2015 MAR – PREDATOR

 

We were sitting in a wifi cafe drinking coffee and trying to decide what to do for the day. We could head North for 30 minutes to Sayulita, a beachside hippie community, or go South to Mismaloya to Chino’s Paradise where there were huge rock pools we could swim and climb.

The PREDATOR...!

The PREDATOR…!

 

But South was 5 bus rides so whIle the destination had enormous appeal, the 3 hours on multiple buses did not.

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Miguel had been listening to Francisco and I chat and came over to offer advice. He said that Mismaloya was fantastic with its jungle and river and rocks and we should go there. As we hesitated Miguel’s sister-in-law pulled up. She was in the area to do some errands for an hour and then she was going back home – to Mismaloya! When she left we hitched a ride and she dropped us at her restaurant which, by a fantastic coincidence, was just 1/2 mile from Chino’s Paradise. We had a delicious lunch and Francisco chatted with the waiters and found out that the movie, PREDATOR, had been shot up the same dirt track as Chino’s.

 

Beautiful clean, clear river. No trash. No mud.  Just so clear and clean!

Beautiful clean, clear river. No trash. No mud. Just so clear and clean!   Its so clean you cant even see the running water!

 

The Predator set was a 50 minute walk up the dirt track.
Chino’s was 15 minutes up the track.
We decided to make for the Predator set, and started walking.

 

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I found it tough going. Firstly it was midday and the sun was beating down. Secondly I’m not as young as I think I am. Thirdly the dirt track went up and down steep hills which I found challenging. Francisco being 20 years younger than me, strolled along casually while I huffed and puffed along.

Helicopter in the movie

Helicopter in the movie

 

After hiking for 40 minutes I was sweating rivers. I said to Francisco that if any vehicle of any shape or size should happen along then he was to stop it and I would pay for the ride to the Predator set. Just then around the corner came an old pickup truck and Francisco dutifully hailed it. They let us jump in the back and it took off. Some miles later the truck stopped, he was turning off he said, but added that the Set was just ahead. We climbed out the back of the truck and started walking the hills again.

I said to Francisco – I wonder if it’s just 100 meters ahead??

The “100 meters” thing had become a private joke. One day we were looking for a bank and a local said it was just around the corner, maybe 100 meters. Well the corner was 1/2 a mile away. So we walked to the corner. There was no bank. The next local said it was 100 meters down the road on the left. We walked and walked. No bank. Then we asked a woman washing clothes and she said we should continue down the road and it was 100 meters. I looked down the road and all I could see was jungle. But she was insistent. So we walked alongside this jungle bush. And walked. And walked. And after 30-40 minutes the jungle suddenly ended and there, miracles of miracles, just 100 meters along the path after the jungle ended, was a Walmart! With ATMs.

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So now as I trudged up the dirt track to the Predator Set, I wondered aloud if it was just 100 meters! About 2 hills and a mile further on (felt like 20 miles) we reached El Eden Restaurant which overlooks the film set. Lots of delicious cool shade, ice cold drinks, rocks, rivers, jungle – and the Set. It was great!

 

Restaurant overlooking the pool used extensively in scenes

Restaurant overlooking the pool used extensively in scenes

After we had explored and taken photos, and cooled my feet in the river, I refused to slog back along the dirt track in that heat. It’s not like it was downhill all the way. It was miles and miles of steep hills. So Francisco went and chatted with the staff, and for 150 pesos ($10) we could hitch a ride on a returning tourist bus. I didn’t care about the ethics at all, I just gratefully climbed on board. The bus took us all the way to a Puerto Vallarta which was a huge bonus. It meant instead of 5 buses home, we only had to catch one more to La Cruz.

Dense growth!   Thick jungle.

Dense growth! Thick jungle.

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Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I was showered, and fast asleep, by 7:30pm.

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