Nobler in the Mind

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Back by Popular Demand

. . . Popular demand meaning a Gordon setter with too much time on his hands.

That’s right, I’m finally back from Puerto Vallarta. I extend my deepest apologies to my loyal reader(s) out there who has(/ve) waited ever so patiently for this entry. But you know how it is; sometimes you just have to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in Guadalajara and join the throngs of sweaty tourists competing for beach space (and damn near everything else) in Mexico’s premier gringo colony. You want to go where people know, troubles are all the same. You want to go where everybody . . . mispronounces your name.

Our journey began at the hotel Fiesta Americana in Guadalajara, where we showed up at 6:40 a.m.—twenty minutes before the scheduled departure time, as requested on the ticket—only to have the bus groan up to the curb at quarter to eight. Once aboard, our tour guide gave us all a warm welcome, and then proceeded to lecture us on the importance of punctuality and how anyone who failed to show up on time for the return trip would be left behind.

Five hours and one gag-me-with-a-spoon Julia Roberts movie later, our bus broke down, and we had to wait an extra hour or so for another one to come pick us up. We spent the rest of the trip standing in the isle of our new over-crowded bus, trying not to fall over every time the driver hit the breaks, and wondering who or what was touching our leg.

By the time we got to the hotel and made our way to the front of the reception line, even my girlfriend (who is a native Mexican, and thus accustomed to certain inconveniences) was pissed off. After I had talked her out of digging her nails into anyone’s face, we went to choke down what was left at the buffet (they were all out of G.I. rations, so we had to settle for Dickensian-orphanage gruel) and wait for bus number one to arrive with our baggage.

On Saturday we went on a boat tour for which I’m not sure who paid more, us or the restaurateurs and beach peddlers into whose hands we were delivered. The trip included snorkeling (for those quick enough to procure snorkeling equipment before it was all snatched up) and a visit to a waterfall (which was in fact two kilometers inland, requiring those with inadequate footwear to rent a horse for $150 pesos extra).

When it was time to go home on Sunday, the bus was surprisingly punctual. This made little difference, of course, as the post-Holy Week traffic conditions were such that it took us almost nine hours to get back to Guadalajara anyway.

But despite my many gripes, there was one redeeming factor that made the trip worthwhile: free booze. Sometimes you just have to appreciate the little things.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger J. Robert Dexterheimer said...

I wouldn't have thought sweaty tourists had a lot of minions. But what do I know? I ain't nothin' but a setter dog.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger J. Robert Dexterheimer said...

Yes, throngs of sweaty tourists certainly works. Just be careful not to become entangled in the thongs of any sweaty tourists.


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