You never know what you might find when wandering around a city. I was particularly impressed that this obvious tourist venue didn’t push timeshares. (And no, Peggy didn’t drop me off.)
Australia’s aborigines have it right. Going on a walkabout is good for the soul. (If this subject interests you, I highly recommend Bruce Chatwin’s Songlines.)
I am also one hundred percent convinced that a walkabout is the best way to see a city. Nothing– not cars, taxis, trains, busses or even bicycles, can match walking. Everything else is too fast. “Wow,” you think, “that’s great…” and it’s gone.
But if you are walking you can stop and savor, you can admire, touch, smell, and even listen to a city. So Peggy and I walk… whether we are wandering the streets of Rome, New York City, or Puerto Vallarta. Following are some of the sights we saw along the way on our recent visit to PV.
This resident dog checked us out. Apparently we didn’t pass muster. He immediately started barking. I could still hear him two blocks away.
These dogs, created by an artist on the Malecon, were more colorful, and quieter. I also liked the red bird, but who knows what it was up to. Picking off fleas???
Also under the category of strange was this flying cow.
As were these two cuties. Day of the Dead skeletons are common throughout Mexico. BTW, I swear I did not position my camera to catch the railing circles in such prime locations. I only discovered this fortuitous positioning when I went to post the photo.
Then there are the Bird Men of Puerto Vallarta who climb up a hundred foot pole… (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And tie themselves to ropes. The man in the center plays a flute and beats on a drum. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
They then fall off backwards, twirling around the pole in ever larger circles until they reach the ground, or run out of rope. (Just kidding on the rope running out.) The people who perform this aerial feat are indigenous performers demonstrating an ancient cultural tradition of the Totonac tribe. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
One thing we always check out is architecture. Peggy and I both like the adobe and tile look of Mexico and the Southwest of the US. It seems that Puerto Vallartans like to add something extra on top of their homes, like the small room. Another thing: note the shoes hanging off the power line in the upper left hand corner, undoubtably thrown there by a teenager. Is this behavior worldwide?
Another ‘topper’ we found. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson)
Speaking of power lines, it is almost impossible to take a photo in Puerto Vallarta without them. They run willy-nilly everywhere.
If I remember my geography right, these two houses were where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor hung out during the filming of the Night of the Iguana.
While there are expensive, high-end shops in Puerto Vallarta, the majority are open-air tourist meccas like this one. It seems like there are hundreds of them. The young woman on her cellphone would normally be outside soliciting people to come in and look around.
Crafts people and artists are common along the Malecon. This young man featured purses and jewelry made from beer and soda can pop tops.
Street vendors selling food are also common.
I already took you on a tour of Puerto Vallarta’s fantastic sculptures. Murals are also common in the city. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A close up showing children in a ring dance. Ring around Rosita?
While most Puerto Vallarta murals feature ceramics, I found this painting of an indigenous person quite impressive.
The Artist’s Cafe also featured an impressive mural. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A close up of the mural on Artist’s Cafe.
One mural incorporated a pair of iguanas including this handsome fellow.
My favorite mural, and in fact my favorite art piece in Puerto Vallarta, is a 196 by 9 feet mural designed by Natasha Moraga. I understand it is under threat of removal by the government. Why, I don’t know, but it would be tragic.
Made with tile and glass, the mural uses mirrors to reflect the street scene behind it, an effort that adds both beauty and interest.
Numerous patterns and scenes are incorporated into the mural. This was one of my favorites.
Major contributors are honored with their own tiles. This one was amusing. It appears Luis Rita has a house full of dogs.
Most murals we found in Puerto Vallarta feature a rendition of the town’s primary landmark, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which I will feature in my next blog.
I’ll use this photo of Peggy crossing a swinging bridge as my last photo of our Puerto Vallarta walkabout. And believe me, the bridge does swing.
NEXT BLOG: Puerto Vallarta’s beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe.