After enjoying a good night's sleep in our rented condominium, it was time to explore. We asked one of the security guards at the Mayan Island if there was a nearby grocery store, and was told that there was none within walking distance. This is one thing that I DIDN'T like about the Zona Diamante. We felt very safe the whole time we were there, but there is nothing within reasonable walking distance that resembled a grocery store or even a small convenience store, like OXXO. This was one of the big differences between Acapulco's tourist zone and Zihuatanejo's, which we visited earlier in 2021. Zihuatanejo (also in the Mexican state of Guerrero) was decidedly "walkable" with lots of street vendors, shops, and stores scattered throughout the city. We were never more than a few blocks away from anything we needed, whether it be tacos, fruit, a pharmacy, whatever.
Acapulco's Zona Diamante is decidedly not like that. Although considered very safe and secure, we had to take a taxi from the Diamante Zone to get to anything. Although the taxi service was prompt and readily available any time we wanted to use it, it was still annoying. The repeated trips ended up being rather costly at 125-150 pesos per trip (one-way, so those costs added up and increased our overall costs for this exploratory trip).
I took a taxi went to the local Chedraui, which was the closest grocery store. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Chedraui is similar to Wal-mart in the United States. The store carries fresh and packaged foods, as well as a selection of clothing, housewares, etc.
The pool is ENORMOUS, and not very deep. The water temperature was as very pleasant, so after slathering on some waterproof sunscreen, the kids hopped right in and started splashing around and playing water games.
I did go down to the beach to explore, as well. The sand was so hot that you couldn't walk across it without sandals or flip-flops (chanclas, as the locals call them). The little cabanas were first-come, first serve, and I plopped down in one to watch the waves and enjoy the sun for a bit.
I checked older photos of the beach on Travelocity and these canvas pop-up tents replaced palapa-style ones several years ago, probably because of hurricanes. This is what happened when we visited Baja California, as well.
The waves were rough throughout the day and into the afternoon. I saw a few surfers and boogie boarders as well as a snorkeler or two. Four-wheel ATVs sped up and down the beach at very fast speeds. They can be rented as well.
There was a lifeguard posted in the tower all day (as you can see from the photo below). I went into the surf up to my waist but not further than that. The water temperature was pleasant but the waves were rough and the undertow was strong, even for me. I didn't feel comfortable having my kids at the water's edge for that reason, although my younger two came down to play in the sand for a while and enjoy some lime ice cream from one of the many vendors that trolled the beach.
I admittedly enjoyed a few beers on the beach, then made my way to the bathroom near the pool in order to relieve my bladder. The marble floor had been recently mopped and I was barefoot, so I slipped backwards and cracked my head pretty badly. My vision went grey for a minute, but I didn't pass out. I picked myself up slowly and touched the back of my head, and was dismayed to see my fingers come away covered with blood.
I sat down in a shady area outside the bathroom and was immediately approached by one of the security guards who called for a first aid kid. I was only wearing my swim trucks. Blood was streaming down my neck and chest now, and workers started to gather around me. Once called out to my wife, who came running, slightly panicked. The security guard handed me a clean towel, which I pressed to the back of my head. My wife had arrived by my side, and gingerly pulled back the towel and gasped.
"Does it look really bad?" I asked her.
She nodded, "You're going to need stitches."
My stomach sank. So here we are, just three days into our trip, in a foreign city that we've never been to, and I need to go to a hospital. I'm feeling awful and my wife was on the verge of tears. Then one of the security guards mentioned that the neighboring hotel, the Mayan Palace Acapulco, also called the "Hotel Vidanta Mayan Acapulco" had a 24 hour medical clinic called the Centro Medico Diamante, (link is to the main hospital's Facebook page) which is basically a small satellite office of a larger hospital in Acapulco.
We took the kids back to the condo and left our 15 year old in charge, telling him to keep his cellphone on, just in case. Then we walked quickly to the neighboring Mayan Palace, whose front desk directed us to the clinic, which was on one of the upper floors in the main tower.
The main hospital seems to have poor reviews on Facebook, but we were given excellent service at the Mayan Palace clinic. Suffice it to say, the female doctor who attended to me was professional and gentle, and I was seen and treated within 10 minutes of our arrival (which would put any American big-city emergency room to shame).
The doctor used a few shots of local anesthetic to numb the area, which I honestly did not feel at all, probably because of the adrenaline and the residual beer still in my system. Putting in the stitches took about 15-20 minutes.
My wife had calmed down by the end of it. She asked the doctor for a towel so her damp bathing suit wouldn't leave a water stain on the fabric couches.
I felt okay to sit up after the doctor was finished stitching me up, although I did feel a bit dizzy. The doctor wrapped my head with a bandage and gave me a prescription for antibiotics and a box of generic NSAID painkillers. My wife and I trudged back to our condo. Our kids were all worried but calmed down as soon as they saw me.
The remainder of the evening was a bust. We ordered take-out pizza from a local Dominos and called it a night. Hopefully the rest of the week in Acapulco will be less eventful (post continued here...)
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