Tuesday, September 16, 2008


We've all seen pictures of the cliff divers in Mexico, haven't we? These are from Acapulco. Once a hot spot, Acapulco is not the destination it used to be for Mexican tourists, but we sure enjoyed it! It was a short port stop on Friday August 22, from 7am to 1pm, because the Magic needed to make sure it made it our Panama Canal entry time.

We woke up to rain - so much for our walking tour and beach plans. Good thing I had picked up an umbrella at Kmart before we left town! As soon as we got out of the cruise ship terminal, we were accosted by taxi drivers to drive us around town. We were going to walk but as we got a little farther, we got wetter and the taxis got cheaper, so we went with "Martin" in a VW bug cab. Acapulco must be where all of the VW bugs go to retire – we’ve never seen so many of them in one place in our lives!

Martin first took us through the old town to a flea market. We were the first customers of the day, and probably the most disappointing customers. We did get a t-shirt for Brandon, and he was amazed by the bartering I did, he thought that was pretty cool! From there we went to La Quedabra, where we saw the cliff divers. Normally the cliff divers don't start until 12:30pm, but there was a special show at 9:30am just for our cruise ship, and Martin knew about it and got us there. We watched outside on the platform, where it was wet but started clearing up. I thought it would be higher but it was still pretty amazing to see them dive. Brandon seemed to enjoy splashing in the puddles at least a much, if not more, than watching the divers themselves. Seven year old boys are so easily entertained!

On our way back to the ship Martin took us through more of old town, and up to an old hotel that had a marvelous view of the city. He guaranteed us it was the best view, and it was great. We were shocked that this beautiful old hotel, the Hotel Teran, was no longer in operation. We saw many hotels during our short trip that appeared abandoned and gutted. Very clearly Acapulco has seen some better days.

It was a fun little drive back to the Fort of San Diego, where we said goodbye to Martin. We went in for tickets, but didn’t have any more cash and they didn’t take Visa, so we thought we would have to go back to the ship but the lady said to go ahead and go in. Very nice of her! It was a nice museum about the history of the town and the fort, with displays in Spanish and English. The views from the Fort were gorgeous, but the little camera’s battery had run out and I didn’t have my good camera. Bummer!

It was only 10:45 or so by the time were done with the fort, so we went for a walk along the bay to find a beach. The water was quite yucky – lots of trash in it – so we didn’t let Brandon go in. It was cool to see the fisherman readying their boats, and some fisherman were already in with fish for the day to sell. We heard later you can buy the fish there and then go up the street and the restaurants will cook it for you. Again, I wished that I had my camera, because there were some amazing images there.

We got back to the ship about 11:30am. Since we had time and were right by the Fort, I decided to go back with my good camera and take more pictures from the top of the fort. Back out and up to the fort I went, and this time I had money to pay to get in. I got up to the top, got my camera out, and then... had to wait. Turns out – taking a camera from an air conditioned stateroom directly into the hot and humid tropical weather is not such a good idea. The lens steamed up and it took a while for the lens to dry back out! (I can't even remember how many times I did this on the trip, some lessons are hard to learn.)

I loved the hillsides of the houses stacked on top of each other in the old town, some painted in bright colors. I heard the instruments warming up in the music school just across from the fort, and the honking of all of the cars down on the main street. The fort itself was beautiful as well, with the bright yellow and white interior in contrast with the rough stone exterior. I left about 12:30 to get back to the ship, in plenty of time. The rain had stopped during the cliff diving, but it started to sprinkle on me as I was waiting on the gangway and then started pouring once I was on the ship.

I found Patrick and Brandon and we went to deck 4 to watch the sight of the city as we sailed out of Acapulco. We agreed that we enjoyed the location and the look of the town much better than Cabo, since that was mostly desert, but the town itself was pretty run down and so much was deserted. We can only wonder what it was like in its heyday.

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