Discover El Nogalito waterfall! Our river hike through the jungle of Puerto Vallarta [AED-S01E05b]

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Previously on the Adventure Escape Diaries:

In the previous episode of the #AdventureEscapeDiaries we arrived in #PuertoVallarta, ( a popular town at the #Mexican #PacificCoast in the State of #Jalisco.

Continuing our adventures of discovering…

the area we heard about the #HiddenGem of #ElNogalito #Waterfall. Apparently just a short hike along a #river through the #jungle. Sounded easy, though it was anything but easy.
Watch us stumble over rocks and through water, unprepared and completely exhausted…
Were we even gonna make it to see the Waterfall?
Does it even exist?
Tell us in the comments if we chose the right path and let us know if the outcome of our adventure was a desirable one.
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Experience through me the ups and downs of finding a new life in #LatinAmerica.
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See how it continues…

Our Move to Mexico has been a full success, despite missing our destination by thousands of miles. It was still our goal to get a residency in Paraguay and at that time our documents were valid for just over 3 months. With all the good experiences we collected on the Mexican West Coast it was hard to not lose track of our goal.

Some regularity came to our lives in Puerto Vallarta.

It seems to be a small enough town to feel comfortable and inspired by the beautiful promenade with the beach and big enough to have good infrastructure and connectivity, even with an ok internet connection. We stayed at a very reasonably priced hotel with apartment rooms with kitchen.

Our daily activities…

consisted of breakfast, a walk at the beach, a coffee shop visit to work on our projects, some dinner and then some night walks through the city. Alexandra and me took up running again and the hotel roof had a pool and some space for some calisthenics exercises and yoga.
(Watch Alexandra’s 10 min Morning Body Activation – Things were going well.

One night though…

I received some bad news from my dad. My grandfather had passed away. He had recovered a bit from the health problem he had when he was in the hospital where I saw him last. Fortunately he was able to reunite with my grandmother for a few more weeks before he then fell asleep at night and never woke up again.
A few days later they had a big funeral with many people coming from all over the country. I had no way to attend but I already knew this beforehand. I know my grandfather was proud of me, wherever he might be right now. Ever since his passing I feel his presence in my life more than ever. He is sharing all the good memories of my journey with me. I always imagine what he would comment on all the adventures that I get myself into.
He has been and always will be my guardian through life.

Kim’s and Ole’s time in Mexico was soon coming to an end.

Both of them had return flights to Europe. But both of them knew they would be back in Mexico sooner than later. As our last trip together we were planning a trip to the Nogalito Waterfall, a place just south of Puerto Vallarta.
Originally we were gonna be a group of 7 people but due to unforeseen nightly activities on part of some of our colleagues we ended up being just three of us. Alexandra, Kim and I.

We all had no idea what we would get ourselves into.

From our conversations the night before we all thought this was going to be a quick hike along the river and then a comfortable time, swimming at the waterfall. That’s why we all opted for Flipflops instead of our more resilient shoes. Also I brought my big Carry-on backpack filled with my drone, my iPad and all the tech that I was bringing for my whole journey.

This ended up being an almost disastrous decision.

The hiking path soon disappeared and the only way forward was hiking through the actual river. It wasn’t necessarily rainy season but the river wasn’t at its lowest point either. There were times were I had to carry my bag over my head to make sure it wouldn’t drown in water. Also the flip flops soon had to go. Alexandra fortunately had her water shoes with her but all that was left for Kim and me was hiking the river barefoot. That’s fine for a few hundred meters but we were not thinking that the waterfall was actually a few miles inland.
The nature was absolutely breathtaking and made the trek worth it but without having any cell phone connection nor having reaserched the distance in advance, we just kept on going.

My feet soon started to burn with every step we took.

My backpack added another 20kg to my weight of 100kg. That turned me into a 265lbs barefoot creature that slowely tiptoed its way through the river. It was an adventure though and it helped me to immediately switch off my pain center.
Kim on the other hand had to fight with a very real pain, the knee that was damaged and just in early repair after his stem cell treatment. The doctor told him not to walk too much and he vehemently ignored that advice on that trip. But now that thought was creeping up in his head.
After hours of us crossing the jungle, seeing no one, just water and the breathtaking green plants, he started worrying if there even was a waterfall or if we might have missed it somehow. We thought about options and he vehemently was pushing for turning back.
We came up with the idea of flying the drone. But for some reason the flight hight of the drone was locked at just 10 feet above the ground. It must have been somehow connected with not having any reception and not being able to connect to enough satellites through the thickness of the jungle. Well thanks DJI for that.

A fight was inevitable.

What was just meant as a short stop turned into a huge argument about Kim wanting to go back and me thinking there is no moving back. I felt like the waterfall was just around the corner. Alexandra was fine with both options but was gonna stay with me, no matter what I would decide. Thank you dear!
I felt my whole body in pain but Kim’s situation was different. He had a serious issue with his knee and he didn’t wanna risk pushing on. So we separated. Kim walking back by himself. And we would catch up with him.

What a glorious surprise!

It was not more than 5 minutes after we separated that we saw the waterfall. We yelled for Kim but there was no way he could hear us.

The waterfall was a fascinating place.

We rushed into the water, went swimming against the current and showered ourselves with the water from above. Most of all though I was proud of myself that I didn’t give up. I feel this to be somehow the MANTRA of my life. Never give up! No matter what cards life deals me. I will never give up pursuing my dreams. The hike back took even longer.

We were tired, our feet hurt and it started getting dark.

The last thing we wanted to happen is to get stuck in the jungle at night. But things worked out fine. We didn’t catch up with Kim though, he had already made it all the way home to the hotel by the time we had cellphone reception again.

In a way I think Kim was proud of me when I told him about our success. He is a motivational speaker himself and he honors people who stick to their words and follow their own plans. And most of all never give up.
Go ahead and read Alexandra’s account of the Waterfall hike in her blog at (Waterfall hike to El Nogalito without guide 🦎💦 –

With the departure of our Viking brothers the next day, our life became a lot less eventful.

Just regular good old workdays with some sunsets and beach walks. Generally a beautiful setting for all this but somehow, not quite what we were looking for. And then, to top it all off, my stomach started to act up. I am used to a pure paleo diet with my regular ribeye steak every evening. Unfortunately while traveling, that’s not always possible. Especially in Latin countries it can be hard to come by my favorite paleo cuisine. So it had to happen to me at least once.

Montezuma’s Revenge!

I really didn’t feel so great. Fortunately after a few days things got back to normal. Ever since then, my stomach was fine and I never had any issues again. Foods that helped calm down my stomach were bananas, blueberries, coconut water and herbal tea.

On a positive note…

I got news from Austria that my motorcycle was sold and the sales guy already transferred me the money. Things are working out when you set them up the right way.

Though Puerto Vallarta was just not what we were looking for.

Alexandra and me were considering a change of location. We heard many good things about the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean. So we booked a flight to go there, but first we were gonna celebrate Alexandra’s birthday. 

For that special day we booked two nights at the 5-star-hotel Mio Vallarta. We spent some relaxing time there and slowly had our Mexican West Coast adventure come to an end.
The Caribbean was waiting for us and it had quite some different adventures in store for us. It all started off turbulent with a Hurricane arriving in Cancun, just the day before we arrived…
Hear more about this in the next episode of the ADVENTURE Escape Diaries.


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