Hot! Oh Nuts!




On Christmas Eve I went on a great bike ride outside of Puerto Vallarta. It was a 13 km loop from the city center, through the neighboring village and following the river up to a farm and waterfall. The hills were long, steady climbs and we passed beautiful scenery along the way.

At the top of the longest hill, we stopped to rest and saw three macaw parrots in a tree eating. They flew off just over our heads and I was curious about what they were feasting on. One pinecone like nut had fallen out of the tree and a closer look showed it was more like a coconut with a thick, husky shell. The guide broke it open and inside were seeds that looked like Brazil or chestnuts. I asked if he had ever tried them. He hadn’t, so I bit into one. It was good, like a hazelnut only with more meat. The guide tried one also and I had one more. They were hard to get out of the shell or I would have eaten many more.

We finished the ride and refreshed at the waterfall. On the way back, I admitted that I didn’t feel very good. Maybe I hadn’t eaten enough or was dehydrated. No, the guide felt nausous too. Oh nuts!

We rallied for the downhill ride back and felt better back at the bike shop. Still, back at the hotel, I worried I would be plagued by some tropical disease for the rest of my life. An hour later though, what I thought should have happened did. Talking to the guide later that day, he said had asked his friend about the strange nuts. His friend’s response: You will be clean tonight. And that I was.

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