Zipping Over Rio Cuale

Back in February when we toured around Puerto Vallarta with s/v Charisma, we stopped for a tequila tasting (one of many) and the salesman gave us information on zip line tours.  Ann and I thought it sounded really cool and said we’d think about it.

A couple of weeks went by and we all got the La Cruz bug. This bug makes you want to lounge around all day and eat copious amounts of tacos, pico de gallo and guac.  Before we knew it, it was March!  Dave and I were planning to sail south and Charisma was flying back to the bay area for a short stint before returning to La Cruz to sail to the south pacific.  We hadn’t made any of the side trips we had talked about back in the early days of February , BUT, we decided that zip lining was still a possibility.  We talked to a local excursion host here in La Cruz and he set it up for the very next day.

At first it was just going to be a girls’ trip. But Deanne from Dos Lios decided not to come and then Dave decided he wanted in.  So the three of us set out last Saturday (March 3rd) with no idea what we were in store for.

We met our transport just outside of La Cruz in Bucerias.  It was a warm day, so we were happy that the vehicle had an air conditioning system (see pic below).  We picked up five other tourists and four locals along the way and started heading up into the Sierra Madre mountains. 

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Air conditioning at it’s best.

It didn’t take long, maybe an hour.  We headed through a tiny mountain town where no one seemed to pay us any attention (obviously they see the tours coming through all the time).  Everything kept getting greener and greener, not to mention, steeper and steeper.  Eventually we pulled up to the Canopy River grounds and one of the restaurant waiters came out to greet us with a refreshing fruit juice shot.  Nice touch.

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Canopy River is a beautiful spot. Sweeping vista views, lots of shady trees and palapas with colorful flowers all around.  I would have loved to explore the grounds more but we were hurried towards the Banos and then over to the staging area to put on our harnesses and receive our safety instructions.

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We met our tour guides, Rafael and Abraham and immediately set out for the first zip line platform.  There was no time for me to even think about how high up we must be.  They just clipped us in and shot us off.  The lines are actually so long that it was difficult to see where we would end up!

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Abraham liked to ask us, “Are you ready?” and if you said “No” he’d release you and say, “Ok, think about it out there.”  Funny Funny.

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Such a pro

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Both Ann and Dave went upside down on one of the lines while assisted by the guides.  Everyone got to try it solo later in the day when we weren’t quite so far up.

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Me going over the river on the last run.  I pulled up pretty quick because I didn’t want to get wet.

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Ann touched the water and then pulled up.  Only a little bit wet around her shoulders.

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Dave didn’t pull up at all.  Silly Capt’.

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We ended the day with mule rides back up to the start of the course and some tequila tastings.

It was an awesome experience and a great way to spend an afternoon in the PV area.  The only complaint for me was that we weren’t allowed to bring cameras on the lines, so we had to purchase their set of photos for a pretty penny.  They got some great shots though, so I can’t complain too much, but if I had to do it over I’d have brought my old point and shoot and told them that I’d take responsibility for my camera should it fall or break or get wet. 

All the photos from the trip are up on my flickr page – check ‘em out!

-SME

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Now that friends on s/v Charisma have joined us in La Cruz, we’ve had more reasons to go explore Bandares Bay.  Well, I haven’t needed reasons, but with friends along to explore it’s easier to convince the Capt to abandon his projects for a day for some tourist fun.

Charisma posted a great entry on their blog about our PV adventure…I’m feeling bummish today and will just post pics…so take a look at the story HERE and enjoy the visual story below. 🙂

All photos are also posted up on my Flickr page (see column to the right >——->——->)

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Huichol artist (pronounced Witch-hol) at the open market in downtown Puerto Vallarta.  Beautiful pieces where the artist sews each little bead one at a time to create wonderful patterns and designs.

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Lunch break: Bob from s/v Charisma with one of the quesadillas we bought from a street vendor. Came with full pieces of green onions.  So delicious, and no one wanted to sit next to us on the bus.

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Malecon statues.  Each one very unique.

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One of the churches we checked out. 

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Here’s what’s happening here; five guys climb up a tall pole so one guy can play his flute while the other four fall off the pole backwards and spin downwards until their rope unravels and drops them to the ground below.  What??

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Suspension bridges over the Rio Cuale.  More seasick here than on the boat.

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The empty bus and our bus driver.  Something got lost in translation and we ended up very far from where we wanted to be.  See Charisma’s post for the full story.

All in all…a great day exploring Puerto Vallarta!

-SME