March 1 Puerto Vallarta will be our home for the next 5 months. Will this be the city where we retire? Only time will tell.
As we walked out of the airport, we were attacked by the timeshare sales force. Due to the “freebies” and plenty of time on our hands, we agreed. We didn’t expect to actually buy a timeshare. Hope it works out.
March 3 Happy Birthday to Me
We took a taxi to the malecon (boardwalk) but before the walk we stopped for lunch at Pipi’s and had some delicious Mexican food. Then we attempted to walk off those calories by walking the malecon with it many statues. It was a great way to spend a birthday.
March 4 City Tour
The City Tour was just OK-too much shopping. As you can see from the above photo, the cathedral has a beautiful dome. The tour included a bus ride out of town to a family owned Tequila factory. We tasted 7 different kinds but didn’t buy any.
March 5 Bay View Grand
We moved into our rented apartment with it’s glorious view. We can hear the waves crashing from the balcony. There is a lovely breeze which keeps the temperature cooler. We had a wonderful lunch at the marina. We were too full to walk to the grocery store. Job left for later.
March 6 Rhythm of the Night
Our boat left the marina at 5:30 PM for the one hour commute to Las Caletas for our dinner on the beach and then a show in the rain forest. Along the way we came upon 2 different pods of whales. The night was very special and was worth every penny!
March 13 Expat Cocktails
I found this event on the PV blog which was held at the Marriott just down the street from the Bay View Grand. I now have some names and emails to use for future questions and maybe some get-together’s.
March 7 The Dentist
I found a name of a dentist on the PV web site. They were very nice people and I think they did an excellent job for only $40 US.
March 9 Whale Tour
Our small boat left the marina at 12:30 PM. We finally saw the iconic water spout from their blow holes. Soon we were following along beside them while the male showed off for the female by slapping their fins, breaching and blowing whale cologne from their blow holes. On several occasions the cologne landed on us. Phew, dead fish cologne, just what I wanted to smell like. Our guide put a Hydrophone in the water so we could listen to their sounds. After arriving home our clothes went into the wash and our bodies went into the shower. Another great day in PV.
March 10 Campamento Tortuguero Boca de Tomates, Turtle Sanctuary was only a 20 minute walk from the Bay View Grand. The sun had just hit the ocean but we had to wait for a troop of albatros to fly away to give the babies a better chance to survive. Even with our help, only 1 in 100 survive. The picture above shows off it’s belly button. Aren’t they cute! The rocky shore was an obstacle course but 36 babies made it to the water. Best of Luck.
March 12 Our adventure for the day was to take the local bus to WalMart. No Problemo! Our best purchase was the best sipping Tequillo according to the employee that was helping us: Maestro Dobel. It’s not on the top 15 tequillos but it was very smooth and went well with the salt and limes. Notice Gary’s new apron!
March 14 We were sitting on the balcony having Lenten Huevos. Gary found the recipe and we had nopales (cactus w/o thorns), avocados, jalapenos and other good tasty items. I kept seeing boats gathered together and moving slowly left to right. I finally saw the whales (very far away) blowing water and breaching. It was a great finish to a great breakfast.
March 15 Marina Night Market
We first walked to the ATM for pesos and then on to the marina to see what the market was all about. We picked up some natural peanut butter sin azucar. Very little produce for sale. IF I had a home there were some items I would buy for a patio. But I don’t have a home. It was still fun looking!
March 16 We rode the bus into Old Town to have dinner and see a play. Dinner was at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack. I had a empanada filled with cheese and squash blossoms. Gary had ceviche. We then shared a red snapper. Our bottle of pinot grigio made the meal expensive but the meal sure was delicious. We didn’t rush so we missed the play. Guess we have an activity for next week!
March 17 Another bus ride into Old Town for the Saturday market. Still not many produce vendors but we did pick up a few items: lettuce, baby corn, thai bean, galangal, turmeric, bird’s eye chilies, patty pan squash, fresh coconut, eggplant and ground chili powder. Gary will be in the kitchen - yeah for me!
March 21 Sayulita, Mexico Our neighbors from New Brunswick, Canada, Gary & I took the local bus to the resort surfing town of Sayulita. We first stopped at the Hippy Market to see the indigenous crafts. Pom Poms were everywhere! Now ask yourself, what do I do with a string of pom poms??? Tourists were enjoying the surf. We were given a surfing guaranty. Thankfully we didn’t bring swimsuit as it looked like lots of work! We had great tacos and ceviche at Real Tacos. The bus ride rode was so much quicker, thank goodness as it was a full day of exploring.
March 24 Gary & I walked down the beach approx. 30 minutes to the El Chavo, one of many beach restaurants. You need to know it is here as it visited mostly by locals. Gary went to the kitchen to select our fish. We had a ton of food. The fish was expensive but delicious. Eating with the locals who brought their pet chicken with them - Ha Ha, what an experience.
March 25 PV 101 Walking Tour was a free tour with a donation. OK, how do you figure out how much to donate??? This would have been a great tour for day one as we already knew some of the info but we did learn some new things. For instance, There are 2 lighthouses (we are standing on one in the photo). Ships used the lighthouses to make their way to the dock that no longer exists. We also learned where to purchase oysters for Gary. After the tour when ate lunch at Monzon, a craft brewery. Food and beer were both very good.
March 31 Easter Holidays. Due to the influx of Mexican visitors we stayed close to home. Traffic and crowds increased - ugh. Our beach off to the right is full of music, vendors and Mexicans taking advantage of their city.
April 6 Botanical Gardens
Finding the location of the bus stop to the gardens was easy. The bus however, only comes every 30 minutes so we had a bit of a wait.
It was a long bus ride to the gardens but worth all the effort. The gardens have several open air building with all types of vegetation. There even is a small chapel. Gary & I shared a flank steak quesadilla which was delicious. We waited awhile for the return bus and then decided to take a taxi back to downtown. We walked from Playa Los Muertos to Florios’ restaurant. This restaurant was recommended by our PV101 guide. The pizza was excellent. I think we will be back to try their other items - STEAK!
April 8 Two day tour to Guadalajara with two other couples. Sometimes things just fall into place! I had been trying to purchase bus tickets to Guadalajara but the web site just wouldn’t accept the credit card. We were passing a tour operator in the marina and he said he had a tour to Guadalajara with just one overnight stay. Mine would have been four. I said I would have to compare prices. As we were leaving, two couples came up and heard we were thinking of going and they wanted to join us. The Korean lady even bargained the price down by $50/ person now that we were six people. Yeah!
Day one began at 5 am. We stopped for breakfast at a road side stand. Soups and stews were on offer along with hot sweet drinks and homemade corn tortillas. Our first activity was a guided tour of the archeological site Guachimontones, a complex society that existed from as early as 300 BCE until perhaps 900 CE.
Our next stop was the second largest city in Mexico, Guadalajara. We had lunch in the main plaza and then a horse and carriage ride of the old town.
I was very impressed as the ride took about 30 minutes. Picture taking was limited while on a bumpy carriage and cobbled stone streets.
Our last activity was a drive to Lake Chapala and the town of Ajijic. We parked at a restaurant on the boardwalk and went in for cocktails. A band was playing and people were dancing. What Fun! Gary & I left the group to walk the area. Because it was Sunday night, families were walking, singing, children flying kites or riding miniature roller coasters, carousels or real ponies.
It was great to see everyone having a fun evening. We watched the sun set behind the Sierra Madre Mtns. A great ending to the day.
April 9 Our first activity was sampling the local tequilla at the Tres Mujeres (3 Women) distillery. Gary bought a 5 liter plastic container of tequilla for $20 US. Margaritas here we come!
We made another stop for local tequilla before our visit to the town of Tequilla. This would have been another good place for an overnight stay as the town was very cute. We didn’t have time for the museum, just a quick photo opportunity of the town Plaza & streets.
We ended the tour with a stop at Ixtlan del Rio archeological site. From about 2000 BCE up to 1500 CE, an amazing occupation of early American settlers with a culture that perceived the sea as merciful and stormy God. The site is an example of Meso-American pre-Hispanic development in México.
Unfortunately, the site was closed for a murder investigation. A recently dead body and long ago dead bodies in the same place. Would make a good story! We were able to enter a tomb on the property with the bones and offering on display. This made up for not seeing the ruins.
It was a long two days but very enjoyable. I am glad we went on the tour
April 16 Re-do of Gary’s birthday dinner. We thought Florios would be a good place for Gary’s birthday dinner on the 14th but the steak arrived medium instead of rare so…. We arrived at Prime at 5pm. They were having a 2 for 1 on drinks. Great start to the evening. A waiter brought around the different cuts of steak - nice and thick. Another thumbs up. Dinner was delicious and the wine was very good. Well worth the big bucks.
April 17 One of walking areas is the Marina. I remembered the camera and Mr Crocodile was waiting to have his picture taken. There are 2 smaller crocodiles in the marina. The fishing must be good!
April 22 Sunday mornings I give Gary a break from cooking. I was in the mood for pizza. I tried a new recipe for the dough and we thought it was delicious. We do not have a rolling pin at the apartment so the wine bottle served two purposes: rolling pin and our beverage with the pizza. Yeah!
April 23 A two bus adventure to Boca Tomatlan, a fishing village south of PV. The village seems dependent on tourist and supplies which need to be transported by boat to Yelapa Beach. We will save Yelapa for another adventure. Our lunch was located right on the beach under a palapa roof with a wonderful breeze off the water. We chose the house speciality - red snapper marinated and then grilled in the butterfly style. This took one hour so while we waited we had beers, margaritas and nachos. Because we had to transfer to our local bus in the Romantic Zone, we stopped at Monzon. Gary had his locally crafted IPA!
I have forgotten to write about the buskers on the bus. This happened during the Easter holidays. Individual men would get on the bus, one with a guitar and another with recorded music and a microphone - very upscale. They would sing to us and then ask for donations. The one with the microphone was very good. But we had a man that might have been drunk or very down on his luck and had very few teeth. His singing should have been relegated to the shower.