We met new friends, Danielle and Jerry from the Detroit area, while sitting around the pool. (Poor babies…it has not let up at all this winter in their part of the NE.) We went on a couple of outings together. First,we went to a tapas restaurant here in the neighborhood called “Quixote’s Tapas”. We made a half dozen tapas be dinner. Though it was all good, we did have favorites, as is expected with this type of dining. We will go back! That outing went so well, we decided to accompany them on a trip into Puerto Vallarta. They thought maybe a little shopping and a nice meal. Bruce felt he could manage that since it wouldn’t require a lot of walking.
Finally, the bus! Yes, we are well enough to go on the bus, saving tons of pesos for shopping! Notice the blue curtains. Being a savvy bus rider I know to push the curtain aside before sitting down. Otherwise it is a battle with the curtain to see the countryside on the way into Puerto Vallarta. I imagine the curtains come in handy during the hot summer season. This time of the year they just seem to be in the way. The ATM bus runs from the Paradise Village Resort complex – which boasts many more hotels than just Paradise Village – into Puerto Vallarta, stopping across the street from Walmart. From there you can walk across to the shopping center, or walk a few steps to the next bus stop and catch a bus into downtown. We caught the “Centro” bus that runs down to the malecon and shopping district. If you ask the ATM bus driver when you board, it is likely that he will let you off before the Walmart stop. The airport is a regular stop, but anything after that must be requested.
The fellow above sang to us, as we rode into town on the ATM bus. It is a pretty normal event. They get on the bus, serenade you – whether you like it or not, then give you their story just before the last stop – often sad or heroic, and then ask for donations, while you are still a captive audience. If they are good, if they make us laugh, if they just make the ride fun, we tip. They get off at the Walmart stop, walk across the street, get on the next ATM bus back to the resorts and start all over.
The city buses are old, worn, and duct taped together – at times. Seriously, there was duck tape on the gear shift of the last city bus we rode! The shocks are marginal, if that – and so prepare for a very bumpy ride. In fact, hold on, or you may hit your head on the overhead. The streets of downtown Puerto Vallarta, once you leave the main boulevard are cobblestone – mostly – but sometimes there is/was construction and then the street is dirt or mud, or a combination of both, with big rocks and little rocks.
Always use caution when walking around the city of Puerto Vallarta. Hospital Emergency rooms fill quickly on cruise ship days, with tourists who stumbled, tripped, fell, and are in need of serious care. It is hard to watch where your feet are, when there is so much to see, but please use common sense and caution and you will have a great time.
We ate at Mi Querencia. We went there four years ago with Bruce’s parents. Our memories were of good food, and good service, and it was the same this time. Guacamole is one of the most obvious appetizers and at this restaurant they make it at your table. You get to decide the level of fire – spice in the avocados. It was great! Bruce and I like it mild – no problem – they left the rest of the jalapenos for the others to add to their liking. Danielle and I ordered Mexican Coffee. It was the best Mexican Coffee I have ever had – well almost. But for the style it was awesome and The Best. They had whipped ice cream in at the last and served it in a wine glass. If we hadn’t been so thrilled with the drink I might have thought to get a picture. Don’t worry, we will go back and get “ uno mas” – one more – and I will take a picture. 🙂
We walked along the malecon – the sidewalk that runs along the beach. There are always artists working or selling their work to the tourists who are milling around down on the waterfront.
This fellow was stacking rock. How did he manage it? And, why? It definitely has entertainment value. There were a lot of people watching him.
There are several interesting permanent works of art along the seawall. Many of them are quite large and hard to photograph. I did manage to work around the sun and get this photo.
We girls browsed from store to store – looking at silver jewelry, clothing, pottery, art, and anything else that caught our eye. Bruce led the way with enthusiasm, opening the door and encouraging us to take our time and shop, and Jerry held his breath, fearing that we would buy everything we saw! 🙂 And after the wonderful meal and just enough browsing to find a trinket here and there we were ready to go home.
Here is Jerry, Danielle, and me waiting for a taxi. After the bumpy bus ride we voted for a taxi ride home. It can still be bumpy due to the cobblestone streets, but still a more comfortable ride. It was a beautiful day, the food was great, the people were fun, and a good time was had by all – on our first official fun outing in Mexico.