Friday, February 29, 2008


You remember Especially Frank? Well, as I said, he got that name because the night before our hike he assured me how he would be there for me if I needed a helping hand. He did this at dinner so I thought it would only be right to post a couple of pictures of that memorable affair.

Especially Frank picked this place and I have to say he made a good choice. The food was delicious and the prices were most reasonable.


And here we are, where promises were made, and subsequently broken.

The Crowd At Polo's

For those of you interested, from left to right we have Especially Frank, Carol, his lovely wife, the Mysterious Chinese Woman, Chris, and Bar Man.

The other night we had a lovely view of the eclipse and it was, to me, quite impressive to see it. Not the best pictures, but the best that I could do.

It really was much better seeing it first hand.

Tomorrow I will try to have some more interesting things to post about. Especially Frank has returned to the frozen tundra that he calls home so we will be seeing no more of him. At least until next year.

Actually, this was kind of a boring post so I will add a gratuitous shot for your viewing pleasure.

Sometimes You Just Don't Want To Know

I can only assume that Bella and Marcie had met a long lost friend.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trail's End

Sorry I didn't get these pictures up a bit sooner. Just too much stuff to do here in Puerto Vallarta so I have been kind of busy. But, the wait is over.

After our long hike we stopped by a little food and drink stand that was about a hundred yards from the pier and the more touristy places.

Journey's End

When we stopped for a quick beer at Los Animas someone called ahead to let the proprietor know we were coming so he managed to procure some food to prepare for us. Our selections were a bit limited though. He had four orders of shrimp, three red snappers, fish tacos (quantity unknown) and that was about it. He did, however, have beer and tequila and we quickly settled in.

The Settlers

Of course it didn't take Bar Man to get into action. I love a place where they just leave the bottle.

Just Pour Your Own

Bar Man And His Hat Getting Smashed

I certainly wasn't the only one getting who was ready to party after our hike.

This Gal Can Party

This gal was Bella whose other half is Tom, a member of the Breakfast Club, who foolishly left her unattended.

Another member of the Breakfast Club was Bill, Marcia's husband. And as you saw in the last blog, Marcia quickly got into action as well.

Bottoms Up

We all had a wonderful time and the beers and tequila did wonders for the aching muscles. We could worry about aching heads tomorrow.

All to soon it was headed back, and we certainly weren't going to go back the way we came. Instead we arranged for a boat to take us back to Boca de Tomatlan where we could catch a bus back to town.

Much More Fun Than Walking

All and all it was a wonderful day. I would be more than happy to do it again, but not for another year. I think my knees might just have recovered by then. They really should figure out how to install fittings in your knees like they have in cars so you can shoot in some grease once in awhile. Or, better yet, Silly Putty. Put that spring back in your step.

Monday, February 25, 2008

One Hell Of A Hike

For years Walter, one of the popular visitors to Playa del Sol, led various in-city and nature hikes. Several years ago he unexpectedly passed away and each year since a group here holds a memorial hike in his honor following one of the more arduous trails that he liked to follow. This is the first time that I have joined in since Walter's passing and I am strongly recommending that maybe we could honor Walter's memory with one of his in-city hikes instead.

We grouped up fairly early to catch a bus to Boca Tomatlan, a small town at the mouth of the Tomatlan river and as far south as you can travel by vehicle. The road from Boca Tomtalan heads up the montain from there and, as of yet, no road actually crosses the river.

The Gathering Of The Brave

Of course there were also the not-so-brave, or at least the not-so-foolhardy, who came down to send us on our way and then head out to breakfast.

The Breakfast Club, Especially Frank, Tom, and Bill

Why Especially Frank? Well at dinner the previous night (pictures to follow one day soon) he was especially vociferous in his proclamations about how he would go on the hike and be there for me if I needed a helping hand. So this one is for you:

Especially Frank

After arriving by bus (5.5 pesos for an adventurous ride on a bus with squealing brakes) we headed down a dusty road towards a footbridge across the river.

Heading Down That Dusty Trail

And Then Over The Bridge

Boca Tomatlan is a sleepy little fishing village even today, but there are a bunch of little family owned restaurants with tables on the beach where you can get decent food and drink at very reasonable prices. If you ever get to Puerto Vallarta it is well worth the bus ride to visit. It is a little bit past Mismaloya which, to my thinking, has become much too comercialized.

A View From The Bridge

Our hike is not for the faint hearted or out of shape. It is supposed to be four miles, but that, I am sure, does not take into consideration the ups and downs of the trail.

The Trail

At times we had to share the trail with some four-footed friends.

Hey, Hey, Coming Through

Oh yes, let us not forget the swinging bridges along the way. Real Indiana Jones stuff, if you ask me.

A Bridge Too Far

We did see a bit of wildlife along the way.

Perched Cormorants, Not Pelicans

I thought these were pelicans but Chris DeFabis an alert reader of my blog from Indiana (the reader is from Indiana, not the blog) informed me that I was wrong.

An Iquana Decked Out For Halloween

And there was some lovely scenery to behold on those rare moments when you dared to take your eyes off the trail.

Ah, The Glory Of It All

Although there is no road here they have recently put in plumbing and electricity so you are seeing more and more homes going up. They are all on the water as that is the only way you can get building materials and the ever important beer. In fact, unless you are demented like our group, it is the only way you can get there yourself.

A Relatively Recent Home

It certainly would be a shame if this side of the river got as built up as the Puerto Vallarta side. I hope the day never comes. But, you can't stop progress. The plumbing and electicity was just put in a few years ago so who knows what will happen next.

One hopeful note is that they are really developing in the neighboring state of Nayarit to the north. And I mean big-time. A new international airport is going in along with casino gambling. I think Harrah's is already in for a piece of the action. There is already a PGA Tournament quality golf course and Four Seasons resort out at Punta Mita which is at the northern tip of Banderas Bay.

Of course this blog mustn't lose it's focus which is on drink and food so here is a teaser picture of our celebration at the end of the trail at Quimixto.

Bar Man and Marcie Celebrating

Check back tomorrow for more on our festivities at Quimxto and some shots of our boat ride back to Boca Tomtalan.