"Oh HELLLLL No! There aren't enough pesos in all of Mexico that would entice me to hoist myself up on to that donkey!" This would be my reaction to my best friend (and travel buddy), Meriel, at her suggestion to donkey ride up to the waterfall rather than hike it. Okay, it may appear to be rather dramatic, but hear me out:
1. I am wearing a semi-short, linen skirt.
2. I am wearing a semi-wet bathing suit bottom.
3. I am wearing flippityflops.
4. I am highly suspicious about the fact that the saddles have ever been cleaned (read between the lines on this one).
5. I am very scared of equines of any variety.
Up to this point we'd been enjoying a nice drunken boat cruise down the Mexican coast, starting from our hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Yes, we'd hopped in the water earlier in the morning for about 15 mins of snorkeling with narsty communal snorkeling equipment. However, the rest of the afternoon was spent with a beer in hand, and eyes on the shoreline (or watching Meriel get surrounded by 15 man-boys as she sunbathed - haha).
Back to the donkeys, Jackasses, and my mind changing moment: walking up to the waterfall would in fact take an hour, whereas taking a donk would only take 15 min. Alright, sold.
For a brief moment it looks like it is going to take a couple of helpers to get me up onto the sucker, that moment [thankfully] passes. I struggle into the saddle, and start moseying towards the waterfall. Now let me tell you, these poor creatures have made this trip so many times, and are so tame, I had zero to nothing to fear. And, muahahahaha, the suckers who are walking are eating my dust, and stepping in my donkey's poop.
The pay-off was huge...well...visually huge. The donkey path brought us to a gorgeous waterfall in the midst of the Mexican jungle called la cascada Quimixto (there are tons of tour providers that take this trip from Puerto Vallarta, just ask your hotel). We dismounted, and headed to the cafe to enjoy some mediocre nachos, and watched people splash around in what I would consider a borderline cesspool. Don't get me wrong, it was beautiful, and a great experience - however, there was no denying that it was a huge overrun tourist destination.(*Notice the tiny support post holding up the entire foot bridge)
In the end, I really just loved that this was another travel experience that pushed me out of my lounge chair, and got me to explore more than just the lame resort we were staying at. Even though there were a few moments where I felt my wee donk was going to topple over due to the weight on its back.