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The Dune Buggy Adventure

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?

Categories: Dune Buggies Mexico Puerto Vallarta

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

36 replies

  1. Great adventure story.

    We had a Mexican adventure too. We were on Cozumel and wanted to take a tour that went to Tulum and Xel-ha. We booked the package with the concierge at our hotel and needed to take a ferry to the mainland to pick up the tour. Our concierge told us to go to the dock and ask for a man named “Pinky”. As we wandered around the dock with people with chickens in cages on their heads and armed Federales walking around we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into. As it turned out, Pinky was one of the best tour guides we have ever had.

  2. Oh boy! Sounded like fun – not the dune buggy per say, but the ensuing argument. I get a kick out watching and listening to those impromptu happenings. As for the con artist, what was he thinking pulling that shtufff on a local -tourist you would suspect but a local.

    Do I ever step out of my comfort zone? You mean besides bed everyone morning? I try to. I also use common sense. Still alive thus far and have not been shot at like a couple of my friends have been.

    1. The argument was getting pretty heated and I am glad we were in the distance 🙂 He was a local and knew exactly what he was trying to do. I couldn’t imagine trying to mess with another persons business like that especially when times are so tough for them.

      Hahaha! I guess bed is a great comfort zone! One I am quite fond of…I’m glad you have never been shot! That sounds like an interesting story within itself!

    1. That’s not even the worst part of it! I edited out the fact that I was wearing a jean skirt and when the water hit us it was my first experience with a Mexican beday. Needless, to say it was a very pleasant feeling for a lady`;)

  3. The first time I visited England (on a school trip) I was way out of my comfort zone–barely speaking a word of English at that point in my life. Let me tell you it can turn into an “adventure” when you try to make yourself understood with everything at your disposal!!!! 🙂

  4. The first time I visited Vietnam, I had a blissful feeling! 🙂 And yes it was outside my comfort zone for sure lol … Probably I was the first and last Ethiopian for most Vietnamese I had met. 🙂 And they were so curious abt how I looked etc. It didnt bother me at all cuz I was equally curious abt them! 🙂

    Nice post! 😀

  5. I started reading this post on my phone hours ago while at the dentist. They called me before I finished… I never expected your adventure to be, well, such an adventure…. WOW!

    What was the tequilla factory like, and which one? Being in the booze biz,I wonder if it is a client. I have only been to a brewery in the Dominican Republic, and it is so interesting…

    1. I know! It was quite the adventure and I left alot out 😉 The name of the factory was Hacienda Doña Engraci! We arrived just as they were closing so we didn’t see how it was made but the coffee tequila was delicious!

  6. Good for you for trying something new! This is one of those experiences that will grow even more wonderful in the telling through the years.
    I do like going outside my comfort zone, and it’s easier for me to try something physically different rather than socially. In other words, I’d rather go snowmobiling in Yellowstone National Park with grizzly bears than walk into a party full of strangers! 🙂

  7. A wonderful vacation memory. I would have totally enjoyed every shot of tequilla!
    Back in the 80’s my sister, her husband and friend went to Mexico City and it was a blast. We stopped at a little cafe that turned out to actually be a bar where this woman cameup to my sisters husband and pulled off her blouse and I got really scared when my sister tossed her plate of food at the woman as she told her to back off.
    Needless to say no one ate their foodand I think we were all out of our comfort zone.

  8. “Don’t swallow the water!” Belle, I swear I am laughing out loud so much right now I am swallowing water in the air! You are a hysterically funny writer, you are. And I would have been scared sh**less if someone said my seatbelt was broken. Great blog!

  9. Rock on, Belle! What an adventure! I laughed hard at the “don’t swallow the water” comment, because I would have said exactly the same thing. And the extortionist? Holy hell! Great post!

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