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Banderas Bay Part 2

While the boat stayed at Paradise Village Marina, we spent many of our days exploring and touring the area.  One day we went on a "Zip-line Canopy Tour".  A very popular way to eco-tour rainforests in parts of Central and South America, particularly Costa Rica, the zip-line tours here near PV are more of an adventure ride than a forest tour, but it was tons of fun none-the-less.  Basically, you take a 4 wheel drive for an hour or so up into the hills above PV where they have these cables strung up between platforms high up (around 70 feet) in the forest canopy formed by Bread Nut trees.  You wear a full climbing harness with double carabineers leading to pulleys clipped onto the cables and you glide from one platform to another through the tree tops.  Some of the traverses are over 700 feet and you can get going fairly fast.  You wear heavy gloves and you control your speed by putting one hand behind the pulley on the cable and gripping the cable to keep you oriented feet first, applying pressure to slow down.  Both RJ (video) and Kelsey (video) got the hang of it very quickly and true to their fearless natures, dived right in and had a total blast.  Our guides remarked that they had seen few kids more comfortable with the heights or more self confident.   Mom Melissa (video) was a tad more apprehensive, but also had a great time.  There are actually two Canopy Tours in Puerto Vallarta, one located on the set of the movie "Predator" that was filmed outside PV and the one we did, through a company called Vallarta Adventures.  We spoke to some folks who had done the other tour and they enjoyed it a ton, although it sounded like our traverses were longer, higher and there were more of them.  The guides on our tour were very professional and fun and the equipment was totally first class.  A pile of fun and highly recommended.

RJ and Eric also hit the track (video) a couple of times, driving high performance "Super Go-Carts" at close to 50mph around a concrete course bordered by tires (with horses and chickens grazing in the infield).  You're supposed to be 10 years old to drive (yes, there are rules even in Mexico) but they never asked RJ, who of course jumped right in like he had done this a million times.  He hung back some on our first day out, getting the feel of the track, but on the second day, after receiving a satisfactory answer to the question "Dad, can these things ever tip over?", he let the hammer fall.  With his light weight, the acceleration of these things is pretty amazing and although his old man still beat him around the corners (experience v. age I guess) he walked away in the straight-aways.  It was probably a good thing Nana had departed by the second day!   Kelsey also took a spin (video) in the lower-powered carts on the smaller track next door.

In all, we spent just over two weeks in the Banderas Bay area and had a complete blast.  This area of Mexico is one we surely want to visit again!

As always, click on the images to see a larger view.


RJ at the staging building of the Canopy Tour.

Mel and RJ all geared up. The gear was first class and in great shape. Everything was safty oriented and we felt very comfortable in the tree tops!

Mel and Eric geared up for the Canopy Tour. We wore our lightweight jackets as it was raining that day, which was fine as it kept the bugs at bay.

Canopy Tour tree platform about 70 feet up. Kelsey is hooking to the zip line as Mel and RJ wait their turns. Worry not, everyone is clipped in.

Look close. That blue dot with legs is Kelsey high above the ground riding a zip-line. The photo is taken from the platform at this end of the wire.

Kelsey and RJ with our Canopy Tour guides. These guys went to Costa Rica to train and were totally professional and fun!

It rained a few days we were in PV, so a sleepover on Sula was arranged with the boys off Trinity.

Kelsey bailing the water from all the rain out of the dingy. It rained several inches in the space of 2 days.

The once a year Blessing Of The Fleet cerimony at Paradise Village Marina. A Mexican Priest in a decorated panga blesses each boat.

Coming to bless Sula at the Blessing of the Fleet.

The parade of dinghys at the Blessing of the Fleet. All the cruisers participate in the little cerimony.

We go "Crocadile Hunting" in the fresh water esturary near the marina in Paradise Village. There are large crocs here although we didn't find any.

Kelsey applying mildicide to the teak deck in the PV marina. Marina time is a busy time, to see things but also to get those boat chores done.

Mel and Kel go snorkling at the Tres Marietas, three small, unpopulated islands in Banderas Bay with great sea caves and nesting sea birds.

Sea caves on the Tres Marietas.

Another Tres Marieta sea cave.

Roma and Steve from S/V Trinity. Trinity went with us to the islands, having been there (and even did a night dive there) a few weeks before.

Kelsey go-carting in PV.

Eric driving the "Super Go Carts".

Really cool lights in the Fajita Republic resturant near Paradise Village. We want to copy these for our pato at home.

Turtle research and preservation station on the beach in Neuvo Vallarta.

RJ holding a baby turtle.

Kelsey with a baby turtle. Both nights we went to release tutles, there were about 50 or so hatchlings to release.


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