December 2005

Mexico Sightseeing

Dec. 20, 21 2005

On our way to Guadalajara we visited the towns of Magdalena and Tequila. Magdalena is known for the opals they mine there. The streets are narrow and the buildings (both houses and businesses) are predominantly two stories and built right out to the street with flat fronts so that it felt a little like driving through a maze. Ken bought me some beautiful earrings for Christmas. We figured it was about time to head to the town of Tequila to meet our friends on Blew Moon and Audios. They left PV a little after us, heading for Tequila and then on to Guadalajara. Tequila is a town where they say 95% of all tequila is made. There are blue agave plants everywhere, which is what they make tequila from. We were in Tequila about 45 minutes when we were finally able to get through to the friends we were going to meet there only to find out that they were now in front of us and were already in Guadalajara. So off we went to the big city and to meet up with them. To make a really long story short, it was dark, we were lost (both in the car and on foot) in a big city, where we don’t speak their language, not able to read a map because we both left our reading glasses behind (which didn’t really matter much because very few of the streets even have street signs at all), while trying to locate the hotel where we were to meet Audios and Blew Moon. We began to laugh at ourselves as we realized that we were actually living the “Great Race,” and…. we were loosing? It was all worth it because we found the hotel about 8 that evening, found our friends at a local pub (where the poor things forced themselves to keep drinking until we arrived) and toured the city the following day. We stayed at the Hotel San Francisco, which was a wonderful old hotel in a beautiful setting right down the street from the Cathedral and all the museums and downtown area... for only $52!


Picked up a rental car from the airport for three days to do some sightseeing. Susan & Dennis went with us for the first day and we drove to the small resorts south of Puerto Vallarta. It was fun following a road that wound around the coast and thru jungle-like vegetation. We went to Mismaloya, where The Night of the Iguana was filmed. It was small and pretty but very commercialized. There were a group of about 8 kids in wheelchairs and they were loading them into a panga to go out for a boat ride. It reminded me of how special it was to have been able to participate in helping Big Bear’s Rotary Club buy so many wheelchairs for people in Mexico ….we were able to see first hand how it makes such a difference in peoples lives down here. On we went to a wonderful little place called Boca de Tomatlan Bay and had lunch on the beach. We ventured into a place that made bongo type drums. When we found a hardwood base that we really liked and the artisan agreed to make a drum for us while we waited. We watched in awe as he strung the goat skin over the base and used rope to tighten and tune the drum for us. It was a Christmas present to us, from us? we were also able to see where the movie “Predator” was filmed, which is also where they do canyoning (where you can slide two miles down a zip line through the jungle.) Kinda cool because we know Jim Thomas who wrote the movie too? On the way back we stopped at a place that had “tequila tasting” and gave a short history of how tequila is made. As long as we had a car we decided to take advantage of it and stop to do some provisioning in town before heading back to the boat. We found rum on sale at Walmart for $1.03 US dollars per bottle – Guess we will be switching to rum and juice drinks instead of margaritas!


We took the boat to the Tres Marieta islands for the day. As we began to approach the islands, we must have seen 20+ whales spouting, jumping and playing all around us. It was so cool to see. We set anchor for about 2 hours. We hadn’t cleaned our bottom since San Diego and the barnacles had already begun to grow so we took the opportunity to clean the bottom of the boat while we were at anchor in clear water.

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