Puerto Vallerta, Mexico found itself entertaining some folks who were determined to make the most of the couple of days in the place. We gorged on fruit smoothies, had our fair share of entertainment by looking up the local art galleries like we were aficionados, and enjoyed a kind of a salsa-belly-dance program put up by the staff at the resort that made us look down at our own flourishing mid-sections a bit wanly (but we quickly washed this uncharitable thought straight down to the belly with another smoothie). The room had a dashing view of the ocean and the mountainous coasts nearby, and I enjoyed lolling around with a book in hand. The husband liked the idea of room service and we found ourselves eating at midnight just because we could (Could those poor belly dancers do that?). All fine so far, but for one snag. The day after we landed, we were to run a half marathon and say what you will about a run like that, it demands that you put in the time and effort before hand. Last minute efforts can only take you so far. We thought of it every now and then and then waved a hand away at it, and the thought went away – lifted and replaced by a beautiful tropical thought of taking a walk in the beach, or worse, lying down on the beach with that book.
On the day of our departure, however, I felt like I had to do a great many things in Puerto Vallerta. We had not done parasailing yet, we had not run in preparation for our half-marathon, we had not been to the cool, swirling waters. Say what you will about the Nourish-n-cherish household, but we do not hold back on whims like that. We take spurs-of-moments for a spin, we act impulsively, enthusiastically and then, wait and lick our wounds and let the experience ferment itself till it can turn into a good tale for the blog.
I set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. and got up promptly at 8 a.m. The husband is never pleased with the alarms I set, but that makes for another blog entirely. The mists of sleep shroud me and refuse to disperse when the blasted alarm rings every time. This is one of the times, I am lost for words and the poor h feels like a complaint lodged in the wee hours can have an effect on me and improve my alarm setting capabilities. I like his optimism.
Anyway, so there we were, at the hotel entrance at 8:15, ready for a run through the streets of Mexico. The hotel valet looked us up and down politely and said that people do run sometimes and we were welcome to try, but it is not a hot pursuit in Puerto Vallerta. I disagreed. It was the hottest thing to do. The temperature was a raw mid-90 F, the humidity a trifle high, but that apart, ideal conditions. We ran on the streets of Puerto Vallerta for a good 4-5 miles taking in the sights of a stirring business community. Small shop owners were up and about splashing water on the pavement outside their shops. They came out with their little hooks and started hanging their wares for folks to see. The humidity, splashing of water before the shops, hanging-the-wares, everything reminded us of India and the more we looked the more similar people were. Some people smiled at us, some could not mask their curiosity as they looked at us, children peeked at us shyly, some looked warily to see why mankind does things like running when there are hot Huevos Rancheros to be devoured. We gave them all a pleasant time by thumping up and down their pavement on the way to the beautiful Pier.
We beat it back to the hotel looking like dogs thrown into a stinky pool and panting like the best of them. The high temperature and humidity in the place had drenched us with sweat through and through. A dog on the sidewalk gauged our conduct with professional interest. I felt that we must humor him and tried a dog shake to shake off the clinging moisture, but apparently I don’t make a very good dog, for the fellow was not impressed and turned away. The mild sea breeze we encountered at the pier was long gone. We may have made poor dogs, but red-faced monkeys? We could have taught them a lesson or two. We crawled up the stairs to the hotel lobby and the valet asked us where we had been with concern in his eyes. I told him we had run to the pier and back.
“To the end of the pier?” he asked, his eyes widening with surprise.
“Yes. “ said I
“Very good Señorita. Great Señor” said he.
I don’t know about you, but when we impress hotel valets (who came to know of our existence about an hour ago) like this, we beam widely. We are not the kind of folks who regularly impress those around us with displays of our physical prowess and this kind of enthusiasm strokes the dormant hero in us. We feel like we have the potential to achieve great heights and that is why you could have seen me charging down a beach and chasing a man with a parachute an hour before we were to leave for the airport.
Part 2: Parasailing Adventures.