West Coast of Mexico
Trip Start Jan 11, 2009
8Trip End Jul 2009
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We hope everyone is doing well cause we sure are having a great time!
Our access to internet is very limited so we have not emailed too many times. Also the whole time we were in Mexico I was too busy doing nothing that I had no time to write. Well a lot as happened since our last entry as I am writing this from Tarija in Bolivia so here is a little update.
We had a great three weeks on the West coast of Mexico around Puerto Vallarta. Tam and Plantate were great hosts. We spent most of the time on the beach lazing around and swimming. Unfortuantely there was not any real surf in the area but there are some good breaks apparently but I didn't make the effort.
I would have made more of an effort except when I went and saw the types of body boards you could rent or buy it wouldn't have been worth it. The rentals looked like some surfers 10 years ago had left them there instead of taking them home. They didn't so much have a fold in them, more like the whole board was one big fold! A blow up li-lo would have been more firm. The ones to buy were only suitable for kids riding foam. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it (and you can't talk Garreth, at least I was at a beach!)
We met some sepo's (americans) on holiday with some kids and spent a few days with them. The kids are learning to make friends very quickly. They spent most of the time swimming and talking english!
The last week was spent at another beachside town about an hour north of San Pancho called Chacala. The hotel was right on the beachfront and had a nice restaurant on the sand. The beach was much more kid friendly than San Pancho as there was a gentle incline and no dumping waves. We really enjoyed it here as there were only one or two beach vendors and they left us alone after the first day. The whole town had a laid back family atmosphere sort of like San Pancho but less hippy.
One day we took a drive out to an area where there were petroglyphs (or pictographs? Which ever one is carved into stone!) Our directions were "it's out near Alta Vista". Those instructions were pretty broad so we ended up driving into the town of Alta Vista which is inland and half way up a mountain. The town was very pretty and obviously doesn't get many tourists as there wasn't a restaurant or hotel in sight. Not knowing where to go we stopped to ask some locals who were just about to open their first beer of the day (it was 10am!). Oscar tried for about a minute to explain where to go but then said the mexican equivalent of "stuff it, I'll just show you". He jumped in and became our guide for the day. He was a font of local knowledge and as we happened to have an esky (chilly bin, cooler) full of beer he was happy to help out. He showed us the way and then walked the 15minutes to the petroglyphs and even paid our entry as we had left our cash in the car. We saw many petroglyphs, many similar to those in Albuquerque. Most were very close to the riverbed and the kids highlight was finding a nice swimming hole.
By the time we dropped Oscar back to his house three hours later Haley and he were best mates, we got an invite to his sisters wedding, knew his families life history and the name of most of the trees and fruits that grew in the area. I gave him a few pesos and a few more beers and he seemed to be pretty happy.
On the way home we went into Las Varas to get a late lunch. As it happened we were there as the police were clearing the streets for the first day of the 13 day long festival of the Virgin de Guadalupe. The hour long wait for the parade was worth it. There were bands, schools, businesses, radio stations and dance groups all dressed up and most throwing lollies to the kids lining the streets.
The rest of the week we spent being lazy on the beach. My mission was to see how many beers I could drink before noon. Dinner most nights was from a taco stand just down the road. Fantastic!
We left San Pancho to head for Mexico City on Galens birthday (7th Feb). Galen only had a few presents to open in the morning, a pocket knife, finger traps, and some educational computer games. We had a fun day though. In the morning we took a friend of Tams to the airport in Puerto Vallarta and then went on to Chucky Cheezes. Galen brought a friend from San Pancho and they had a great time on all the video games.
That night Tam drove us to a nearby town to catch the overnight bus to Mexico City. That story is for another entry.
Hope all of you are healthy and happy.