Our exercise days of walking up and down mountains over - for now!Hub and I returned home following two weeks in the Mexican resort community of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast. We had a lot of fun, ate too much fattening food, got in shape walking up and down hills, toured local attractions, spent lazy days reading and relaxing on our apartment patio, and suddenly it was over.
I want to thank Mexico for our adventure.
I made fun of some of our experiences, especially the heat, the unending variety of tacos consumed and did I mention the heat? But...
American stereotypes concerning Mexico involve immigration, migrant workers and drug cartels. I realize there is a lot more to the country.
A few of my vague ideas about Mexico blown, modified, and relearned:
I did not see overwhelming, gut-wrenching poverty.
I realize most locals we met are in the tourist industry and supposed to be friendly, but the friendliness, helpfulness and amiability of everyone was a pleasant surprise. As a New York-area person, kindness to strangers is not necessarily a common trait, whether or not one works in the tourist or other people-oriented industry. I hear people complain all the time about the surliness of Atlantic City hotel workers.
Salespeople in stores and on the streets actively attempted to solicit our business, but did not accost or berate us, but after two weeks it did become wearying. And like in so many countries (including our own), the buyer must beware.
The climate is ideal for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful, fresh and delicious. Tasting new foods is one of the joys of travel.
I have, however, seen and eaten enough peppers for a while. Not just red, yellow and green bells. Hot peppers of all kinds grace most meal - chile peppers (green, red, banana, etc.),
cayenne, jalapeno, habanero, and lots of others...
A Mexican food staple I can live without is beans - fried, refried, smushed - forget it, I am definitely not a bean fan.
Mexico, I owe you an apology. I am one more American visitor unable to speak your language. I should be able to do better - I took Spanish throughout high school, but language was not one of my better subjects. And many decades have passed since sitting in a classroom. Should I return I hope to do better - I will study a bit beforehand, although I think I promised myself this in the past. Somehow life gets in the way.
Anyway, my point is I want to thank you, Mexico, for a great trip. I enjoyed our stay and hope to return to another part of your country someday. A cooler place in the highlands or mountains.
Adios, amigos, hasta la proxima vez!...until next time.