Thursday, January 28, 2010


"Modern travelling is not travelling at all; it'a merely being sent to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel". John Ruskin

Rather than taking a week or 10-day package tour both myself and Rita decided to holiday in Puerto Vallarta in mid December of last year and stay there for one month.

Here,I would like to make some distinction between two aspects of holidays.

The first one is a short vacation to a place for few days, visit some places of interest,museums,parks,historical buildings, etc or just relax and return or proceed on to another place.

And the second one is an extended vacation mostly to just one place,stay there for longer period of a month or more; soak into and enjoy the life, culture and customs of the city or the region beside the usual sightseeings.

Keeping the latter aspect of vacation in mind with its lengthened feature we ventured out to the beautiful bay city of Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coastline.

It took almost whole day to reach there from Vancouver,thanks to extra hours set aside for air security checkups.

Our neighbour in Vancouver, Angelo, who arranged for our stay and who was already in PV, received us at the airport. A 45-minute drive brought us to downtown of the city,called Centro, and there up the little hill our condo, a one-bedroom, furnished with workable kitchen was all set by our very friendly host Octavio.

After the brief settling down and freshning up, Angelo walked us down the hill to the grocery store, and said 'adios' (good-bye) to let us find our way back to our apartment.With grocery bags we started to figure out which 'calle' (street) goes to our new home, and despite being overly confident we lost the way but somehow managed to come back to the store to hire the taxi as we decided to play it safe on the first day of our aspiring vacation.

Tired because of the exhaustive journey overladen with two hour ahead time difference that after a quick dinner we retired for the day.

From the balcony of our centrally located unobstracted view apartment an awesome spectacle of the semi-circle Pacific ocean bay with rhythematic beats of the ever busy waves greeted us the next morning.

And down there along the beach, right in the heart of the town,was the main hub of the city, called Centro, which was merely a five- minute cobblestone walk from our place.We instantly got the subtle vibration that our stay in Puerto Vallarta was going to be exciting as our base camp up on the hillside was conveniently located to offer an excelling combination of typical city hustle and bustle and the nature’s own mighty waves' non-stop show.One can turn toward the ocean or turn toward the city,both ways it was fun.

Maxico is indeed a great country to visit,stay and have full pleasure which is worth every peso. It is indeed very much culturally rich,in music,arts,architecure and of course its ever exciting cuisine.

The hub of the Centro area is the vibrant Malecon Street with quite wide paved and illuminated sidewalk just along and above the shoreline.It is a place not only busy with people,tourists and locals both, but with venders selling from snacks to paintings along with super sales people marketing timeshares with lure of free tequila shots.The sidewalk itself is an open museum dotted with well-carved sculptures every few feet. And then there is an open stage where comedians and other entertainers perform their hillarious acts for free every evening.

Beside the Malecon the side streets are as exciting selling typical colorful handicrafts. The closeby public market is a great place to explore and shop a large variety of indigenously produced items from hats to dresses, decorative articles to useful household stuff.

Our favourite purchase was the handmade colorful glass wares including the stem ones for wine. And we got so many of them that as these were showing up prominently in our suitecases at the airport scanning machines that one inspector assured us “don’t worry your glasses are not broken”.

During the stay our major activity was the walk up and down the little moutain where our apartment was. Atleast three or four times a day with an average of forty-minutes to an hour which was almost 10 km of strolling around everyday, was our daily recreational mini Grouse grind. Naturally,one major chore of our daily life was buying grocery , of course it included tequila as well.

Octavio, seemed to be a tequila connoisseur, guided us to buy which one was best brand of this copyrighted famous liquor by differentiating between rapasado and anejo types, and from where to get it cheaper .

We prefered to eat the "home" cooked food and for that we did venture to try some popular Mexican items which included tortllia,napole (flat cactus leaves),beans and lot of lemon and tomatoes.We did go to some restaurants to try some authentic Mexican food,but somehow each time it was disappointment.The ready to eat Mexican delicacies at the grocery deli was a better choice where the curry-looking dishes were great in taste,reasonably priced too.

Our month-long stay included day trips to the popular Missmaloya beach,Canopy zipline mountaneous area, historical town of Tuito,beautiful beach city of La Panita, moutain sorrunded town of San Sabastian and the famous pilgrimage city of Talpa.

Talpa is a small beautiful town, about three-hour mountaneous drive frorm Puerto Vallarta and where beside the “miracle- promising” church ,the town offers freshly made guava rolls (worth buying), locally produced coffee beans and handicrafts.

Visiting these nearby towns around Puerto Vallarta one typical charectaristic emerges out of any Mexican city or town is its centro area with big park-like central plaza sorrounded by a church,a government building and shops.This architectural feature certainly provide a sense of community for town dwellers. And no wonder,Mexicans are perhaps one of most friendliest people in the world.

All in all Mexico is a welcome and genial place to visit and Puerto Vallarta provides hundred percent gurantee of that.