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Our alarm woke us at 6:15am to find we were already anchored in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our shore tour for today began at 8am.  After a short walk down the gangway, we walked past all the market stalls set up by the marina, and towards our waiting tour bus. When the bus was full, the driver started the engine and we were on our way through the busy streets of Puerto Vallarta and heading towards the tequila factory for our Mexican Fiesta! Along the way our tour guide Victor, gave us all a lesson on tequila, life & progress in the city of Puerto Vallarta and more tequila. He seemed somewhat obsessed with tequila, but it made for a fun trip. Once we arrived at our destination, we made our way into the factory area, and Victor showed us the tequila making process, starting from roasting the agave cactus bulb, through to distilling the liquid that comes from it, then bottling it and drinking it. Our fourth taste test was a peach tequila, which had a similar taste and reaction to the third one, however was a little fruity and sweet. It was quite nice, but I don’t think I could drink a lot of it. Afterwards, we were all guided outside to the festivities area, where our buffet lunch was waiting for us. We had a sort of chicken curry dish, as well as taquitos and a beef & vegetable dish served with Mexican rice and a garden salad.  It was all absolutely delicious! A true Mexican feast! After lunch the party really got started when four dancers came out and started performing traditional Mexican dances for us. Once the first dance was over, our host called for three macho men to join him on stage for a tequila drinking contest. Three willing men joined him on the stage, as well as one very keen lady. The host taught us all another “cheers”, uno, dos, tres, arriba!, then the drinker would shout “salut”, throw down the tequila and then give a screeching call. After the three men did their shots and calls, the crowd then had to cheer to vote for their favourite. Next was another traditional dance, with the women dressed in their beautiful, long, colourful skirts.  As they danced around their skirts flew up in the air and flowed with the breeze they were creating.  It was such a wonderful sight to see. A man with a lasso came out after this and did a wonderful performance for us with his rope. He started with a small lasso and as the show went on he ended up with a very large lasso that he was able to dance inside and jump through.  He was amazing! The host then invited us to exit the shelter and watch the dancing horse show outside. There we saw a man atop a lovely brown horse, which was up on the points of it’s hoofs and “tip toeing” a form of dance.  It kept it up for around five minutes before the rider gave it a signal to lean down and take a bow.  To see this dancing horse show really was as special treat. One more traditional dance followed this and we all cheered and clapped once it was over. These dancers had been amazing entertainers, so we gave them and the host a tip as a thank you for being so wonderful. We all made our way back to the bus, and our tour continued with a trip into town for more shopping at another silver shop.  Free beer and margarita’s were on offer here, so we rushed into the shop to take advantage of these. After our short visit to this shop we re-boarded the bus and headed to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Here our tour guide gave us the option of visiting the statues on the water front, or going up the hill to visit the cathedral.  I had had my heart set on seeing the statues since I started researching our ports of call for this cruise, so we chose not to go to the cathedral and headed down to the water to start exploring all the statues. We started at the four arches, then made our way down past statues of Neptune, mermaids, some very art-deco pieces, as well as the ultimate Puerto Vallarta statue – the little boy riding the sea horse. Images of this sea horse statue are scattered all across Puerto Vallarta, and many bars are named after it too.  It is a very important piece to the locals as it represents their town coming of age. Across the sandy shoreline some of the locals had made the most amazing sand castles we’ve ever seen.  Several of them were indescribable as they were more ‘artwork’ than images, however there was one piece that stood out more than any others.  It was a sand depiction of The Last Supper.  Jesus and his companions stretched across ten metres of the beach, and each of them would have been about six foot high. When our 30 minutes of sight seeing were up we made our way back to the meeting point and back onboard our waiting bus to take us back to the ship. On the way back to the ship we came across some of our other Aussie mates who were drinking local beers in one of the bars that had been set up by the ship. They were selling them three for $5.  Far too cheap to pass up. We all sat and chatted and shared some drinks and laughs, as we collected more friends along the way as they passed by.  What a fun way to finish up our last port day! At 6:30pm the captain sounded the ship’s horn as a final warning to re-board the ship, and we all reluctantly made our way back onboard, ready to sail back to San Pedro, California, and the end of our wonderful cruise. END We would like to thank Jo very much for sharing both her passion for travel and her cruise experiences with us. If you would like to contribute to our blog by sharing your travel experiences with us, please contact us. Do you need travel insurance for your next cruise? Here are some great reasons why you should InsureandGo:

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