Sailing Experience in Bahía de Banderas

First of all, I would love to say a huuuge thank you for my friend, Justin for letting me experience my first sailing trip in my whole life. Plus living in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a very great idea because the marina is just on the side of the block. And running at this area is also super great, you got the beach, marina, and most importantly very big streets with smooth cement!

We started at 10am that day, bought some cold beers and snacks for the sail. Talking about that, we always buy our basic needs in small shops (tiendas in Spanish) near our house. This happened so much when you live in a small neighbourhood, just like me! Even, the prices are usually cheaper than big supermarkets.

This is the location of the marina, by the way!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marina+Riviera+Nayarit+at+La+Cruz/@20.7507862,-105.3807937,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x84214041c2551c2f:0x351d63d475922b!8m2!3d20.7507862!4d-105.378605

Stepping to the gate of the sail boats makes me feel so great. Finally I am doing something new! We put all our food and drinks inside the deck and we start sitting down near the steering wheel. The boat is semi-wooden, actually! You guys gotta see the pictures.

 

Afterwards, Justin gave us a briefing just to make sure we are all in the safest condition–he’s a great captain. I would love to recommend you his tour! It’s Bahia Sailing Tourshttps://www.bahiasailing.com/ Looking at how he’s doing all the railings and stuff, I start thinking how people sail with their boats crossing the oceans of the world. That will be quite tough (and scary??).

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Look how convenient!

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You can even sit on the tip of the boat

Sailing for the first time makes me feel relaxed. I feel that I just get away from all the crowds and just enjoy the most of this earth…. We saw dolphins and turtles, it was soooo amazing! Meeting new people is also fun, especially doing different things that you don’t usually do. That time, we sailed down south to Puerto Vallarta, it took hours because we really take our time to just enjoy the ocean breeze.

 

We even stop to go to the market in Puerto Vallarta to grab little groceries. My friends went with a water taxi! It was cool to see. By the time we wanted to sail back to the deck, the weather went so harsh….. There was a huge storm and our boat was tilted more than 45 degrees, that was so much fun!! People were so scared but I just feel that we’re experiencing something unique (but a bit dangerous though LOL)!! But anyways, we were all safe back in La Cruz–thank you so much Justin!

 

 

Tips on what to bring: sunscreen, sunglasses, swim suit, towel. See you on the next one!

San Sebastián del Oeste, a Homey Little Town

Another magic town on the list! I have been dreaming for the last 1 month to enjoy a little bit of fresh air. As you know Punta Mita; Nayarit area is still burning hot now, temperature varies from 25-30°C everyday. So for those of you who’s having a short holiday to Puerto Vallarta area, this ones for you. Going to San Sebastián del Oeste is just perfect for a day trip, or even a 2-day trip for you guys who wanted to have a more chill weekend in the fresh town.

That time, me and my friends drove from Puerto Vallarta very early in the morning, We started at 7 in the morning, allowing us to enjoy the sunrise on the way–pretty! The 3-hour drive was great actually, we passed by many breathtaking landscapes, from mountains to forests. And again, as a sleepy kid, I fell asleep because of the fresh wind going through the car window.

 

Brief history, San Sebastian is a town which were well known as their mining for silver, gold, and lead. It is found during the early Spanish colonial, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain period. Regarding the growth of this place, their population peaked up to 20,000 people but it remains around 5,000 nowadays. From the records that we have, it is mentioned that the mines start to close around 1910 because of the revolution.

 

As we begin our journey, we parked near a little shop where we can rent ATVs. The name of the place is Abarrotes Durán, the link is down below:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/20%C2%B045’42.4%22N+104%C2%B051’19.9%22W/@20.7625605,-104.8588867,17z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x8426b765352d8b4d:0x31d5a4dfad50b4bc!7e2!8m2!3d20.7617815!4d-104.8555394

 

We then rented two 2-seated ATV, the price was a great deal. I paid 700 pesos for 3 hours. Also, a huge reminder, don’t forget to bring your driving license if you wanna be the driver of the ATV! Well for me, I don’t need it because my friend Arturo is driving for me–he’s a crazy driver. 

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Beginning of the track

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On the way to mud splashes

First stop will be the first break point! We went to some crazy tracks, splashed with mud and also water. But for sure, picture first!! Hahaha! We started from the village with locals around, then the mountain area. It was a very bad idea to use my white shirt, OMG!

 

There was one time that our ATV was about to flip away (like fly through the cliff), crazy times. My friend Andrea was even worst, her ATV was almost flipping to more than 3 times! Be careful people! About 50 minutes from the starting point, we finally touched down the first break point. There’s really nothing there, it’s just a signal tower and we decided to take a group picture!

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Pay attention to the sign

The weather was a bit cloudy that day, but it was fresh! Imagine the smell of the forest, plus the mountainous breeze–never fail to make me calm! Afterwards, we endure back our body and soul to the track to La Bufa (the main observing deck). The drive was not that long, maybe only 20 minutes. But there, we have to park our ATVs and start a little 10-minute hike to the observing deck. I was having a very bad kit to hike, because I forgot to use my shoes!! 

 

 

The hike was super easy, I survived! The fog was very strong that we cannot see anything:( We just chill there for a while, taking so much pictures, eat our snacks, and sit down on the rocks. Because there was not really a view to enjoy, we decided to move and continue our journey to a mine, Mina Santa Gertrudis.

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It was quite a long drive, maybe 30 minutes? Mina Santa Gertrudis is a haunted silver mine where some kids (3 girls and some boys) in the depth of 80 metres. We walked through it, it’s cold…. Not long after, we decided to drive back because out 3 hours are almost out. 

 

We were soon hungry after that 3-hour fun drive. My friend Andrea keeps telling me there’s a very nice restaurant in town. And this Italian restaurant is indeed SUPER legit. And thankfully, they were open too! Take note people, the name is: Montebello Restaurant (closed on Tue and Wed)

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Montebello+Restaurante/@20.7614106,-104.8532138,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xb07ee993d32f13f9!8m2!3d20.760661!4d-104.851967

 

And of course, I ordered the jamón serrano pizza! And look how they create the friendly and homey atmosphere of the place…. Super comfortable and great when you come with your family, friends, or your partner! Maybe grab a cup of wine when you take your loved ones here! I am so in love with this place<3 

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Just a perfect shot of our food

After a whole pan of pizza, we continued exploring the downtown. At first, we went to San Sebastián Mártir Church. The church is painted in light blue color. Not long after, we just walked back to the the plaza (Plaza Publica) to see some shops around.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/San+Sebastián+Mártir/@20.7617384,-104.8527681,20z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8426b764b59cd8a7:0xf6d8e21d199bbe00!8m2!3d20.7618542!4d-104.852709

 

 

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We were in Calle Allende looking at this pretty shop, and of course I bought a postcard to send it home to Jakarta. We had a very wonderful time that day. I really can’t wait to go out with them again! See you on the next one:)

 

 

Tips on what to bring: hat, backpack, water, bug spray, UV protector, hiking shoes.

Beach Hike to Las Animas

Working 9.5 hours per day is quite tough to admit. But having my days off on weekends is great. Come on, just be grateful and don’t complain about life. Something better is waiting for ya’ll out there. Mornings are not really tough for me, it’s just part of my routine! But then, the sunrise time during this time of the year is still super late, around 7.40! But anyways, I finally arrive in Nuevo Vallarta to meet my friend, Esperanza.

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The road from Puerto Vallarta down south east

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The entrance to Boca de Tomatlan Village

She drove all the way south east passing Puerto Vallarta downtown. I literally just went to a deep sleep because of the fresh wind from the window. My hair flew back together with the wind, I just feel peaceful! After around 1.25 hours drive from Puerto Vallarta, we finally touch down our feet on Boca de Tomatlan, a little village I can say.

For people out there who don’t own a car or doesn’t rent any, you can also take a bus to Boca de Tomatlan! From Puerto Vallarta Old Town, you should take a bus from Basillo Badillo and Constitucion and get a bus which shows Mismaloya/Boca. If I’m not mistaken the bus color is orange!

Walking in my white Adidas ultra boost was amazing, I don’t even feel like walking! Also a little reminder, never forget to bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, and snack! The starting point of the hike was clear, there’s a sign and you have to cross a bridge, crossing a river. Then, you have you pass some casitas (small houses) just around the community–super safe here! People are friendly and they always greet us along the way.

The beginning of the hike is just fine, the route is easy, just stairs and nothing is slippery–even the day before was raining. Not long after the hike, we found the first “break” point, you might feel dehydrated after a 30-minute walk, grab your liquid! And you’re back on the track. For those of you who wants to challenge yourself, jogging/running in this kind of track is super possible. It was already 10 am that time, we decided to continue before the sun stung our skin!

Next stop is Colomitos Beach (Playa de Colomitos), it’s a public beach–super pretty! Also, if you want to do snorkeling, bring your goggles or your snorkeling kit. The water is crystal clear, maybe you can spot 1 or 2 small boats going there–they’re the water taxis from Boca de Tomatlan. For us, we just chill a little while there–by means taking some pictures! It was already hot at that moment. Just half way to go to Las Animas–our final point.

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Look how clear is the water

Warning! The route after Colomitos gets harder, but nothing to worry! Just wear your shoes back and control your balance. Additionally, the view is waaaaay more breathtaking. Get ready to be amazed! My local friend told me the “forest” route is almost done–can’t wait! After around 20 minutes, we started walking down the beach and the sand, way easier!! But then, we passed some huge rocks on the way, just be aware!

Not long after, we start passing by some boutique resorts (Hotelio Mio and Playa Caballo Resort). Damn, those resorts look very dreamy! Just check them out at booking.com! Just perfect for couples!! Just look at the tree houses, I wish I can stay there for holiday! Afterwards, we start walking again to the beach route, as we can already see Las Animas from distance.

From the colorful umbrellas, amount of people around the coast, the stalls, and the water taxis gathering that area, you can clearly see that you’re about to enter a little world out of nowhere! And look, I found this pug puppy, made my day already! As you enter Las animas, you can start looking to different food stalls. Servers in the restaurant will start to greet you and offer you different types of food and drink.

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The umbrellas from far away

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That time, me and my friends decided to try Mike’s Beach Club.

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/place/Mike’s+Beach+Club/@20.5071997,-105.3458629,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x84215c2492f565bd:0xffa146e3181efe3f!8m2!3d20.5071947!4d-105.3436742

I wasn’t that hungry in the beginning, but ordering a limonada (lemonade) is always a great idea! Hot weather and cold drinks? Who will ever say no! Hahah! After enjoying a little nap on one of the cabana, I decided to order a portion of marlin fish. Believe it or nor, it was THE BEST marlin plus tortas that I’ve ever eaten in my whole life! I will recommend it to everyone!!!

After chilling out for hours there, we can either hike back to Boca de Tomatlan (which takes another 2 hours back) or take the water taxi. And of course, water taxi was what we chose. It cost only 50 pesos for a 10 minute ride. Just great!! We finally arrive to the coast and decided to go back home.

Tips on what to bring: water, sunglasses, swimsuit, snorkeling kit, bug spray, sun block.

Hiking Alta Vista, a Barely Touched Historic Spot

Big fat greeting from Mexico. I can’t believe it that I am here already. Mixed feelings for sure! Finally my fourth country in the last 2 years. Time flies, plans changed, and of course no regrets! I am loviiiiing it. Moving to Mexico is one of a huge challenge, but I can do a lot of my outdoor hobbies, from diving to hiking!

This time, I am excited to share with you guys for my journey last week with my neighbour, Shane. Last minute decision, but still it was the best decision to make that day. We depart around 10.10 in the morning from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit. Sun was out, so ready to absorb the light, but don’t forget to use your UV protection guys!

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Half way to go!

We drove up north following the Google Maps to Alta Vista for around an hour and fifteen minutes. The location that Google brought us wasn’t that persistent. We followed the route down south and thought we were lost in the middle of nowhere. We passed by a very long bath of pebble roads in the middle of forests. Here’s what we found!

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What I mean by pebble road

Aguas Termales

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Aguas+Termales+Nuevo+Ixtlan/@20.9747405,-105.2211294,12z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x842132098ddc67cd:0x557992355708c0fc!8m2!3d20.981556!4d-105.1089478

To be honest, we didn’t expect anything from being lost. But we found this amazing place which for sure, only locals knew about it. Swim suit ready, and let’s dip in the hot thermal water! The most amazing part must be going out the hot pool and move to the fresh pool. We just need it after those long drive. We saw some locals there, they even cook with charcoal, I guess? The smell wasn’t great:(

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They look so happy!!!

After a long talk about life, we just double our swimwear with our hiking attire. We decided to ask more locals regarding the place we really want to visit. Beforehand, I read this article online but it was not really helpful because there are no step-by-step guide how to get there. But now that I had the full experience, I can share it with you guys.

While driving up back north to Alta Vista which took around 45 minutes back, we decided to stop for a cold beer. And suddenly it was actually the place where we found the local guide. We saw so many people guys chilling around there. After we bought the beer, we just asked the seller about the place without an actual name. He then introduced us to Christopher, a young locals. There’s a guy who helped us in translating everything to English, but it wasn’t necessary because we both do speak Spanish. We finally reached a decision to pay him MXN$400 for the guiding service.

This is the place where you can find the guides!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/21°04’33.1%22N+105°09’25.9%22W/@21.0728523,-105.2361938,12z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x84212933ba25f009:0x53a3d8e46ca213e2!7e2!8m2!3d21.0758707!4d-105.1571846

Christopher then went to the Jeep that we were driving with, showing the roads to get to the place named, Las Ruinas. After a 5 minute drive, we reach this spot

https://www.google.com/maps/place/21°05’28.6%22N+105°10’17.1%22W/@21.0728523,-105.2361938,12z/data=!4m6!3m5!1s0x842129206128d78b:0xe3bc2c096a0db626!7e2!8m2!3d21.0912671!4d-105.1714325 (it’s a horse ranch).

Just in front of it, there’s a sealed gate with spikes and wood. From there, we start a little drive!

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This is the entrance with spikes and wood

We drove little to the east where there are no exact route to be honest. Just forest with tall grass, tree, and bushes. We will never ever found this route without a guide, very worth it! We were able to pass through all of those paths with the Jeep, a sedan can’t even bare to pass this kind of route. Christopher also mention that we can actually start hiking before the forest path, but it will take us around 2 hours to get to Las Ruinas. Also, there is an alternative road (which is longer) which will take 2-hour drive on road.

Driving to the spot where we start the hike was not long at all, maybe around 15 minutes? Under the clouds, we started the hike gracefully until the part where we enter the real forest where low hiking skill is needed. As we walk a little bit, we finally reach the entrance of the ruins, finally!!! Starting here, we can find wooden banners full of information that we have to know about the history about this place.

I can still imagine the smell of the scrubs, it was fresh! After a little walk, Christopher let us try a coconut oil fruit, look! It was delicious as a snack. Afterwards, we finally saw the first stone carving which looks like eyes. The hike was not long at all, maybe just a half an hour to see everything and pictures!

Here are more pictures for you to see what we have seen! From arrows, spirals, sun, and other interesting shapes carved deeply into the stones. We can also see some stones with “givings” on top of it, he said it’s for ceremonies.

After another little hike, we found a small waterfall.

“This is the bath of the kings and queens about 3000 years ago!”. Christopher said.

And of course I tried to pose like one in the pictures below! The water aren’t that clear. That’s why we decided to continue walking and finish all the track.

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The small waterfall

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The seat for the queens back in the old days

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That was the last check point from the whole hike. We decided to come back from that 25 minute hike and look what we found! Fresh soursop just from the tree. Taste sooooo great. By the time we wanna drive back, Christopher offered us another place to explore. It’s a very old place where they suppose to make coffee. The name is Amigo Producto de Cafe, it was about 5-10 minute drive.

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Some locals helped us to unlock the door of this place, they said it was a coffee factory until an earthquake came to destroy the whole building. So many coffee machines are made in New York–interesting.

And that’s a wrap!! See you on the next one:)

Tips on what to bring: sunglasses, towel, swimsuit, snacks, water, sun block (UV protection), bug spray, an extra change for clothes.

Enchanted by the Most Amazing, Lisbon

My visit to Lisbon was super short, but most importantly it become my most favourite city in my WHOLE life. I don’t think I can find a way to really explain it. Even by the time I reach the inter-connected bridge (25 de Abril Bridge) to Lisbon. Feels like home… My heart just melt down to the heart of the city. Have you ever felt the same to a place?

Arriving in the golden hour wasn’t an amazing decision, we could’ve enjoyed the sunset in one of the famous spot for sunset in Lisbon. But our drive from Madrid was quite far! Covering over 1200km in just 3 days, damn boy (poke to Diogo–he’s an amazing driver btw). Even though I’m just a co-pilot in the car, I can feel the fatigue on my whole body. BUT, as far as I travel with someone that I really enjoy spending time with, nothing matters (wait for my Faro blog!).

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25 de Abril Bridge

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Águas Livres Aqueduct Bridge while entering the city

Opening the car door on our final destination feels great. I can stretch all my back, legs, and also hip. Plus, feeling the fresh air under my white t-shirt. Well, we deserved a little rest before going to dinner!

Couple hours later, we dressed up to go to a pretty sushi restaurant in Palacio Chiado. I put on my seatbelt, and ready to go! The weather was still cold that time (mid March!). I put on my vintage orange outer wear and laced up my white Adidas shoes. Bam! I opened the window of that car, looking at every corner of the city. Old, friendly, everything was just there. My mind was feeling so calm.

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The vibe in the restaurant

“I feel so weird, how can I fall in love so hard to a place?”, I said.

We waited for a little while because the restaurant was greatly packed with people. But no worries, beer here we start! The chandelier, old paintings on the wall, and the warm vibe of the place is put together super well. Damn, Lisbon. How can you create this places??? It was a great talk with the family. Because of my curiosity, we decided to try one of the best original egg tart of Portugal, Manteigaria.

For you guys who are wondering it’s here;

This spot! https://www.google.com/maps/place/Manteigaria+-+Portuguese+custard+pies+factory/@38.7107598,-9.1462536,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0xd19347fb4271673:0xe8af7b569be2615f!8m2!3d38.7107556!4d-9.1440596

Then, another favourite place of mine is LX Factory, so dreamy!! I promised myself to go visit this place AGAIN. Here’s the link of the location;

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/”/lx+factory+lisbon+-+Google+Search/@38.7035026,-9.248884,12z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0xd1934af61dedbe5:0x33ebaaaa14f543ac!2m2!1d-9.178844!2d38.7035235

By the time I got here, it was almost sunset, the ray of light and the breeze were crazy beautiful. We went to a book store (Ler Devagar) before heading for dinner. I just can’t stop being amazed, this place suits me so much. All the friendly people, chill weather, and also the feeling that I’ve never had about a place. The bookstore is super well structured, look!

Here’s the Google maps link btw!

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ler+Devagar/@38.7027621,-9.1784599,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x6c018055230f5ef2!8m2!3d38.7027621!4d-9.1784599

The feeling of being amused let me forget about my hunger. But still, it’s dinner time. Can’t let the gastric juice excess in my tummy. And honestly, the pizza was incredibly made. Best pizza of my life, even though pizza is something that I’m not a fan of. And guys, PLEASE try pizza with arugula, it’s beyond!

The amazing pizza place is Amesadolx, Ld. Here’s the Google Maps direction!

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/”/amesadolx+lda+lisboa/@38.7023771,-9.248466,12z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0xd1934a58a3e6309:0x94c1579ab07cbd00!2m2!1d-9.178426!2d38.702398

See you on the next one!