Puerto Vallarta - Week 3

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September 16th 2007
Published: September 17th 2007
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Bora BoraBora BoraBora Bora

This is the trimaran we spent the day on.
Friday - Saturday 14th-15th September

We got some antibiotics from a local chemist to do something about Judy's stomach problem and it seemed to be working by Saturday evening.

We went to CyC and met the regulars there again, we really have been accepted! Whilst there the heavens opened and it came down in torrents. By about 8.30 it still hadn't stopped so we went with Trevor and Sally in their Jeep Liberty to a restaurant, Es Cuentros. They are regulars here and we were led to a table and given a torch to read the menu as the place was only lit by candles - not good for older eyes! Their 'happy hour' goes from 8-10pm so Rags gave the red wine a little hammering! Great night in a very interesting atmosphere (the 2 ladies at our table were the only females in a packed venue)

The rain had stopped when we left and we found a taxi easily (amazing how they disappear when it rains). See Trevor's photos of the evening at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/PVEye365/BoardMeetingSeptember152007]

Sunday 16th September

Judy's stomach appeared to be under reasonable control so we were off for the Que Pasa
Our hostess, LindaOur hostess, LindaOur hostess, Linda

Linda runs Que Pasa and this was sort of a birthday celebration for her. We sang "Happy Birthday" at least 5 times during the day.
Bar annual boat cruise.
At the harbour we had to go through the normal security you go through for an ocean liner trip even though it was a day ferry! These checks border on the ridiculous and people feel they only benefit the thousands of people that are now employed. As it was, the group directly in front of us were arrested for having possesion of a few joints, this holding up the trip for another 30-40 minutes.
They missed the trip and spent an uncomfortable few hours, including being handcuffed, before two were “fined” and released leaving one to be processed.

Meanwhile we had a great day cruising south with a breakfast, unlimited drinks and a band playing, reaching Los Arcos, a federal underwater park and eco preserve by noon. Here we went for a swim to the rocks and briefly snorkelled in very murky water. Visibility was so bad that we couldn't even see the brighly coloured parrot fish being fed by a nearby boat when we were almost on top of them. When we were still quite a distance to the boat we could hear that the boat was leaving. In her haste to
Los ArcosLos ArcosLos Arcos

This was our first stop and the people in the water are Rags and Judy swimming for the rock in the hope of seeing fish.
swim back to the boat Judy lost the snorkel. (only a cheapie we'd bought in Hawaii). At Los Animas, a little tourist beach only accessible by water and filled with restaurant palapas, we were served lunch at a beachside cafe. We had made our lunch selection at the cruise dock and these had been marked on a wristband. At the restaurant the waiter collected the wristbands from the tables and delivered our correct lunches - quite an efficient system!

The return journey was in a similar manner as going out except people were a little less inhibited (must have been the food we ate!) and danced to the lively band.

A taxi back to the Que Pasa Bar followed where we were served a delicious meal of very tender steak and Alaskan King Crab legs. These legs were about 5-6cms in diameter and full of meat.

The whole day cost A$50 each - an absolute bargain. Here we also met up with the chaps who'd missed the day due to being carted off to the jail. They told how the local cops felt that it was an inconvenience that the Federal cops had brought these people in when the jail was already overflowing with locals who'd been arrested during the Independence Day festivities. Kevin was nursing a sore hand. He told how the handcuffs had been put on so tightly that it had cut circulation to his hands. When he asked them to adjust it, the cops admitted that they didn't have the keys - they were at the jailhouse!

Monday 17th September

We didn't mention that yesterday was Mexican Independence Day, a very big day in their calendar. (usually holiday, when it falls on a week day). The celebrating begins on September 15 (the day before) at 11pm with crowds of people gathering and fireworks. Everywhere is decorated with decorations of red, white, and green. We had a photo a few weeks ago of a stall selling Independence Day decorations.

Everyone shouts "Viva Mexico" "Viva la independencia". The next day the streets are filled with revellers and many families enjoy the fiesta day. As we were on the Bora Bora we didn't see this.

This morning Judy had an appointment for a manicure and pedicure - what a luxury to have time for things like this.

After lunch we went
Los ArcosLos ArcosLos Arcos

These rocks are so named because of the arching grottoes that channel completely through the bases of some of the rocks.
to Walmart to do some shopping because while Judy was unwell Rags ate at home and the fridge is bare.

A swim in the pool upstairs was a pleasant way to avoid the heat of the day before introducing ourselves to Jim's friend Nancy, who lives in the apartment above us. After a chat we headed out for a walk and dinner. We chose San Lucas, apparently a favourite of Jim and Nancy. As neither were very hungry and Judy still isn't eating much we had a selection of seafood tostadas. These were absolutely yummy and we want to remember them so we can try making them for a dinner party when we get back home. At the end of the meal we were given a choice of liqueur or tequila on the house. We both chose a coffee liqueur very similar to Kahlua. Mmmmm...

From here we caught a bus to the other end of town and walked along looking at the variety of shops before walking back along the malecon. It was very pleasant with the gentle breeze.

The Mexicans are looking forward to the end of September because the tourists start to come
San Sebastion SquareSan Sebastion SquareSan Sebastion Square

This pretty square had a gazebo in the centre for the band.
back to town then. Septiembra is Spanish for September but many call it the month of Septihambre which means the seven hungers. As this was explained to me it means that there is very little work, and the savings are running out. So everyone goes a little hungry in September. Hungry for food, hungry for work. Just hungry.

Tuesday 18th September

Today we thought we'd spread our wings a little and explore into the mountains. We decided to go to San Sebastion, a former gold & silver mining town at an altitude of about 1500m. It's about 70km from PV but as we found, because of the narrow, winding road it took about 2.5 hours to get there. It didn't help that somehow we passed the turn-off and travelled an extra 12 kms or so before asking a motorbike policeman parked on the side of the road for directions.
The road then became a gravel road, good in spots where they are working, rutted in others from water erosion.

Once there we found ourselves in the large cobbled square surrounded by dignified white buildings. There were few people around but the remains of yesterday's festivities for independence
Eva Maria RestaurantEva Maria RestaurantEva Maria Restaurant

Judy with the owner's husband outside before lunch.
day such as speakers and confetti were there.
In one restaurant we checked the owners were having lunch, so after enquiring about what they were eating, we chose the same - nachos. We realised the mistake we made when they came out, nothing wrong with the food, just the quantity. One serve would easily have fed us both!

We 'walked off ' our lunch by exploring a little off the square, accompanied by a friendly black dog who adopted us after Rags patted it. Lovely old adobe buildings set in thick green vegetation and streams running past them.

Clouds had been building up and when the lightning and thunder started we thought it expedient to be on our way. As it was, no rain fell and the trip back was uneventful if not a little tiring because of the need to concentrate.
We passed the turn-off to the “Canopy Trail” which we have booked for tomorrow and hope the driver isn't like some we have experienced.

Wednesday 19th September
The days are now slipping past so quickly, it's hard to imagine we are leaving here at the end of next week.

On the bus on the
El EdenEl EdenEl Eden

Apparently, one of the better canopy tours in Vallarta and not too far to travel from town.
way to our latest adventure we met fellow “victims”, three young people from England, Tom, Dom and Emma who were staying at the Mayan Palace Resort, a gift from Tom's grandparents, Lucy and Mitchell from Essex and Terri and Lori from Iowa and a group who were on a cruise boat and only in town for the day.

We drove south from Puerto Vallarta and Rags had an opportunity to take in the beautiful coastline that he'd previously driven. The day was clear, not a cloud in the sky and so appeared the water.
Just south of Mismaloya we turned left onto a dirt track and were soon bumping our way along a narrow dirt road through the jungle, This continued for quite some time until we arived at El Eden, the place where our canopy tour was due to begin. Rags previously suggested this would be just a bit of an adrenaline rush and I have to say he was correct. It was quite exciting flying across the Mismaloya River, waterfalls and jungles on over 2 miles of zip lines. As we zipped through the trees at amazing speeds we saw the helicopter that was blown up in
Beach houseBeach houseBeach house

The shore was scattered with "beach shacks" built right on the beach just like this. Trevor pointed out the home that John Huston lived in here when he was filming "The Night of the Iguanas".
the action movie, Predator, that was filmed in Vallarta in the 1980's. We didn't however see any of the animals that are supposed to inhabit this area.

As the bus had to pass the Villa Santa Barbara on the return journey we were fortunate to be able to get off at the front door. Lunch and dinner were had at home as was a restful afternoon broken only by a swim in the pool upstairs.

Thursday 20th September
Today we had a relaxing day that included a massage for both of us in the afternoon. When comparing them afterwards it seems Rags had the better massage, firm and deep whereas Judy's was very light.

We decided to go to Cafe Olla for tea but when we got there we discovered they are closed for the next month. Instead, we noticed next door Panchos Nachos which had been recommended by Jimmy so we ate here ordering way too much so Rags had to finish Judy's meal.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


Lunch timeLunch time
Lunch time

The restaurant wasn't very flash but the food and company were enjoyable.

Judy, after a few Margarita's, was really enjoying herself.

Rags couldn't decide what to drink so he had a "Bloody Mary" with a beer chaser.
Alaskan King CrabAlaskan King Crab
Alaskan King Crab

Meal preparation back at Que Pasa.
Are these for real?Are these for real?
Are these for real?

Spotted these colourful cactus at Walmart today.
A huge lunchA huge lunch
A huge lunch

If Rags ate this every day his figure would change too!
Independence Day decorationsIndependence Day decorations
Independence Day decorations

These were some of the decorations around the square at San Sebastion
San Sebastion back streetSan Sebastion back street
San Sebastion back street

The black dog leading Judy through a cobblestone street. Note the adobe walls.
All kitted upAll kitted up
All kitted up

With the harness on and our very own pulleys.
Coming into landComing into land
Coming into land

Rags had the little camera in his pocket but otherwise we had to leave our cameras in a locker.
Each zip line a nameEach zip line a name
Each zip line a name

Each line had it's very own name. Here Rags gets ready to tackle Escorpion.
Cool again after a swim.Cool again after a swim.
Cool again after a swim.

After completing the zip lines we swung into the river on a rope swing. (Judy's actually never done this before!) It was the coldest dip we've had so far in Mexico.

18th September 2007

Well the photos certainly showed how much you enjoyed yourselves !! It looks like it was a great day out for you both. Pity the poor blokes that had to have the Hand Cuff torture, but perhaps it may teach them a lesson. Are drugs a big problem there ?
20th September 2007

Zip Lines
That looked great fun ! Not for me, but for you ! I must say you both look disgustingly well. Beaut. photos though .
20th September 2007

Sounds Like Fun
While the rain still pours down in Busselton, what we would give for some lovely warm weather similar to what you are experiencing. We look forward to reading your Blogs and what a difference they are to when you first went backpacking several years ago.
20th September 2007

Zip Lines
The oldest person they had doing it was 78 so sure you could still manage it if you wanted! Good to hear you think we both look healthy!
20th September 2007

I don't think drugs are aproblem here any more than anywhere else. You often get a whiff of marijuana in Perth, just like here.

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