The next day our ship made port in Puerto Vallarta and some of us (including myself) took another bus tour of the city, while others went on excursions. Our first stop was here and I headed across the street with my mom to snap a photo of the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Then we crossed the street and took in the sights on Puerto Vallarta's Malecón. I don't know the story behind this pretty girl, but watching her float down the boardwalk in her lavendar gown certainly warranted a photo or two.
Me near the boardwalk's famous arches (Los Arcos Amphitheater)...
Some local ocean front art.
Vallarta's iconic boy on seahorse statue "Caballeo del Mar" by Rafel Zamarripa. It's a commissioned replica created after the statue at Los Muertos beach was destroyed by hurricane Kenna in 2002.
Next to the seahorse statue are the Papantla Flyers. They enact a religious ceremony believed to have originated 1500 years ago in central Mexico as a prayer for fertility and good harvest. Four men (representing air, water, fire, earth) come off the platform in their colorful, intricate costumes and swing upside down in circles while playing various wooden instruments as their ropes unravel. A fifth man sits atop to 50 foot pole playing an instrument. Click here for a good summary on specifics of the ceremony. It was a delightful display to watch.
A quick 18 second clip of the ceremony:
These men enact this ceremony as a job, so tips from their audience are appreciated. I paid this guy an extra couple bucks to take a picture with me...
Nice shot of my grandparents.
These rock formations are called Púlpito and Pilitas (Pulpit and Baptismal Font).
Kent & Shelly's family with Grandpa & Grandma.
My mom & me.
Our tour guide took us to this beach area. Kent's family took off to participate in various ocean activities while my mom, Linda, and I joined my grandparents in finding somewhere to eat lunch. Eventually we decided on this location right on the sand under these charming thatched umbrellas.
After meeting back up with our group, Shelly bought some candy from this vendor. I loved his colorful cart of various types of treats & snacks.
And thanks to Kent for this shot of the treat-cart:
During my relaxed meanderings of Vallarta, Mark was on a zipline excursion over a jungle canopy! I would have really loved to have done that if I hadn't been pregnant, but I'm really glad that Mark was still able to go. They arranged a price for for bus transportation and zipline tickets (better price for going as a group) and while on the bus ride to the site, Mark snapped this picture that I really like:
Picture of the canopy upon entering the Sierra Madre Mountains not far from Puerto Vallarta.
This is where the bus unloaded before beginning the zipline.
Their canopy river tour was with a company called EcoFun and they claim to have the longest, highest, and fastest zipline in Puerto Vallarta. *sidenote: This is a different zipline than the one you use if you book a zipline excursion on with Holland America* Here is their group before getting started:
Mark (on the first of a series of ziplines).
Mark getting unhitched on the platform at the bottom of the first zipline.
My brother Matt.
Quick 3 second clip of Matt coming into one of the platforms...
Mark & my cousin Ben with their zipline gear. The path they are walking on connects the end of one zipline with the beginning of the next.
Mark and Matt on one of the paths from further back. Look at that pretty jungle.
Ben, Matt & Mark.
I think these next two shots of Mark from further away are really cool (however he says that they still do no justice to how high up they really were)...
This is a shot taken from the zipline. For a few dollars extra they were able to pay for one of the zipline employees to take photos of their tour, which is where most of these pictures are from.
You have to look closely on this photo. Ben is riding tandem...upside down. Pretty scenery too, huh?
My cousin Jeanette.
I really like this shot of Mark...
And Mark coming into the last zipline platform at the bottom of the canyon.
Afterward they took mules up out of the canyon bottom.
Back on the ship at sunset. My parents.
And don't forget the lobster towel.
Whew! What a (fun) day.