Puerto Vallarta – a rough start.

The Seahorse statue on the Malecon in P.V

The Seahorse statue on the Malecon in P.V

So our first long distance bus didn’t go well, a short time into the trip I got travel sick, and continued to be sick for the whole remainder of the bus ride. Not fun.

We arrived in Puerto Vallarta and it was significantly warmer than Guadalajara, so we stripped off our warmer layers, popped our packs on our back (very gingerly for me as I could barely function) and walked out of the station. Tom hailed a bus and asked if he was going to Zona Romantica, the answer: “Si”, something in Spanish with hand gestures which we interpreted as “Yes, but in a roundabout way”, so on we jumped. I was very, very nervous about getting straight back on a bus (especially a local one) after the previous few hours, but the windows were open for a cool breeze and we were seated right at the front so had great vision. The bus was dodgy and the roads bumpy but somehow I perked up and we made it to our hostel. Continue reading

Bienvenido a Guadalajara

Hola, we made it to Guadalajara! It took us three flights, a 14 hour stop over in LAX, a public bus and a taxi to arrive exhausted at our hostel. In the departure lounge we befriended two Aussie girls who were also backpacking, they could speak passable Spanish and together we all made the mission to the bus stop to get a local bus to the old bus station. The bus was a grand total of 12 Peso (less than $1.50) and being morning rush hour it kept filling up with locals until no more could fit, we were seriously squished in and had our packs on our knees. An entertaining and honest observation we made was the passengers who boarded the bus from the rear door would pass their money person by person to the driver, if correct change was not given, change would then do the same thing in reverse.

When we arrived it was 9 am and thankfully our room was ready and we could settle in earlier than the designated time getting in a few hours of much needed sleep. After our nap we groggily ventured out to explore the Centro Historico. There were people everywhere, and we appeared to be the only tourists surrounded by Spanish speaking locals as we walked through the plaza on our search for food.

Catedral Metropolitana in Centro Historico, Gaudalajara

Catedral Metropolitana in Centro Historico, Gaudalajara

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An L.A stopover

We arrived in LAX after a 12 hour flight from Auckland, so far so good. Using the Koru Lounge in Auckland airport was a nice luxurious start to the trip (won’t be much of that where we are headed). The flight was easy with no turbulence, screaming children or travel sickness and I think we both had a reasonable amount of sleep for a night in an aeroplane.

Descending to Los Angeles was an experience. neither of us had been to America so the sprawl of the city was massive. We passed through immigration unexpectedly quickly, with no bag searching or delays which surprised us both. The only issue being that we approached the passport desk together and were promptly told off because we were not related or married; naughty us! With 14 hours ahead we picked up our packs from the baggage claim and looked around us at the terminal, there was no way we were going to spend 14 hours here.

Exploring the terminal we located a information desk and asked about the day rooms at hotels, we were pointed in the direction of a free shuttle and took off to have a nap in a real bed.  Continue reading

Bye New Zealand!

It has been nearly two weeks since we started our journey and true to form updating the blog has taken a back seat.  Now that we are firmly over our jetlag and tummy troubles it is time to update the blog with our travels so far.

Best view in Nelson

Best view in Nelson

Following our stop in Dunedin we spent 10 days in Nelson catching up with my family and friends.  Unlike Dunedin, Nelson is genuinely sunny and has at times held New Zealand’s title as sunniest city.   Unfortunately spring weather in New Zealand has a habit of being unsettled and the poor weather followed us from Dunedin.  While the rain was less pervasive, strong winds marked much of our time in Nelson. Continue reading