I’d arranged a 4 hour tour of the city and tequila tasting (through Mazatlan Frank) with his friend Fernando Alfredo as our guide. The cost of the tour was $35/person. We were to meet Alfredo at 10 am at the Hospitality Tent just as we departed the ship. As it turned out, Alfredo was doing a tour with passengers on the Vision of the Sea and had asked Bernardo to handle our tour. Bernardo asked if we’d mind waiting a few minutes while he tried to get another couple to join us. We didn’t mind – in fact Frank had mentioned this to us yesterday during his tour of
After only a few minutes Bernardo came walking up with Gene and Carmen, an older couple and fellow cruisers on the Magic. Soon we were off in Bernardo’s sparkling clean, comfortable 12 passenger van heading south on the main road through
Things changed though the farther south we went. Soon we transitioned from smooth roads to cobblestone roads that were rough. The streets became much narrower and the buildings much older and modest. After passing the Boardwalk area we entered the older part of the city. Here Bernardo took us into the areas where the locals go to shop, get their hair cut, buy clothes and shoes. It was really interesting. We finally ended up at the southern end of the city in an area where there is an off shore underwater sanctuary that is a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Just a bit further down was the area where they shot the movie “Night of the Iguana” in the 1960s.Next, we made our way to Mama Lucia's Tequila Distillery. Actually, Mama Lucia was the great, great grandmother of the current operator. Once there, one of the family members explained to us each step of the tequila harvesting, preparation and distillation process and answered our questions. Then came the good stuff - yes, that's right the tequila tasting. Mama Lucia's offered the traditional white, reposado (golden color - aged in oak barrels for a few months) and anejo (aged in oak barrels for a minimum of one year) as well as flavored tequilas (orange, almond and chocolate). We sampled the white, reposado and all three flavored tequilas. All were very good.
It was now about lunchtime, so Bernardo backtracked a bit and we went off-road to a restaurant called El Nogalito. Nogalito apparently is a type of walnut tree. The restaurant turned out to be fantastic. The area was very lush with all types of flowers and vegetation. The dining area was covered but still out in the open air. Their were macaws around as well as birds and even an iguana. Dinner was excellent and we enjoyed getting to know Gene and Carmen better as we dined. On the way back to the ship, we stopped at the PV church, which was well adorned. Our four hour tour turned into more like 5 hours but it seemed much shorter since we had such a good time. Bernardo was an excellent tour guide. His knowledge of PV, his personable nature and his love for his home town made him one of the very best guides we’ve ever had. I would not hesitate to use him again or to recommend him to anyone.
Once back on the ship, I took the opportunity to catch up on the blog while Susan and Katy did what? Want to guess? No, they didn’t nap but you’re close. They both went and got a massage. After taking our showers, Susan and I went and relaxed in the Sessions piano bar with some drinks and a cheese plate. Katy doesn’t like Sessions – she says they only play “old people” music so she stayed in the stateroom and watched TV. We met up at 8:15 and made our way to dinner in Parrot Cay – which tonight was Pirate themed as tonight was “Pirate Night”. Waiting for us on the table were pirate bandanas to put on our heads. Actually, I was the only one to put it on my head, the girls didn’t want to mess up their hair. I captured this photo of our two servers (Pema and Jonathan) and the head server (Ciao Romano – no I’m not kidding) with Susan and Katy. We finished off the evening by attending the “Pirates in the