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New Years from Hell

New Years from Hell

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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:03 pm
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New Years from Hell

My flight attendant friend had bugged me for years to go to Puerto Vallarta. I wasn't so sure if I would like it, but he insisted it was great fun. This summer, I finally relented and booked a trip for New Years week.
I had a hard time finding something for 5 nights with a lap pool, as most placed wanted a minimum 7 nights and had no large pool. I ended up booking the Crown Paradise Golden Resort as the price seemed right. Oh boy, was that a mistake...

I arrived on Monday and immediately felt this place was not for me. I was in the middle of nowhere, far away from the action (GLBT-style), and very noisy at night. As it was an all-in, I got an armband, which I insisted upon to be loosely wrapped (I am not gonna wear it outside the resort). Had dinner and later that night went out for fun (or so I thought).
The next day, checked out Puerto Vallarta, swam at the lap pool and had Tuna steak for dinner...big mistake.

The next morning, Wednesday 12/31, my stomach felt funny and thought I just needed some food. Ate a banana and went on my snorkel tour to the Marietas Islands (more on that later).

Later that evening, I got stomach cramps but still wanted to go out. Went to La Noche around 11 pm, but could not sit still due to the increasing pain. Finally decided to go back to the hotel and lie down.

The next morning, I woke up, smelly, and found out that my intestines had decided to completely flush out. OMG!
Ripped all sheets from the bed, called room services, and started cleaning the mess myself.
It took two more days for my body to settle and feel better again. Suffice to say I refused to eat at the hotel any longer.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:05 pm
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Marietas Island Tour - or - Let's harpoon Dieuwer2.

The morning of New Years Eve I had booked a snorkel tour with Vallarta Adventures leaving from the marina terminal. Convenient, as it was next door to the Crown Paradise Golden resort. Was at the marina gate at 7:30 am, paid the port fee, walked to the quay, and sat down to wait for the boat to arrive.
About 80 people showed up for the snorkel tour and after half an hour boarding off we went to the Marietas Island.

It was a great day to go snorkeling: sunny, a nice cooling wind in your face, birds swarming the boat and in the distance the sprouts of three humpback whales.
After an hour of boating, we arrived at the hidden cove, got into our snorkel gear and swam to the cave opening towards the hidden beach. It was marvelous! Sat on the sand for a while enjoying the scenery and explored a few sea-caves of the main before heading back to the boat.

Back on the boat we soon went to the prime snorkeling spot of the Marietas Island. I was exited to test out my new underwater camera and see if I could snap a couple pictures of some beautiful fish.
When we got to the snorkeling spot, I grabbed my gear, jumped into the water and swam to the reef where the fish where hiding.
Several fish attracted my attention. There was this fluorescent blue one, one with yellow with black stripes, and some that looked like snakes with big eyes looking at me, etc.















Unfortunately, the fish didn't want to sit still for a portrait so I was veraciously chasing them until I suddenly felt multiple stings near my abdominal and left- hand palm.

Man, that hurts!

Decided to break-off the chase and go back to the boat to see what's up. Turns out my left hand and abs where literally harpooned with tiny black needles about half inch long. Ouch! Asked the crew for a small tweezer they dully acquired from another boat nearby and I started the task of pulling out the needles one by one. I think I had about a dozen to be removed. Tedious work, but felt relieved when I got most of them out.

The rest of the boat trip was uneventful and we were back at the marina around 4 pm.

Last edited by Dieuwer; Jun 25, 15 at 11:15 pm Reason: Added pics
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:06 pm
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Nightlife in PV- or - Am I in LA??

Monday was my first night in Puerto Vallarta and I decided to go out for some fun
Back home I had printed a map of the Zona Romantica listing a dozen or more gay bars and clubs. Decided on going to La Noche, Pacos Ranch, and CC.

I found La Noche appealing: downstairs there was a bar with dancers, some tables and sofas to relax on. Lights were not too bright which I prefer. Stairs at the back lead up to higher levels with another bar, more tables and chairs, and eventually a roof top terrace.
After hanging around for an hour or so, I decided to check out Pacos Ranch to see if there were more people overthere as La Noche was not very crowded.

Pacos Ranch reminded me somewhat of a saloon. It had a bar on the right, dance floor to the left, and a balustrade circling everything. I had good hopes to meet some fun Mexicans to spend the night with.
Unfortunately, I was mistaken.
The place slowly filled up with guys originating from "exotic places" like San Francisco, LA, and San Diego. Doing their coke thing, dancing, and looking like pretty muscle botttoms. No thanks.
Hanging out at the bar and chatting with the bar man, I asked if he knew of a "leather bar" in PV or at least something similar. "HAHAHA". "You're in Puerto Vallarta" he said. "No such thing here!" Right.... Sigh. Went outside and had a quick peek at CC. Same thing as Pacos, only with less locals. Am I in LA or what?? Went back to my hotel and slept.

Thursday, I decided to give it one more try and went to Reinas and Amigos at the advice of a new found online chat friend. Much better!
Reinas reminded me of the bars in Amsterdam. Full with trinkets, fun music, and a lively crowd. Talked to the dutch owner of the bar, who was pleasantly surprised at meeting a fellow dutchman. Had a few drinks and after a couple hours went off to Amigos.

Amigos was another bar I immediately liked. A good mix of local Mexicans and visitors, some wearing cowboy hats or sombreros. Very sexy. The bar backs were cute and very good at flirting...lol. Suffice to say I had a good time and not because of all the booze I was served I just wish I had found this place earlier in the week.

Last edited by Dieuwer; Jan 2, 15 at 8:15 pm
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:10 pm
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You do realize you could hop a bus straight over to the Zona Romantica for the road right outside your resort, don't you? About a 10 minute ride.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:16 pm
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I wonder if you ate escolar, the Ex-Lax fish: http://www.thekitchn.com/use-caution...g-escola-66602
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:20 pm
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Might be the first Trip Report where everyone is hoping you DO NOT post any pictures......
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
You do realize you could hop a bus straight over to the Zona Romantica for the road right outside your resort, don't you? About a 10 minute ride.
I cabbed it several times.

Originally Posted by frankmu View Post
I wonder if you ate escolar, the Ex-Lax fish: http://www.thekitchn.com/use-caution...g-escola-66602
I think I did.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:35 pm
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Yikes. I guess there is a reason I always felt like sticking to steak and other proteins while at that hotel.
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Old Jan 2, 15, 7:48 pm
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You travel, you eat, you sometimes get sick.... It's been known to happen, not such a big deal. Sh*t happens :-).

Last edited by RTW1; Jan 2, 15 at 8:52 pm
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Old Jan 3, 15, 7:43 am
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You do not have to wear the wrist band on your wrist. I usually put it on my key, or if they insist on it being on your body, on my ankle. Trick I learned from a friend that goes often.

A few bars that I think might have been more up your alley, are Vallarta Cora, Mercurio, Los Amigos, Sama, and Frida. All of them have more Mexican Nationals than the other bars you mentioned. Sounds like you enjoy they type of bar I do, and those are the ones I mostly hang out in all week. Even Blue Chairs bar is not too twinky.

Sorry you got sick. That can happen anywhere. I have been lucky down there, eating at street stands, and from the beach vendors, and not been sick yet. Someday it will probably happen though.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 2:35 pm
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You should travel with pills just in case. What type of fish attacked you?
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Old Jan 3, 15, 7:04 pm
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so sorry to hear of your misadventures! I also went for the first time in early-mid Dec, before the crush of high season, so it was very laid back and lovely. I stayed at the Hotel Tropicana - basic but adequate. Didn't do any of the bars tho, so more to do next time.
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Old Jan 3, 15, 8:22 pm
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Just arrived at LAX (PVR-LAX-BOS) and customs decided my bags needed to be checked top to bottom. Great. More annoyance.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 3:29 pm
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Added pics of fish.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 3:50 pm
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Cool pictures. Despite running into a mad porcupine fish, do you think the tour was worth using up a full day? I have never done a snorkeling trip, but was thinking of trying one, and the Marietas one looks good.
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