For the second year in a row my travel buddy, Jenn, and I went to Puerta Vallarda at the end of January. We stayed at the Dreams/Secrets all inclusive resort which is quite lovely. Getting out of the Oregon rain was a blessing...until we experienced Mexico rain. Oregon has a constant drizzle and sometimes "mist" which is quite tolerable. Mexico rain is a torrential downpour which I'm guessing measures about five inches an hour. It rained for about two and a half days. We spent the majority of the week lounging in the lobby near the bar...all inclusive remember? We actually drank a little too much on a few days and once I ended up in my room and ready to sleep by 6:00 p.m. Yeah, I'm a little too old to start drinking at 10:30 a.m.
|If you see this on the side of the road, STOP and EAT!|
We did one excursion to Hacienda el Divisidero
which was the highlight of the trip. Since it had rained the day prior, we were told to make sure and use the bug repellant. Nice. It was a beautiful day and our guide, Jesee, was one of the best guides I've ever seen. We stopped at numerous local places along the way for photo ops and to try the local fares.
We ate fresh bread that is cooked in an oven that is made of clay in the side of a mountain at Panaderia Los Pinitos. The bread is apparently very famous and the "bakery" sells hundreds of pieces a day. The bread can be bought plain or it is stuffed with cheese, berries, and even meat. It is a must try if you are ever on the outskirts of town.
|Jesee and a local breadmaker|
|The bread is cooked using indirect heat...and it is the best bread I've ever had!|
We met a local artist. Her shop (ok, the room in the front of her house with a bookshelf where she shows her art) was closed but she graciously opened the door and not only let us see the art but also took us around the back to see the different types of clay and her oven she uses. We tipped her for her time and she was very gracious and gave us some of her art. We eventually had to leave so she'd stop trying to hand us stuff. If you are ever near El Tuito, look her up.
|Two of the ranch hands standing next to my "horse"|
Once we arrived at Hacienda el Divisadero, we had a snack before heading out on a short horseback ride to see some petroglyphs and play in the river with the dogs. Ok, when I say horseback ride, I mean, everyone under 100 pounds got to ride a horse. I was on a mule. Nothing says "go on a diet fat ass" like having to ride mule.
But he was a good mule. I would have fallen in love if my heart weren't already stolen by a chocolate lab named "Chocolate" that was very pregnant and apparently in love with our guide, Jesee. I can't even find love from a dog. Nice. I guess the mule will have to do.
After I waded in the river and hung out with Chocolate, we drove back to the Hacienda and ate the most amazing lunch of the entire week. I can't recall what was on the plate, but it was so good I'll have nightmares if I ever go into an American Mexican food place again.
|Lamb, chicken, pork, sausage, beef, and beans. Yummmmyyyyyy|
One of the highlights (yep, just ONE) of the Hacienda tour is the fact that this is the only place to purchase Raicilla, which is tequila moonshine or something of the sort (So we were told). Tastes a lot like terpentine to me, but I'm used to smothering my tequila in margarita mix. They were remodeling the Raicilla area when we visited but we saw the "factory" and were able to drink all the free Raicilla margaritas we could tolerate at lunch. Jenn and I, never shying away from anything that tastes like crap but has alcohol in it, each bought a bottle and brought it home. If you'd like to taste some of this just stop on by!
If you are ever in the Puerta Vallarda area and need a fun excursion, or a place to stay the night that's awesome, look up Hacienda el Divisadero. They have beautiful rooms and serve great food. You won't be sorry!!!
Back to the resort we went to suffer through another few days of all inclusive drinks and nothing to do but drink. It was torture. But we survived (even though I was attacked by mosquitos and had large bites all over my legs and some on my arms. Note to self, after wading in river, reapply bug repellant, dummy stupid.)
I was at home by Tuesday and by Sunday, I was on a plane headed to Los Angeles to work for two weeks. My destination of choice? No way. But, work is work. And this work gives me the chance to try some new BBQ joints. I'm not sure how impressed I'll be...but I'm going to at least give it a shot and see if I can find one place that makes me want to come back. My positive psychology teacher would be so proud that I'm being so positive.
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