Watchout for BED BUGS HERE!!
Today jimmy flew home to New Zealand so we were a bit sad to loose our third amigo, but we headed off on our way to Cancun. Here we stayed at a pretty new hostel that was quite well designed. It had a big outside area upstairs with a huge kitchen and outdoor area. It also had heaps of hammocks. Here we had a really lazy day (as my tummy was a bit sore and I was getting a cold) and watched a bit of Entourage, we also went to the supermarket and made some amazing Spag Bol (although there was wayyyy to much) and put in lots of veges so it made me feel a bit better. The only bad thing was the air-conditioning was pretty cold in the door and the following day I woke up with bed bugs! YUCK!
Monday 5th Sept – Wednesday 7th September
Pocna, Isla Mujeres $125 pesos (p/n) 5/10
we also had a big night out together at the Pocna beach bar where they had local salsa music and a bit of Rastafarian. Cocktails were cheap and the weather was good so we had a pretty good night.
On our last day I decided to give my body a break and just about killed myself going for a run in the heat haha later that day we headed out to the Tortuganja turtle farm! Here there were hundreds of baby turtles and a heap of older ones they kept for breeding. We got to feed some of the older ones which as awesome and were a bit naughty and picked up the little ones… they were just sooooooo cute :)
Thursday 1st September – Monday 5th September
Rio Player, Playa Del Carmen $150 pesos (p/n) 9/10 14 person dorm w/ Air-conditioning
After catching a awesome aircon bus for about $3 we organised another dive to Cozumel an island just off the coast of Playa Del Carmen. We had to be at the Padi Dive shop around 7am and from here we caught a ferry out to Cozumel. Here we met Sergio from Auqatic Sports Cozumel. http://www.scubacozumel.com/. For $100 we got to go out in a beautiful boat, have two deep water dives and even got lunch and drinks included. Pretty cheap.
Our dive instructor was also awesome… He was a man close to 70 that is one of the most amazing people we have met. He is into every aspect of social media like facebook and utube. He designs his own movies and even made a waterproof camera casing to go to 40 metres out of a dive bottle. Needless to say our dive with him was amazing! The water was clear and warm and we saw sooo much wildlife and coral. It was one of the most beautiful dives I have ever been on. We even got to go through little caves! Overall it was a good day!
That afternoon our mate Jimmy arrived and the next few days were spent blindly drinking, going to clubs and hanging out at the beach! Playa has this pretty awesome deal that girls drink EVERYWHERE for free its quite crazy but actually not many girls were very drunk. The boys on the otherhand payed $30 for all you can drink and got so drunk I had to walk them both home from the club haha! We did have a lot of fun through and met some amazing people. The Hostel Rio Player is really well set up with a bar and pool on the terrace… I found it a really nice place to meet people!
Monday 29th – Thursday 1st September
Zazilkin, Tullum $500 pesos (p/n for 2) 8/10
Today we flew from Guadalajara to Cancun. We flew through continental airlines and they were awesome!!! From here we caught a bus straight from the airport down to Tullum. Over the next few days we spent our time at the most amazing beach, the water was so clear and clean it was like paradise.
We decided not to leave our Cabanas the first few days and went the bar and restaurant on the property which was actually pretty yum. We then found a really good place to go diving in the Centotes. There are quite a few different types but we dived an area called De Ojos. Here we did two different dives, one was the Barbie line and the other was the bat cave. It cost around $110 each and this included transport out there, which was pretty good. It was amazing in the caverns there was so much to see and when you went quite deep in through the caves you could see out the top through the holes in the rock the jungle…it glistened through the water and made a rainbow it was super beautiful and something we would both highly recommend doing!
That night we headed to Comers a traditional Mexican restaurant our dive guide had recommended! The food here was INCREDIBLE and pretty cheap too. Here we got fresh cooked Venezuela – which is like a tomato salsa type sauce and also a seafood soup, with prawns, calamari, fish, crab and octopus… there was so much we had to leave a bit at the bottom.
The next day we headed out to the Tullum ruins which is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Coba. The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans, it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. It was amazing learning about all the history in the area and we got a few awesome pictures!
Saturday 27th – Monday 29th August
Downtown Hostel Guadalajara
YHA discount $160pesos (p/n) 7/10
The next morning we went on our tequila tour, this took us to tres mujeres (three women). Here we heart all about how tequila is made and the processes that it takes, we also got to taste it at each stage! YUM We also learnt that there are 4 types of tequila blanco (the cheapest resposedo, ahejo and the extre ahejo (the best). After this we went into the town of tequila and visited the Jose Cuerve tequila factort and then went to the museum of one of the oldest brands Los Abuelos.
This was really cool and it was in English so we learnt a lot of the history. We also learnt to look for something important on tequila bottles. If it says 100% Algave (that’s the plant) then it means that the tequila is natural and completely organic, but if it says something like 100% tequila it means that it is brued by one of the big companies and they have mixed it with other things soso it will give you a terrible headache in the morning… Another thing we learnt is there are four stages of tequila and you must be very careful about how much you drink
- Loss of inhibition
Friday 26th August
Oasis Hostel Puerto Vallarta
$150 pecos per night 10/10
Today we had a cruisy day and looked up some places to go in San Sebastian the next day. We then went into town to do a few errands. Here we:
- Had a massage for an hour for $35 which was amazing Met some girls from our Spanish course for drinks
- Looked at some tour options
- Got some presents
- Had burgers and beer for dinner
Last night we all had an ok sleep considering and we set sail about7am. On our way back we were told that we would not be able to port in Puerta Vallarta and instead we would have to go back to La Cruz where we had started. This was another drawback on our agreement but oh well. Around 10.30 we got into port and we bussed with the boys to the airport said goodbye and then headed back to Oasis.
Wednesday 24th August
Today Darrin picked us up in a taxi around 9am as he had lost the keys to the car. We drove out to La Cruz where the boat was kept and stopped and got tacos for breakfast. From here we got on the boat and were on our way… we stopped off at the end of the marina and this was the beginning of the changes to our agreement. Here we had to buy our own food and water for the trip – which we didn’t mind but then we were requested to give $40 instead for fuel. Now it is not uncommon to pay for gas on these types of trips but the annoying thing was that we had talked about it all the previous day and agreed upon $20… He also guilted us into giving him the money saying that we were getting a really good deal and we shouldn’t complain! it is stuff like this that makes me super annoyed and it really showed the professionalism of the boat company.
Tuesday 23rd August
We woke up to our alarm and realised our mistake straight away at booking a sailing trip the day after a big night. Sarah and I felt ok as we had not had as much Rum as the boys and because of my previous night out I had stayed away from all the shots but the boys were in bad shape. Jesse and Tory were not going anywhere but the other boys were ok so Jordan and Jake went to see if we could still go out with just the four of us. The guy who we organised this through said it should be fine so we got ready to go. A taxi turned up outside our hostel and after paying a deposit of $550 pacos to the local that had helped organise everything we were on our way.
Monday 22nd August
Today we got up early and on recommendation of the hostel we headed to a waterfall about 1 hour from the hostel. The base of the waterfall was small so we had to end up climbing shitloads of rocks to get to where the main waterfall was and ‘swimming bit’ this took a bit of effort and we slipped a bit but we made it in the end and got some beautiful photos. After heading back to the hostel we checked out and said our sad goodbyes to Guillermo promising to keep in touch. We then caught the bus to Sayulita. The bus trip this time was much more enjoyable and I have to say the busses in central America are pretty awesome much more comfortable then planes. By the time we got there it was late afternoon and we checked into our hostel fumbling through our Spanish words to finalise our booking and then headed to the beach where the miller boys were hoping for surf. Unfortunately they were shit out of luck and the waves were small but they decided to go out and have a play anyways. Jordan ended up renting a board and we all had a go, which was pretty fun.
Sunday 21st August - 27 months
Today was a chilled-out day had by all. We got up late and headed down to the beach for a swim. The boys ended up wave surfing for a bit while Sarah and I sunbathed. We then headed to the Sea Monkey on recommendation of its $1 beers and margaritas and $2 cocktails. From here we headed back to the hostel to sunbath on the top deck and read for a while. That night we didn’t get up to much… we got tacos from a local stand and booked some flights for our next leg of the trip.
Saturday 20th August
Today Jordan and I woke up with pretty sore heads. Jimmy had also had a bit night out and ended up staying somewhere else, but the other guys had called it a night quite early so they were rearing to go. We ended up going to a town called Sayulita, to see if we could source some accommodation for later in the week. Sayulita is about 1 hour 20min from PV although I swear it felt A LOT longer that day. When we got there we had a swim at the beach, then troy and I got an amazing fruit bowl with fresh yogurt and muesli on top… my god did that cure my hangover... I have never had anything so good!
Friday 19th August
Today we had our last Spanish lesson at Solexico Spanish school. We both graduated with A- and got little certificates and even managed to get student cards, which was helpful on all our upcoming bus trips taking 50% off most rides. That afternoon we headed back to our host familias la casa (house) and packed up all our stuff. We then headed back to the school for salsa dancing lessons. This was rather entertaining and I honestly can’t say we were very good at it but we had fun nonetheless…
Thursday 18th August
Today we had our Spanish course again. This time we played bingo to get to know the names of things and string basic sentences together. Until now we had had only had one person in our class a girl called Shelly a girl from Wales who had been in the course for two weeks now and was staying in Puerto Vallarta to help out at the orphanage and teach English. Today we had another lady join our class from Germany! I have to say that the Germans are invading Puerto Vallarta and they seem to be everywhere. We kept saying to them why didn’t you learn Spanish in Spain but they said it was way cheaper here once you had paid for flights and more cultural. After class we did a Spanish cooking class at the school with our host muma Sara (she worked here).
Wednesday 17th August
Today we had another Spanish class from 9 – 12pm where we learnt a few more verbs and struggled our way through the class. I honestly never realised how difficult it is to learn another language and I think it has given me more patience for those who try and learn English. The biggest thing we have learned it just to try. You may not always get things right but with hand movements and pointing you can get your message across. That afternoon we were pretty exhausted so we decided to have a quite afternoon at home. We watched a movie with Spanish subtitles and did a bit of homework from our exercise books.
That evening we played with the girls a little bit and then went for tea at a taco place just around the corner from our house, with Alisha a Canadian girl that had come to stay with the hostel family for two weeks to practice her Spanish for school.
Tuesday 16th August
Today we had Spanish at the school for 2 hours where we learnt a lot more verbs and I started to understand how little Spanish I really knew haha Later on that day we watched a Spanish movie at the school with a few other students. This was one of the strangest movies I had ever seen and there was no way we could follow what was going on haha We ended up giving up half way through and headed to the beach again for some real study. On the way to the beach we were hounded by a guy (who we saw everyday) to come eat, so we decided that we would have dinner there later on. This turned out to be a pretty good meal, Jordan had enchiladas and I got fresh fish. Around 7pm we headed back home and ended up playing shops with the girls for a few hours. This was pretty good to practice our Spanish vocabulary and numbers. We also gave the girls some Australian money, which they loved and they gave us some Mexican pasos… I think they came out on top haha
Monday 15th August
Today we started our Spanish class with Claudia. There was one other girl in our class called Shelly. We were put into the beginners class from 9 -12 (probably had something to do with the fact that we couldn’t complete the first page of the 8 page test haha) In class we are not allowed to speak any English and Claudia explains the word by drawing little pictures… its pretty funny. Our first day was pretty overwhelming but we enjoyed it and learnt a lot. That afternoon we went to find the internet and then went down to the beach (luckily our sunburn had gone down) to do our tarea (homework) which was learning about a billion verbs – to walk, to talk, to buy, to dance etc. Down at the beach we headed to one of the beach resort restaurants and shared a club sandwich. After a bit more swimming we decided to go to one of the beach bars and get a few beers and study on their deck chairs… this was pretty awesome and we decided that studying and getting a bit barracho (drunk) was a great way to learn. That night we went to Pinocchio’s for tea a pizza place and shared a really good pizza. This cost around $200 pacos (US $20) for both of us!
Sunday 14th August
Today we woke up and had breakfast with sara and the girls – watermelon, pineapple and scrambled eggs. We then went off to practice some Spanish at the beach. On the way we headed to the supermarket and got some sandwich stuff (bread, ham, lettuce, cheese and chips) for lunch. This costed around $70 pacos (around $5.00 American). Even though it is a really touristy town its still pretty cheap to live. In Puerto Vallarta all along the beach the locals are selling stuff, snorkling trips, bracelets, sorongs, fruit, chips, tattoos, massages, weed and a heap of other random shit you wouldn’t want like puppets. They are around 24/7 and you get super sick of saying ‘no gracias!’ After sunbathing and swimming for a few hours we decided to head to a taco place for tea and had a few beers. This cost around $240 pacos (US $25) for both of us with an awesome tip! By the time we headed back to our home stay our sunburn had come out and we both looked like lobsters.
Saturday 13th August
Today after a bit of a sleep in, Sara and Jorge Alonso picked us up who are the host family we are going to be staying with for the next week. They don’t speak a word of English, which has been hilarious and our stay with them has been a massive game of charades. Sara and Jorge also have two daughters Michel (11) and Ximena (6). It was Ximenas birthday the day we got there so there was a party with Spanish food, cake and fresco (cold fizzy drink) There they have the tradition that after you blow out the candles you bite into the cake and usually someone pushes your head into it so Ximena ended up with cake all over her face! Pretty funny.
Friday 12th August: Mexico!!
We set the alarm on our computer for 6am for a 6.15 departure… unfortunately in the night the battery cord came out so we didn’t wake up till 6.45 shit!! We rushed to the airport but luckily made it in plenty of time. On the way I was given an awesome present that Troy had got in Daytona. A guys singlet that I could wear as a dress ( I friken love them travelling). It’s awesome THANKS TROY!!! Anyways we got on our plane with Continental airlines to Mexico with a stop over in Dallas Texas. It was an awesome flight and we slept most of the way.
At around2 2pm we arrived in Puerta Vallarta. We had been given directions on how to bus to the hostel and it seemed pretty easy so we thought why not… After around 20 minutes of trying to figure our what bus to catch and where we were on our way into the centre of town. It was soooo hot here and our bags seemed a lot heaver then when we left Tasmania but it was an awesome ride, there were hotels everywhere and they even had wallmart. There was only locals on our bus and one by one they all got off until we were the only ones left. We had been told to go to the centre of town and look for the dolphin fountain… f*cked if I could see it haha in the end I asked the bus driver where we needed to go… Oasis Downtown Vallarta Hostel: Juarez #386 col. Centro and he was able to point us in the right direction. Once at the hostel we were given a free Carona on arrival; which was amazing and then we decided to go and explore. The beach was like a 2 minute walk from the hostel but because of construction along the whole of the waterfront we had to walk a bit further down to swim. The water was pretty dirty and we were told that it was because of all the storms they had been having, we also got pointed in the direction of a nicer area to swim just another 10minute walk further down the beach.
Later that afternoon we met some Austrian students on an exchange in Guadalajara (a city about 4 hours away) they were staying in Puerta Vallarta for the weekend. They invited us to go to dinner where Jordan and I got amazing steaks and we ended up having a few beers at the hostel with them later that night, after which we headed to a Rastafarian Bar. Overall it was an awesome first day.