4 April 2013


A short day means an early wakeup! We were again having breakfast as we docked port side. Apparently this is a fairly new cruise ship terminal which was quite obvious as we got off. It was well organized and very clean.

Today we shared the port with our sister ship the Zaandam. Not quite as large as we are but still a fair size. The Zaandam arrived just before we did and in the afternoon it left about an hour before we did.

The temperature today was around 25 - 26C with a nice breeze and with very low humidity. So tolerable after some of the very hot and humid days we’ve endured.

Here are a couple of greeters. No idea why a goat is important as a greeter but all I could think of was that is was a way of greeting all the old goats getting off of the ship. Sorry but that’s all I could come up with.

We didn’t walk away from the pier far enough and so ended up paying too much for a ride into the old city. $5.00 each to get downtown.

Lucy was here with Carman and the kids about 10 years ago but so much has changed that it was like seeing it again for the first time. I’ve never been here but was amazed at the art work and amazed at how big the place is. Obviously they are very used to tourists and most of the cafĂ© servers and shop keepers speak English to some degree. This, of course, made is easier to communicate. PS: we found our table cloth!!
So from the start we decided to walk around the old town starting with the Oceanside promenade. A concrete “sidewalk” all along the ocean side between the beach and the buildings. All along the promenade there are statues, sculptures and works of art of various shapes and forms.

Also along the beach, on the beach, there were a number of sand carvings done by some of the local youth. Of course there was a box at every sand sculpture asking for donations. We stopped to photograph some of the works and then we also meandered in an out of some of the shops/stores along the way. (we did a lot of meandering on this trip)

After a long stretch of the promenade we headed away from the beach a couple of blocks into the city and headed back. This is where we found the church and many other shops and cafes.

We did this for a couple of hours and then we decided to stop for something to eat and chose a place across from the beach called the “Cheeky Monkey”.
I had a meat lovers nacho plate and Lucy had crab cakes on a bed of pasta. The servings were huge, we should have shared. But then Lucy would only have had crab cakes and I would only have had pasta. The service was great and the food was excellent and reasonably priced.

Having had a great rest with refreshments we headed back down to the beach to walk on the sand and in the waves. We probably could have walked along the beach all the way back to the port it was that beautiful and long.

One of the interesting creatures to watch from the shore is the pelicans. Here they are larger than I imagined and they sit around on the anchored boats waiting for some unsuspecting fish to come by. This one was sitting on top of one of the hotels along the beach.

But after some distance we decided we needed to get back to the ship and headed away from the beach into the town where we knew we would find a taxi. Sure enough, for $3.00 we got a ride back to the Port. What we should have done this morning was walk all the way out of the port area and then grab a regular taxi to whatever destination we wanted. They are less expensive and generally faster. Fasten your seatbelt or hang on, they don’t slow for bumps or rough roads but you get to where you want to go.

On the ship we took some time to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet while the rest of the passengers slowly made their way back before departure. Security to get back on the ship was tight and, although we didn’t have to show our passport, all of our bags, backpacks and cameras were checked thoroughly before we were allowed to get anywhere near the ship. Everything is electronically scanned when you get onto the ship anyway so the extra port checks seemed a bit redundant.

Departure from Puerto Vallarta was exactly at 4pm. The tie ropes were released and, with a quadruple blast of the ships horn, we headed back out into open water.

We think we were able to place where Lucy went 10 years ago with Carman and the kids. She said she remembered that is was about a ½ hour out of the old city. This picture might be of the area.

As we headed out into the calm, clear open sea we were treated to a show from a couple of pods of Orcas swimming not that far off from the ship, slapping their tails and breaching from time to time.

It doesn’t take long and the land slowly disappears and all you see is water everywhere. We have been following the Middle America Trench which is very deep. We have see a lot of water in the last 2 ½ weeks and yet it is such a small portion of the total ocean volume of the world. When you try and fathom that thought it is a bit mind boggling.

As the day ends we watch as the sun simply floats down into the ocean and is extinguished for another day. Then it is the stars’ turn to take over their celestial positions to be gazed upon in awe. One then simply stands in silent wonder at our surroundings and says a prayer of praise to our Creator for all is perfectly and wonderfully made.

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