Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta
02 February 2013 | Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta
On Thursday we left the swimming pools of Paradise Village and traveled a short 4 miles to Marina Vallarta, which is the marina that's closest to downtown Puerto Vallarta. Also, it's the only place in Banderas Bay that currently has an operating fuel dock. We needed fuel and also wanted to check out the marina, given that we'd seen all the others in the area, because we'll be coming back to the area in March to prepare for our departure for the South Pacific.
The marina lives up to its reputation of being in a state of prolonged disrepair. (Apparently it's been bankrupt for years, despite its prime location.) But buses to downtown are plentiful, cheap, and a short walk away. Also, several large supermarkets, a marine supply store, and a Walmart are all nearby.
Riding the bus is a memorable experience. The price to downtown is only 6.50 pesos (about 50 cents). Bus destinations are painted on the windshield. You climb onto the bus and then hang on as the bus hurtles down the street, passing cars and other buses, sometimes with only a few inches of clearance. When you get into the old part of town, the streets are cobblestone, so the buses and passengers bounce a lot. But the drivers all seem to be very skilled and attentive, and it's all kind of fun.
We've ridden into central Puerto Vallarta a few times. We've walked along the malecon and seen its odd statues, taken a peek inside a couple of historic churches, seen a female impersonator do a hilarious imitation of Bette Davis singing "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch", eaten a meal or two, had a beer or two, snapped a photo or two.
Tomorrow (Sunday) we'll leave the big city and head south for awhile. We're looking forward to getting back to anchoring in more sparsely populated coves.