|View of the Pacific from our patio.|
Hub and I recently arrived in the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta, a seaside resort on the Pacific Ocean, for a two week vacation. Our home away from home is an apartment in the heart of El Centro, the old city, part of a home exchange deal.
The trip to our final destination began at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning when the alarm rudely awakened us. By 4:30 a.m. we were in a taxi on the way to the airport. We ran the calculations, finding it cheaper to take a taxi to and from the airport than pay to store the car in the airport lot for two weeks.
And it was too early to ask any of our friends to drive us.
Two plane rides and ten hours later another taxi deposited us at the door of our Puerto Vallarta apartment complex.
Exhausted, hot and cranky, we were glad to be somewhere.
We are acclimating to our temporary home. The biggest surprise encountered so far is the geography of the area. The mountains go down to the sea. There are three main streets, fairly flat, that run parallel to the ocean. Our apartment is about three quarters straight up the hill - really a small mountain. Directly below us is the beach and malecon (boardwalk).
By the time we go home we will be (choose all that apply):
* in great cardio shape.
* almost dead.
* the proud owners of protruding calf and thigh muscles.
* expert at walking uphill via dozens and dozens and dozens of concrete steps.
* expert at walking downhill via dozens and dozens and dozens of concrete steps.
And just to emphasize the steepness of the mountains and streets, cars (and cabs) cannot drive up or down many of the hilly, meandering, cobblestone streets. Buses stick to the three main thoroughfares. Only brave pedestrians attempt and complete the climb.
Many tourists visiting this area stay in Nuevo Vallarta, the new and expanded area north of the old city comprised of up-scale resorts offering all amenities desired within each resort's walls.
Hub and I are (choose one):
c. both of the above.
We wanted to be in Mexico, not secluded in a beach resort that happens to be in Mexico and could be anywhere in the world - including Miami Beach, which is what Nuevo Vallarta is often compared to.
So far we have sampled Mexican cuisine while lounging at tables in the sand facing the Pacific Ocean, watching fishing and sailing boats, observing brave parasailing souls, a few swimmers, and a lot of people tentatively poking their feet in the refreshing bright blue Pacific waters.
We spent last evening on Puerto Vallarta's Art Walk, strolling along city streets and meandering in and out of art galleries, all of which offered glasses of wine (white or red), pina coladas, or some other refreshing beverage.
It is a good thing we were walking...
Most snow birds have flown north and the number of tourists and cruise ships has dwindled, although not entirely disappeared. This is the shoulder season - between the craziness of winter and the emptiness of hot, lazy summer time.
Although it is hot now. 90 degrees and quite humid mid-day.
This morning we walked down the mountain to the Ley, the local supermarket. It is well stocked and prices reasonable. I am currently cooking a chicken with vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli - all local and fresh picked) which will be consumed as a late lunch on our covered patio, an overhead fan providing a welcome breeze.
We took a taxi back from the store - the cab can reach our door via a series of S-shaped narrow streets.
The store sold beer, wine and liquor. All at very good prices.
It is 5 o'clock somewhere...