Saying that the people I know in Zihuatanejo are kind and warm is a terrible understatement, and one example of this happened during the dinner at the wedding.
As he contemplated the rock formations in the middle of the sea, Rodolfo spoke his mind and said he would like to go there. This was enough for our friend Enrique N to call one of his men and arrange a snorkeling trip the very next morning, exclusively for us. I was speechless, both because of his quick gesture and because snorkeling makes me very, very nervous. But that invitation couldn’t just be refused.
The next morning we were again at the wharf, and the motorboat arrived exactly on time. Our host Franco, two adolescent cousins of his, Rodolfo and I happily boarded the elegant vessel and the experienced and educated boatman immediately started the voyage. The waters were very placid, but I can’t deny the fact that I’m a land man and soon I started to feel a little nervous at watching the sea all around us. Fortunately I was perfectly able to compose myself and enjoy the trip.
Inhaling the pure, salty air from the sea felt strange, but then I suddenly realized how used I am to breathing the polluted air of the city. Thinking this I decided to inhale more and more deeply, as if to compensate for years of impurity.
Some 25 minutes later we passed right next to the huge white rocks emerging from the sea, with birds on top making them even whiter. We continued a little further and finally arrived at Playa Manzanillo. The man cut the engine a little close to the beach and instructed us on how to snorkel.
I did my best but was unable to swim about much, in spite of the lifesaver vest I demanded. In these cases I need to be left alone for some minutes in order to be able to relax, but the boatman wouldn’t stop reassuring me that everything was ok and giving me instructions that only made me more confused and upset. Finally, he left me alone and I slowly relaxed and enjoyed watching the myriads of colorful fish below. The other guys were much more relaxed and happily snorkeled around.
Oh, how I would like to control my fear and fully enjoy swimming and snorkeling. If it were a full-day trip I could have been able to relax, but we didn’t have all day, and after a few more minutes, we continued to Playa Las Gatas, which I had visited some years ago.
This is a beautiful beach with very, very shallow waters. According to the natives, the reef was built by a Tarascan king in pre-Columbian times to form a haven from the waves and make the beach a safe swimming-pool for his wife and daughters. Las Gatas is just perfect for snorkeling (especially for me), but please be warned that the reef and the stones can badly hurt your feet. There were dozens of sea urchins too, so you had to be extra careful when walking on the reef and the rocks.
Happy and exhausted, we boarded the boat again and after a few minutes we returned to the wharf. The sea, the sun, the waves and the pure salty air through my nostrils are now memories that I will treasure in my heart forever.