Here I am in Acapulco Airport waiting for my flight home after a week of bridge. The Sectional Tournament was a bit haphazard in the logistics, but the participants were a great deal of fun. I feel like I’ve made some new friends I hope to see at future bridge tournaments.
Once a top tourist destination in Mexico, Acapulco, in the state of Guerrero, has a reputation for cartel-related crime. Here’s what the US State Department has to say:
So when I heard there was going to be a Sectional in Acapulco, I was doubtful. But my regular bridge partner, Nicola, asked me if I wanted to go, and I decided it might be fun.
The only way to get from Ajijic to Acapulco (other than driving ten or eleven hours) is to fly from Guadalajara via Mexico City.
Unfortunately, flying through Mexico City these days is an unpleasant adventure. Our flight from GDL was delayed almost two hours, so we missed our connecting flight. We were supposed to arrive at about 3pm; we finally got there around 7:00.
And now, sitting in the Acapulco Airport, where our flight was supposed to have taken off a half hour ago, we are delayed again. And again, our hoped for landing in Guadalajara will be about four hours behind schedule (if things aren’t delayed even more…)
La Isla Residences
Another bridge friend from Ajijic, Mary Ann, was also going, along with a friend of hers, Sue, from Mexico City. Mary Ann booked a three-bedroom apartment at La Isla Residences, and she asked Nicola and I if we wanted to stay there with them. And this worked out great.
La Isla is a huge condominium complex, but I believe most of the apartments are available as vacation rentals. There are probably few full-time residents. It’s adjacent to the beach and has numerous swimming pools, plus a lot of other facilities you’d expect in a beach resort town. If you’re going to Acapulco, it’s a good option, especially if you want a full apartment with a kitchen. The area where it’s located is called Diamante, very close to the airport, and actually outside Acapulco in the city of Puerto Marqués. This upscale area felt completely safe.
This was the first time a bridge tournament was held in Acapulco. The host hotel was the Holiday Inn La Isla, just a ten-minute drive from where we were staying. (Sue drove down from Mexico City, so she was our chauffeur for the trip.)
The tournament ran Tuesday until Sunday, and after a slow start on Tuesday, we had upwards of ten tables for each session the rest of the week. The competition was tough, with a number of professional players and solid experts, but there were also some younger, less experienced players. Nicola and I managed to win the most Masterpoints on the first day, and after that we did okay but never quite succeeded at the same level. Still, it was a lot of fun (except for Saturday, when we really struggled).
The last night of the tournament they had a celebration dinner with live music. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed spending some time with the other bridge players, who came from ten different countries including several in South America and Europe.
I enjoyed the pools at La Isla and had nice walk on the beach on morning.
Other than that, I didn’t do anything remotely touristy.
The food was really excellent. And very expensive, especially for Mexico, where I’ve become accustomed to eating well for about half what a similar meal would cost at a restaurant in the US.
The first night after we finally landed, we went to Saffron, a beautiful Thai restaurant overlooking Puerto Marqués Bay. It was too dark to actually see the water, but we could the lights of Acapulco across the bay.
The food was fabulous. We asked the server to bring us a selection of appetizers, and then we ordered two main courses and a dessert to share.
On Tuesday night we went to Shu for Teppanyaki. Another great meal at a high price.
Paititi del Mar
This was probably my favorite place we ate in Acapulco. Walking distance from the Holiday Inn where we were playing bridge, Paititi del Mar is an outdoor restaurant under a big palapa with fans to keep the warm humid air circulating, so it was fairly comfortable. We all liked it enough that we decided to go back on our last night in Acapulco.
El plebe alegre
Patricia, who organized and hosted the bridge tournament, recommended El plebe alegre, which serves Sinaloan food. We all had shrimp. Mine was coconut shrimp; everyone else had a stuffed shrimp wrapped in bacon. I did a trade of one for one, and both were good, but the stuffed shrimp tasted mostly like bacon and not so much like shrimp. I loved mine. The shrimp were huge and scrumptious.
Rino’s Casa Napoli
Rino’s is an Italian restaurant and they had good calamari and pizza (which I didn’t take photos of). And it was Sue’s birthday, so they brought her a nice dessert.
Walk on the beach
The beach was really nice. I walked one morning for about an hour.
That about covers all the fun I had in Acapulco. Don’t let the US State Department scare you away. It’s really nice.