Mismaloya

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Yesterday we woke up next to the beach in San Blas. We were three cars of travelers that met on the Ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. Thomas is now a formal part of our crew, at least for now. He is from France, speaks French, Dutch, English, and is a little ahead of me in Spanish. He’s 22, in great shape, full of energy, very positive about life and makes us laugh quite often. We met him on the deck of the ferry, returning from sneaking onto the top restricted area, exactly where we were trying to go. The captain came out just as we all met, and Angela worked her magic to get special permission for us to go up there with the captain. He tried to say no, that it was too dangerous, but I told him that Angela’s nickname is Curva Peligrosa, and she played along. It was a beautiful view from the top. Thomas joined us in our cabin, sleeping on the floor, but having a place to lay down.

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George and Stephanie joined us as we were driving off the ferry for the purpose of caravanning through the supposedly “dangerous” state. We had all heard the same rumors, and were heavily cautioned not to do certain things, to not be in states like Nayarit any more than we have to, etc. I have a feeling that most of those rumors are passed on by people that watch the news, and believe it. The information that seeded the rumors might have been based on real events, but the frequency and likelihood of such events occurring on any given day are dramatically exaggerated.

Angela and I went for a morning run on the beach. The run had a serene National Geographic feel to it. We found clam seashells decorated with several long and brittle spines and saw dozens of birds packed along the estuaries that stippled the shoreline. Pelicans, storks, vultures, gulls, the little birds that run up and down the beach as the waves undulate back and forth, some bird with a really thick beak, looking like it has a huge nose, and more. We ran to the end of the beach and back. I took a quick dip in the warm water and then took a Wiggles shower. George and Stephanie headed out to find a surf spot they had on their map. Then the four of us went into the town to check out the local scene and the Mission. Angela bought some super cheap local chicken, tortillas and roasted whole jalapeños. The jalapeños were really hot.

We took the back roads through the small towns. At a stop sign Angela and I were nearly accosted by 8 people who lunged forward to wash our windows and then ask us for money. They were using very scratchy rags, the kind that can permanently scratch your window. I drove off. It was like pushing through a mob with my car, and part of it made me feel bad.

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Down the road we starting seeing trees with fruits that we had never seen before. We stopped at a local stand to try some and learned that it is called ‘yaka.’ It’s a huge pod with sharp spikes all over its surface. Inside there are many slimy spheres of fruit, each with its own large smooth seed in it. It tastes pretty good, but its no lingonberry ☺.

As we pressed on, we came to a town where two cops on one motorcycle were waiting. This was the very first time in all of Mexico I had seen cops doing what appeared to be patrolling for speeding. Of course, as the speed limit dramatically cut in half in 10 meters, we were technically speeding for a few seconds. I watched in my mirror and saw the flashing blue and red lights come on. Thomas and Chihiro were behind us. Evidently the cops had decided to pull them over instead of us.

The cops drove into the middle lane alongside Thomas, signaling with their hands for him to pull over. Evidently Thomas didn’t see him. Then the cops pulled behind him and just kept signaling with their hands, lights flashing, and following. Thomas eventually moved over to the right lane, but just kept driving. Angela and I were talking about what the cops must be thinking. Then, surprisingly, the cops gave up and just let him go. So I guess Thomas successfully ignored the cops until they went away. I didn’t know you could do that.

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Later I asked him why he didn’t pull over and he said that he thought they wanted him to move over to the right lane, but didn’t know that they wanted him to stop. He said, “until I got the proper signal I wasn’t going to stop.” I asked what the flashing lights meant to him. He said, “well without the siren the lights might just mean that the cops wanted to go fast.”

We made it to Puerto Vallarta in time to watch the sunset from the center. Then we walked around saying “no gracias” every few seconds, turning down people that were offering us things to buy. It was already dark, but we needed to find a good spot to park for the night. So we got some advice from some locals and headed out. The spot we were told about wasn’t quite what we were looking for so we drove on, eventually parking at a place called Mismaloya. This was the best parking spot we had found yet. We were one meter from a freshwater river that poured onto the beach. A small wooden bridge stretched over the river to a dozen small bars and restaurants, and the river was packed full of colorful anchored boats. There was a freshwater shower right next to us and there were toilets.

In the morning I woke up are read some more from my book (Do We Really Understand Quantum Mechanics?), which is turning out to be a spectacular book. Then Angela, Thomas and I went for a run. Thomas was barefoot. The beach wasn’t that long so we decided to run the other direction. After crossing the main road we took random cobblestone roads and ended up on a dirt road that went up a canyon. When we were about to turn around we saw a sign that said ‘2 miles to the waterfalls.’ So now we set our sights on two more uphill miles. (It was listed in miles, not kilometers.) Along the was another sign said “Predator area.” I wondered what that meant. What kind of animal was it talking about?

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At the end of the road we found a delightful surprise. The movie Predator was filmed in this location. The crashed helicopter was still there and a beautiful elaborate thatch restaurant/bar had been built right next to it – with the best bathrooms I have ever seen! Best of all, the waterfall we were looking for was right in the middle of all of the action. It was a natural waterslide with a drop off at the end into a clear pool and it was absolutely delightful. There was also a rope to swing off of the structure into the pool.

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After playing around in the pool for over an hour, for free, we decided to start the run back. When we made it back we made breakfast in Wiggles, and then bartered for a deal (100 pesos each) to take a boat out to the arches and snorkel. It was more than we bargained for. What a great day. There were lots of fishes, and when it was time to leave we were visited by a whale. Took by best whale tale picture yet ☺ The evening was relaxing and comfortable and it was the perfect temperature. We made dinner together in Wiggles, mashed potatoes and soup that functioned as gravy, played some card games, and then went to sleep. I hope everyone can have days so wonderful.

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Xoxoxoxo
Thad

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2 Responses to Mismaloya

  1. elaine emmi says:

    love the reference to lingenberries Thad et al! Did you bring any lingenberry jam with you? If not it will be a long time before you see any! I will never forget your first taste!

    the travel details are fantastic, and it’s fun to follow your path – glad you are safe, sound and thriving! remember all of us stuck in Smog Lake City inhaling toxic air 🙁

    much love to you and your growing entourage!
    ee & Phil

  2. Thad Roberts says:

    No we didn’t bring any lingenberry jam. 🙁 Sounds really good right now though. xoxo