Today I got 11 stitches rock climbing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico [031]

Warning: Bloody picture will be shown at bottom of post! The avocado toast picture is just a picture of some avocado toast I made today.

Today, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I took the bus south to Mismaloya to look for some rocks to climb. As we drove south along the Pacific coast, I admired both the rock formations to my right, the ones jutting out of the ocean (which turned out to be the famous Los Arcos) and the rock formations to my left, the classic side-of-the-highway rock that I would describe as composite… a mix of different rocks and colors… “mutt” rock.

So I hopped off the bus a few stops before the town of Mismaloya and tested the side-of-the-highway rock on a gently sloped jagged rock. It looked doable.

I found a couple footholds and got on the rock. I found an undercling with my left hand and looked upward to survey the routes. The undercling gave way and suddenly my left hand was free and rocks were bouncing down the slope behind me. I quickly glanced behind and below me to see if the rocks at bounced into the roadway, (they were large enough to cause a flat tire) and I felt a wave of relief to see that one of the larger rocks had stopped just short of the white line.

I then glanced down at my left leg, because I had felt one of the rocks scrape it. There was a gash on my calf the size of a small slice of pizza. The skin flapped uselessly and blood gushed down my ankle. There was some whitish cartilage-looking stuff mixed in with the red.

And with that, the climbing expedition was over! I stepped down from the rock and took off my shirt to wrap the wound. I walked to the nearest bus stop and took it back to Puerto Vallarta. A passenger was nice enough to walk me to the nearest doctor. Ten minutes later, he was stitching me up. Thirty minutes later, he was done.

I wasn’t carrying my wallet, so I only had 300 pesos with me. The bill was for about 1,000 pesos ($55), including the antibacterial medicine and extra bandages. The pharmacy assistants (in Mexico it’s common to have a pharmacy connected to a doctor’s office) were not keen to let me go without paying, so they forced me to leave my cell phone as collateral while I walked back to the hostel to retrieve my wallet. I returned, paid the bill, and went on my way.


After the doctor had stitched up the layer under my skin, but before he did the skin stitches, I had him take a picture of his work. It’s not too gross. Actually there’s beauty in the richness of the red and the curvature of the wound. IMG_20170712_123924.jpg

I wouldn’t want to leave a bad taste in your mouth, so here’s a picture of the avocado toast I made when I got back:


Well… no more rock climbing for the week! Time for some good old fashioned Mexican hitchhiking!

Comments? Questions?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: