Once again, fun came with the new and wonderful people we met poolside. We instantly connected with Marianne and Hubert, dear people from British Columbia. They, and their two lady companions, added to our connections. Our boating experiences in British Columbia took us to their communities and it was great fun sharing our experiences and learning more about where we had been. We can’t wait to get back up to British Columbia, see our new friends, and experience our favorite places through their eyes.
Hubert and Marianne have a sailboat, and when Hubert heard about DESERT VENTURE he wanted to come see her. And so, it was, that one Sunday morning Hubert and Marianne appeared at the top of the dock and hailed us. They came aboard, got a tour, and the conversation continued – all of us having fun.
It was a wonderful surprise, during the conversation, when Hubert and Marianne invited us to join them and the ladies for a road trip to San Sebastian. Hubert and Marianne took the resort bus tour several years ago, and wanted Elizabeth and Anne Marie to see the area. They decided to rent a car so that they could go at their own speed and revisit the places that interested them the most. They suggested that if Bruce was up to the trip and we were interested, they would upgrade their rental car to fit all of us. Our initial response was a sound “Yes”!
San Sebastian del Oeste, MX was first populated in 1603, after the discovery of silver. It was a major city on the west coast of Mexico for many years. At one point there were more than 35,000 people that lived in and around the city. It is now a quiet town, with wonderful history and architecture. We knew of San Sebastian and wanted to visit this famous historical city of Mexico. It was a wonderful and generous invitation that we gladly accepted.
We were assured by the entire group as we departed Paradise Village that, “Hubert is a good driver”. And he was. And though Marianne was the designated navigator, it became apparent that Hubert had his own “inboard navigation system”. They sat up front and the rest of us piled into the back of the Suburban. Traveling in Mexico requires a sound vehicle with the biggest tires and best shocks you can afford. The Suburban was perfect for our day. There we were – all loaded up and headed to San Sebastian, a ninety minute drive to the north and east of Puerto Vallarta. But first, we had to get out of the resort. That was the first time we got “lost”. We finally got on the road out of the resort and headed into Puerto Vallarta, and got lost in Puerto Vallarta – maybe twice, before we found our way out of the city. Traffic and road signs are at a minimum in Mexico, and we didn’t have a proper road map. The roads varied in condition. In the entire trip we traveled nice highways, cobblestone roads and streets, dirt and rocks, and a variation of all of them combined – sometimes on the same stretch of street or road.
We knew we were on the right road when the tour bus from Vallarta pulled ahead of us – headed for the same destination. We weren’t going to get lost now! We would just follow them – a great idea. So, we traveled along, relaxed and enjoying the scenery. There was a sign for a town off to the left called Las Palmas. We weren’t going to Las Palmas. Wait! We watched the bus go on down the highway as we turned left, off the highway, and into La Palmas!
No one, including Marianne said, “Hubert, turn left.” But, he did. And the rest of us are looking back over our shoulder at the tour bus disappearing around the bend. It was discussion time – about turning around and getting back on the highway. But, we went on into the town instead- a traditional Mexican village, with narrow streets, neighbors standing outside their doors visiting and watching the gringos go past – and then they went by again, and again. I expected a particular couple of ladies to smile at us and wave the third time we went by, but not even a grin. Thank goodness we were having fun! Most likely, they didn’t smile, thinking it would hurt our feelings at being lost. (We believe we gave the entire town a lot of good stories and laughs to share for some time to come.) So, after going round and round, and not finding our way out, Hubert – being a smart man – stopped and asked for directions.
And we were given very good directions – I think – none of us quite understood it completely – and so we went round and round again. We passed this mule three times. His owner stepped out for our third pass and waved.
We got to this one particular place and the option was go down a dirt road with a very steep hill or turn to the left. We all knew that going down that hill was not the right thing to do. The other street appeared to be a driveway, possibly a dead end street. So, we went around two blocks, and it was still “no bueno”. Again, Hubert asked – this time of a man who was part of a street repair crew. He explained with much finger pointing, hand waving, and arm direction how to go. This crew saw us pass by previously. Again, it appeared that Hubert understood – well he thought he did, and round and round we went. And then – voila`- we were back at the construction crew. The man took a deep breath, prepared to explain once more, then hesitated. “Uno momento, Senor”. He walked over to his backhoe, got up on it, started his engine, then waved for us to follow – and we did. We got to the same place we had been every time – and well, this time we followed and we were set free from the streets of Las Palmas by our kind guide on a backhoe. The man waved for us to stop once he got us to the highway. He shut down the engine, got down from the backhoe, and walked around to Hubert’s window. And in very slow Spanish, he told us how far (that we understood), how long in minutes (we got that part, too). And then he looks at Hubert, and points with his entire arm and hand up – with all fingers – to the left – and emphasizes no right, no right, and says it all again. We all got it that time, and though Hubert almost made that right turn, we all – in unison – reminded him, “Left only, Hubert, left.”
We all laughed and laughed at our unexpected tour of Las Palmas. Hubert shrugged and admitted – he is a good driver. 🙂
Sigh…and we are on our way once more.
This bridge is a recent addition to the area. It changed the trip to San Sebastian, and places beyond, from a long day trip to a ninety minute trip each way – if you don’t get lost. It must be a wonderful boost to residents in the area. Very nice. We stopped in what appeared to be a parking lot for a closed business. It turned out that there were people there, and it was a restaurant only opened for night dining. We were able to use the facilities, and were grateful. It was such an exciting trip thus far and we all needed a break!
This chicken, in charge of bug collection, also collected 5 pesos for the banos from each of us. 🙂 It was worth it!
And, finally – no one checked the time – we pulled into San Sebastian, at the town square.
I don’t know about you, but I need a rest after our exciting trip to San Sebastian. Stand by for more details, when we tour the town.
Meanwhile – we are Living in Mexico – and not lost – in San Sebastian!