Despite the ongoing disagreements about how to pronounce it, here we are (consensus: Wa-tull-co). We got off early and headed for a resort hotel called Las Brisas. There was a ship excursion going there, but dad reckoned we could do it cheaper ourselves. So we pitched up, paid our money and settled in for a nice, relaxing day of doing nothing at all.

Huatulco is what happens when there is money available. What a beautiful little town. Absolutely pristine and spotless – our taxi driver says there are over 300 street cleaners working daily to keep the place perfect. The dual carriageway was astonishing clean and tidy, and virtually devoid of lumps and bumps as well. They are currently building a huge road to connect the port to the town. There is currently no such road, so there are no cars in town, only pedestrians.

They like to make people walk here. Just to get from the ship to the shore was a good fifteen minute walk, for starters!

They have stalls, shops, musicians and a lovely pedestrianised area by the ship’s pier. Unfortunately, this area is VERY large, which means the walk to the taxis takes a full half hour. No, really. Half an hour. Granted, that’s at Mum’s speed, but I’m not sure I could do it in under fifteen minutes, myself.

The whole of Huatulco is exquisite. Dad describes it as the most beautiful place he’s never heard of. Built on eleven bays, the sand is golden and empty, the birds are vociferously cheerful, it’s all lovely.

We went to Las Brisas, a five star hotel that used to be a Club Med. I am lying by a beautiful pool on a slightly rickety sunlounger with the pool in front of me, the private beach behind me and the sun trying to force its way through my umbrella. The only fly in the ointment is that the chillout tunes being played are (a) too fast and (b) FAR too loud!

Well, I can attest to the fact that the water is lovely. The main part of the pool is too deep to stand. Only beyond the yellow floats is it under 5’5”. Even Dad came in, which is unusual for him. Mum seems reluctant. The heat doesn’t feel nearly so oppressive now that I’ve just got out, maybe because I’m still evaporating. Dad reminisced about when I was tiny and had a fever and the doctor said to get me wet and just fan me. He said my temperature “dropped like a stone” so it’s obviously a very effective way of cooling down.

The hotel is a bit tired-looking. The sunloungers are faded, the umbrellas have small holes in, the kind that will grow into fraying, eventually. They have also painted the ugly seventies building a rather unfortunate shade of terracotta brown. It’s a frankly dismal colour and does nothing to improve the look or feel of the place. I can’t help but feel that a pale pink or white would be more pleasant and also prettier to look at. The presence of the building currently looms over the pool and it may sound silly, but they might find they need much less loud samba music to lift the mood if they just painted it a lighter colour.

I must confess to being somewhat amazed at the number of Mexicans who have brought their families here. I rather assumed that all the racist stuff I read and heard would be true (whites in the pool, Mexicans as staff), but I’m delighted to say that it is simply not true. The pool is almost entirely full of Mexicans right now, in fact. This may be in no small part due to the fact that despite the fact that this place claims to be 5 star, it is surprisingly cheap, costing only 23 US dollars per person for a day pass. Presumably sprogs cost less, because they’ve brought plenty with them! The Mexican families seem to treat this place as some sort of country club or sports club. They probably come here every weekend (although, oddly, today is a Monday) to use the pools and facilities. It’s probably their “local”.

Samba lessons. Oh, good grief. No wonder the music has become so samey. Or is it aerobics? It’s hard to tell from here! But, no, I’m not going closer to find out!

I couldn’t take the heat any longer so I got back in the pool. Had the whole thing to myself. Lovely. I have been warned that there will shortly be an aquarobics class, so I didn’t stay in long!

I’m astonished how few Arcadians there are here. Probably less than a dozen, unless there are fifty on the private beaches (three) that I haven’t been down to. These sorts of trips are usually very popular.

Lunch was a buffet of pizza, burgers, hot dogs, salads, nachos, fruit and ice cream. I think it worked out about eight quid a head. A bit steep for lunch, particularly a lunch of cold fries (what do you do to make fries cold when it’s 35 degrees in the shade?!), soggy nachos and salad that the birds kept landing on, but it filled a hole. Then I went back in the pool until it was time to head back. Bob* was 4.30 today, which was irritatingly early, but can’t be helped, and we do have over 300 miles to cover to get to Acapulco tomorrow on time, so every hour helps, I suppose.

So the parents went back to the ship, and I browsed the stalls on the quayside, the little beach next to the ship and wound up in the vicinity of a cafe with air con and free wifi, so I sat there and watched the world go by til it was time to go back on board.

Got back and had a very long, very cold shower (am a bit burnt). Found a note on my bed about norovirus. We’re upping our alert level, so that although the self service restaurant is not yet completely closed, hours are restricted and I get the impression we won’t be self-serving per se; it’ll still be a buffet, but we’ll be served, so that the number of people holding the spoons is restricted. I hope it helps, because someone has mentioned the possibility if us not being allowed to enter the United States if too many of us are ill…

*Bob = Back On Board


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