It didn’t take too long before the old travel side had a brief awakening. The excursions were too expensive in my opinion (no surprise there) especially since they are quoted in US dollars. Other guests recommended we use a tour operator outside the resort which would’ve saved a few dollars, but since we just wanted to wander around town we decided to do it on our own.
We spent one morning in the center of Manzanillo. Despite being the largest/busiest port in Mexico the city has a population of only about 100,000 and is one of Mexico’s…. safest. We had no problem taking a local bus to the center and walking along the waterfront and surrounding blocks. The famous landmark of Manzanillo is a giant blue sailfish statue by the water (apparently the deep-sea fishing in the area is really good) and a stroll around the surrounding streets revealed small shops, a little market and, my favourite part, no hassle. A few other tourists were sitting in cafe’s having lunch or buying trinkets but nobody begged, nobody followed us, the streets were surprisingly clean and felt perfectly safe. I loved being back in the hot weather with palm trees and other tropical vegetation, multi-coloured houses and buildings and pelicans resting on the little fishing boats. In a way it was a perfect introduction to Mexico though perhaps a false one because I’m sure it can’t all be this relaxed.
Emboldened by this initial success, a few days later we decided to take a bus 90km inland to Colima, the state capital. Colima is also the name of the Mexican state we were in, the 4th smallest in the country, so it was no surprise that although Colima is a little larger than Manzanillo, it was not by much and still had a very laid back and safe feel to it. My main reason for wanting to visit Colima was to see the nearby Colima volcano, the most active one in Mexico and as we’d just learned, had been active again, erupting at the beginning of the month. I have a thing for volcanoes and wanted to see if there was any leftover activity still going on. It did not disappoint! Just as we were rolling into Colima on the bus and with a perfect view of the volcano in front of us, it started puffing out smoke! It had been doing this off and on since the eruption so nobody thought that much of it and after a couple minutes it stopped again. This happened periodically throughout the day but unfortunately in the afternoon the volcano was obscured in cloud and we never again got as good a view as our first. Colima itself was nice. We made it to the center and wandered around a few streets to a couple of the central plazas, Jardin de Nunoz and Jardin de Libertad which were surrounded by some nice cathedrals and government buildings. Although it was the 8th settlement founded by the Spanish in New Spain back in the 1500’s there isn’t a lot of history and culture to see still.
From there we went to the nearby village of Comala which is a major attraction within the state for its museum dedicated to a local artist and the views of the volcano. Unfortunately for us the volcano was obscured by this time and after a quick walk around and a peek into the Comala cathedral we started our journey back to Manzanillo.
Overall I was impressed. The lack of a hassle factor was nice, the well organized bus stations were a bit of a surprise and the quality of the 1st class buses a shock. We ended up on a 1st class bus going to Colima because we weren’t sure what we were doing and ended up in a double-decker coach bus with snacks and wifi. Not that the wifi really worked but the little iPad-like screens in each seat were impressive, likewise the free wifi offered in some of the plazas in Colima and I think in Manzanillo as well. The travel landscape is definitely changing and I’m going to have to rethink some of the old strategies and adjust to the concept of using the internet in real time for research and bookings the next time I go away. This trip served its purpose and we came home feeling refreshed and inspired for more travel again, hopefully soon. Thank you Tesoro Manzanillo Resort and Savannah, I make no predictions where will be next but I’d love to see more of Mexico and I’ll definitely be needing to work on my Spanish. Ammon
Categories: Savannah Grace