Six pesos (about a nickel) is all it takes to help yourself to the finer side of life here in Puerto Vallarta. We’re here in Mexico, on the Pacific side in a town that seems to be one part Las Vegas faux luxury hotels, one part hideout for those that don’t really care to be found and then there are the people that just work for a modest living.
The six peso bus runs from the marina area here, one way all the way to the old town of Puerto Vallarta, passing the sculptured landscaping of the hotels, condos and time shares on to the part of town that hasn’t changed much in a long while.
The buses themselves are arty in a practical way, meaning they have written on the fronts and sides where the busses go. Walmart, Sams, Costco, Downtown, Marina Vallarta and more. There is a religious aspect to it as they have fabric draped over the tops of the windshields, little furry balls hanging and swaying to the NASCAR lane changes and slow speed drafting of other trucks. I kind of like the picture of Jesus watching over the driver and the plate of money collected from everyone that comes aboard.
They all pay six pesos, gringo or not. It’s fully worth it as it’s hot, muggy and not at all a nice place for a long distance walk. Getting off the bus and walking around, of course is where all the treasures lie. The floors are bare steel, the benches are hard plastic, the transmissions must be ground into dust every six months are so since none of them can find first gear without a fight.
Mexico is just different. I knew it was going to be different when I saw that bird standing in the water. It was a few days ago, we had been motor-sailing from La Paz to here and were getting close. The engine had been running for about four days and needless to say there weren’t many things to see. So I was bored and a little sleep deprived when I looked out and saw a bird standing straight legged on the water. Huh? Must be standing on a log, right? No it was perched on a turtle the size of a tabletop. Turtle was going the other way with this freeloading bird on his back. Didn’t get a picture as I didn’t figure it out until too late. Maybe next time.
Banderas Bay’s greeting squad came out to escort and entertain us. A bunch of dolphine all jumping and competing for space under the bow of the boat. I did get some pictures of that. The bay is a natural hidey hole for storm avoiding sailors. There is a mountain range that comes into the bay in about the middle, with lower lands to the north.
The marina we’re in is about a half mile from the bay, we entered a canal, turned left and motored into the marina proper which is surrounded by six to ten story apartment-hotel-time share- condos. So we’re in an enclosed canyon of hotels, with a mountain range between us and the likely path of a tropical storm. I’d go dive over the side and check the zincs and bottom but there are crocodillos here that I’d rather not meet. I’m sure the zincs are all fine.
There is a Starbucks here, and another one down the road (for backup). Life is good. Still working on the wifi to the boat thing but the Blue Bell Supreme Ice Cream shop has a signal and is willing to share so long as we buy something…ok, another moca almond fudge por favor (for you non-Texans Blue Bell Ice Cream from Hemphill Texas is a national treasure, Republic of Texas of course).
Our Española is getting better thanks to the tireless efforts of bar tenders, cashiers and waiters all over Mexico. Special mention should go to La Paz’s best (only) hamburger joint.
Check out the pics as they really do cook burgers and steaks under the hood of a sixties chevy pickup.