Puerto Vallarta (Day Four)
9:50AM: Off to the donkey trip!
The jungle adventure started at the same place where the dolphins were. Everyone from our group that was going to go met up. There were 11 of us. My mom's stomach felt better, so she decided to go. We had some red bulls, then left on a big rubber speed boat.
It took about 30 min to get to the other side of the bay. It was REALLY far away. We went into a place where the river meets the ocean. It was the first time I really felt like I was in Mexico. It totally looked like a scene out of Jurassic park! There were people fishing in the river with actual nets, and an all too authentic restaurant where our boat landed. A mexican man was telling me something, but I didn't understand. There was another guy trying to sell jewelry and pipes. "No gracias"
After we go to that point, we got in the back of a huge Mercedes truck. When we got in, I was like "Oh i dont need a seat belt!" The roads were SO Small, and muddy, and there were cliffs.
I put my seat belt on.
As we drove there were small houses sporadically on the sides of the road, on the couple mile trip up the mountain to the "base camp"
We knew we were going to go on those lines, that you're strapped into that are strung from one point to another. A, Zip line i guess you would call it. But we had no idea what we were really getting ourselves into.
When our truck ride was over, which took us even further from civilization, we got a lesson in jungle swinging. I dont know why people always like to pick me for their Demonstrations but thankfully i remembered the rules:
1. Don't touch your equipment.
2. Listen to the guides.
Then it was time for the mule ride. I'm not sure what was more scary, the truck ride or the mule ride. They pick a mule, just for you, then you get on and it walks up a tiny path to the first swinging spot. Mine was on automatic the whole time and i didn't even have to touch the reins.
For some reason I happened to be by myself for almost the entire ride up. The people in front of me were way in front of me, and the people behind me were way behind me. I was amazed at how smart my mule was. It would slow down and step really carefully when there was mud. It would always take the path that looked safer - and the one i was hoping it would. I was almost to the top when the guide that was behind me caught up and started to whoop for us to go faster. i was telling my mule "Don't listen to him, go as slow as you want!"
We made it safely.
Then there was a slight hike to the first jump point. I was the very last to go, because i wanted to go behind my mom to make sure she made it ok. They hook you up to the rope that goes a few hundred feet across the canyon. You sit back, and put on hand on the rope thats attached to the line, and the other hand goes on the actual rope - which acts as your stabilizers and break. I surprisingly wasn't' afraid at all, even though I was hundreds of feet above jagged rocks and trees. I made it.
The adventure only cost 97$ and we agreed it was the most any of us has ever gotten for under 100$. We were expecting maybe one or two "Swings" but no, there were 10, and two repels, which were the most challenging part.
The first one was literally down a waterfall! Instead of going across two points, you go down the edge of waterfall, then down and across into the base. It was crazy, and you dont just get a little wet but in up to your head. It was cold.
There was one more repel, and 8 more lateral swings. Then it started to rain right when we finally finished.
Then we were magically back to the base camp, without even having to ride the mules again.
We weren't able to bring any cameras, so there are no pictures. But while we were in the jungle i told my mom "This looks just like the movie predator!" - come to find out, it's where Predator was filmed. On the way back the guide told me. They even have an adventure you can go on, thats at the actual set of the movie.
Anyways, at base camp there is a place to buy your $200 pictures, (the photographer goes with you) While we were looking at the pictures I heard a plate fall and looked over and my cousins was on the floor! I was like wtf just happened!? She had gotten sick the night before and didnt' eat much. While she was looking at the pictures she said everything went black, and the next thing she knew everyone was looking down at her. Thankfully she was fine. Especially since we were a million miles from anywhere.
So after that, which really freaked me out, we got in the truck and headed back down the mountain. I was really really not looking forward to going down a little dirt road, in the rain, in that truck in the middle of a jungle in mexico.
There were some loose mules, and we got a "Burro show" but he was impotent, and it wasn't too exciting. When he was mounting the other burrow, another one was trying to get between him and her and kick him off.
About 10min down the mountain we came across, a huge truck that had gotten stuck RIGHT in the middle of the road we were heading down, it's also the ONLY road down. So, not being able to go around it - thanks to the cliff on either side. We managed to get stuck behind it.
There was another tour bus in front of us, and already a crowd forming. We got out to watch too, because there wasn't any other option. The drivers were hooking up chains to try to pull it out of the mud, but it didnt' work. Then they hooked the chains up to the stuck trucks front bumper - and i told my mom
"watch the bumper is going to fall off" and she said
"No way, mexicans are really good welders." -
The bumper got pulled right off, and we started walking down the mountain on foot...
No one was frustrated, and it ended up being the highlight of the trip. We walked about 2 miles before we came to a little town, where we bought some beers, and some of us paid 50C to use a bathroom at a corner store that didn't have shelves, but just cases of beer and soda sitting on the floor.
They finally got the truck un-stuck and sent our trucks back down for us. We took a different route on the way down, that was actually paved, and come to find out it was because the brakes on our truck went out.. so we went down the whole way in high gear. Got back to the mouth of the river, and took off back "home"
- x33 ( +4 beers, +2 margaritas)
When we got back, we went out to dinner and got pizza. I thought that would be safe, but.. no. Montezuma came to me in the middle of the night. Bad pizza, bad mexico, bad bugs! (I had 10 bug bites) and didn't fall asleep until 10 am the next morning.