It was a long journey here, not so much because of the distance, but like all of Mexico the roads are really slow going. The road into Acapulco from the south brings you in high above the bay, and it looks spectacular – a huge horseshoe curve with all the buildings and hotels nestled in the green hills right down to the sandy beach.
Our hotel isn’t great. We had a bad start with them as they overcharged us – We got it sorted but its still too much money for a post-war crappy “POW-camp-style” bungalow – but, to be fair, it’s a really quiet spot considering we are close to the main parade and beach, and to be able to sleep without any noise is bloody fantastic. On our first night we found a second floor restaurant that served good food and 50 pence beers (Coronas) where we watched the Acapulco world go by – balloon horses and beetle taxis are the norm here. Our best find though, (and now the only place we eat) is a natural food restaurant with fresh juice blends and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, salads. I know, if someone had told me a year ago that I would be ordering a burger with alfalfa sprouts willingly, from a restaurant with a ‘food combining’ chart to help you with good nutritional choices, I would have said “f*** off”. Jane, as always, took it a step too far and had a cactus salad 🙂
One day we were approached by “Carlos” – a tour guide – on the street who asked us if we had done any sightseeing, namely the Cliff Divers of La Quebrada, Acapulco. This was one of the reasons I was here…but admittedly I totally forgot until he mentioned it. My family will be familiar with this, as it was the place Elvis Presley made his debut as a cliff diver in the the film “Fun in Acapulco”. He really did the dives!!! (yeah right!).
On the way to the cliff dive Carlos took us to a hotel called “The Flamingo”. This was a home from home for the hollywood jet-set in the 50’s and 60’s. The most famous was Johnny Weismuller (or Tarzan) who lived here most of the time when he wasn’t tarzan-ing. Other famous actors who stayed here include John Wayne and Cary Grant.
The dive show started at 1pm so we arrived in good time to get a decent view of the cliffs. There were about 5 divers who swam to the base of the 50 foot + cliff then scaled the cliff face to the top, where there were a couple of small altars where they did their prayers before leaping off the top. The locals call them “the crazy divers” (but in Spanish 🙂 There was no music or drum rolls before each dive. The guys just lift up their arms, whistle to get the crowd going then hoy themselves off the top…mental…into a small channel of wild water. It’s a miracle that they don’t get smashed off the rocks! The last diver, the Head Honcho, has real balls – he not only dives off the highest point (after a lot of prayers) he also does a somersault before hitting the water. Its really immpressive stuff…and here’s some footage of the man himself….
Tomorrow we leave for Mexico City, our last destination here before boarding the plane to Miami in a few days. We are hoping that it’s going to be cooler there, as the temperature in Acapulco has hit 38 degrees centigrade, and we are melting 🙂 It feels very strange to be winding down our stay here in Central America and Mexico… but it had to happen!