Buenos Dias, again.
I usually do not write posts back to back, but I have so much to tell you, and besides that, my 24 hours of internet access will expire in the morning.
I was dismayed when I checked the weather forecast for Puerto Vallarta before we left home, to find that thunderstorms were predicted for every day that we would be here. We had the resort accommodations reserved; we had booked our flights, and if nothing else, Frank and I are flexible. So here we are, and we have been very fortunate. The first night we were here, it rained cats and dogs for about an hour, then we have had good weather.
Yesterday, we had a reservation to take a boat trip out to the island of Las Caletas to see the show called, “Rhythm of the NIghts”, which is a Cirque de Soleil type of show, but it depicts many myths and legends of the native Mexican people, especially from this area of Jalisco. The island itself was owned by the movie director, John Houston. This is where he lived while directing the film, “Night of the Iguana”, several years ago. He gave this island to the people of Puerto Vallarta upon his death. The island has been kept as close to being as it was in John Houston’s time as possible.
We came to the island by boat, as I said. The trip from the marina in Puerto Vallarta took about 45 minutes. As we were traveling, I told the young lady next to me, who was celebrating her 50th birthday, that the first time we took this trip, dolphins swam alongside the boat.
“Oh,” she exclaimed. “That must have been so great to see that.” The words were hardly out of her mouth when another passenger alerted us to the fact that a pod of dolphins were following us. I tried to count them, but they would dive, then swim closer to the boat, and dive again, but as close as I could count, there were at least ten of those lovely creatures, and they followed us for about ten minutes. That was indeed a highlight of our boat ride. I told the lady that the dolphins did it for her, to wish her a Happy Birthday. She smiled, being so touched.
I could not get a picture of the dolphins, of course, but the sea and the sky were so spectacular last night. All of us knew that at any minute, the clouds could come over those Sierra Madre mountains and rain on our parade, so we were grateful for the beautiful evening.
Before long, we docked at the island. As we left the boat, the crew members gave each couple a large umbrella. Just in case, they said.
We all walked up the dirt paths that were lined with votive candles to light our way, until we reached the amphitheater where the show would be performed.
I have nothing with which to compare this show, except for other Cirque de Soleil performances. Each of the performers were incredibly talented. The loose story line included many of the stories from Mexican history, such as the Deer Dance. A costumed actor, dressed as a magnificent quetzal, that royal bird of this area and Central America, flew over our heads on a wire. There was action in so many different areas, it was hard to tell where to watch, at times.
We were not permitted to take pictures of the performers or any during the show, but this is one of the paths, as viewed from the boat. As you can see, the jungle comes right down to the water.
We watched the show, the actors took their bows, we started up the trail toward the large covered area where dinner would be served. Little raindrops started falling, but it was a very light rain. Later, as we were eating, the rain came down in sheets. The little dirt paths became running rivulets of mud. By the time we had to leave to go back to the boat, the rain was still coming down like crazy. Despite the shelter of the large umbrella for the two of us, we were soaked by the time we got to the boat. All of us looked like half-drowned cats.
Once we were on the boat and all the covers were zipped into place, the crew of our boat gave us another show that was pretty amazing. These guys did take-off and lip synced songs and dance routines from Frank Sinatra, to Prince, to Elvis, the Blues Brothers, then one of the crew performed some magic with glass spheres, that reminded me of a show I had seen in Las Vegas a long time ago.
When we got back to the marina, all the rain had stopped. Puerto Vallarta was dry as a bone. Thank goodness, for I had not been clever enough to bring our umbrellas with us.
One afternoon, one of the chefs here at the resort, gave a cooking class. Yay!! I would get to learn a new recipe or technique after all.
Chef Luciano did not speak English, but I watched carefully, and one of the young girls, an employee of the resort, acted as a translator. Chef Luciano made this ceviche with salmon, so, I will give you the recipe now, because it was so delicious. I made notes while he cut things up. I have found that cooking, much like music, has its own universal language.
1 fresh salmon filet, about 1/4 pound, trimmed of skin, and cut into small cubes 1/2 red onion, chopped into small dice
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped into small dice.
Mix these three ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Squeeze the juice of three or four Mexican limes over this, add about a teaspoon of fine sea salt; drizzle with olive oil. Mix together well. Set aside while preparing the remainder of the ingredients: 1 ripe avocado, peeled, diced small
1 tablespoon capers, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Add these to fish mixture, stir well, then set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. The lime juice will cook the fish nicely in that time.
To serve, prepare thin slices of toasted baguette. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on each baguette slice, then spoon ceviche onto those slices. Serve immediately.
Chef Luciano said the cream cheese helps keep the bread crunchy, not soggy. We did not wait 10 minutes for the ceviche to sit. We ate it as soon as he had mixed all the ingredients together and put the mixture on the baguette slices. It did not taste like raw fish, so I guess the lime juice did its job quickly.
Personally, I would serve the ceviche with tortilla chips, but this was the way it was prepared for us, and, as I said, it was delicious.
Today was a quiet day for us, as the weather threatened to break loose all day long. Finally it did, although the rain waited until about 5:30 to start. When the rain starts here, it seems it doesn’t know how to fall gently. We had just a few warning sprinkles, as we were getting ready to go out to dinner.
“Should we take the umbrellas?” I asked Frank, for we were only going about 100 yards.
We decided that we should, and by the time we got down to the ground floor, the rain was coming down in buckets again. We made it to the restaurant and enjoyed a light meal, and by the time we were ready to leave, the rain had stopped. Crazy.
During Happy Hour, the waiter brings our two-for-one drinks all at the same time. By the way, this sangria is just freshly made lemonade with red wine floated onto it, and I like it very much.
Now it is dark, the rain has stopped, and we are enjoying a quiet evening, again.
I hope we get to go back to town tomorrow. We will do that, if it doesn’t rain. I will be sure to let you know how that goes.
P.S. A note regarding my blog post of earlier today: Frank told me that the song, “Lamente Bourincano,” that he requested from the musicians when we were in town the other day, is one that he remembers his father singing. That is the reason he loves to hear it now. It must be quite well-known here, for the musicians knew it right away.
Adios for now,