A Hemingway Adventure in Puerto Vallarta: burnt, shredded feet…by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff


Let me begin sharing this adventure with the thought that I had an awesome time experiencing feet on fire and deeply shredded.

Puerto Vallarta is breath taking; the Pacific Ocean is bordered by the Sierra Madre Mountains.  The skies are a crystal blue all day long.  The sun shines producing spectacular temperatures…for those who appreciate this weather.

Having arrived on Wednesday morning, one of the  things I was most looking forward to was running those beaches towards the mountains.  I couldn’t wait for Thursday morning to arrive.  After a bowl of granola and some coffee, I got changed and went out and enjoyed a run on the beaches; the sun was waking up over the mountains and the waves were crashing as I alternated jogging and running to my music playlist.  The run was so very exhilarating and cathartic.

I spent the next six hours lying by the pool and listening to my Ultimate Hippie Playlist…473 songs to trip out to under the sun’s rays.  Having had such a great run in the morning, I decided that I wanted to go for a walk on the beaches and get as close as I could to the Sierra Madre Mountains.  I quickly got changed into shorts, hat and my music strapped to my arm.  I anxiously made my way down to the beach and headed out.


The first twenty minutes were quite easy, as it simply was the beach area that I had run in the morning…I did notice that it was a little “hotter” than the morning, but didn’t think anything of it.  I climbed over a couple of breaks and suddenly was introduced to the black, pebbly sand of the Pacific Ocean.  The pebbles in the sand were definitely noticed and the sand kept getting hotter.  But, I was determined to get as close to those mountains as possible (see above).  Little did I know that it would only get more “interesting”.

Making my way over the break, I was met with a good hundred metres of sharp pebbles and stones of every size and colour.  There was quite literally no way to get around it…I either had to turn back and not get any closer or hop, step and jump my way across this fiery field of sharp shards of stones.  Well, I got half way through and I was almost in tears.  The heat on the stones was like walking on fire, while my feet were completely shredded…bleeding everywhere.  I could see a grass bluff about twenty metres ahead and I was determined to make it.  There was this little voice inside that said there’s no way that Neil, my adventurous brother, would quit now.  So onward I proceeded.

I made it to the grass bluff and for ten minutes walked on the cooling grass.  I sat there smiling under the hot sun for about fifteen minutes, when suddenly I realized that I had to make it all the way back to the resort.  There was a feeling of both “Oh shit, how the hell am I going to do that?”, while another part of me said: “You can freakin’ do it, just look it over a little better and you’ll make it!!”


Looking back towards the resort I saw that if I could navigate through a field of sharp stones, I could make it to some water…I took a deep breath and danced through the field of rocks…making it to the water, I smiled and put my feet into the cooling water.  Though it wasn’t soft sand beneath the water, the cooling water felt orgasmic.  I said to myself that if I could make it through that last field of stones and pebbles, I could make it back to the resort!!

Surprisingly, like the conquering hero, it got increasingly easier as I made my way home.  The stones were hot, the pebbles like fire, my feet burned, the blood dripped…but, I felt great.  The Old Man and the Sea had nothing on me…I found pieces of shade and cooled my feet.  Once I got back to my running area, I made my way down to the Pacific and cooled the old puppies off.

The resort was in site, cooling water was just metres away…I felt like a character in a Hemingway novel.  I hadn’t survived the Big Fish, I had conquered the white hot pebbles and shard like fields of stones.  Yet another adventure on this journey called life.

What’s that you ask…why didn’t I wear flip flops or runners?  If you ask, then you really don’t know me.


2 thoughts on “A Hemingway Adventure in Puerto Vallarta: burnt, shredded feet…by Chuck Duboff

  1. A rather interesting , but like you say, knowing you, you weren’t going to let it get the better of you. Stubborn is another word and we all have that trait when it comes down to crunch time.
    Beautiful day here in The Peg and your feet would be real cool right now as it is starting to snow along some rain showers.
    Great read, stay the course as they say.


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