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* * * * * * *

Petatlan is famous for two things, its church, and gold.

If you want Silver jewellery, Zihuatanejo is the place to go. If you want gold jewellery Petatlan is the place to visit.

If you are not familiar with Mexico's country side it is worth the drive to Petatlan, from Zihu. (Zihuatanejo) just for the scenery.

If you are into graveyards, there is, along the way, on a hillside, a large cemetery with many Mexican style structures.

If you like churches, Sunday is the time to go. Visit the church, attend the service.

If you have never tried Pozole, Thursday is the time to go. Time it so you are returning to Zihu, about supper time and stop in Coacoyul. It is the last turn to the right as you come through town.

Coacoyul is the first town South of Zihuatanejo. You have to turn South, before the airport. Take the Acapulco turnoff. Then it is a few miles.

If you go right to the airport and take the road South, when it joins the highway, you have to turn left. If you turn right and carry on to Petatlan, you will miss the little town.

Lunch in Petatlan can be pleasant, though the eateries seem to be hard to find.

If you are on the street of the cheaper jewellery stalls, as you come down the hill to the town center, bear to the right and follow the street to the next block, past the smarter gold stands. On your left will be a nice restaurant.

I have been to Petatlan three times now. Just for short visits. One longer one would have been sufficient, but a short one is worth while.

If you want to make an all day trip of it. Take a detour to Soledad de Maciel. It is just South of Petatlan.

The entire area was once flooded by a tidal wave and millions of people were killed. Several towns and thousand of homes were destroyed. Small pieces of artifacts can be found, virtually, anywhere. Some of the bigger pieces are on display in Petatlan, in the El Centro, the town square.

In Soledad De Maciel some people make a living by guiding you to the top of a small hill and showing you the view.

They also have a small museum in their home.

(Pic. of church)

* A Visit to a Mexican Hospital. *

In January, after returning from a trip to China, I went to Mexico to thaw out. I had such a wonderful time and met so many nice people that a month later, almost to the day, I had to return. The fact that Canada 3000 was offering a fantastic seat sale might have had something to do with my decision.

Again I had a great time, visiting my new friends, making newer ones, and experiencing a cyclone. A real rarity in those parts for that time of year, (see previous article).

On my last day, I only stayed one week this time, my friends took me to see the town of Petatlan.

About a half hour's drive south of Zihuatanejo, Petatlan is famous for its artifacts of an ancient Mayan civilization that lived in the area until the area was flooded and many thousands of natives lost their lives.

The town is also famous for its gold jewellery. The gold is actually mined in the Zihuatanejo area but not sold there for tax reasons. Zihuatanejo is famous for its silver jewellery. The silver is mined near Taxco.

(Pic. of jewellery store.)
Downtown Petatlan.
Jewellery stores specializing in gold.

Another reason for Petatlan's notoriety is its Church, `Santuario Nacional Del Santo Senor De Petatlan, Gro. Mexico'. People come from miles around, even from other countries, to visit the church and attend Sunday service.

(Pic. of church.)

L - R. Moices, Roga, Karen, and Patricia pose in front of the church.

After service in the church my friends walked me around the outside. On the North side of the church cars come up a ramp and park beside the church so that they can be blessed by the priest after the main service.

While walking between two cars I stepped back to see what I had brushed against. The license plate on the front of a car was sticking out of its frame. Looking down I was surprised to see that the front of my leg, below the leg of my shorts, was covered with blood.

While I sat on a stone wall, stemming the flow from the gash on my knee, my friend ran to a drugstore to get some bandages. When Moices returned I had the bleeding under control. I had also gathered a large audience who enjoyed a good chuckle from my Robert DeNiro expressions as I applied Hydrogen Peroxide and then merthiolate to the wound.

I always carry a small SWISS OUTPOST knife and I used the scissors to trim the hair on my knee and then pulled the gash closed with adhesive tape. Unfortunately the tape didn't hold too well and by the time I got to the bottom of the stairs in front of the church, I was bleeding again.

This time, after treating the wound again, I thoroughly dried the area and retaped it. I thought I had done a fairly good job and refused offers of transport to a doctor.

In the car my friends answered my query of where we were going by telling me it was a surprise. The surprise turned out to be the local hospital.

I tried to talk them out of it but rather than make a big issue of it I allowed them to take me inside. My leg wasn't bleeding again but was still red and looked bad, from not having been thoroughly washed.

The gauze bandage was bright from the merthiolate and with a little talking, between the hospital staff and my friends, I was ushered into a room, ahead of people who had been waiting before my arrival. I felt guilty about that but it was hard to tell these people to let me wait my turn when I only know a few words of Spanish.

In the examining room I had an audience of; my friends, the doctor, and two nurses.

While I tore away the dressing I had put on my wound and the doctor was examining it, I tried to explain that this was the first time in nearly ten years that I had needed stitches but before that I had accumulated nearly a hundred, in many similar little accidents.

(Pic. of doctor.)
Doctor Villalba.

The doctor stitches up my leg, while I, with the aid of my Spanish dictionary, try to tell him my life story.

Of course the nurses got a chuckle out of my facial expressions as I turned away and tried to ignore the psychosomatic pain of the doctor putting a shot of freezing into the flesh on each side of the opening.

When the doctor had finished tying the sutures he turned my leg over to the nurse to put on the dressing. (Should I reword that?) Then a surprising thing occurred, the doctor gave his gloves to the nurse.

The nurse and the doctor carefully removed the doctor's surgical gloves then, blowing into them to expand them, the nurse slipped them on.

I can only assume that this procedure is an environmental issue in that there is already too much plastic and rubber floating around, literally, in Mexico. (Said with tongue in cheek.)

(Pic. of doctor and nurses.)
Lilia, Yadira
and Doctor Villalba.

Nurses look on while the doctor
writes up my prescription.

On my way out of the hospital, after paying the bill, 70 Pesos, about $11 (Canadian), I got the name of the doctor and the address of the hospital. After returning home, I mailed to the doctor, along with the pictures my friends took of he and the nurses, a couple of boxes of surgical gloves. A little surprise for him, in appreciation of his efforts.



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