Monday, October 7, 2019

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – Manzanillo, Mexico – Sunny 81F

It is a beautiful day in Mexico.

Our next stop on the Pacific Coast of Mexico is the port of Manzanillo.


Manzanillo is located along two bays, Bahia de Manzanillo and the Bahia de Santiago and has a population of just over 111,000. Based on past experience, there is not a lot to see by walking the streets of this town so we are opting for excursions.  We are the only cruise ship docked here today.

We are both on tour today – “Magic Pueblos – Comala and Nogueras”, which promises coffee tasting, optical illusions, and the Hidalgo Estate.

The description is a bit confusing but the tour turned out to be very interesting.  We boarded our comfortable bus for the ride to the town of Comala (very close to the larger city of Colima).

The driver told us that we would be able to see an amazing optical illusion involving the road we were on.  The driver said the road would look like a hill but it was actually level.  I have to say that both going and coming I could not see this illusion.  Perhaps, some tequila ahead of time would have helped.

Comala is known as "The White Village of America" as all of the buildings have been painted white (since the 1960s).  It has a population of around 21,000 people.

The stop here will involve first visiting the Nogueras Hacienda, the home of renowned artist Alejandro Rangel Hidalgo.  Hidalgo was born in 1923 and lived and worked most of his life at this family hacienda.  The property is now a museum and part of the University of Colima.  It is a beautiful property with displays of Hidalgo art (notably his famous Christmas Cards) and indigenous people's pottery.

We were given some free time explore the Hacienda and take photos.

One of the neatest items in the museum was a 300 year old sewing machine.

Our next stop was lunch in Comala.  The restaurant was right in the main square of the village and we all ate al fresco.  We had arranged for vegetarian entrees and the waiter said he had them.  We sat with a couple from the ship and we had a nice chat while waiting for the food to be served.  When our vegetarian dishes arrived - cheese based enchiladas, guacamole, and other Mexican items, our table mates started taking the items not knowing that their meals would be coming as well.  Well, they were quicker than we were and very little was left.  We told the waiter what happened and he said he would bring us some more of the same.  Our table mates also got their food so they had the best of both worlds.  I had a La Victoria Beer with lunch, a perfect companion for the food.  The food was absolutely delicious - one of the best meals we have had off ship.  I documented the event.

After lunch, we had some free time so we wandered around the town of Comala, and documented our visit by taking a picture of the town sign - we both got in this picture thanks to one of our shipmates.

Comala also has a very picturesque main square.

Our final stop was coffee tasting at a local coffee grower.

I thought there would be several coffees to taste but the tasting involved a small cup of their coffee (no decaf in Mexico).  The stop was so-so.

What was pretty cool was the view we got of Volcano de Colima.  This volcano, which towers 12,295 feet, is the youngest of three volcanoes in the area and is one of the most active volcanoes in both Mexico and North America.

The drive back to Manzanillo was relatively short and soon we were back on ship.

We had a small dinner as we were still pretty full from our massive Mexican lunch.

We watched the sail away from Deck 5.  A Mexican navy gunboat escorted us out of the bay and into open waters.

Showtime tonight featured Daniel and Kimberly Craig – acrobatics and comedy.  Daniel and Kimberly are professional "buskers" - street circus performers, who do their act over 200 times on the streets of Europe and North America.  Occasionally, they will do a gig on a cruise ship.  They are very entertaining and the audience warmed up to them.  Note - Kimberly is unrecognizable in her secret identity.

A very nice day in Manzanillo, Mexico.

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