Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Place of Women

You may remember that Andy Dufresne harbored one dream in “The Shawshank Redemption” -– to open a little beachfront hotel in Zihuatanejo.

I guess the thought had crossed my mind too.

The name Zihuatanejo is from the Nahuatl "Cihuatlán", meaning "place of women" because it was a matriarchal society. In pre-Columbian times, a Tarascan leader with a title of Caltzontzin (that means: He who governs countless houses) frequented the area from the modern day Lake Pátzcuaro region. Legend has it that he constructed the rock barrier on Playa Las Gatas (named for the harmless whiskered sharks that used to be found there) to provide a sheltered swimming area and harbor for the women and children, though the town's official historian says this is a myth.

Nevertheless, that barrier, whether man-made or natural, continues to protect the beach to this day. With the arrival of the Spanish, the name Cihuatlan was transformed first into Cihuatlán and then into Ciguatanejo. Zihuatanejo’s current name form has only been in use for the past couple of centuries.

We are staying in an old hotel that rides downs the steep slope down to the Playa la Ropa.

On one side of us is the truly amazing Casa que Canta. Eating from their terrace provides a killer view of the bay and the city at night. Rooms here, in season, which is ending this week, run at 400.00 and up.

On the other side is the Tides. Their rooms go for about 500.00 dollars.

Much better I think to save your money and just eat there. Both have excellent food. But I think the food and the service at the Tides is as good as is humanly possible.

Yesterday, we went into the village and walked the public beaches and got a sense of the town. We found the Brisas del Mar there. And we liked it a lot. There was a wedding there last night and it looked like a really great place to bring your friends for a boda.

Given the original name,

Perhaps a really good place.

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Blogger a-muse-d said...

I hope the official name of the place is Zihuatanejo. I want to look it up on Google Earth.

5:21 PM  

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