Simple Mind, Simple Pleasures…

Our plans for our last full day at Ixtapa included walking part of the Plano de Ciclopista, which is an eight km path through the jungle, used mainly by cyclists.
392 Plano de Ciclopista
But first we had to go over to Sis’s resort, The Azul Grand, to register for dinner that evening. My heat rash was considerably worse that morning, very uncomfortable, so I was beyond thankful to find out Sis had brought some cortisone cream with her. (Note to self: always travel with cortisone cream) My arms felt almost immediate relief after I applied the cream. Before we left, we took a quick tour of the Grand’s grounds while sipping on a yummy Banana Monkey. The Grand is a step up from the Azul where we were staying, and it’s more geared to adults than families. I found it quite beautiful, especially the infinity pool, and definitely much quieter.
One of the first things Hubby and I had noticed when we arrived that first day in Ixtapa, was the interesting and unique rock formation along the walkway parallel to the resort. I’m not sure what kind of rock it is, it seems to crumble easily, but it’s pretty.
As seen from the resort
60 Fountains in front of Azul from 19th floor
Up close
387 Rock wall along walk
I’d read about the Plano de Ciclopista in some reviews, so had made note to check it out, and then a lady I’d met at the pool told me where it was and highly recommended walking it. We started at the 8 Km mark, which is the end of the path, located at Playa Linda, across from the crocodile preserve.
389 Start of Plano de Ciclopista
We weren’t sure what to expect and were pleased to find a lovely paved path through lush trees, which provided some welcome shade as we strolled.
390 Plano de Ciclopista
About a kilometre in, we came across a quiet little viewing area with benches to rest on. The sign said Mirador las garzas (view of herons) and Mirador la iguana, but as luck had it, we didn’t see either.
393 Mirador las Laguna, Plano de Ciclopista
A young couple on bikes pulled up while we drank our water and relaxed, and we chatted with them for a few minutes. They told us the path started at the marina in Ixtapa, which made us wish we’d known this before we’d started out. If we’d been prepared, Hubby could’ve worn his braces and me, my shoes instead of flipflops, and with another bottle of water or two, we could’ve walked the entire way to Ixtapa, then taken the bus back. I hate missed opportunities.
I guess, technically, there’s not a lot to see along the way, just trees for the most part. But maybe that expression “Simple mind, simple pleasures” applies to me, because I found something to enjoy everywhere I looked. These little raccoon footprints really tickled me.
394 Racoon prints, Plano de Ciclopista
Not sure what kind of critter left their prints in the wet concrete, but how adorable are they?
399 Plano de Ciclopista
When you’re walking through the jungle and you come across a set of stairs, of course you have to climb them to see what’s up top.
395 Plano de Ciclopista
What we found, was…nothing. Not even a nice view.
396 Plano de Ciclopista
All there was, was another set of stairs back down. Mysterious.
397 Plano de Ciclopista
My feet started letting me know I’d have a few new blisters if we didn’t turn around soon, so at kilometre 5.5, we headed back. That made a total of five kilometres, round trip.
398 Where we turned back, Plano de Ciclopista
Back at the crocodile viewing platform, the turtles had come out to play.
420 Crocodile habitat
413 Crocodile habitat
I’d only had the occasional glimpse of the turtles, so far, and was thrilled to see this many cavorting openly with the crocodiles.
402 Crocodile habitat
405 Crocodile habitat
I watched while one big mother of a crocodile bumped up against a smaller, but obviously cranky one. The cantankerous little guy gave a loud hiss and displayed his impressive pearly whites.IMG_1484410 Crocodile habitat

416 Crocodile habitat
I happily snapped away as we enjoyed the continued interplay between the turtles and their friends, the crocodiles.  Again, such simple pleasures.
408 Crocodile habitat
409 Crocodile habitat
412 Crocodile habitat
414 Crocodile habitat
415 Crocodile habitat
There’s a large flea market located near the crocodile preserve. Usually we avoid this type of thing. We already have more than enough Mexican souvenirs, but I had something in mind for my little grandsons, so we decided to take a peak. I looked high and I looked low, without any luck, so with my feet making serious protests, I reluctantly called it quits. As we were leaving the last stall, I glanced down and low and behold – exactly what I wanted sat on a bottom shelf. So yay, I didn’t leave empty-handed and in a few weeks when I get to see my precious little boys, they’ll have their own Mexican turtles.
IMG_1644
I envied this little cat having a siesta in the shade of a car, although poolside sounded a little more appealing to me.
421 Siesta time
We walked back past the preserve on our way to the resort and spotted a few more of our charming friends.

Brilliant iguana
423 Crocodile habitat
Elusive Roseate Spoonbills424 Roseate Spoonbill, Crocodile habitat
Another siesta happening. Not sure how comfortable his pillow was though.
426 Crocodile habitat
Quite amusing, looked like these two fellows were having a visit, then after the chat, the little guy ambled off.
427 Crocodile habitat
428 Crocodile habitat
Our towel art was particularly outstanding that day.
431
432
433
The effects of the cream had worn off my arms by the time we’d returned to the room and my feet sported two new blisters (totally my fault for choosing the wrong footwear), so I was more than ready for a quiet time at the pool with a cool drink and a good book.
441 View from quiet pool
Notice the interesting shape my knee bruise was taking on. A lovely heart. How nice. (Yes that’s sarcasm)
445 Bruise, Day 6
We had dinner with Sis and BIL at the Mexican Restaurant at the Azul Grand and hands down, it was my favourite meal. Chicken something, and my, was it tasty. Unfortunately a large convention was being held at the Grand and about one hundred attendees were also eating dinner at the same restaurant that evening, so the noise volume was extreme, which severely detracted from the ambiance. Great food, not so great ambiance, what can you do? I still relished every bite.
After dinner, I used a little more of Sis’s cortisone cream, and with the rash tamed for the moment, went contentedly off to bed. It had been a long day.

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