Puerto Vallarta and the Pacific Coast: Living in Paradise

After a 10-hour overnight bus ride, 2-hour local bus trip and two hours spent hitching a ride with a nice Mexican family, I arrived in Mayto!

img_7581I always say, the most beautiful places in the world are usually the most challenging to get to, and this was no exception! Welcome to paradise!10404265_10103787365655747_3642658304655404573_nI arrived at Rancho Sol y Mar at the perfect time: lunch! I was starving from all my travels and ready to get settled into this paradise. I put down my things and joined everyone at the table.img_7583For lunch we had a delicious chicken and chickpea stew with cilantro, chili and lime. AMAZING! The ranch has two sweet Australian Cattle Dog puppies. So cute! After lunch we coordinated who would be preparing meals for the week. I had to sign up for three cooking shifts. The weekly menu sounds absolutely delicious! I am going to eat very well here. lunch3After lunch I was able to have the afternoon to myself. I wandered a few minutes from the ranch to this hidden paradise. With only a handful of travelers, it was like my own oasis! Absolutely beautiful!img_7602After a refreshing dip in the ocean, I spent a few hours walking along the beach. So peaceful and serene.img_7592Here are a few of my beachfront finds: blow fish carcass, shells and a few coconuts. 🙂img_7594img_7593img_7611img_7609After an afternoon on the beach, I headed to El Rinconcito bar for a drink and a chat with a few tourists. 🙂img_7613
Around 5:30 we began to prepare for dinner: wood grilled pizza made in the clay oven.img_7618We had a delicious array of toppings including sauteed spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, grilled onions, peppers, black olives, sardines, ham, pineapple, mozzarella, ricotta and a fresh pesto sauce with homemade pizza dough.pizzaIt was wonderful to prepare a meal together with everyone in the open kitchen amidst our tropical oasis. There are two families from Quebec, a couple from Australia, and a traveler from Sweden. One family had driven their RV and 4 children from Quebec to Mexico on a year long vacation. They had visited numerous national parks in the United States and after Mexico, they plan on heading to Panama. The two families from Quebec are related. The two wives are sisters and their families wanted to join together for a few weeks during the holidays. After a few glasses of wine and a delicious meal, we were off to bed. An absolutely INCREDIBLE day!img_7615This morning, after a delicious cup of coffee, I had the day free to explore. I went with the couple from Australia and a traveler from Sweden to a El Cielito hotel. Just gorgeous! 😀img_7634We took the bikes on a 40-minute journey along the dirt road to this beautiful resort. A great workout with gorgeous views!resortAs long as we ordered drinks and food, we were able to use their pool, internet and take in an amazing view of the ocean! Look at this infinity pool! 😀
resort4We ordered a fresh pineapple, pina colada, and I ordered another AMAZING michealada!!resort2We spent the afternoon lounging by the pool and I even spotted a group of dolphins swimming in the ocean! 😀resort3 img_7649I have absolutely NO IDEA when I will have internet again, since service is very unreliable, but I want to wish EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS. You can expect a very long blog post when I return, filled with lots of great pictures of animals, food and beautiful views. Until then! 😀

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