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MARCH 09, 2006
Swimming With Dolphins: A Dream Fulfilled

Vallartaadventures
OK, I know I said I was going to post from Puerto Vallarta, but with the beach, the margaritas, going out at night ... it's not really time to sit in front of the computer doing work. But, fear not, I'm going to recap my favorite moments from the week. Starting with this.

If you go to PV you M-U-S-T head to Dolphin Adventures up in Nuevo Vallarta. Set among the big, obnoxious tourist resorts, the dolphin sanctuary is a haven for any lover of animals or sea life. Swimming with dolphins was a life-long dream and while I would have much rather encountered these gentle, brilliant mammals in their natural setting, I was happy to just jump into the pool with them.

At first, having this large creature swim at me with its mouth open, exposing 88 sharp teeth, was a tad daunting. But when you realize how tame and sweet they are, that all they want is to be loved, how smart and trainable they are, you realize they are as scary as your own dog.

D_adolphinswim

The highlight for me was, at the end of our time when everyone was climing out of the pool, I called over to our trainer, Alex, a PV native, and said, "What if I want a ride?" He looked around, called me over and said, in Spanish, "Voy a decirle que es tu cumpleanos" (I'm going to tell them it's your birthday). A few seconds later, I found myself riding belly-to-belly on an upsidedown dolphin named Nacho. The feeling of being towed around by this gentle creature was exhilarating. I wish I had a picture.

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