We walked to Old Town Puerto Vallarta today. We love to walk, and from Now Amber Resort, it wasn’t very far. That is one thing to consider when selecting a resort or hotel. How close is it to the things you want to see on your trip? Cab rides can add to the cost of your trip, although in this case, we could have ridden a bus for 10 pesos (50 cents). The walk did us good, though, and our feet were sore but happy at the end of the day. After all, the soreness wasn’t anything that couldn’t be alleviated by a nice hot jacuzzi on the balcony.
We enjoyed walking the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, talking with the street vendors, and leaving a few pesos to keep their economy going. Unlike the Caribbean side of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta seemed a little more authentically Mexican. It was here I met Eva. She giggled when I told her I had a grandchild named after her. I shared Eva Lee’s picture, and of course she said she was beautiful. Eva had an elderly look about her, but she had expert hands that within an hour had put 30 tiny braids into my unruly hair that had gotten frizzy from the humidity. I haven’t had to worry about it since. I’ve been able to swim, take a shower, and get ready for dinner in minutes, thanks to Eva, because instead of muscling through tangles, I just dab it with a towel and go!
We also met Oscar, best salesman ever, who found out our whole life story within minutes, had us laughing and tasting his top shelf tequila (24,000 pesos, or $120 per bottle), and even tried to talk us into hearing a timeshare spiel, the trick we had avoided at the airport and slipped right into on the street! No money exchanged hands… the timeshare thing turned us off. But this guy could sell ice to an Antarctic researcher! He told us he’s going to Alaska for the summer to manage vacation cabins. Look out, Alaska!
In Old Town we wandered through a local flea market, walked along the beach, photographed several sculptures, and checked out Our Lady of Guadelupe, a Catholic church and the pride of the town square. Built in the 1930s, it watches over Old Town with its crown-topped tower.
Finally, we met a friend of Eva’s, who talked us into buying a boat ride on the Bahia Alegre, out to the Marietas Islands, a ring of uninhabited volcanic islands an hour or so northwest of Puerto Vallarta. They make up a federal reserve, so we’re hoping to see some cool rock formations and wildlife. We weren’t sure about buying a tour from a street vendor, so hopefully, there will actually be a boat to board when we arrive at the marina! If there is, it will lead to another story, I’m sure.
As much as we enjoyed our all-inclusive resort, it was fun to rub elbows with the precious people (and other residents) of Puerto Vallarta. It has been a tough time for them with few tourists and no cruise ships. It felt good to know that we had helped the economy, even if only a bit.