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Old 01-06-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Bubba kegs and AI resorts just go together.

I love that Don "found" Jesus !

You are cracking me up !
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Old 01-06-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Bubba kegs and AI resorts just go together.

I love that Don "found" Jesus !

You are cracking me up !

we should print that photo- and give it to his mommy.
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Old 01-07-2011   #18 (permalink)
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So Maggie...Your not done are you?
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Old 01-07-2011   #19 (permalink)
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lord no....the best pics are still to come!

But I can't do any more today, maybe later tonight, but for sure on the weekend-stay tuned!
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Old 01-07-2011   #20 (permalink)
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lord no....the best pics are still to come!

But I can't do any more today, maybe later tonight, but for sure on the weekend-stay tuned!
Cool! Can't wait!
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Old 01-08-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Well, don't get too excited.

Did I mention the town was crowded??

Our second full day there we decided to take a colectivo to the other town in this bay, La Penita. Guayabitos is more the tourist town with the trailer parks, hotels, bungalows, most restaurants and shopping- and La Penita is the 'real town' with the repair shops, residential areas, etc. They are separated by a river and bridge-but you can walk on the beach too.

We grabbed a colectivo for 25 pesos and they let us off at the main drag by the bus station. We found a Banamex and got some pesos then wandered through town a bit, then walked back along the beach. (I think this was Boxing Day (Dec. 26th).)

Some pics of La Penita...it was deserted....everyone was either in church or at the beach in Guayabitos, we figured.



The beach was not attractive here....storm surge had pushed huge piles of sand up quite far in from the tideline, and there was this huge exposed rusted pipe going right into the ocean that someone told us later is a sewage pipe....lovely.

It was night and day different from Rincon- which, to be honest, we were not super impressed with compared to other towns we've visited to begin with. Sort of a dusty, grim, generally neglected and garbage strewn place. We could have just caught it on a bad day but you know when you just get a good vibe from a new place? We did not feel it here.

edited to add: althought it looks better in the photos than I remember it FEELING (if you know what I mean?)...I also did not snap many photos.











cool old bus






We crossed a rickety swinging footbridge and found ourselves in the swanky villas part of Guayabitos.







Quite nice, and many are available for rent. (And more than a few for sale!)

We walked back along the beach....we both thought this was THE most crowded beach we've seen in Mexico... it was fun to see the families enjoying their vacation....so colourful and happy!








cute!




but oy....after four days of that we were eager to escape, let me tell you.

some other random shots from that day...this is some type of tree whose bark turns red and peels off in strips in winter- a tour guide in PV once pointed it out and called it a 'tourist tree'.



and this was a big tree!



At the hotel there was a pair of medium sized iguanas that seemed to live in this tree...every morning they could be seen sunning themselves at the top...not sure if you will be able to see them, one is brown with yellow spikes and the other is bright green! Can you see them? They are both pretty much right below the car.

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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!

Last edited by Rissask; 01-08-2011 at 01:23 PM..
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Old 01-09-2011   #22 (permalink)
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Great report and pics Maggie!
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Old 01-09-2011   #23 (permalink)
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Enjoying this, Maggie- looking forward to more!

(But boy, that is one crowded beach! )
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Old 01-09-2011   #24 (permalink)
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Love your trip reports! They always make me think about different parts of Mexico I want to go see
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Old 01-09-2011   #25 (permalink)
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thanks again beerdude- almost done now!

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Love your trip reports! They always make me think about different parts of Mexico I want to go see
Wow, thank you. That is sweet! You can get some super cheap deals to this hotel out of Regina- perfect for a cheap unexpected getaway.

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Enjoying this, Maggie- looking forward to more!

(But boy, that is one crowded beach! )
Yes it was awfully crowded.

We actually said we don't think we would return to Guayabitos. Not because of the crowds, we know that is just because it was xmas week. It's a nice town,the beach was nice and calm, but we just really didn't *love* it. It served it's purpose though- a good, cheap, winter escape.

But stay tuned! I have some pics left of San Pancho- which we DID fall in love with!

Oh and Anne- we might go to Negril in March or late February! I know you are Jamaica fans- is that the best place to go there, or Mo Bay or Ochos Rios 'better'?
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Old 01-09-2011   #26 (permalink)
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On the Wednesday, we had a chat with Jose who was the bellman, we were asking him where we could head to for the day to escape the crowds.

Jose had excellent English and we got to chatting....his wife and 3 kids were back in California but he could not find work there so he came back home to Mexico to work (where he made 120 pesos per day as the head bellman )....not sure of the details but he said he loved living in CA and was hoping the economy would recover soon and he would be able to return. It must be awfully hard, living so far from your wife and kids.

Because he was from this area, he was able to give us some good advice....he said Sayulita would be as crazy busy and overcrowded as Rincon, but we should head to San Francisco (better known as San Pancho) which is a beach town similar to Sayulita one bay to the north.

Sayulita (where we stayed a few summers ago for ten days and LOVED) and San Pancho are both funky, surfer towns with a strong California beach town feel. Many Californians and other Americans plus more Canucks all the time have bought homes there and so the town is about half Mexicans and half ex-pats living cheek to jowl.

There is obviously more money there than in Guayabitos- trendy little art galleries and folk art and jewelry shops, upscale clothing shops, coffee shops, nice restaurants, etc. (Very much like Sayulita, but a larger beach, and quieter.)

We were really impressed with the beauty of the white sand beach at San Pancho, the cleanliness and appeal of the town, the friendliness of the people we came across there- but most of all the peace and quiet- we found it hard to believe it was Christmas week...this was more like it!!








There were two restaurants on the beach where you could use the loungers for free as long as you bought drinks or food there. 20 pesos a beer.







We walked down to the far end at one point...





a river runs into the ocean there and during the rainy season apparently it forms an oxbow lake, nice to splash off the brine in.





It was a bit calmer there, we went for a swim.



the surf break was at the south end...sorry so blurry.









Horses ambling by, available to rent for a beach ride...the ranchero was very friendly.



a little later they came back with a bucket and rake and picked up the poop!

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Old 01-09-2011   #27 (permalink)
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We TOTALLY want to return to San Pancho one day and stay for a week or two...or maybe a month or two.

What is really nice about the Puerto Vallarta area is the weather. We love Zihua and Huatulco too, but they are (especially Huatulco) VERY hot in winter. Like 35C every day (95F). That is almost too hot for us. Whereas PV is more temperate and averages about 27C (80F). Much better, especially for a long term stay.

Also add in the mountains, the sunsets, the blue skies and sunshine almost every day and you have a pretty much ideal retirement area....plus PV is a big city, 45 minutes south, with and excellent hospital, international airport, and wonderful shopping- very hard to beat. Jalisco is the homeland of tequila and mariachis, after all...it don't get much more Mexican.

San Pancho is actually more geared toward long term stays. There are no hotels really to speak of, but upscale bungalow or villa rentals....like THIS and THIS. Gorgeous!

Pics of around the town:





Bougainvillea was in bloom everywhere!









a mural depicting the town history



Main drag....we actually went BACK the next day with our newly discovered friends we had met, and had an equally wonderful quiet day....but we had a glitch. We had asked our cabbie to come back for us when he dropped us about 9 AM- Lisa speaks Portuguese but later we figured instead of asking him to return for us at 4:00, he waited around for 4 hours (we kept noticing he was there waiting still!) and then he left. Whoops. We felt really badly!

Sooo....we had to walk the 1/2 mile to the highway where we luckily flagged down a colectivo almost immediately. Cab- 250 pesos....colectivo - 30 pesos each.



This was the only place that remotely looked hotel-ish.





cute!





a poor little monkey at the restaurant. She grabbed my hand and would not let go.




more of the beach to the north...



Very nice houses up that way, and on the cliffsides.

Those tents were young Mexican hippie surfers....you could smell the ganja wafting from them. A local woman I was chatting with on the beach said they were pretty quiet at night, and only there during xmas and Semana Santa weeks.













turtle nests! (you could see snake tracks winding around the nests!)




watched these guys fishing for a bit...











And that is about it....we would definitely return to San Pancho!!

Last edited by Rissask; 01-09-2011 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 01-09-2011   #28 (permalink)
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mag i met a guy when i was in pv who owned a deli in san pancho... love the beach pics
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Old 01-10-2011   #29 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, San Pancho looks great!
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Oh and Anne- we might go to Negril in March or late February! I know you are Jamaica fans- is that the best place to go there, or Mo Bay or Ochos Rios 'better'?
Out of those three I would def pick Negril, Ochi 2nd choice. Would NOT bother with Mo Bay.
The 7 mile beach is nice in Negril but we prefer to stay in the west end (cliffs). Let me know where you are thinking of staying. We've only rented villas but have been there a bunch of times.
Loved Portland Parish the last couple of trips, especially Port Antonio. That's where we got married. Right under the almond tree here, actually.
Best to fly into Kingston if you're going to the east side of the island, though. Long drive from Mo Bay- we've done that before.... One day we will get back there- I keep saying that every year but somehow can't keep away from Mexico these days.
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Old 01-10-2011   #30 (permalink)
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This is a great report. I think it would be fun to cross paths with you guys and Caramba ,too.It sounds like you all enjoy the same type of vacation as we do.I have been to PV,a long time ago,but really love that Carabbean water .Charlotte
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