What I Do When Not At Work (Mexico 2)

Puerto Vallarta & Spelling

Tomorrow, I leave Puerto Vallarta for a smaller town, Sayulita, to the north.

Yesterday, walking around, looking at menus, I saw this: “Pork ribs severed with baby potatoes.” The juxtaposition with “baby” made it worth pointing out to the host, who appreciated it, asking me to write “served” on his hand so he could update the sign, giving the sales for that entree a boost.

Tonight I ate at “Joe Jack’s Fish Shack.” Once seated, I was provided a laminated card that said,
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When my waitress came, and had a name tag for “Joe,” I told her I expected Sonia, which indicted my reading skills, allowing her to laugh and rotate the card 180 degrees. She was “Maggie,” was amenable to being called Sonia (by me, special needs diner), and agreed that I needed no wine.

Canadians (Rule Puerto Vallarta)

Every non-native I’ve met so far is from Canada.

  • Jorge/George, Toronto (from my first post)
  • the fellow who sat at my table for a minute last night to photograph the sunset, Ft. McMurray, home of the controversial oil sands
  • the fellow at another coffee shop who shared his table with me (no photo of him but of the shop):image:

This morning I decided to catch an orange bus (they go south). I tapped a man on the shoulder, asking the fare. That led to meeting D-, his wife, L-, R-, and his wife G-, who allowed me to follow them to a “trail” for a hike, starting in Boca de Tomatlan, the terminus for the bus. They are all Canadians, from Nelson, BC, where, with great success Baker Street was historically restored, giving the town a fresh enough start to move Steve Martin to film Roxanne at that location. These Nelsonites provided a good break from my solitude. They were generous minded, welcoming people who appear in the following photos that outline this hike (and end this log entry).

The Restaurant at The End of the—Trail

As you can detect from the following photo, the buses here are more convenient than those in Denver because of their change-making capability. Some of the drivers tidy up the change with their right hand when the driving isn’t very demanding.

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What you cannot detect from the photo is the ambient music created by not one, but two, cell phones (one at either end of the bus), playing different songs through their speakers.

A twenty-minute bus ride drops the passengers off at Boca (as we Americans and Canadians call it), right near the unassuming trail head:

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The unplanned hike begins (although I did wear long sleeves and pants, having heard about mosquitoes and dengue in the area):

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The trail goes across some front porches,

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along the bay (the mouth, the boca),

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through some woods (not sure where the trail goes? try following the six swatches),

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or, a few yards later, the sign:

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Las Animas was our destination. The trail reaches about a half way point at Colomitos, a beautiful beach (with a nearby bar/restaurant),

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and a Great Dane,

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who would not look at the camera,

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until I made a dog-whisperer-like noise, and he turned on me,

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jumping at my camera bag, nipping my hand, until I gave a dog-shouter-like noise and told him to go pick on my Canadian friend.

In the Rockies (and other mountains), we hike until we reach false summits. At the false summit, werealize we have not arrived, and hike some more. Here, on the Boca trail, one reaches false restaurants. Pictured below is someone’s home (with an open-air bar, among other amenities). I was  ready to sit down, thinking my Canadian  friends had reached their destination, when I learned we were talking to the homeowner:

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So, we marched on, letting the breeze blow away any lingering covetousness.

At one point, the trail goes through the courtyard of a hotel with signs and a security guard to guide you. But when you see this cocoanut tree,

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you are at this beach,

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and, bidding farewell to your Canadians,

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return the way you came (they will take a water taxi back to Boca).

However, if you miss your turn near Boca, you get the added pleasure of seeing a school for Greenpeace. I was wondering where they kept those!

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sign: GREENPEACE ESCUELA
LOS ESTUDIANTES DE BOCA TRABATAN
PARA MANTENER UN BOCA LIMPIO

Turning around, I found the puenta, the bridge over which we walked originally,

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gave my 70 pesos to the bus driver, and made it back to my Hotel del Mar Tradicionale.

How long was the hike? With significant elevation and terrain change (sorry, no photo of me scrambling off trail almost knocking rocks down on the first bar/restaurant), mileage is not a valuable measure of a hike or a run. It took well over an hour each way.

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