If there was one thing I wanted to do when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta it was to explore the luscious green countryside. I didn’t want to do the regular bus tour where you are crammed in a bus with thirty other tourists and bore my children to tears. It was with a little research and a conversation with a man on the beach I discovered that we could explore a different side of Mexico in dune buggies.
He handed us a brochure which I eagerly took to book for our next adventure. It was when we showed up in the out skirts of Puerto Vallarta looking at the muddy dune buggies I began to wonder if this was such a wise idea.
It was at check-in they pulled us aside gave us our goggles, and our very own red bandana. As he took us to our dune buggy he gave my husband a quick lesson on how to operate the machinery. I looked behind to see the excitement on my children’s faces and ensured they were buckled up.
It was when I went to buckle myself up we had a problem.
“Excuse me sir! I think my seat belt is broken.”
He looked at me gave a big smile and said “Don’t worry about it! You will be fine!”
It was at that moment I took a deep breath and gave my husband a warning that if I was hurled from this vehicle at any time he would be a dead man. All four of us put on our goggles, covered our faces, and were ready for our adventure down the unknown road.
An ATV lead the way taking us through the back streets of Puerto Vallarta as we headed towards the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. We zoomed across the dusty back roads and admired the views of the countryside.
The one thing I was not prepared for was the Mexican river bed as we splashed through the water! I couldn’t see as water zoomed up my skirt, covered my goggles, and pushed against my bandana suffocating me. It was at that moment the bandana came off and I exclaimed to the kids “Shut your Mouth! And don’t swallow the water!”
They hollered and whooped only wanting more! “Go faster dad!”
All I could holler was “Keep your mouth closed!”
Only Swallowing more water and wondering if all of our vaccination shots were up to date.
It was once we stopped for our break at a small family restaurant. The kids played close to the river bed and I made a fruitless attempt to clean-up with the small wet-naps in my purse. It was that moment I reached up and felt dreaded in crumbled bits of mud in my hair. I knew I was a vision of beauty as I drank my corona and inhaled a large plate of nachos.
It was as we were leaving we looked to the front of the group only to discover a heated argument brewing between our tour operator and another man accusing one of the members of our dune buggy gang of striking his vehicle. We waited patiently, as more people appeared to discuss the events, and watch the trouble brewing.
Maria the lovely lady in the next buggy behind us translated the events that were unfolding and had a look of concern, “He’s phoning the police.”
At this point our tour guide was willing to leave one of his guys behind to straighten out the fiasco and take us on the rest of the journey.
It was at that the con-artist, blocked our way, and said, “None of us were leaving until the police arrived.”
I began to get a little nervous thinking how much it was going to cost us to get out of this dodgy scenario.
It was only when the head tour operator grabbed a can of gas, swaggered over to the gentleman’s car was he able to cleaned away the green paint that had scuffed up his car. It was no surprise that there was not a dent on his car but only the remnants of wet paint. The con man slowly backed away from our tour operator and let us move forward onto our next destination.
We revved up the engines and speed off to the tequila factory! They gave us a run down on six flavours of tequila and as a passenger I happily accepted each shot of tequila. It added a little hair to my chest and prepared us for our journey home.
As we went back on to the main road, we heard the sirens, and it was within seconds we saw the fire truck charging towards us. My husband pulled our little dune buggy to the side of the road just in the nick of time. I believe it was the extra shot of tequila which prevented me from screaming “Dear God! We are all going to die!”
I turned back to check to see my children were all still in one piece as they gave me a huge thumbs up. It is then we gladly drove along admiring the views of the military base and local jail. It was once we reached back to home base I happily tipped our excursion guide for leading us back to the comforts of a Mexican cab.
It was that night my family and I looked back at an adventure of a lifetime. It was something we normally wouldn’t have done in a million years but the beauty of the countryside, the thrills, the spills, the almost drowning in a Mexican river bed, the extortion attempt, were all well worth another wonderful afternoon in Puerto Vallarta.
Have you ever stepped outside of your comfort zone? Did it lead you on an adventure?