Five Dreadful Hours in Acapulco - Sunday, April 13, 2003

We were quite sad to leave our little paradise of San Augustinillo, but it seemed rather timely since a rainstorm hit and M picked up a case of tourista. We said goodbye to our gracious hosts, newfound people and dog friends, and took the collectivo bus an hour west to Puerto Escondido to catch our late night bus to Acapulco. It was boiling hot in Puerto Escondido even after dark and we waited, and waited, and waited for the bus which showed up about a 1/2 hour late. We were on the road by midnight very surprised that the first-class bus we opted for was standing room only. Poor Dave couldn't stick his enormous legs in the aisle.. We didn't quite understand why anyone would choose to ride 8 hours standing up! After a few brief naps throughout the night, we mysteriously awoke to a clear aisle way..

Did you know that Acapulco has 1.5 million people and feels like a mix between Las Vegas and Miami! We certainly didn't and are experiencing a bit of culture shock when we left the bus station since this is by far the biggest town we've been in for 9 weeks! After finding some food, we secured a ride to the airport, stored our packs at a travel agency and took off for the central mercado. We were looking for something to do to pass the time since we were both too tired and hot to go to the beach.

Some guy approached us on the street when we were just about to hit the mercado offering his services. Apparently he makes his living by guiding people through the mercado (he's got an official tour leader badge). If we buy something, he gets points. If he gets enough points, he gets a big basket of food and house supplies at the end of the month. We were both so zonked out that we couldn´t ditch him! We weren't planning on buying anything, just wandering. Why waste his time?? He asked us our first names and later introduced us to one of the shopkeepers by 1st and last name. We hadn't told him our last name. So now we are really freaking out. Both of our backpack are firmly secured to our backs and nothing was missing. How did he know our last name? We certainly didn't tell him. Nobody here seems to be able to say Haralson on the 1st try either... hmmmm... he didn't seem to have phone on him, so how could the tourist office that we booked our airport shuttle with have called him?? Dave asked how he knew our last name and said it was just a coincidence. NOBODY would guess HARALSON! COME ON! Needless to say, we are still perplexed and somehow ended up buying a useful souvenir.. Never go shopping when your resistance is down!! Maybe the guy was clairvoyant???

Soaking wet from our trip to the mercado and seeing stars, we couldn't find a cafe with air conditioning and found this internet cafe. One hour to go before we go to the airport. Too bad we don't have $200 to spend per night on a a nice hotel on the bay here. I think it might be a nice place to hang for a few days, but then again, why stay here when you can have your own private beach for $20/night in San Augstinillo!!!

The main tourist attraction in Acapulco (aside from the beach) is the infamous cliff divers. The folks are aging Elvis looking types (in his later days) wearing Speedos who dive off cliffs into the bay 4X a day. Unfortunately, the 1st dive is after we leave for the airport. Bummer.

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