Cliff divers in Acapulco
Posted: Jun 21 2012
So pretty much the first stop on 2012 tour was the Mexican former resort town of the rich and famous, Acapulco. This place was made famous back in the 60s with Elvis and the movie "Fun in Acapulco" along with the legendary cliff divers of la quebrada which started back in the 30s. These divers are legendary and if Im honest, probably the only thing worth seeing in Acapulco.
I arrived in Acapulco late afternoon and found my usually flawless technique of not booking a hotel before arriving a bit flimsy here. It was Semana Santa (Easter) and this means half of mexico wanting to sun it up with the Narcos and touts down on the beaches of Acapulco. I spent 6 hours trying to find a hotel room and so ending up settling for, well, probably the most expensive room in the town at twice the normal rate. Did I learn anything? History will show that I probably didn't. But hey, I was here to shoot the cliff divers and find tshirt design inspiration. And that I got. In spades. The next day I spent the whole afternoon swanning around the hotel overlooking the cliff in question. Not much to do here except chat to the locals and sample the local cerveza - corona of course - which happens to be my favourite. After the second or third beer my vantage points started becoming more and more obscure as I climbed up and down the hotel terrace/cliff face in order to get the perfect shot. Don't worry - nothing too dangerous here - its not exactly cliff hanger here. It is high though and very impressive watching the divers.
I ended up meeting with the manager of La Quebrada (the organisation of cliff divers) and chatted to him about the goings on with this club of elite divers. Pretty amazing stuff. They are a group of around 65 divers, all friends and local mexicans ranging in age from 15 to 50. Not all of them dive from the top of the cliff which is 35 meters high but they each have their limits and usually the young apprentices start off a show by diving around 5 meters. Were talking swan dives, backflips, twists pikes you name it - these guys do it off platforms up to 3 times the olympic heights. Then they go and do it all again in darkness at 10pm. The boss was saying that they have to time the jump well because not only is the water shallow at 12 feet deep but if a wave is coming then yes its good to use the wave for height but if its too fast then the sideways motion of the wave can put the back under strain.
No wonder they have around 65 guys in the team, Id imagine sick days would be a pretty regular occurrence. On a good day though these guys make for some pretty stunning photos. And yes you will be seeing one or two of these cliff diving designs on tshirts and maybe even a few other items of clothing soon.
Acapulco cliff diving tshirt will surely be in the next Muchacho collection!