A bunch of bus!
It actually did rain for a few seconds along the way too – that’s one day with rain per three weeks. Not bad.
Manzanillo is now the busiest port in Mexico, passing up Veracruz a few years ago. Even so – the port looks like a little toy compared to Oakland’s monstrous shipyard. 4 big cranes in Manzanillo… maybe 20 in Oakland? Manzanillo is centered around it’s seaside zócalo with a big metal swordfish.
Manzanillo didn’t feel very gringo-friendly, I think it’s because it’s really an industrial port city at heart – and proud of it. I took off for Acapulco the next morning. 12 more hours of bus down the side of the big beautiful pacific to Acapulco. The highway was slow and windy, lots of military checkpoints, small villages lacking basic infrastructure, and… miles and miles of stunning, deserted, secluded beaches.
And Acapulco! The first thing you notice about Acapulco is the taxis. The whole city is literally covered with little Volkswagen Bug taxis.
Acapulco’s central zócalo….
The bay of Acapulco is beautiful, even if it smells bad. The mountains nestle right down to the water – a truly beautiful city (from far away).
Acapulco from up close… being blunt, Acapulco is the filthiest, most polluted, most depressing, most crime ridden place I’ve ever experienced in my life. I have a completely new perspective on West Oakland. You think you’re hardcore? In downtown Acapulco, the bums have are literally rotting away on the street. The air is thick with diesel smog. The water is brown. Sewage. Insects. The very first guy I talked to, a taxi driver in the bus terminal, was selling cocaine. Everyone up here in the Bay Area, everyone from the prostitutes in the Tenderloin through the crackheads and gangbangers up and down Oakland’s International Boulevard – we’ve still got our basic needs covered at a level that the general population in Acapulco can’t assume. We have clean water. We have clear air. We have a functional sewage system. Our bums survive. We have welfare. Social Security. I don’t want to say we’re pampered, because that implies that we’re soft, and have something to be ashamed of because we’ve managed to get our basic needs under control. But we do need to realize and remember that even though there is significant variance in the level of privilege we’re born into in the first world, from the perspective of the other 4 billion, we’re really all one and the same. There’s a lot wrong with our society in the States, there’s a lot to work on and a lot to change, but it’s essential to remember how much we’ve done that’s right. There’s a level of pride in the States that’s warranted by our successful creation of community… but yet for some reason doesn’t exist. Keep working to improve, but allow ourselves to recognize and celebrate good we’ve created! </rant>