Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Road Trip Acapulco, Route 200 Pacific Coast Mexico


Acapulco looks glamorous from a high vantage point but in reality it is suffering. Tourism is down and the people in the industry are nearly desperate. It becomes obvious when you walk the street along the beach. Hawkers are at you every step of the way. ( hookers too; she didn’t make eye contact but as we passed, she nearly whispered, “Like a massage”) The entire town needs a good scrubbing.

Cruise ships come in to Acapulco but the tourists seldom stray too far from their organized tours . Even the visitors from Canada and the US who normally RV down and stay for the winter have gone elsewhere. Acapulco is blessed with abundant natural beauty and an ideal bay but it has had its heyday. It now seems doomed as a tawdry, spring break party town.

Tarzan once wintered in Acapulco. He hung out with John Wayne and a few other Hollywood types that wintered at the Los Flamingos Hotel, high on the cliffs on the west side of the bay with a view of the Pacific. I hired a cab driver to take me there and show me the sights; I was sick of riding the deplorable city buses.

From the ends of the bay, we ascended to high promontories with great views of the curving coastline. On the southeast side we visited the cloister and not only had a great view of Acapulco Harbor but had a vulture’s eye view of the rambling, multilevel estate of Sylvester Stalone.

We then crawled our way through choking traffic along the beach road to the northwest side of the city, a road that had looked so benign from the heights. We finally reached the promontory where the cliff divers perform. We lined up on the bridge for a free peek at the announced special 2:00 pm show. We waited in vain; it seemed that nobody had informed the divers. We moved on to the Los Flamingos.

Time had stopped at the Los Flamingos lounge for the two grey haired gentlemen in blue blazers with gold buttons and white slacks sipping their afternoon martinis. I looked out over the city and could hear Acapulco whishing that time had stopped. Unfortunately it hadn’t. The city had aged, Tarzan had died, John Wayne too. Acapulco died as well but just didn’t know it.

Acapulco Museum
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