Puerto Vallarta

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I wrote that we did not drive today. Well, Ken did drive, he drove to about half a block away to get our van washed. Fernando washed it for us for sixty pesos and did a wonderful job.

We took the bus into town and wondered around in the Sheraton to find a cash machine. It was truly the resort experience there with tropical fancy plants. Then across the street to the little Telcel shop to hooked up. The workers in the shop were friendly and trustworthy. We decided to return to the campsite with the iPod and the money.

The morning revealed a few new neighbours in the next campsite.

We returned to the malecon with a very crazy and speedy bus driver. We walked all over enjoying the Zona Romantica and the Mercado by the river. We found a friendly, expensive beach front restaurant with huge margaritas. You even had to pay for chips and salsa, not the usual for Mexico. We watched the sunset, PV has the greatest, brightest sunsets.  We walked until finding an acceptable restaurant where we sat out on a little balcony. It was still warm outside but dark. We went for our first Christmas Eve ice cream cone - "neuz" was the flavour, whatever that is. Later we figured out "nuts".

Christmas eve in Puerto Vallarta

We had a less bumpy bus ride home but the buses where full up. Once home we went out in the pool. First Christmas Eve swim in an outside pool -very refreshing after the very hot day.

We saw Santa Claus parasailing beside the Puerto Vallarta malecon. He was noticed by one and all.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

We did not eat breakfast until lunch time. 

Before eating we phoned home to check our Skype connections.  That might seem weird but our friend Mikey was there for Christmas and a few weeks after that. He even brought his turkey over from Vancouver to cook up at our place. 

We phoned Charlene and Mike (Sister and Brother-in-law). He was ice fishing but it was sunny there in Estevan, Saskatchewan. 

Charlene was taking food to the home where Sandy now lives (Charlene's Sister-in-law). The McDavid family was going to spend Christmas dinner there with Sandy. 

Dad was at Charlene's for Christmas and was enjoying Kelly's (the youngest Niece) two dogs - Penny and Chili. 

Kelly was enjoying her day and sent pictures to Ken and visa versa. 

I phoned my friend Alix but she was too busy preparing lunch. I will phone her tomorrow. It was great to talk to friends and family.

We took the bus into town which was very busy, so many Mexican families on holidays. There were many decorated fake trees and huge decorations on the malecon and elsewhere.

We then took the bus into the Basilio Badillo area and walked around them too. It was just before where condos stated going up into the hills. We saw theaters and wonderful restaurants some over looking the ocean and the sunset. We walked up one street and down the next in sort of a zigzag pattern. We did not have the usual big Christmas dinner. 

I saw a donkey actually being authentically used, carrying stuff.  I went over and petted him but did not take a picture (kick, kick myself).

Basilio Badillo area school wall.

I also saw an airedale terrier on the malecon and followed him for a while until his master realized what I was doing (I love airedales, we have been fortunate enough to have had two give us a life time of joy). Two special Christmas treats! 

Dinner at Mr Pulpo.

Supper at La Bohemia Cafe

Good eatery to check out later. Taquitos on Av. Mexico

The malecon was packed with families enjoying Christmas Day as we did. A tropical Christmas was unique yet wonderful and magical from the nativity scene made out of sand on the beach to seeing the donkey packing his wares. It was a great first Christmas in Mexico. Ken even went in the pool when we arrived home after our downtown fun.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

We had two weeks worth of dirty laundry to get laundered. We just had to carry it to the mall on the east side of Tacho's RV Park and be back by 8:00 pm to collect it. Great way to get your laundry done.

I Skyped Alix back on Gabriola, miss her. I woke her and Andrew up not realizing the time difference. Oops!

Finally we found ourselves on the bus to Nuevo Vallarta. It was a more posh bus then we had been on in PV. Straight to our stop at Paradise Mall. 

For the day I retraced where Sharon V. and I were in Nuevo in March of 2012. One of my favourite spots was in the Paradise Mall - Nopalitos for the best frilled tacos ever. 

At some point we walked passed another orange iguana. He was trying to get back into the fenced, jungly area. Hope he found his way. 

We walked several kilometers to Aqua Adventures. I had a big, green parrot sit on my arm and take a sunflower seed out of my mouth - thrill of a life time. Hope Ken got good pictures. I just wanted to hug the parrot but "no touching".

We also saw a very spritely Yorkshire Terrier, too.  I mention that because I would like to get a Yorkie.  At the end of our outside walk we toured part of the Ocean Breeze Hotel Nuevo Vallarta by Sea Garden. 

We also toured the Grand Mayan - the pools, the sanctuary, one of the gardens and the area with the huge statues of the ancients.

At home we cooled ourselves in the pool, this our first Boxing Day in Mexico.

Friday, December 27, 2013

We woke up in the night to pouring rain, we woke up in the morning to pouring rain - ugh! 

We tried to make decisions about moving to a hotel or moving south. We had paid for a week at the RV Park, too. In the end the status quo won out and we remained at Tacho's. 

For most of the afternoon and early evening the rain remained, but by one it started sprinkling rain on the malecon, we headed for the bus home.

A good day starts with a pet to a friend. Tachos has a few horses.

We had a painfully slow start to the day because of the rain. 

Once we were out and about we walked the three point six kilometers to the other trailer park to see if we should move there.  It had lots of shade and was quieter, not that Tacho's is that noisy. Tacho's remains #1 in our minds - pool, shade, close to the bus, etc. We discovered the back areas to not be as groomed or as funky as the tourist areas.

New bridge, but no roads to it.

Walking became a big part of our afternoon and evening experience. 

There were many more people out on a Friday evening then other times on the malecon. 

We again walked up to Thersa's Restaurant. This time instead of being closed they required reservations. Ken was disappointed, no pastel chocolate. We are getting more familiar with the area at the end of the Malecon and to the east of it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

It rained hard for a while before we were out of bed. But then it was mostly cloudy all day, also warm to hot. Weather was very nice for what we wanted to do.

We easily caught the bus to Bucerias. It was about a forty minute bus ride into the town of Bucerias from Walmart or Sam's Club. Nice breeze coming in the window of the bus.

Today was a good day.

By the time we arrived in Bucerias (love saying the name) we were hungry and ready to eat. We found many great places. It appears to be a more quiet, more gentrified, upscale, more funky less junky place. 

There was construction in the main area just above the beach. Lots of wonderful upscale and wonderful restaurants, little art galleries, too. 

After drinks, we remembered that my sister Charlene wanted us to check out a place - Los Arroyos Verdes in Bucerias.

It is and up the highway away from the beach. An eighty peso taxi ride or a forty-five minute walk to the beach. It was very lush, tropical and funky with a big pool. It was quiet and secluded.

The units were clean, upscale/modern, yet funky. We met the owner and her pooch.

Staff was just finishing the clean up for this casita.

Nice pools have an island.

Not sure what it is, have to find out. We did book Los Arroyos Verdes for the week with Mike and Charlene.

We walked back into town via a country road. We had the cutest dog following us. We was he thinking - "hey, maybe they will take me home"? The walk back was very rural - horses and dogs, lots of mud.

We ate at a restaurant that was full of locals (always a good sign) - great food with big portions ( Viva Mexico Cabrones). Then we caught the bus from Bucerias.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We took the half mile or point eight kilometer walk to Walmart. Our aim was to get up early and leave early on our days adventure. Well, ten AM was our "early" for that day. Once at Walmart it was off on the bus to La Cruz (the bus did take us right into the town). By car it would have taken us thirty minutes if not busy on the road, by bus (the slow city bus that makes many stops) it took over an hour. 

Mike and Charlene's donated umbrella served us well in the rain.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit has a huge marina. 

You walk along by the shore to the market which also has fish market selling huge fish. 

The biggest red snapper I ever saw was for sale at the market. Mexicans as well as Gringos sell at this market. The market was crowded and busy. 

Most goods were arty like jewelry and paintings. There were Mexican arts and crafts from many areas of the country. Artisan food was plentiful and reasonably priced. 

La Cruz seemed like a sleepy little town but had lots of people attending the market, plus lots of people from the surrounding condos or time shares. 

We went to a restaurant with jazz playing. Not our favourite sound track for life.  Some people were really enjoying it. Really good staff, chocolate flan and coffee for Ken.

Classic market photo

We took a bus to the highway, waited under an overpass and caught another bridge to Sayulita. That was at least another half an hour bus ride from LaCruz to Sayulita. The ride was through a jungly looking area. A continuous line of traffic leaving Sayulita was like a traffic jam back home (it had been market day). 

We landed at an obvious bus station. It started raining almost as soon as we got to Sayulita but we walked around, even by the beach. We found the green iguana tree, saw only one iguana on it though. 

Coco Frio

How many dogs sleeping in boxes?

Just the two today, if you count Chihuahuas dressed as santa.

We ate on the second story of a tall restaurant. The rain was still coming in on us via an open air window (well, sort of a window). Ken artfully arranged our umbrellas to ward off the sprinkling rain. Good thing we had umbrellas and Ken had a rain ponchos.

We had to walk through deep puddles to the bus.  Walking in water covering our feet. It was almost two from Sayulita home which included a quick trip to Walmart.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Today was to be a day of staying at the RV Park. 

The rain and lots of it, deterred us from venturing very far from the van. 

We took wet and damp clothes in to be laundered and tried our best to dry ourselves and clean up the van, then it started raining again.

Ken worked at the front office where the internet is faster. He did mostly e-mailing - a few to my sister Charlene. Her and her husband Mike are working at making arrangements to come to PV in early February 2014. That would be such fun. It is the debate over an all inclusive or not, and where to be situated. Too many options. Ken finally decided to down load all our pictures from the trip to date (about 900 and some). He started picking pictures for the blog.

We walked to the mall just the side of the RV Park - to the east of us. We had yummy, authentic tacos for lunch including all the condiments. 

I typed pages and pages of the blog. I can not complain. Last year I had a broken shoulder and could not type at all.

At supper time we took a bus the half mile to the big Walmart Mall with Liverpool and food courts. The food situation did not appeal and we ate, of all places, at Walmart.

Sleep came easily at the end of this cool, rainy day.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve - If you can remember it, did it really happen?

We stayed and blogged at our campsite until we felt it time to go downtown and start celebrating. We took the bus into town to eat at a Chinese restaurant - Archies Wok. It was by far the best Chinese food we have had in Mexico. Great atmosphere, too.

We moved on to the Cafe Bohemyo so Ken could consume surgary carbohydrates. There was a lady that worked there that was from Dallas, she was the welcoming committee. We also met a couple there that had to return to a snowy, cold New York City the next day. They had been coming to PV for the last ten year at this time. The fact they choose the Cafe Boheme was promising.

We walked the malecon and around Old Town some more until I realized I was hungry again. Fajita Republic looked appealing because there were so many people there plus because of the hanging, wicker lanterns. 

Walking into an argument between a patron and the waitress was amusing. Seems the patron felt the restaurant "should take American Express". Well the lack of empty tables seem to settle the discussion but he wanted more. The owner or manager finally came into the fray to weigh in and just simply concluded, "Go away". Well the patron felt the issue needed more discussion, so after some discussion the patron finally paid cash. Amusing waste of time. 

We sat beside a young couple from the prairies of Canada amused as well by the banter. She had an American Express from her mother to use.  They chose PV for this week, this rainy miserable week in PV. They were choked and had to soon return to the freezing Edmonton, Alberta winter.

Back on the malecon we felt it start to rain again. We both realized that if it starts pouring the crowded malecon will evacuate to the buses or taxis (no buses by that time on New Year's eve we discovered after a lengthy wait). We took a taxi after wading through puddles up to our ankles.

Overall, it was a great New Year's Eve and a tropical paradise!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014 NEW YEARS DAY 2014!!!!!!!

When we woke up at about 8:00 it was actually quite cool, cool enough to remind us of camping in BC in late summer. Going back to sleep seemed very enticing which is exactly what we did until almost noon. Not our usual style but certainly a laid back start to our new year.

Needless to say we sort of skipped breakfast. We got ready to go out and eat. Our van and accompanying "stuff" needed rearranging and needed a serious drying out.  The sun peeked out a little and it was much hotter by noon, Our shoes or sandals dried out, and it did not rain again today. It is so much more pleasant now.

Our bus rude from in from to the RV Park into Centro was interesting. We ended up going south and east of town through two tunnels, then into Centro. This gave us a different perspective plus we found the Municipal Mercado. Good shopping for artisan arts and crafts. We finally ate at a very basic, authentic Mexican restaurant. We had a breakfast style meal.

Today we officially met Ron and Vicky from Mission, our BC neighbors from the RV Park.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

We woke up early enough, but luxuriously slept in - again. While we had stuff spread out all over our brick pad to dry, another Canadian came to chat bringing magazines. She and her husband are from the Yukon and have been coming down to Mexico for years. She also brought over two bottles of white wine. Very nice to talk - obviously a generous, kind person. 

Dia de Reyes, a traditional holiday in Mexico. Our first glimpse of the pastry for the day.

We took a bus right down to the main church, up from the Malecon. Up a side street from the church was a veggie restaurant with a buffet. Likely the best food I had in Puerto Vallarta - it just gave me a good sense of well being, such delicious food. 

We walked up the hill from there. Across the bridge to Old Town.

Up kitty - corner from the north, east corner of the mercado we met Fernando. He was a very well spoken (English) Mexican man. We talked at least half an hour about family, his culture, his trip to Saskatoon (dude went in the winter to visit a friend) and life in general in PV. So lovely to have met him. Ken thought it was cool the way he said goodbye and commented that he didn't mention a time share. lol.

We walked to the malecon. 

There we saw a woman trying to find a good home for two little puppies. 

We also saw a sunset wedding. We discovered that in the state of Jalisco as if January 1, 2014 same sex couples can marry. 

The stroll along the malecon was cool and beautiful.

At home we readied our camping equipment to get an early start to points south.

Loving couples, modern and traditional.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Today we decided we must move onto points south - Melaque  and Barra de Navidad. 

A few quick parting shots of the grounds at Tacho's

Showers at Tacho's

Us packing out again, from Tacho's site 42.

We drove through Puerto Vallarta on the road beside the malecon. Not a lot of tourists get to drive their cars like we did, like that, in Puerto Vallarta.

Driving through PV on highway 200, heading south to Manzanilo.

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