The road between Melaque and Zihuatenejo is perfect motorcycle fodder. I finally got to wear down the outer edges of my about-to-be-bald rear Sahara. Plus some of the views are spectacular:
My near-term goal is to hole up somewhere pleasant for about a month to take Spanish lessons and let the seat-shaped deformation in my ass reinflate. In choosing a location, my criteria was:
* Early enough in the trip so that I get some utility out of my freshly acquired skill
* Late enough in the trip so the location feels exotic
* Relatively cheap
* More Mexicans than tourists
* Cute but enough excitement around to keep me from getting bored
* Must have an airport so 1) friends can visit me and 2) I can visit friends
Oaxaca is my prime candidate, but Zihuatanejo was in the running. On paper, Zihuatanejo looks good - reported to be the "genuinely Mexican alternative to Ixtapa", coastal (I suffer from seafood addiction), and plane flights to & from SF are cheap - less than $300. Oaxaca's airport is domestic-only, so with the extra hop flights tend to be about twice that amount.
Zihuatanejo was disappointing. It fails the "more Mexicans than tourists" test and really isn't all that cute. It's also rather expensive - everything is priced for tourists. In almost every way except one, I'd rather be in Puerto Vallarta. However, there is one thing... it's HOT HERE! Somewhere south of Guadalajara the climate became "sleep naked on top of the sheets at night with the fan on" weather. I stayed in a cheap hotel on the beach without hot water and I didn't miss it. For two nights in a row.
Also on the plus side, I had wifi and piņa coladas under a palapa:
For some reason I felt a little concern about parking my bike on the street. I ended up wedging the bike behind a tree right up against the window of my room: