Our daughter Lindsey, and grandkids Cameron and Sadie out for a walk at Baxter Conservation Area south of Ottawa, Ontario. Photo taken by Ruth October 26 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode, Ontario, Canada. Just south of Ottawa.

And where are they going next? We leave November 1st for a six week trip to Romania and Moldova.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Puerto Vallarta doesn't do it for us...

Yes, the big tourist city of Puerto Vallarta. People typically spend thousands of dollars to come here and spend a week or two vacationing in the sun. Many come for the entire winter. There are two Walmart Supercenters, a Sam's Club, a Costco, a Home Depot among all the other big box stores. And, you don't even have to know any Spanish to get by here. Walking down the malecon, everybody will talk to you in English. Most people simply love it!

Us? Not so much!

But, we went into the city yesterday to visit with some friends. Kent and Lynn are from Denver, Colorado and Kent has been a long time reader of this blog. He and Lynn have also traveled Mexico by motorhome, and they own a house on Cozumel. We visited them on Cozumel last March, and we had previously stopped in the see them in Denver the year before when we went skiing!

They were in Puerto Vallarta for a one week holiday with another couple, and the timing coincided with us being here too!

Nice view, walking in to town.

We walk on the road, but there's hardly any traffic.

We made plans to meet up at 12 noon. So we walked out of the RV park at 10:30am and did the 20 minute walk into the town of Valle de Banderas. Here, we catch the local bus and pay 16 pesos ($1.30) for the 45 minute ride into town.

But we messed up a little. We remembered that it takes about 45 minutes on the bus...but that's to get to or from the airport. We also had to do the distance from the airport to downtown, and we had to walk for 15 minutes. So we got there are 12:30pm, and Kent was there waiting for us.

Lynn was busy shopping with their friends. So we went for lunch with Kent to a little spot we knew from the last time we were here. They handed us a menu in English! I know...many of their customers speak no Spanish. However it bugs us, (one of the reasons we stay away from the tourist areas) and one day I will do a blog post about why.

The food was good though, which is why we went there. The bill for the three of us was just under 200 pesos ($16.50 CAN) and we left there satisfied.

We walked down to the beach to meet up with Lynn. Their friends were enjoying the sun, so we said hello to them and then went to have a few afternoon beverages.

The beach at Puerto Vallarta.

We met up with Lynn, and enjoyed a visit with them for an hour and a half. Forgot to get a photo! Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the bus. Hopefully we'll see them again in Denver towards the end of March.

We stopped in at Walmart on the way home. We need to buy a new Mexican road map, and we thought maybe Walmart would have it, but they didn't. Also, one of our batteries is getting low on water and I needed some distilled water for that, but they didn't have that either. I can probably get it at the auto parts store in town.

Back home around 6:00pm, just before dark.

Today we will stay here and do some more clean up to Sherman. Tomorrow, we're thinking of going in to Bucerias and La Cruz to visit a couple from Louisiana who drove down in their motorhome for the first time, partly because of us!

A fantastic deal on Amazon.com this morning. A high quality pocket camera that was overpriced at it's original price tag, but it's had a couple of drops since it's introduction and at today's price it's actually a real deal. Originally a $600 camera, it's now a lot of camera for $179!


  1. You did a lot more in PV than we did last week..... Just not our kind of place. I think when we drove down in our rig we wandered into Bucerias one day only to find that a cruise ship had disgorged a thousand or so tourists and we didn't stay long. I know, we're tourists too, but we try not to act obnoxious....

    1. We only did more because we were meeting up with friends. When we got back to Sherman, we both commented that we are definitely different than most people and are totally happy for the most part to stay away from Puerto Vallarta unless we don't head to the tourist part of town.

  2. That whole English thing can be a mixed blessing. I know I appreciated it in places like Prague or Budapest, but otherwise I'd prefer to use the local language if at all possible. I can read a menu! The best ever menus are the ones in both languages. Then you can compare and learn something.

    1. We only spent a day in Prague and when we headed out into the countryside we had our Czech/English dictionary with us and we used it a lot. We were only in Budapest for 5 days so we did tend to use our English more. If we were going to be spending any longer there and traveling into the countryside we would have bought an Hungarian/English dictionary. We certainly could have used a Korean/English menu at times in South Korea though, that was definitely very challenging!

  3. I have been told you can find distilled water in the area of the store where they sell irons. I did not get a chance to test this theory as I had already bought some very expensive imported Bardahl "battery water".

    Don't you just love getting a menu in English? I always push it aside and ask for one in Spanish. Sometimes they have different items on them.

    My memories of PV are being stopped every twenty feet by a time share salesman. Hated it.

    1. We did look in the irons section at Walmart as well as the pharmacy area but had no luck.

      When we were in the restaurant yesterday, I did mention to Kevin that we should have asked for the Mexican menu but we just ended up letting it be. Next time we will!

  4. Yep, not our type of place either. When people say hello in English they assume we are English speakers. I answer in German or French just to give a little food for thought :)

    I agree with Croft, maybe you checked I don't know, but agua distilada can usually be found with the irons. Same goes for coffee filters. They are usually with the coffee makers and not the coffee, although that seems to be changing.

    1. Kevin agrees with you. In fact when we were walking down the malecon he even said to someone if you talk to me in English I won't even think of buying from you!

      We looked in the irons section but found no agua istilada there. :-(

  5. When we spent our time in Mexico really enjoyed the small local villages. Tourist areas we found were much more expensive, and lost the real Mexican atmosphere as well.
    We are not city people anywhere anyway.

    1. It's generally nice to visit some of the tourist areas at least once but we certainly prefer the towns and cities that aren't on the tourist radar.

      We have been to a number of cities here and love them, it just depends on which ones as some are very interesting and have lots of history and culture.

  6. I hope I am not re-posting. I wrote my comment and then clicked publish and it asked me to login, I did so, and was redirected back to here without any notice if my comment was posted or not :(

    I want to say that Mexicans do not speak English with you because they think you don't know Spanish.Many Mexicans spend years learning English because it opens more economic opportunities for them in a poor country. They speak to you in English out of pride for themselves, Mexicans are very proud people. Don't misinterpret their reason for speaking to you in English, and certainly don't be rude to them when they do so. Simply reply in Spanish and they will understand that is your preferred way of communicating.

    I live in Mexico and I like both worlds that Mexico offers. The modern cities and the villages that seem stuck in time. Most of these Mexicans speaking English come from smaller villages of washing laundry in the river but they want to advance in the world. I imagine it's fun for us to visit,but living in those places for a lifetime probably seems a bit more depressing to many. So while it's all cute for many of us, many people don't find living third-world to be their life dream full-time. Their way out is to learn English. Try not to take that pride away from them.

    1. I agree that when we are walking in the "tourist zones" they just assume that we don't speak Spanish and this is one of the reasons that we prefer to stay away from the "tourist areas".

      Kevin's point to this post was the reasons why Puerto Vallarta isn't our thing! We just aren't into the touristy type of places. We think it is fantastic when Mexicans can speak more than on language and if they can speak English then being where the tourists are will definitely benefit them. We know that we are different in this way and that's why we enjoy the many towns and cities elsewhere in the country. And when someone in one of those places comes up to us and talks in English, it is because they want to talk to us in English, not to try and sell us something.

      I do have to mention though that many of those that have learned to speak English have not learned if from beginning out in the rural country villages and towns as most schools don't teach enough English there and they don't come in contact with enough English people. The ones that have learned English have either been from families that had money to send their kids to better schools or they have learned it from working in the States at some point in their lives.

      In the last four weeks we have spent time living with families that live in a local rural village where they still hand wash their clothes as well as with better off Mexicans that have lived in the city of Toluca. We traveled through most of Mexico over the last 7 winter, we love the Mexican people and we love the pride that they have for their country and their culture.

    2. Many of the people who approach us to practice their English on us have worked in the US at some point. Another young man we talked to learned his (excellent) English by watching English TV programs and movies.


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