Panama Canal Cruise – Acapulco – 1998

The famous “cliff divers.”

Saturday – We have arrived in Acapulco this morning. It is a fine day and a beautiful view. The city may be named after an old family that settled here, as Porta Villarta was.

Frank Sinatra and some members of “The Rat Pack” owned homes here and spent many hours doing what men of certain age do. They had the time and the money for adventures galore and the world seemed to survive. They are mostly gone now but left us stories of their adventures here.

There is a fort here protecting the harbor. We walked through it and the city as we always do. We are walkers. We have walked from the cruise terminal in Oahu to the park at Diamond Head and back. That is just about eleven miles. You see much more in foot than from a car or bus.

We took a trip in a van out to the silver mining town of Taxco. The church there is beautiful and we met a sweet little girl selling chewing gum. She was a determined worker and would not take no for an answer, as if we would tell her no.

The land between Acapulco and Taxco is beautiful. There was more water and plant life than I had imagined. The soil is a deep red and the crops are abundant. There are mountains as well, and thus, silver has been pushed up to the surface of the earth to be mined.

The town is awash in jewelry stores, selling, guess what? That is correct, SILVER. There are silver rings and silver cufflinks and silver do-dads enough to fill a hundred semi-trucks. We are not jewelry folks, so we left unscathed.

We also took a trip to a tequila factory. We don’t drink, but find it interesting to visit factories of all sorts of spirits and liquors. They all taste like medicine to us, but it is interesting to watch the process of turning perfectly good fruit juice into something different. To each his own, I say.

We decided to fly in the parachute behind a speed boat in Acapulco. It ended well, but OSHA is no where to be seen in Mexico. It is a wonderful country and a place where you can be injured in a variety of ways if you give yourself half a chance.

I thought sure I was going to smashed up against the buildings on the beach as we were pulled over the sand to disembark from the parachute. Mexico, like most of the world is. It is the real world and there is little protection from reality here like there is in North America. We are sheltered and protected from most dangers quite well.

Is that a good thing? I suppose that it is. But when my grandfathers and father were young, there were many things to do that you might learn a lesson from if you survived. Sadly, today most young people live lives of boredom and high tech. Danger is a good teacher, and sometimes it’s worth meeting and learning to deal with.

Tomorrow we go home and back to work. We work to travel, learn and meet people.

Remember, be nice to each other, life is too short to be a jerk!

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My novel, “Sailing Away,” is the second book in the series and is about a long ocean journey from London through the Mediterranean and down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town colony in the 18th century and back to London. It is filled with history and adventure.