Touring the Cities of Jalisco, Mexico in our Motorhome.
Moving On 1
Spending another Winter in wonderful Mexico
Follow along with our adventures in Jennie the RV and Willie the Jeep
Things we've done and places we've been on this trip - Mexico 2009
There is a campground in Puerto Vallarta right behind the big Sam's Club. We drove down to check it out. We were surprised to find out that there was a space available. Last year it was full - a sign of the tough times I guess. We were going to reserve it until we found out the Internet service was an extra US$10 per day per computer. Don't think so. So we remained in Lo de Marcos and drove Willie back and forth. It’s about a 35 minute drive - if you don’t get stuck behind a loaded truck. The road is good, smooth pavement, two- lanes, and lots and lots of curves and a few hills. This makes for an interesting ride as the double solid yellow line running down the middle of the road means nothing to the local drivers. If you are going slower (less than 60mph) you will get passed - on a curve, going up a hill or with a bus coming towards you. Makes no difference. So far haven’t seen any accidents - so they must be good at it. The vegetation comes right up to the edge of the pavement and hangs over a lot of it forming long tree tunnels. Then suddenly around Bucerias you see the ocean again. From there on the area is populated - mostly with Gringos - in fact there are several RV parks there but they are full. As you drive through town you pass the area where the cruise ships dock. One day there was a huge yacht - about 175 feet long with two decks above the main deck. And behind it was a good sized U.S. Coast Guard ship.
Driving through that part of Puerto Vallarta is like driving through any US city on a beach. Highrises, hotels, two Wal*Marts, Mall, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Outback - well you get the idea. Then past many, many "all included" hotels right on the beach. But finally the street turns to cobblestone and you’re in the old district - next to the Malecón - the tourist shopping district. When a cruise ship is in it is wall to wall tourists. And all the independent vendors are out. Mostly painters setting up right on the southern end side of the Malecón before the river.
We found good underground parking that we use while walking around. It is one block before the Malecón. Easy in, easy out and car doesn’t get cooked. And not too expensive.
Strolling the Malecón area is fun. Except for being accosted every two feet by someone trying to sell you something. At all the businesses someone stands in the doorway and tries to get your attention. One of their favorite sayings is “Do you know that man who is following you?” Speaking to me referring to Bill. Or “There you are. I’ve been waiting all day for you.” “ Come friend, we have everything you want.” To Bill they say - ‘cause he is wearing a hat -“Are you from Texas:” or today “Are you enjoying your cruise?” At first it’s kind of funny then it gets annoying. I heard a guy behind us talking to his wife say “They’re all your friends until you don’t buy anything.” Seems like every other store is selling, time shares - tequila or Cuban Cigars.
Then there are the people walking up and down the street with things for sale. One with hats - 15 to 20 of them piled on his head. “Psst! Want to buy a good bracelet? Cheap.” From a guy walking beside you. And he shows you a handful of bracelets that look like sliver.
Across the street from the shops is the bay. It is big - one of the biggest in the world. Lots of boats out in it and lots of parasailors.
Last year there was quite a bit of sand art - this year there is only one sculpture. But someone has started to work on another one. Also some guy piled a bunch of rocks in an artistic manner. And is proudly standing by it waiting for donations.
I really like all the statues along the Malecón. A dancing couple - and the famous chairs and one of my favorites the ladder with the children on it.
One time we ate lunch at the McDonalds there. Tastes the same everywhere in the world.
As we walked along we passed the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant and The Hard Rock Café just to mention a few. There are lots of restaurants in this area - mostly specializing in shell fish and fish. But really you can find everything.
In our trips to PV we’ve discovered there are four places that sell the Huichol beaded and thread art. Every time we go there we go in them and drool. Such magnificent work they do. The beads are placed one by one in bees wax that has been spread on a ceramic or paper Mache form. The men’s clothing is spectacular - all hand embroidered. We asked one of the men working in one of the stores and he told us it took his wife about six months to embroider the shirt - about a year to finish one outfit - including pants and belt.
The designs they put on the figures they bead are all symbolic designs. Part of their religion. Most of them start with a peyote bloom. They use the plant in their celebrations.
Bill has spent quite a bit of time talking to the Huicholes who do the bead work. And they’ve explained to him how it is done. So - guess what the next hobby will be? One of the Huichol men offered to take us to the place where they buy their supplies so we are now the proud owners of pounds of beeswax, many, many strings of perfectly sized beads of many colors and several forms to place them on.
Both the men and the women work with the beads - they also make exquisite jewelry.
I got a Day of the Dead doll - with beaded skirt and sombrero - she’s about 10 inches high.
Typical Dance of Jalisco
One of the times we were there we walked around the main plaza. From it you can see the big church - I find the tower very interesting - it is a copy of the crown of Queen Victoria. We went in it last year while we were here. Also found a nice stained glass window in one of the surrounding buildings and the ever present shoe shine people.
Puerto Vallarta is a narrow long town. The area along the Malecón only has a few blocks inland that are level then things start going up steep hills. And just off the main street are the stores that the people who live here shop in.
Pictures of Puerto Vallarta Click Here
Click on the picture for a close up of the bead work.