Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Pirate Ship Evening Sail with Shows and Dinner--Better Than We Expected!

 Boarding the Marigalante Pirate Ship

Our Personal Buccaneer Welcomed Us Aboard 

When we’ve watched the Pirate Ship cruising in Banderas Bay in the past, we thought it was just another tourist trap. But we kept hearing people talk about how much fun they had on it, so we decided to give it a try.

We opted for the sunset cruise which included dinner and an open bar. It was great fun, better than we expected! Our buccaneer kept our drinks flowing, our dinner served, and played a part in the exciting pirate show. 

Jon Finished his Pirate Outfit with a Headscarf from the Pirate Ship Store
Boarding the Pirate Ship at the Puerto Vallarta Marina

The Marigalante Pirate Ship is fairly large, but it appeared diminished in size next to the cruise ship that was in port that day. During the tour, we learned that the Mexican-built pirate ship has a very interesting history. It was built in Veracruz with the "goal of celebrating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America that was to take place in 1992".

The Band and the "Drunken Pirate" Entertained Us in Port
The Sunset from the Pirate Ship was Beautiful!
Jon Was Relaxed by the Gentle Motion at Sea

A Mermaid Statue on the Bow at Sunset
The "Drunken Pirate" on the Bow Anchor Kept Us Laughing 
Our Delicious Dinner was Prepared & Served in the Bowels of the Ship
The Talented Pirate Ship Band Entertained Us During Dinner
The After-Dinner Pirate Show and Fight was Hilarious!
We Enjoyed a Night-time View of Puerto Vallarta
And Made Some New Friends from Puebla, Mexico
Our Souvenir Photo of the Pirate Ship Tour
New Lesson Learned: Some of the "touristy" activities are popular for a reason—they’re fun. Not only were the ship and silly pirate shows great, but we were also surprised at how delicious our salmon dinners were! (There are several dinner choices including lobster.)

Take a look at my new book “Living in Mexico More Lessons Learned”. It’s number five in the Healthy Living in Mexico series. You can view all 5 books by clicking the book covers on the right side of this blog article. Thanks for reading my books and articles! 

In Canada, view Book #5 HERE. It's available worldwide on Amazon, FREE with kindleunlimited.

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Saturday, July 30, 2022

Day Pass at Barceló Hotel in Mismaloya, Mexico—A Good Way to Experience this Beautiful Property

 A Beautiful Pool and All You Can Eat and Drink for a Day

Originally, we planned to spend three nights at the Barceló Hotel in Mismaloya, an all-inclusive resort with beautiful pools, group activities available, and all food and drink included in the price. We’ve only gone to an all-inclusive resort once and decided we didn’t eat enough to get our money’s worth. Plus, much of the food is served buffet style—not our favorite. But we wanted to evaluate it once more.

The Barceló Hotel has a Beautiful Lobby

So, we decided to try hanging out at the Barceló Hotel for one day. A Day Pass costs 1000 pesos (equivalent to $50 US) per person and seemed reasonable to see if we liked it before spending the high prices to stay the night. A Day Pass allowed us to use the facilities from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

Water Aerobics Class Was Great Fun!

I was glad we arrived in time for me to join the water aerobics class at noon. That was great fun! The activity board showed that we'd missed the 10:00AM Kayak Tour, and there was Bingo, water volleyball, and other activities in the afternoon.

We had a choice of relaxing in lounge chairs near several pools or on the beach under umbrellas. We parked ourselves near two man-made waterfalls next to the adult-only pool and soon were cooling off in the water.

The Adult-Only Pool Was Quieter

Jon Cooling Off in the Beautiful Pool

A large iguana looking to cool off, too, crawled behind my lounge chair and into the artificial stream running next to me. Several tourists were amazed to see him and shocked when he started looking for a place to dive into the pool, splashing him to make him stay in the vegetation. After living in Sayulita, it was just another pretty iguana to us.

Iguana Getting Ready to Cool Off in the Stream
Jon Walking Through the Waterfall to Cool Off

We had lunch at the buffet, and before we left at 6:00 we had a mediocre pizza at the café overlooking Mismaloya Bay—the only two restaurants available to people with a Day Pass. We wished we would have skipped them and walked south a little way down the beach and across the shallow river to one of the palapa restaurants. We would have preferred to have fish tacos instead of buffet food, and the margaritas would have probably tasted better, too. Most likely the food at the four à la carte restaurants in Barceló Hotel is better, but those were not available with a Day Pass.

View of Playa Mismaloya from the Barceló Hotel Cafe

Jon and I have good memories of spending our honeymoon at Hotel La Jolla de Mismaloya next to Barceló Hotel and enjoying the little town of Mismaloya almost thirty years ago. Now La Jolla de Mismaloya is a condominium. This was our first time back to Playa Mismaloya in thirty years.

Lesson Learned: When we return to Playa Mismaloya, we will either spend the day at one of the palapa restaurants and cool off in the ocean. That's more our style and less expensive. Or we'll use the wonderful pools and lounge chairs at Barceló Hotel with a Day Pass again, but eat elsewhere.

La Jolla de Mismaloya Condominium
Are you interested in reading about more of our lessons learned? I have several books about lessons we've learned over the years while traveling and living in Mexico. Here's my latest book, Living in Mexico More Lessons Learned (Healthy Living in Mexico Book #5).
If you enjoy my books, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. You can check out my other books on my Amazon Author Page. Thanks for reading my books and blog articles!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Our First ATV Ride Ever! We're Not Too Old for Fun in the Jungle 😅

 At Canopy River in Puerto Vallarta

Riding Through the Artificial Waterfall--Cooling!

     I'm pretty proud that we rode ATVs for the first time at our ages—Jon, my husband, at 72, still a mad-man for speed, and me at 66, a little nervous!

Jon and Terry Ready to Start Their ATV Adventure

     We started out clean, then rode through mud, cooling artificial waterfalls, a beautiful mountain jungle, and over the longest suspension bridge in Mexico. It was a fun afternoon!

Riding Through the Manmade Mud Puddles Was a Blast!

Jon Didn't Get a Big Enough Mud Splash on the First Hole

So He Hit the Second Mud Pit at Full Throttle!

     Some people say ATV tours harm the environment. I was one who, at one time, would be annoyed when a line of them roared out of the jungle and into Sayulita to stop for lunch. But after taking this tour with Canopy River, I feel they are a responsible company. They've created a fun route on private land that protects the jungle and river and they do not allow off-road riding.

Stopping to Cool Off at Jorullo Falls
I Was the Slow-Poke in the Bunch, Jon Bringing Up the Rear
     It wasn’t as easy as it looked to maneuver around some of those muddy, downhill curves. One of the guys ahead of us forgot to release the throttle while he braked and went into a spin. He slid off the trail, down a slope, and cracked a fiberglass fender. He, fortunately, did not get injured and was strong enough to push his ATV back onto the track.
    Though I'd never ridden an ATV in the past, I think riding mini-bikes when I was a kid helped me understand how to coordinate the throttle and the brakes. These rigs were semi-automatic so we could leave them in third gear all the time if we wanted, avoiding the need to shift on hills. That made it easy!

Watching Mules and People Crossing Jorullo Bridge

Our Turn to Cross the Jorullo Bridge

Jon Was the Last ATV Rider to Cross

     Canopy River Tours had plenty of guides to help those of us who were lagging behind (like me🤣), a refreshing drink stop overlooking the jungle and Jorullo Bridge, and a nice restaurant at the end of the tour. We were hungry by the time we had our dinner and margaritas!

Canopy River's Beautiful Location & Event Center

     We're grateful that we retired in Mexico where we have the opportunity to explore so many fun places, the weather is wonderful, and our pesos stretch farther. 

     Thank you for reading my books and blog articles. I hope you enjoy following our retirement in Mexico. Check out my Retirement Before the Age of 59 book and others in the Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico series. You might also like my “In Sickness and In Health” novels about retired life in Mexico.

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     I wish you healthy and happy travels!