Las Palmas near Puerto Vallarta

This was an interesting day. We had rented the car for the whole month that we were in Puerto Vallarta. As I said in a previous entry, everything was inexpensive that summer. So, we were able to explore the surrounding areas. One day we were driving from the south side of the bay to the north and according to our map there was this road that went around town. Little did we know that the map was not to scale. So we headed into the mountains for our scenic bypass not knowing that we didn’t have nearly enough gas for this detour. The drive was beautiful with lush green tropical forests. As we climbed away from the coast we spotted wild iguanas and ripe bananas. The further we traveled the fewer vehicles we saw. After a while, people were moving on horseback instead of cars. They weren’t out for a ride, they were actually using horses to go somewhere. There were children playing in yards that thought these two blonde women in a shiny rental car were quite the spectacle. They waved and smiled like the circus had come to town. As we continued to climb and the gas gauge continued to drop we started looking for any signs of a gas station. No Google maps to help us and nothing on the paper map we had picked up at the concierge. Finally, we spotted a young lady walking on the road and I used my best Spanish to ask, “Donde esta gasolina?”  She looked at me like I was speaking greek, but figured out what I wanted and pointed up the road speaking much faster than I could translate in my head. I did manage to get “Las Palmas” out of the dissertation. We headed up the road and found Las Palmas and the gas station. The woman working at the station did her best to communicate and between her patience and my limited Spanish we concluded that the pumps were broken. There was no way we had enough gas to get back to town. She managed to convey that the man was coming to fix the pumps. We waited. We had no idea how long that might be because in Mexico most people are not in a hurry. It was a beautiful day and we had our Starbucks with us, so we waited. It was only about 15 minutes before the man showed up, fixed the pumps and filled our tank for us. We were on our way. The second half of the drive was much more relaxing than the first. Having a full tank has a way of increasing the peace of mind. Las Palmas was beautiful, the people were gracious and I would definitely recommend this route for those who like a little adventure and want to see the Vallarta area that is far removed from the influence of tourism. 

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