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Nov 19th 2010 Trip Report

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#1 roxie



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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:29 PM

We arrived at CZM airport about 11:30am where we were picked up by a Less Pay car rental rep and taken to their car rental location at the hotel Barracuda. We picked up our Geo Tracker (no license plates, door locks don't work and soft top does not zip all the way at back of vehicle allowing some water to come in when it rains). Kind of a beater, but everything we expected. No real mechanical problems with car (other than door locks). I was satisfied. We were on our way in a jiffy.

Checked in early at the El Cozumeleno and were upgraded to ocean view at no additional cost. We landed a nice, clean room in the new tower. The pool water was FREEZING cold. I got in ONE time hoping for aqua aerobics and no one else was dumb enough to get in; aerobics was canceled. lol Ocean temps were chilly, but not nearly as cold as the pool. I got used to the ocean water temp within about 5-10 minutes; no wet suit needed. Snorkeling at the hotel was quite good and on the last day of our stay we were graced with visits from a variety of skates & rays. Spotted, electric rays and sting rays. I saw two tiny baby rays..So cute. Have to be careful not to step on them as they are burrowed into the sand and often you can't see them until they open their eyes or move. The rays were out in force on Nov 18th. I only saw a handful of barracudas while there but I was not sorry for that as I saw tremendous numbers of them at Playa Corona the last time I was in Coz. Lots of fish seen at El Cozumeleno such as Sergeant Majors, Surgeon fish, French angelfish, unidentified black fish with translucent "wings" and many, many others. There is really only one good let in spot (near the striped pier on the El Coz side). It is very rocky and lots of sharp shells elsewhere. Food at the hotel was decent, drinks were watered down, having room service until 11pm was convenient. Beds were a bit firm for me. Great experience at the hotel Karaoke bar - apparently the bar was full of Texans and we had a singer on stage singing "All my exes live in Texas"..He had two "backup dancers" from the audience. We were having great fun when we noticed a Latin family come in; they heard two bars of what was being sung and all the Texans in audience hooting and hollering..our only Latins could not exit the building fast enough! lol Overall, above average experience at hotel for price paid.

I want to thank the poster here who recommended Pharmacia Dori. I was able to get exactly what I needed there. I checked other stores and believe it or not, Chedraui was twice the price of Dori on one of my meds. Dori was not as bad as some others on price. I went to the large "all generic" drug store and they carried absolutely nothing that I needed. Plus, I hit my head on a metal awning right out in front of their store..Got a nasty red lump on forehead. So, I should have just gone to Dori and done all business there and saved my time. The pharmacy on the waterfront called Value Pharmacy is still selling antibiotics..No script needed. However, if you want Levaquin, you'll pay about $50 for a mere 14 tabs. I chose not to buy antibiotics at that price! Other antibiotics were much more reasonable in price. I found more than one pharmacy selling antibiotics w/out a script. Dori was NOT one of them.

Local Restaurants:

]: Ordered comida corrida with enchildas mole. Unfortunately, the soup of the day was not sopa de lima. It was pasta and not all that great. We ordered guacamole @ 30 pesos. Meal came with Agua Fresca (Jimaca). The appetizer was delicious, the drink was fabulous and the enchiladas mole were to die for! I warn you however, they were muy caliente. I could taste the spicy heat and my traveling partner could not handle the heat in the dish. It was hot, but the flavor was so divine that I gobbled up half my plate pretty fast and we sucked down almost 2 pitchers of Agua Fresca (the purple stuff). It was definitely home made and by far the most delicious my palate has ever had the pleasure of..Well, you know. Anyway, it was supposed to be $5 each, but I guess the mole was extra or else the waiter overcharged. It was 150 pesos for 2 lunch meals and one 30 peso guac. Waiter says he owns the burger joint across the street.

La Choza
: We had heard the red snapper was delicious here so we ordered one whole, fried red snapper and shared it between 2 of us. It was so large, there was no need to order 2 separate fish/meals. It filled us both up quite well! Very very very delicious!! Crunchy on the outside, tender inside. We ate every bite. They brought us rice and fresh local steamed veggies to go with fish and we shared the bowl of cream bean soup that came with it. We were fighting over the bean soup! We again had guacamole for appetizer. Each had a bottled soft drink. Service was awesome. Total cost was $24 US before tip. The best meal of this trip!

Mission on 30th:
After hearing all the rave reviews, we had to go check this place out. Wow, we were seriously disappointed. Neither of us enjoyed our dinner meal, it wasn't that inexpensive (about the same as La Choza) and the service was sketchy. I ordered the fish of the day plate. It was pretty awful. The outer edges were extremely overcooked and the middle section was almost raw. I don't know how the cook managed that one! We were both really turned off by the food. We drank our soft drinks and left pretty quickly.

After all the little rain showers we had this past week, my traveling companion slipped on the wet, slippery tile near the pool and hurt her back pretty badly. As a result, we canceled many of the activities we had planned. We did manage to make it to to spa/massage places as well as the usual souvenir shopping.

OKE Spa - If I recall correctly, this is on 3rd just four or five doors on the right side of the street (very close to the water front). They are not well advertised in the phone book or other places but wow, what a good foot rub/reflexology!! We went 3 times!! 30 minutes on your feet for $25. She will also give you a $45, hour long massage if you get the foot rub too. They really use their fingers on the foot rubs and are not LAX!
Spa Del Sol
- $85 for hour long massage and 30 min foot rub. Honestly, the massage here was not as good. It was hot and miserable in their office, but better with fan in massage room. Massage therapist must have left the room 20 times.. For what..I do not know. I did not get a 60 min massage and no way did I get a 30 min foot rub. For this reason I cannot recommend them. They were nice people, but not so great massage. I asked my travel companion if she had a similar experience and she said the same thing..Her massage therapist kept leaving the room..taking breaks I guess?? We haven't a clue. Even when they were in the room, the massage was about a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1-10.

Finally, I bought tanzanite earrings for Christmas for a family member from a jeweler in the square. I do not recall the name of the shop, only that it was in the square, close to the middle, almost immediately to the right of two banks. I asked how would I know I was not buying glass since the earrings came with no certificate or guarantee?? The salesman really had no good explanation other than the fact that he does not try to get his customers drunk like other jewelers do..Not a good excuse. The silver is marked .925 so I guess that is a good sign. However, no way to know if stones are real without appraisal. Price started at $150. I paid $100. I'm betting now that they are glass. This same "jeweler" was selling knock off purses. I should have known better.

I got yelled at a few times by local business owners for parking illegally in front of or near their stores for 15-20 minutes at a time. When I say yell..I mean..YELL. I would tell them in Spanish that I would only be there a few minutes. That never mattered. One told me he was calling Policia RIGHT now. Call me crazy, but everywhere I looked I saw locals parked illegally. I had someone with a hurt back in the car and it was extremely hard for her to walk any further than needed. I guess it would be easier if irritating tourists just stayed home! Fortunately, I was never ticketed or hassled by anyone other than the locals. Word to the wise..Park in a parking lot where you pay by the hour and then walk, walk walk.

Due to new airline policies..If you have a non-direct flight home to the US, you WILL be checking your checked bags TWICE. As a result of us not knowing this, we missed a connecting flight in Houston and wound up spending a VERY long day/evening trying to get home.

Overall, we had mostly nice days with perfect temps. Resort employees and most locals were very nice. Great underwater pics.
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#2 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 01:04 PM

Sounds like a nice trip except your friend got hurt. Your hindsight is smart regarding the parking issues (you could've dropped her off and then parked in a lot) and the jewelry thing... I would never, ever buy anything that expensive at an unknown shop while on vacation. Things marked .925 aren't always.
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#3 creativityonvacation



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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:10 PM

The pharmacy on the waterfront called Value Pharmacy is still selling antibiotics..

Where is this Pharmacy at?

Its great that you enjoyed your trip!
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#4 Fin74



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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:36 AM

"Due to new airline policies..If you have a non-direct flight home to the US, you WILL be checking your checked bags TWICE. As a result of us not knowing this, we missed a connecting flight in Houston and wound up spending a VERY long day/evening trying to get home."

Are you talking about when you re-check your bags after clearing Customs? We've always had to do that. Didn't know if that's what you meant or if something had changed since we were there 2 weeks ago.
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#5 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:18 PM

I also wouldn't rent a vehicle with doors that don't lock. Stuff gets stolen out of cars constantly.
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