San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Tell it like it is, or was.

Moderator: freeeye

San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby fmr pnw » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:20 pm

We recently went on a birdwatching trip with Alejandro Martinez Rodriguez, birdinginmexico@gmail.com. Because the migratory species are late arriving this year (they normally arrive in October, but haven't yet begun to appear), we didn't see a lot of birds, but the trip was still memorable.

We drove to San Sebastián, stopping at Hacienda Jalisco, which was closed, but the caretakers there let us in to poke around. Alejandro explained about the silver mines and pointed out some of the equipment that was still in the courtyard, talking about the mules that would have driven it.

Next, on to the tiny village of Real Alto, where we looked inside the church, which was far larger than a community that size could support. Beautiful altarpieces and other items, all of which had to be taken there either on the backs of men or mules. Alejandro told me that people make a pilgrimage to it, walking up the steep and winding road from San Sebastián. I am not Catholic, and no doubt someone who is would have understood more than I did, but it was a wonderful trip.

From there, we headed down the bad road to the fork we'd passed, taking the other leg onto an even worse road (so glad we weren't the ones driving!), which was also even more windy and steeper, and drove up to La Bufa. I'd heard about this place, but couldn't imagine how it could be possible to see so far -- all the way to Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas. The road kept getting worse and worse, practically like driving over a stream bed (and, in fact, we did have to ford several streams, but the road was smoother there). Finally, we stopped and Alejandro parked, and we got out of the car and walked maybe a km, more or less, (going up to 8,000'), to the viewpoint. Of course there were low clouds over Banderas Bay and Vallarta, but you could see all the way to that point, and could imagine seeing Vallarta and the whole of the bay. It was pretty incredible. Spouse and our daughter, in whose honor we took this trip, continued about 10 min up to the very top, but by that point I felt as if I'd seen enough. As Alejandro promised, you'd see 360 degrees: out toward the bay to the west, then the mountains to the east, north, and south, and La Bufa was the highest point. Alejandro also explained about the geography.

Then we headed back down to San Sebastián, but we weren't quite done yet. He knew about an Italian restaurant, which had a beautiful courtyard, even if it wasn't open, so he went in to check, and it turned out to be open. Restaurante Montebello was fantastic, and the setting was magical. The owner-chef explained that he makes everything from scratch, the breads, pizza and dough, pasta, everything. It was an extraordinary trip.

Alejandro charged us$90 per person for the trip itself, so we gave him us$300 for the three of us and bought him breakfast. I recommend him highly!

saludos cordiales,
Gayle
fmr pnw
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby rafter » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:15 pm

Wow! Quite a trek. Thanx
rafter
 
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:12 am

Re: San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby kcowan » Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:48 am

I hope you tried their homemade Limoncello at Montebello. We have had amazing Italian at that restaurant. Almost worth the trip by itself.
For the fun of it...Keith -
User avatar
kcowan
 
Posts: 2867
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:43 pm
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49

Re: San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby fmr pnw » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:13 pm

Hi Keith,

Yes, he offered it, and it was just one more lovely part of the meal and the day.

saludos,
Gayle

(and to Rafter, thank you! I LOVED all your trip reports)
fmr pnw
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby iyamscifi2 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:42 am

the food is outstanding at montebello---never can understand why the tour buses go elsewhere. (unless that has changed)
iyamscifi2
 
Posts: 693
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:48 pm

Re: San Sebastián del Oeste, Real Alto, and La Bufa

Postby Kitchacat » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:34 am

iyamscifi2 wrote:the food is outstanding at montebello---never can understand why the tour buses go elsewhere. (unless that has changed)


The restaurants that serve the tour bus crowds have to hit a price point the tour company will pay, if a meal is included in the tour. If a meal isn't included, the restaurant still has to have an offering at a price that competes with the cheapest on the block and pay the cruise company a commission for steering business their way. Either way, They must be prepared to be slammed with forty impatient diners. Given that Montebellot is small and it's usually just Walter cooking, it's wise of them not to pursue the tour bus business.
BTW, Coco is a native of San Sebastian and Walter is of Italian heritage having come to Vallarta working on a cruise ship.
Open your mind, your heart will follow.....kd lang
Kitchacat
 
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:17 pm


Return to Trip Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest