Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon

The English-speaking world usually translates malecon as boardwalk. But there are no boards. A malecon is actually an esplanade or promenade. The definition of esplanade is a long open level area, typically beside the sea where people may walk for pleasure.  The malecon in Puerto Vallarta is a one mile long paved walkway along the Bay of Banderas and is main attraction in Puerto Vallarta.  You can shop, eat, stroll, exercise, get a tan, people watch, swim, look at the ocean, or study the artworks along the malecon. I’m sure there is more to do but it’s the perfect place to perk up your day under almost always sunny skies.

P1030187-2

P1030186-2Puerto Vallarta’s malecon has attracted a huge artist colony and probably the most visible are the hard at work sand sculptors.  Once a piece has been completed, they spray it with a stabilizer, leave it up for a time, and then demolish it. The process of sculpting and demolishing is ongoing throughout the high season that lasts seven months.

P1030193-2P1030201-2P1030205-2These sand statues are alive. The one sitting remained deathly still while we watched the other tossing sand onto every inch of his body and even his face. I don’t know what he was coated with to make it stick, maybe oil or perhaps his sweat because he would be quite hot. The one standing is already covered in sand. I cannot imagine going through this each day as they are working for just tips.

P1030207-2My mother treated us to a wonderful lunch on the malecon and then we walked over to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The church dominates the downtown skyline and is one of the favorite landmarks in the city.

P1030212-2P1030214-2As far as churches go, this one is very young. The foundations were started in 1903 but construction did not really start until the early 1920’s. It has had several crowns, one fell off during an earthquake in 1995, and the current one was made by a famous artist since then.

P1030217-2There is a lovely courtyard on the left side of the church

P1030224-2P1030220-2The flags are called paper picado, perforated paper, and have been cut from tissue paper into elaborate designs. They are displayed for mostly religious occasions such as Easter, Christmas, The Day of the Dead and for baptisms and weddings.

P1030223-2It would be interesting to know the significance of the little door.

P1030225-2Old town Puerto Vallarta and another glorious day in Mexico!

 

A Week With Mom In Puerto Vallarta

We decided it would be easier to do things with my mother and brother if we moved to Tachos Trailer Park in Puerto Vallarta. It is very close to the airport and the marina area where they would be staying. The one hour drive back and forth from Lo De Marcos most days would be too difficult. First, there is 20 miles of a two lane winding and hilly road to traverse that used to be easy. But now that there is an up and coming Mexican middle class, more people are driving to Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara on this road. And many of these are young people with low and fast cars that travel in groups and naturally the first in line has to show how macho he is making this stretch the scariest and most dangerous we have encountered in all of Mexico.  All the crosses at the edge of the highway can attest to that.

Then there are 15 miles of four lane roads with lateral roads on each side that oversized vehicles must drive on. The problem is that the laterals start and end constantly.  I drove the Tracker and Steve followed me.  I very carefully got off onto each lateral but I skipped one that looked more like an exit for a shopping center. Steve was immediately pulled over by the Banderas Bay Transito police and I parked at a gas station and waited. The policeman took Steve’s license and gave him a citation and told him he could get his license back the next day when he paid the ticket.

We arrived at Tachos and were assigned a nice site next to the pool under many shade trees with this nice view.  Tachos is a huge park with 150 sites and is fairly full of people from Quebec.  They sure have beautiful motor homes. Most come down in caravans and are escorted by a Mexican Green Angels truck for the entire trip. I am really, really curious if each and every one of their large and beautiful motor homes has to get off onto the sometimes very small, pot holed, congested with parked cars, dirty, lateral roads. I seriously doubt it.

P1030236-2

View from our site

Looking at Tulip across the pool

This pool area gets a lot of use. The Quebecers have line dancing lessons a few nights a week with some very nice music of the variety that you can either listen to or tune out, which is often not the case in Mexico.  There were also exercises classes many mornings in the pool.  Internet is only available at the pool area and the big palapa area has plugs for computers.

Not sure of where to go to pay the traffic ticket, Steve asked the manager for directions. He called someone who told in turn talked to Steve and told him to give the ticket to the manager and not to worry. The next day the manager came with Steve’s drivers license and a copy of the paid ticket at a much reduced amount.

That same morning, my mother and brother Patrick were getting a ride to the airport in Denver for the non-stop flight to Puerto Vallarta. Then I received a text message from a niece stating my brother wasn’t coming because there was a problem with his passport and he wasn’t allowed on the plane. All I could think of was that he was somehow mistakenly put on the No Fly List. But why? So I came to the conclusion it was because Patrick has a very Irish and common first and last name that perhaps also belongs to someone in the Northern Ireland IRA. I tried to call my mother before she got on the plane but she has had an ongoing problem figuring out that her phone must be turned on for her to receive calls.

She arrived safely and we got the story on what happened. Patrick’s passport had expired so he applied for a Passport Card instead of a real passport for about 1/4 the cost. Passport Cards can only be used for Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean when traveling in a motor vehicle or by cruise ship. To Frontier Airlines’ credit they took a lot of time making phone calls trying to get an exception for Pat but no go. They did readily refund the cost of his ticket and he made his way back to Colorado Springs by shuttle because his ride had left.  What a shame! Especially after he did the planning and booking.

We stopped at a restaurant for dinner and then took mom to her hotel to check in. She had gotten up very early and just wanted to sleep so we all called it a day.

Vamar Vallarta

Vamar’s huge pool backs up to the marina waterway