ll grab a hotel and a bit to eat and then hit the hay.
on the 28th, and probably the 1st of March we´re going to spend a couple of hours both days checking out some of the museums (like the Museo Frida, which i´m excited about) and the Mexico City Zoo. (don´t worry, we´ll never be out after dark.) it should be really fun!
then of course, on the 2nd, we´re coming back to Vancouver! now that the trip is over it seems like it wasn´t very long at all. but we´re still having a great time.
tomorrow we booked an appointment to go scuba diving and the instructor said that we´ll get to see octopi and sea horses and probably lots of starfish. i´m excited.
alright....here are some random photos from yesterday when we went snorkeling and today on our walk to the bus depot. sorry this entry is so jumbled. i´m running out of time. ha.
alex playing with his food.
the delfiniti dolphin on playa el palmar in Ixtapa. we tried to get to one of the private beaches this day, but ended up banana boating instead because all of the jet skis were rented out. turns out, we couldn´t go anyway, because there are too many rocks and the fellow who was going to drive us said it was too dangerous.
poor alex, he finally sunburned.
we went snorkeling yesterday. it was really cool! i was a little bit nervous at first just because i´d never done it before, but alex was an EXCELLENT instructor and i managed to pick it up after a while. i wouldn´t dive down like he did, but i managed to see a ray (not sure which kind) and an eel! we also saw a lot of neat looking fish, what alex believes is a hermit crab, and lots of coral. at one point we also realized we were swimming through a LOT of fish poop, which was gross, but still really funny.
this is the boat that took us to and from Isla Ixtapa. they´re ridiculously rickety and i honestly thought at one point on the way back that it was going to tip over and that we would all drown. it didn´t help that the fisherman who was driving the boat tried to cram 15 people onto it. (on the side of a boat is a sign that says there should be a maximum of ten.) even one of the other mexican women was a little frightened, and i didn´t think they were afraid of anything!!! (i´m joking...of course.)
i´ll bet you were wondering when a picture of a pineapple would show up.
it´s pretty common knowledge that i´m not the most coordinated human being around. not walking into things and falling over is MUCH more difficult in flippers.
snorkeling gear is unbelievably attractive.
there were tons of rabbits on Isla Ixtapa. you could get really close to them and pet them. (don´t worry, we didn´t.) we did feed this one a little piece of tortilla though. it was super cute.
there were people fishing right off of the dock when we got back to Playa Linda. (one of the beaches in Ixtapa.)
dried, hollowed out bull testicles. awesome. ha.
alex described this as mexican barbed wire. it´s just some broken glass stuck into the top of a wall. owie.
just to prove that going to mexico hasn´t made us more mature.
only 8 days left!!! time sure flies when you are having fun.
we were planning on going skydiving today, but circumstances beyond our control prevented us, so it ended up being a pretty slow day. i am happy to report that we spent little time in front of the telvision however. mostly we hung out on the porch at our hotel, but we also sat by the beach for a while.
while we were eating breakfast, right beside us some Pecanto Fire Dancers set up shop and started performing. their costumes were incredible and the dancing and drumming was something else to see.
afterwards they let people stand with them to have their pictures taken. i chickened out but alex even got to hold some of their gear.
yesterday we checked out Playa Linda, the last public beach we needed to see in Ixtapa. it was another Stacey beach with small waves and alex thinks he sort of knows where his secret surfing beach is from there, which is neat. we might try and see that sometime soon. not tomorrow because we have another skydiving appointment for 3pm. eep!
one of the exciting things about yesterday though is that once we got off the bus we found a cycling path and a nature habitat! there were iguanas and crocodiles. we wanted to swim and so ended up not walking far enough to see the frogs but what we did see was pretty awesome!!!
also on our bus ride up there, alex was pretty amused by our driver, who had religious flyers all over the front of the bus, and a crucifix, which he took a picture of.
it has really been a treat being somewhere that is, in some ways, so incredibly different from canada. i have to say, i have really been enjoying myself so far. seems like it should continue as well!!!
hopefully the next 8 days will be super action packed!!! i am sure we will have a lot more to write about, especially after tomorrow! haha.
-stacey and alex
and a mini story about alex being sick
alex was finally feeling better today, so we got up and headed into Ixtapa (which is about a 15 minute bus ride from Zihuatanejo) for the day to SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS!!! which i´ve wanted to do since we saw the sign for, but alex wasn´t sure about. he finally decided that he wanted to so today we went and it was INCREDIBLE!!! we got to touch them and they pulled us along with their fins and before we got out of the water they pushed us along by the bottom of our feet and lifted us right up out of the water. they´re incredibly beautiful, powerful creatures. we had such a great time.
also, alex discovered yesterday that there´s a place offering skydiving! so guess what we´re doing tomorrow!!!
yes...i´m nervous...but i´m going to do it anyway. it´ll be great...i hope. ha.
don´t have a lot of time to write, but finally uploaded some pictures, so here you go!!!
THE ALEX IS SICK AND TOOK PEPTO BISMOL ONGOING SAGA:
alex´s favorite place! the bathroom!!! waw waw.
other random photos:
the little public deck at our hotel
our favorite place to eat breakfast. the girl who works here is from montreal, and is VERY friendly. we really like her.
HAPPY VALENTINE´S DAY!!!
alex went bodysurfing near our hotel the other day, and this fish kept me company while i sat on a towel on the beach and played pokemon. (i´m a little body surfed out. ) it really was less than 5 feet away.
one day this massive cruise ship showed up in the Zihua bay. this picture doesn´t do it justice. it was HUGE.
HI!!!! it´s me in our hotel room mirror. awesome.
a huge bug that we saw walking to the beach in Ixtapa. it was so big, and so gross.
that´s alex. i thought this was a great photo.
i got this one after playing with the camera settings a little. ha.
this was our old room at the Hotel Susy. this morning they asked us to change rooms because someone wanted air conditioning and we weren´t using ours because it´s $20 extra.
this is our new room. it´s a little smaller, but farther from the street, so it´s cooler, and there´s less noise. i didn´t mind the trade off. ha.
alex looking scary on Playa del Palmar in Ixtapa.
alex made me take this picture because he said, "how often do you see corn on a stick lying around in vancouver?! never!!!" hahaha.
wish us luck for tomorrow!!!!!!
-stacey and alex
Don´t worry, we´re A-OK
After Alex´s rock climbing adventure on the beach we had a "slow day". turns out, after eating that Pozole, i got sick. not from the food, but probably because i was suuuuper dehydrated. (if you read the last entry you´ll remember that we forgot to bring water.) i felt fine all day but when we got back to the hotel to watch Silence of the Lambs i developed a killer headache and thought it might just be from the heat, so i drank some water and tried to take a cold shower, but ended up throwing up instead. not to worry, it didn´t last very long and i went to sleep right away and woke up just fine the next morning, but it wasn´t terribly pleasant. alex was a hero and ran to the store for water and gum because i was worried about throw-up breath. yummy.
so yeah...february 11th was a slow day. we played Pokemon on our gameboys, alex went for a swim, and we went for a walk later. did a little bit of shopping and finally found a shirt i liked, so i picked that up. it´s really light and kind of a pinky color. i´ll put up a picture soon enough. this is another one of those "can´t hook up a camera" places. we really should go back to that first place...too bad neither of us remembers where it is. ha.
we also went and finally talked to Natalia who suggested that we talk to her nephew Coly about finding more body surfing beaches. he wasn´t there that day, so we checked out some of the shops along the beach which has some GREAT masks that i´m going to have to pick up, and then kept on walking. there was a basketball game on in the court, so we watched that for a bit, and then headed back to the hotel.
on february 12th we talked to the woman at the front desk of our Hotel about our water. we have hot water, but our cold was slowly disappearing, and then our toilet wouldn´t flush, and then eventually, we didn´t have any running water at all. so we talked to her about it, and then headed out to Playa Quieta near the club med. it´s my favorite so far. the waves were nice and calm but we were still able to body surf. it was an awesome "Stacey" beach. no danger for me. haha.
ALEX: We went to the club med beach. I had been told that it was next to secret private surfing beach which I wanted to at the very least investigate. the cab dropped us off outside club med and it was really hot so we decided to hit the waves first before exploring the area.
the water was crystal clear and we found some uninhabited beach chairs that belonged to club med. I figured due to our pale complexion we could probably just sit in them and nobody would be the wiser. shortly after settling down, however, a short mexican gaurd wearing a spiffy all white uniform came and told us we couldn´t use the chairs. so we but our stuff in the shade of a bush and surfed for a couple of hours. after a short break I decided I wanted to try and swim to an island a couple of kms away from the shore. it was pretty far away, but I wanted to do it because I knew I could. Stacey was not happy with this plan but I did it anyway. Stacey says I have to include that she didn´t tell me not to do it, but I could tell at the time how she felt.
Off I went there were some jet skis and small lazer sailboats wizzing past me on either side once I got outside the ¨designated swimming area¨. One of the dudes on a boat gave me a thumbsup, from others I recieved troubling looks as to why I was out there. after about a half an hour I starting getting close to the island the water below me started to get lighter coloured and I could hear the waves crashing up on the rocks. weet woo. i had hoped that there would be a nice sandy beach waiting for me, or perhaps a steep rock island jutting our from the ocean floor. instead there was about 20 feet of slippery algie covered rocks with waves pushing back and forth across them. I was getting alittle bit worried. I discovered that if I moved very slowly and timed my movements by the incoming waves then I could progress over the hazzardous terrain. once the rocks were protruding from the water I could see large crabs crawling around betwixt sea anemones. I then realized how fortunate I had been. when I arrived on what I called land the surface which I had thought was sand ended up being millions of shells, likely collected over time by littering birds. I climbed to the top of the rock island 15 feet or so high, and looked back to shore from where stacey was supposed to take my picture. I waved my arms in a frenzy and some the boaters waved back. I marked my territory before my departure by peeing amoungst the rocks. ¨This is my island I said¨. and then I swam back to shore.
On the 13th we took another slow day. Alex wasn´t feeling very well so after breakfast we headed back to the hotel for naps, pokemon, and other fun things. i found out that they have "Trading Spaces" on tv in Spanish, so i watched that for a while. haha. BACK TO BACK!!! it was great. i also cleaned our room, or at least tidied it, and then read some of the book i started, "Portrait in Sepia". (great book, by the way.) alex went for another swim on Playa Principal and so i was by myself for a couple of hours, which was fine. i wanted to make sure i was in tip top shape. my burn finally faded into a tan, and you can CLEARLY see where my bathing suit was, which is pretty funny. that was pretty much our day. nothing super exciting happened that i can remember. we went for another walk, talked to some people in our hotel, a good day, but a slow one, for sure.
on the 14th alex was feeling even worse so we REALLY didn´t do anything. at breakfast we tried to think of things to do, but he had to go back to the hotel to lie down, so that´s what we did. i read my book, and he slept, and then he woke up and played Pokemon while i watched "Trading Spaces" again. he went out the day before and tried to find a present for me, but apparently people in the shops were too pushy and kind of freaked him out, which is fine with me. I´m in mexico. i don´t think anything could really bum me out. haha. we went for dinner at our favorite restaurant and listened to the band for a while. the day before alex had also gone and asked if they would play a song about "blue eyes" but we guessed they forgot because we waited for our check to come for a little over 45 minutes, and they didn´t play anything like that. i still appreciated the effort though. ha.
and today he´s feeling a little better, but still not 100% so we talked to Coly and got some prices on snorkeling, scuba diving, board surfing and kayaking. alex doesn´t want to kayak, and i don´t want to board surf, so we´ll see how that goes, but it looks like maybe tomorrow we´ll go snorkeling, which would be fun. Coly said it´s a four hour trip and we´ll see 3 different snorkeling sites, which would be neat, and he´ll bring us sea-life to look at.
oh yes...how could i forget? today while alex was napping after breakfast, i was fiddling with the camera, and somehow or another reformatted the memory card. know what that means? it means that i lost the 400+ pictures that we had taken in the past couple of weeks. i still can´t believe it. i was pretty angry with myself for a while afterwards and took a nap myself, just because i couldn´t think of anything else to do. thankfully we have some in this journal, but the pictures alex took when he climbed on those rocks and the pictures of the cathedral in Guadalajara are all gone, which i´m a little upset about. still, nothing i can do about it now except take twice as many pictures to make up for it.
today is also the first day i´ve shown any signs of peeling. AND we found out that "Saw II" is in English with subtitles, so we´re going to go and i´m going to be scared silly. oye! hopefully some cartoons will be on tv when we get back, otherwise i won´t be able to sleep. haha.
only 13 days left!!!!
hopefully we can put up pictures of ourselves soon.
-stacey and alex