Monday, 6 January 2014

Adios, Mazatlan, Hola, Puerto Vallarta

Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses! This did not turn out to be a very good hotel for us to stay at. We had been so excited to be in a hotel right on the ocean in a virtually private beach in one of the most beautiful places on earth. After two days of travelling, we were so looking forward to a good night’s sleep with the patio door open to the ocean breezes and the sound of crashing surf.

 Instead, what we got was loud, never ending music, music, music that went all day long from the pool area until they finally shut it down at 10:30 at night. Then, the staff had to clean up, which involved much shouting. When you have a pounding headache and a deep yearning for sleep after two days of driving, this does not go well! We ended up closing the patio door and turning on the air conditioning. By the morning, Bryce had turned into a popsicle after yet another night of not very much sleep, and by 5:00 am, we were both awake and even though the room payment was non-refundable, we decided to hit the road a day early, heading to Puerto Vallarta, where we would take our chances finding last minute accommodation.

Yes, they still have real cowboys in Mexico!

The wonderful surprise that awaited us was a wonderful drive back out through the coconut plantations as the sun come up. In many areas, the fog was still settling in the marshes full of birds, and it was a magical ending to our little “Stone Island” experience.

Morning Mists
 The toll highway continued south through the mountains, climbing ever higher into the jungle. This was an adventure not to be missed, as we found ourselves in steadily thickening greenery. After about three hours of climbing, we finally turned toward the ocean and headed downhill at the city of Tepic. Here, the toll highway ends, and it becomes a twisty, turning road full of hairpin bends where we had to be constantly on guard as we dodged buses, horses, tractors and kamikaze drivers passing on the other side.
 Needless to say, this is a very slow road, but ever so interesting! You can always tell that you are coming to a tope (Mexican speed bump; pronounced toe-pay) when there is someone standing by the side of the road trying to sell you a bag of shrimp, nuts or cut up fruit. These topes are nasty, nasty things, at least two feet high, (well, maybe not quite, but they sure feel like it) and if you don’t see them coming and slow to a dead crawl, they jangle the brains right out of your head, not to mention the damage that they do to your car! It’s a good thing that we traded the Beamer in for a Jeep!

First floor courtyard
Finally, we arrived in Puerto Vallarta, and were lucky to get the last room in a very quaint little family run hotel called “The Posada de Roger”, which is where Bryce stayed when he was here for 10 days in June. While the rooms are pretty basic, it has a lot of lovely features that make it very inviting. There is a common kitchen on the top floor, where a person could make a full meal, and eat on the rooftop if they wished. The very inviting pool is on the third floor. Our room is on the first floor, which is just perfect, because there is a beautiful little courtyard where I am sitting right now typing this blog. 
A private rooftop garden


In fact, it works out perfect, because I can think out here while Bryce is watching TV in our room. One of the things that I love about this hotel is that because of all the common areas, people tend to be out visiting and meeting up with new friends. We met a delightful couple from Victoria, who are on their way to La Manzanilla on the bus, where they will stay until April.

We met up with our friend Val from White Rock today and went for dinner in a neat little restaurant that she found. Once again, I had no idea what I was ordering, and ended up with basically a thin sheet of cheese that had been fried and then shaped into a gigantic cone. It was truly delicious, but I’m not sure how healthy it was!

La Cocina (kitchen)


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