Last minute plans are the best! Surprises are even better! I finished up a job on Friday and Janet surprised me with a plan to join a few of my buddies that were leaving on Monday for Puerto Vallarta. My daughter arranged a cheap ticket for me (the perks of her being in the airline industry) and I found out about it all while on a weekend trip with our friends in Banff. Although feeling more than a little spoiled I thought it would be a nice distraction and I could continue searching for job opportunities on line beside the pool. We got home from Banff, I had Sunday night to pack and Monday morning I was off to Mexico. I was lucky enough to get the very last seat flying standby so it was meant to be.
I was thinking I shouldn’t go away again but Janet and my friends didn’t have to twist my arm very hard. they had a large house booked with a blender, so I couldn’t turn down that opportunity. Yes, a bit overindulgent as I’ve had my cake and plenty of travel lately but when the universe provides you must listen and take advantage.
The accommodations are great, we are staying in the residential community of Buenos Aires only a 15-minute ride by Uber into the center of PVR for a few dollars or by bus for a few cents. A typical community with everything we need in walking distance; a market, shops, restaurants, watering holes…. everybody sells something and you can get it all out your front door. Water trucks go buy, a vendor selling home made tortillas, ice-cream, baked goods…. Whatever you need put it out to the universe and it’ll come by your doorstep within the hour.
The town is an interesting blend of people, lots of retirees on extended sojourns and a large gay community out to party hard for a weekend. Just so happens to be ‘Bear Week’ in PVR and the town is overrun by big burly guys that look like they want to kill and eat you but more likely to give Care Bear hugs! The prices are reasonable, even in the busy tourist center you can have a great meal with a few drinks for under $40 cdn a person. A bargain compared to home and off the beaten track by our casita it gets even cheaper.
Yesterday I went out with one of the ladies who’s been staying at the house since December renting one of the rooms (the house used to be a B&B but is now an infrequently used private residence, my friend knows the owners and has been staying here for years). She wanted to go on this well known hike from Boca di Tomatan to Los Animas and didn’t want to go alone. I love to hike so I said I’d be happy to join her.
We departed from PVR center on the orange and white buses that leave every 15 minutes or so from the Oxxo on the corner of Constitucion and Basilio Baillo for 8 pesos (less than a $1 cdn). About 20 minutes later we arrived in Boca and headed down the hill to the waterfront where we crossed the river by bridge and then headed right through the village that leads to the pathway mostly following the waterfront. It’s a beautiful one-hour hike or so to Los Animas with some great pit stops for a swim and rest but make sure you wear good shoes. Runners or hikers are necessary as it has some steep up and downs with slippery rocks, rough trail spots and loose gravel. If you insist on wearing your flip flops don’t say I didn’t warn you. I wouldn’t do this hike if it was wet or rainy as the path could be treacherous.
Just as we started to heat up in the morning sun we found ourselves at the half way point of Colomitos Cove, a little piece of paradise in a small sandy cove with calm waters that begged for a quick swim. A quick superman into my Speedo and I was splashing in the water like a giggly kid at the play pool, so refreshing and Zen until the party boats and more hikers arrived signaling the time to move on.
Another half hour later; following the signs we walked through the jungle and along some pristine beaches until we arrived in Los Animas. It’s a resort type town only accessible by foot or by boat with some small boutique hotels, seaside restaurants and watering holes. When we arrived, it was overrun with ‘Bears’, not the dangerous kind but the burly man kind in teeny tiny bathing suits having arrived on three large party boats that were moored off the docks. They came to frolic and forage (kind of like the dangerous ones at a riverside salmon spawn) along the seaside cabanas on one side of the beach. We headed to the opposite, quieter end where we lounged over a beer and some lunch. I had a generous plate of succulent shrimp that was delicious, and Lolli had the ceviche which looked equally fresh and tasty.
A few hours later we decided to head back on the return hike although we did have the option of taking a boat ride back to Boca for about 50 peso I believe (last boat departs for Boca at 6pm). If you didn’t want to exhort the energy or want a different view and experience this would be a great option. It’s a good trek both ways and we arrived home with our energy spent. We strayed a few times and ended up on an alternative path to Boca through the jungle but arrived safely non-the less.
I totally enjoyed the day and was thankful that Lolli invited me along. I got some great pics and can’t wait to return, maybe next week! Here us a link to my photos.
Below is a quick video if you’ like to see more of the hike. (in the video I mention hiking from Playa del Carmen, I meant Puerto Vallarta– I forgot where I was!)