Flying over Ixtapa

On our first full day in Ixtapa, in February, 1997, I discovered Alex and his ultralight aircraft, offering rides over the beach and resort. It was basically a hang glider with a two-stroke engine and a double seat. I had to get up there - I love flying, especially in small planes. I wanted to rent the flier for an hour or two, but they would only let me ride as passenger (that's me at the back, in case you hadn't guessed). Well, it was still a thrill. We flew at around 2,000-2,500 feet for about 15 minutes - not nearly enough time, but a great ride nonetheless. I could have stayed up for an hour. I was really torn whether or not to sell my motorcycle to buy one when I got home! But Susan intervened on the side of sanity... (something about Toad of Toad Hall comes to mind)...

This shot was taken with a small automatic camera mounted on the wing. In the background, of course, is the beach of Ixtapa. On the right, you can see the main shopping-restaurant area. Zihua logoThey have some really good restaurants there (try the superb marinated octopus at Da Baffone - house specialty and the best octopus I've ever eaten), but while the shopping is good, there are better bargains to be had in town. Our hotel - the Dorado Pacifico, a very comfortable, pleasant place to stay - is slightly obscured by the centre support strut. The hotel above the pilot's head is the Holiday Inn and just to the right of my head is El Presidente. You can see the great stretch of beach below.

Maybe some day I can convince him to fly me over Zihuatanejo, where we stay, in a smaller, cozier home on the bay. I unreservedly recommend Ixtapa to vacationers, even families, especially for first-time visitors to Mexico. It's safe, comfortable, clean, quiet, safe and has great food. And you can easily get to Zihuatanejo for a visit. If you want to read about our vacations in Zihuatanejo in 1998-2001, click here. An update will be completed on our Zihua page in summer 2001. Check out my tequila site while you're here.

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Carl Franz: People's Guide to Mexico(PS. If you want to learn more about the heart and soul of Mexico, not just the tourist stuff, read Carl Franz's wonderful book, 'The People's Guide to Mexico' published by John Muir Press. It's entertaining, witty, informative and thoroughly delightful. Even if you don't plan to go south, read it just for the sheer fun of it. The latest edition is the 25th anniversary edition. Highly recommended!)

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