Archive for the ‘Mexico – Puerto Vallarta’ Category

Mango Trees Wed. March 5, 2008

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Mango trees grow in only a few places in the United States, but here they are everywhere.  There are many areas where groves of Mangos have been planted.


However, they grow wild all over the place.


These trees can grow up to 65 feet high and some have been known to live for 300 years.    They flower in early spring.  About 10 days ago, we were greeted with the pungent pollen smell when the blooms erupted.  After a couple of days the smell got a little sweeter.  This picture shows a blooming tree that borders our parking lot at Ron’s RV Park in Lo de Marcos.


About 100 to 150 days after they bloom, the large fruit is mature and ready to pick.  At that time, large crews scour the area and harvest the crop.  It is quite an endeavor.  The men must climb the trees and cut each mango individually with a special knife that has a net to keep the fruit from dropping to the ground.  The lot next to our parking lot is not very big, but it takes a crew all day to harvest it.

As we drive this area, between La Peñita and Puerto Vallarta, we are amazed how many mango trees there are and wonder how they are able to harvest all of the fruit.

Survived, and don’t feel any older than dirt.

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Yesterday we went to Puerto Vallarta with our friends Pat and Gary.  Our objective was to have a nice lunch, but the gals figured out a way to turn it into a shopping trip.

We had been to many of the restaurants in the downtown tourist area along the “Malecon” area of Puerto Vallarta.  A little further south in the town is the Rio Cuale that flows from the mountains, through town to the sea.


At a fork in the river we located a restaurant aptly named The River Cafe.  It is an open air restaurant with some diners finding tables on balconies hanging over the river.


The area that was more “indoors” was covered with a translucent, fiberglass coated canvas roof with bottles hanging from it.


The rather pricey food was delicious.  Rick had the chicken breast in wine and mushroom sauce.  While good, was not as good as his own.  Tinka had the Mexican Plate.  This huge dish was served on a small platter and every item on it was fabulous.  Lunch, without any alcohol, came to about $50.00 US per couple.

The chairs were quite comfortable.  Cushioned, with no knobby things poking you in the butt.


According to the women, the restrooms at the River Cafe are the most modern that they have seen in Mexico. They even had motion sensor hand towel dispensers.

Near the restaurant and continuing to the point at which the river splits there was a very nice market area. Prices appear to be better than on the Malecon in the downtown area. 


Shops specialized in clothing, jewelry, tequila, and pottery.  This one specialized in masks and other wooden items.


Here are some strange masks that you might find on a professional wrestler or and S&M advocate.


Our friend Gary found a hat that he loved, unfortunately it was a shade small at the headband.


On our return to Lo de Marcos from Puerto Vallarta, we took a couple of pictures of things that have intrigued us on every trip to the city.  I wanted to mention them because they may not fit into any upcoming blogs.

These gigantic wooden doors are on, what appears to be, an old bullring.  Anyway, they are massive.  Due to the steep incline of the driveway, these doors can only open inward.  The height could easily accommodate the largest of semi-trucks.


Along the road in Bucerias, the town just north of Puerto Vallarta, we see a vendor displaying his copper pots and jugs.  The large of these are bigger than a wash tub.  He puts them out and takes them up every day.  With the corrosive salt air, I’m sure that he spends all night polishing them for the next day.



Your instinct might make you think that this is not a good combination,  but after a while, it really grows on you.

When we returned to Ron’s RV Park, our home, we had a little gathering to celebrate the horrendous birthday.

Rick was able to blow out all four of the candles on the cake and much of the loose chocolate shavings.


Tinka, in red, got busy cutting the cake while others enjoyed.


 We served up tequila añejo and Pacifico beer to wash down the cake.  We had a great time (though they may look like they are in a stupor) and want to thank everyone for attending.


Just a note regarding flags.  With the departure of our Alaskan neighbors, Chuck and Val, we’re left as the last non-Canadians in the park.  But, our Texas flag still flies high.


Friends from Home

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

We discovered that some friends from Dallas, Lin and Russ, were staying in a time-share just down the road in Nuevo Vallarta.  NV is, as the name implies, a new section of condos and hotels on the beach just north of Puerto Vallarta.  Unfortunately, the road into NV is riddled with pot holes.  No attempt is being made to fill them in.  I guess they figure that as long as the construction continues, the trucks will continue to tear it up.  So, why not wait?

We made arrangements to pick up Lin and Russ and give them a personal tour that wouldn’t be offered by the hotels.  We drove south about 45 miles and  picked them up at 9:00 AM.   We immediately headed north to tour some of the smaller towns and beaches.  Our first stop was the very touristy town of Rincón de Guayubitos.  This is a popular destination for North Americans and Mexicans alike.  Every weekend brings dozens of busloads in from the interior.  The shore is lined with hotels and the streets are one shop after another, generally selling the same stuff.  We ate breakfast down this street somewhere, on the left.


Visitors from the US and Canada are finding this town to be the perfect spot and are tossing up McMansions in great numbers.  The typical house in this area is between $750,000 to $2,000,000. and that is US dollars.


From there, we headed to Lo de Marcos.  It was a little chilly and very few were at the beach.  We were also able to give Lin and Russ a tour of our current home RV Park.


From here, we stopped in the quaint village of San Francisco, also called San Pancho.  It is more rustic than most of the towns in the area, but it is also the only one with a hospital.


Then it was back to our old stomping grounds in Sayulita for a chilly lunch at Don Pedro’s, the beach restaurant we used to frequent when the Cowboys played football.


We discovered that we were low (nearly empty) on power steering fluid, so we made only one more stop this day at Punta de Mita.  We spent a few minutes walking on the beach and then we headed back to Nuevo Vallarta.  Lin and Russ returned to Punta de Mita a few days later by bus.  They took a whale watching tour on a small boat that could handle six people.  Apparently they had dozens of close encounters with the huge humpbacks.  From what they say, we may have to try this tour.  More information on humpbacks can be found at:


A couple of days later we picked up Lin and Russ for a lunch in Puerto Vallarta.  We left the truck at Walmart and took a cab to PePe’s Taco Stand.  Unfortunately they didn’t open until 5:00 PM.  So we headed to the beach and walked about a mile to the main downtown strip, the Malecon.  After looking at every menu along the street, we settled at the “No-Name Bar and Grill”.

From our vantage point on the second floor balcony, we were directly across the street from a very long pole sticking up in the air.


On top of the pole were four men, dressed in traditional Mexican Indian outfits, playing flutes while sitting or dancing.


Notice the large spool of rope.  That should tell you that there is more to come.  After they find that a large enough crowd has gathered, they drop themselves off of their perch fastened only by one heel and spiral down upside down.


This process took about ten minutes.  This shot is as they approach the ground.


Believe it or not, they played their flutes the whole way down.


Upon reaching the ground, they scattered, along with some associates, to collect tips from the fascinated crowd.  They even found us on the second floor balcony.


From our same perch on the balcony, we were treated to a seagull feeding frenzy.  In the background of this photo are two gulls diving into the water. I hope they don’t have the same target in mind.


Followed by a large splash.


We wondered where seagulls went when they were not stalking your snacks.


We really enjoyed visiting with friends from home.  Thanks Lin and Russ for your vacation time spent with us.

Touring Puerto Vallarta

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

While Lance and Ayden were in town we thought we would take a tour of Puerto Vallarta.  With our Dodge dually it isn’t easy getting around all over the small roads everywhere.  Besides Rick is too busy driving to sightsee.

We got up very early January 1 after celebrating New Year’s Eve at the RV park.  We drove to town, about an hour south, and parked at Wal-Mart to meet our guide, Alfredo. He was very informative and took us through the old part of Puerto Vallarta.  Along with our friends Pat and Gary, from La Peñita RV Park, the motley crew hit the road.


Quit hiding in the shadows, Pat.


People think the bull fights are a favorite place to attend but in old PV the rodeo, was a Sunday tradition. (Excuse the drive-by photo.)


As we drove along the shoreline, called the Malecon, we noticed a beach full of sand sculptures.

Wise men and sand castle from the street.



Other examples taken from the sidewalk.





Up to the top of the city to get some great views.  (Note the high-rises on the far side of the bay through the hazy morning sky.)



Looking out toward the bay south of town.  The rock structure is called the arches. Click on photo to enlarge.


Here’s a close up of the arch in one of the rocks.


The Night of the Iguanas was filmed here in 1963.   It starred Richard Burton.  Elizabeth Taylor had just finished starring with Richard Burton in Cleopatra.  This was the beginning of their love affair and both were married to other people.  She was married to Eddie Fisher. While Richard Burton was filming The Night of the Iguanas, Elizabeth Taylor came down to PV and bought a house here.  Basically, all the gossip about their affair put Puerto Vallarta in the spotlight.  Before that it was a small fishing village and after 1963 people started vacationing here.

This is a shot of the area where the film was shot. The set is near the point.  Click on Picture to enlarge.


Here is a picture of one of the set buildings, near the point.


Predator was also filmed here along with about 10 other films.

Predator jungle.


We stopped to have lunch.  The restaurant is located in the area where they shot Predator.  Sometimes a diver is here diving off these rocks.  Not much water for diving today.