notes from the boat
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One Mans Paradise - 15th February 05
We arrived in Paradise Village Marina, Nuevo Vallarta and discovered that paradise is somewhat similar to "Fantasy Island" (for anyone who remembers the TV show) an Aztec-style resort built in the 70s complete with exotic animal collection, overweight tourists drinking cocktails (some even wearing speedos), and a luxury spa... paradise indeed!

It was reassuring to see that Mexico hadn't forgotten its heritage, in this case preserved eternally in the form of an Aztec temple masquerading as a public toilet and so conveniently located right in the middle of a large roundabout!

We've embraced the resort lifestyle though including the zoo and the spa. Winston piqued the interest of the three large tigers and suddenly realizing he was being stalked, moved faster than he ever had before! Following that, he spotted the ostriches and life hasn't quite been the same since.

Carl spotted Susan from the sailing vessel "Dharma" within minutes of us arriving. Whilst in the Sea of Cortez she identified us on the radio as Jan and Pat on Indigo Muff! Carl's ambition was finally realized when he introduced himself, shook the hand of Dharma and reported that she was quite charming!

Nuevo or New Vallarta is home to thousands of American and Canadian tourists escaping from the cold winters at home. Resorts and condominiums line the beach. People (surely Germans) are reserving beach loungers at 6am waiting for the first rays to hit their sun-soaked skins.

In true (slightly accident-prone) form, Carl managed to stand on a baby sting ray and emerged from the water in great pain, three inches of sting ray tail protruding from his ankle. Luckily the on-site medical center was on hand and they were quite willing to give him two painful injections followed by a course of antibiotics. It turns out if you soak the sting in hot water for an hour and dab a little antibiotic cream on it, you should be good to go! Better to be safe though...

Carl couldn't resist treating us to the ultimate in romantic dining experiences in Nuevo Vallarta, eating in a small Italian bistro on a candle-lit balcony overlooking... the bouncy castle in the shopping mall. The people-watching was mesmerizing, the menu tailor-made for its clientele, white food for white people. The food was terrible, the atmosphere surreal.

We would highly recommend avoiding Nuevo Vallarta unless the above description for some reason sounds appealing however in direct contrast, Puerto Vallarta, we loved...

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