October 6th through the 9th, 2011
Nuevo Vallarta, technically. I met Sergio and Ruth at the Overland Expo, way back in April of this year in Arizona. They were awesome then, and over the course of my planning and trip I was invited to stay with them on my way past.
To say they treated me like visiting Royalty is to understate my time there. Ruth took the time to show me around the area and they both took time out of their currently very busy lives to make sure I was having a good time.
I arrived in the late morning of the 6th. I had some issues finding their place, but there were friendly people with guns to help out. In the end I followed someone on a little motorcycle.
That isn’t the entrance to their community, its where I got directions.
Once I was settled in, and had taken another shower (the heat index was already over 100, and it wasn’t even noon), Ruth loaded me into her wonderfully airconditioned car and took me for a tour of the old city.
I was totally okay with her driving. The roads were narrow and cobblestone, and despite being in Mexico for a while now I was still weak on finding street signs. There is one in the picture above, can you find it?
The Pan American Games were coming to Puerto Vallarta, and there was some construction going on to pretty the place up. Still, we took a stroll along the beach front looking at all the signs. I listened to the American’s comment on how much they could make in a lawsuit, since the construction areas weren’t fenced off in any way. I guess Mexico assumes people are smart enough not to wander in.
Flying cows are funny.
Ruth took me to look at an old church, which she likes.
The are is pretty built up, and it was hard to get a good picture. There were post cards, though.
There was also a lot of Day of the Dead stuff.
And, of course, there were these all over the place.
The next day Ruth again loaded me into her car and we went off to the town of Salulyta, which is one of Sergio and Ruth’s favorite day trips, and had been recommended by Mike and Shannon way back in Seattle as well. It is a little town, not even on my map, and Ruth described it as a “Hippie Town,” which while it might sound unfair is pretty accurate. There are little art shops and it seemed like half the town was out surfing.
It is a lot harder to get surfing action shots with my camera than you would think.
After spending some time there, poking around in shops and running into people Ruth knew (which seemed like about half the town), she took me over to a spa they were members of. I was hoping for a massage, but it was by appointment only and….expensive. I admit to sticker shock and passed on it. Still the spa was very nice.
Blue and come along with, and of course was playing it up for the ladies
We stayed at the spa pretty late, I admit to enjoying it, sitting around while someone brought me drinks, hanging out in the pool. It was the life.
The next day Sergio and Ruth had a meeting for work, so I was left on my own. I did some writing and took a walk around their neighborhood. There was a Hurricane (Jova) and a tropical storm (Irwin) off in the Pacific, and one or both were supposed to be headed for the coast between Puerto Vallarta and Manzillo. The clouds coming in from the ocean were pretty impressive.
After the meeting, I followed Sergio around some. He is working with the Pan American Games, getting stuff organized. The games were only a bit over a week away, so I hadn’t really shown up at the best time.
That’s Sergio on the left, looking all in charge and stuff. And on the more left is their newer 4 wheel adventure vehicle, replacing the jeep/trailer they had when I met them. It’s a really sweet truck. Also air conditioned.
That night we went out to dinner, my treat in return for their hospitality.
The next day, Sunday the 8th, Sergio again had to work. After some chores in the morning, Ruth and I, along with a friend of hers who I had met earlier, all went to a movie. I had mentioned missing going to movies, since I usually go to them all the time. Since entering Mexico I hadn’t even bothered, since my Spanish isn’t that good. Then I found out most movies in Mexico are actually in English, with subtitles. It didn’t make that much sense to me, but I couldn’t complain. The women let me pick, and so they had to sit through Real Steal. I figured it was okay since there was a kid in it.
You can buy baby turtles in Mexico. These were about 1.5 inches across.
That evening we had a quiet dinner at home. The rain was supposed to start the next day and just get worse from then on, so I was going to leave in the morning. Sergio had gone over my map with me, and apart from giving me about 3 years of stuff to see in Mexico I had a pretty good inland route to follow, if I could follow it.