Due West Adventures

The sailing adventures of Captain Kirk & Heidi, Tosh and Tikka Hackler . . .

24 December 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco Mexico
02 November 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
11 October 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16 September 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
29 June 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
26 May 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
07 April 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
26 February 2017 | Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, MX
30 January 2017 | La Cruz, Nayarit, MX
24 December 2016 | Banderas Bay, Mexico
20 December 2016 | Banderas Bay
27 November 2016 | La Paz, B.C.S. Mexico
14 November 2016 | Bahia San Carlos Mexico
17 October 2016 | San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico
30 September 2016 | San Javier, B.C.S.
25 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico
12 September 2016 | Puerto Escondido, B.C.S Mexico
04 September 2016 | Nopolo Norte - Loreto

Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta Area

04 February 2018
​Since Mexico has been getting a bad rap from the US Government lately, we wanted to share some of the things we LOVE about living in Mexico, and Puerto Vallarta Area in particular. Don't believe everything you read or hear about how "dangerous" Mexico is. Consider the source, there's a pissing contest about a wall. As the saying goes down here, "Relax, you're on the FUN side of the WALL."

Like ANY country in the world there are parts of Mexico that we wouldn't visit, or walk alone at night... there are likely more parts of the US that we wouldn't visit or walk alone at night. Being a TRAVELER means doing your homework and being prudent, NOT FEARFUL of the unknown. We feel perfectly safe walking around downtown Puerto Vallarta (population 200,000) at night. We also drove from Puerto Vallarta to Tucson and back (through Sinaloa) in November and experienced zero problems at all. We stuck to the toll roads and did not intend to drive at nigh. However, an Expedia hotel booking snafu caused us to drive for 2-hours in the dark, and even that night-drive was fine. But we don't recommend it--black cows on dark roads abound. The people we met were very nice and friendly, and the countryside was beautiful, lush, and agricultural.

Most Mexicans don't carry hand guns and they don't have random mall shootings and school shootings here either. Yes, there are cartel turf wars in certain locations in Mexico, and IF you're in the wrong place at the wrong time you could have trouble... just like being in the wrong place at the wrong time in any shopping mall or school in America. Even the cartel fully realize that harming tourists is bad for business.

For the most part Mexico is a LOVELY country full of WONDERFUL people and a VIBRANT culture. Mexicans are VERY FAMILY oriented people who LOVE and ENJOY LIFE to the fullest and use any excuse to throw a fiesta. Any given night you'll see entire generations out walking the malecón (waterfront pedestrian promenade), from the littlest niños (babies) to the oldest bisabuelos (great-grandparents.) They take care of their elderly and disabled at home, not shoving them away to institutions. They embrace their pregnant teens, unwed-mothers and babies, not throwing them out on the street. (Yes there's a big case for birth control here, and we can take that up with the Pope!)

And by the way, Puerto Vallarta has one of the largest LGBTQ Communities outside of San Francisco. It's a very LGBTQ-friendly town with a fantastic Pride Parade every year. So come on down and visit your neighbor to the south. The dolphins are leaping, the whales are breaching, the weather is sunny, the food is delicious, and the water is clean. All of the large tourist cities in Mexico have clean drinking water these days ~ you can drink the water and eat the lettuce here! (Check the labels on your own produce at home to see where it was grown!?)

There is SO MUCH to see and do here and the peso to US dollar exchange is at a very favorable rate for Americans right now, not quite as good an exchange for Canadians, but there are tons of them down here so it can't be too bad, eh?

So in true Dave Letterman-style, we wanted to share our Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta Area and invite you down for a visit! (These are based on things we've done or experienced, but there are many things we've yet to discover or experience here. So please leave a comment below if we've missed one of your favs!)

Top 10 Things to do in Puerto Vallarta Area

10. Art Walks

Puerto Vallarta is full of art: on the streets, sidewalks, and stairs, along the malecon, and in galleries. There's a fantastic, FREE Malecón Sculpture Walk on Tuesday mornings where you'll learn all about the whimsical sculptures along the Puerto Vallarta waterfront as well as some history of PV. There are also weekly Art Walks in downtown PV and the bi-weekly South Side Shuffle in Old Town PV. Keep your eyes out for pops of color and art all over town as you stroll the cobblestone streets.

9. Bus Rides
Riding the bus (besides a great means to getting around) is the biggest bang-for-the-buck entertainment in town. For $7.5 pesos per person (less than 40¢ US each) you often get live entertainment onboard, from solo singers, to guitar trios and reggae bands (They're not all good, LOL!) The people watching is fascinating. And if you catch a Green bus out into the neighborhoods you'll see everything from horses, chickens and pigs (out the window not onboard!) to authentic Mexican villages. The buses themselves are also decorated with interesting combinations of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Play Boy Bunny. Hope on and take a ride, you won't be sorry.

8. Bingo with Aunt Pearl from Tuna, Texas

Ok, we're not normally bingo fans here, but we first saw Aunt Pearl at last years Pride Parade and had to give it a whirl. As it turns out, Saturday afternoon Cocktails & Bingo at 4pm with Aunt Pearl from Tuna, Texas is a HOOT. You can win cool prizes at businesses around town, and all proceeds from bingo cards go to a local charity each week so it's a win-win. Besides BINGO, the river-front Incanto Cabaret, Piano Bar & Cafe, just across the bridge on the River Cuale, has world-class entertainment in their 90-seat Cabaret, plus a variety of fun acts at the Piano Bar too. Saturday afternoons at 4pm, Proprietor Tracy Parks, a.k.a. Aunt Pearl, weaves stories of Tuna, Texas, (reminiscent of Garrison Keillor and Lake Woebegone days), between the Bingo call outs "O-69? Anyone O-69? Why are you all laughing?" Great cocktails, food, and fun.

7. Vallarta Botanical Gardens

We've mentioned the Vallarta Botanical Gardens in another post Botanical Gardens, Panga Tours & Limonada, and although we've only visited one time, it's still one of the most memorable things we've done here and we're looking forward to going again soon. There are beautiful hiking trails through the lush jungle, including the Jaguar Trail with a sign that reads "Just because you didn't see the jaguar, doesn't mean it didn't see you." The view from the tree-top restaurant is stunningly beautiful with humming birds flitting around as you eat, and the food is very good too. Plus the bus ride from Old Town (catch the orange bus in front of the OXXO on Basilio Badillo) along the coast and through the jungle is beautiful as well.

6. Gastronomy (or Eating Out)

Being Gluten-free and Veg-Aquarian (mostly Vegan but eat fish on occasion) and as organic as possible, can sometimes make it difficult to eat out. Added to the fact that we LOVE our own home-cooked meals, and we cruise on a pretty tight budget, we don't eat out a lot. So when we do it's a real treat and we want the best bang for our buck. Luckily, we've found some fantastic healthy-liciuos food around Banderas Bay. And quite often it's actually cheaper to eat out than to buy the ingredients and cook it yourself! Too numerous to choose just one, here are our favorite restaurants around Banderas Bay for each type of meal:

La Tostadaria (Downtown "Centro" PV near Church)
At this quaint little cafe with outdoor seating on a pedestrian way near the Guadalupe church downtown, our friend and proprietor Javier serves up the BEST chilaquiles in town. Chila-WHAT? A Puerto Vallarta breakfast staple (tortilla chips sautéed in spicy tomato sauce or green tomatillo sauce served with beans and/or egg, cheese, and sour cream on top.) We've tried chilaquiles all over town and seriously, these are the BEST. La Tostadaria can make anything veggie or vegan, including their dinner-plate-sized tostadas with a variety of toppings. Javier's recipes are passed down from his family so it's very authentic Mexican food and a wonderful atmosphere underneath the decorative umbrellas.

Yogi Bar (Marina Vallarta)
Part yoga studio, part veggie cafe and juice bar, the food is healthy and delicious! Breakfasts range from oatmeal with toppings, to smoothies and smoothie bowls to gluten-free/vegan cocoa-matcha waffles (OMG!!!) They also have great lunches, like avocado-toast (GF!), Budda Bowls with quinoa, spinach, shredded beets, shredded carrots, sprouts, sunflower seeds and hummus, and veggie sandwiches, plus any combo of juices you can imagine.

Organic Love (La Cruz de Huanacaxtle)
In the sleepy little fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle ("Waan-a-cox-tly) there are not one but TWO organic/vegan options! Our amiga Alef at Organic Love serves up some amazing combinations of organic food like fresh spring rolls with grilled veggies (see above), organic omelets, vegetarian sandwiches, and smoothies. The Xocavida smoothie (cocoa, banana, and coconut) is Heidi's personal fav! Alef also makes yummy GF cookies. Everything is hand-made with love so it sometimes takes a while to get your food, but it's well worth the wait. Be sure to tell Alef that Heidi & Capitán Kirk sent you!

Vegan Paradice (La Cruz de Huanacaxtle)
After your organic lunch at Organic Love, walk around the block to Vegan Paradice, vegan ice cream hand-made with love by Mar and Waipy. SO many unique and delicious flavors to try like lemon-chia, toasted coconut, and the only vanilla ice cream that Heidi has ever liked in her life.

Ocho Tostados (Marina Vallarta)
This "8 Mariscos" restaurant is a local PV family "chain" with several around town, our fav is the one at Marina Vallarta. They only serve fish and shrimp, although they do have some good veggie sides and can accommodate vegetarians/vegans. We especially LOVE their guacamole and Mexican Salsa (what most Norte Americanos know of as pico de gallo.) And it's super entertaining to sit at the bar and watch as the bar tenders/chefs sling lime rinds and avocado pits and peels backwards over their shoulder hitting the trash can every single time. Impressive! Word on the street is that restaurant owners from around town come here to eat.

El Baracuda (PV 5 de Deciembre at Paraguay & Nicaragua)
This is our fav dinner restaurant where the food and atmosphere matches the sunsets. Literally ON the beach, toes in the sand you can watch the green flash or look for dolphins jumping, and whales breaching right from your dining table. Cash only, get there early if you want to sit on the beach. Food is great, drinks are unique, view is the best in town...ok, maybe the waiters can be a bit surly but it's worth it.

Planet Vegetariano (Downtown PV, Iturbide near Church)
This little hole-in-the-wall up the hill from the Guadalupe church serves a delicious all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet with tons of options for $105 pesos. Dishes change daily, their lentil soup is one of the best we've ever had, and house special tomato soup with pumpkin seed balls is a fav too. They also serve breakfast and lunch buffets.

Food Park (PV, Fluvial near La Isla)
This food truck and container park is a cool concept. Circle the wagons, a.k.a. food trucks, with a variety of cuisine ranging from Pizza to Japanese to Mexican to American burgers and fries. Walk up to each truck to order your food, then pick your table. The center of the park is full of landscaped seating for eating. The Food Park offers something for everyone at reasonable prices, plus servers will bring you drinks from the bar or cafe and bus your table.

5. Thursday Night Marina Market

We stumbled upon the Thursday Night Marina Market last season purely by accident. When we sailed from La Paz to Marina Vallarta with our friend Sara (Sara Goes to Sea), we serendipitously pulled into Marina Vallarta on a Thursday afternoon as the Marina Market was being set up. So we checked it out and Sara got her Christmas shopping all done! Every Thursday night from October through May, the vendors stretch along the entire Marina Malecón from one end of the marina to the other. This is mostly an artisan market where you can watch some of the artists creating their wares. Plus there are a smattering of food vendors with everything from excellent Thai food to vegan cheeses (made from nuts) to tamales, Indian food, local ice creams, and more. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle also has a great market on Sundays, a few vendors overlap both markets, but in general there are different vendors, food, and wares in La Cruz.

4. PaddleZone Night Paddle

This was by far one of the coolest things we've done in PV. The Paddle Zone in Mismaloya offers Full Moon and New Moon night paddles on a paddle board or kayak. You paddle from Mismaloya to Los Arcos (about 2-mi round trip) and through all of the Los Arcos "arches". If you're lucky you'll see bioluminescence, tons of it! If you don't like bats (um, JGC!) this is not the trip for you. The cost of the trip includes a 1hr paddle board lesson if you want it before hand. While we originally thought we would paddle-board, balancing in 18"+ waves proved challenging for Heidi and even more-so for Kirk's recovering balance (although he was able to stand for a good 15 minutes during our lesson!) We opted for sit-on-top kayaks that night. SO glad we did, much more comfortable ride. Afterward, the chef at the Paddle Zone fixes Mexican Hot Chocolate for everyone, and snacks like fried plantains. They can even make Gluten-free Pizza...Heidi was in heaven!

3. Mirador de La Cruz Sunrise Hill Climb

Starting at the Malecon downtown Puerto Vallarta on Abasolo Street, this "hill climb"--which is really more of a "stair climb"--winds it's way up to the Mirador de la Cruz ("look out by the Cross") to the radio towers above PV. We had heard about this hike for almost a year before we actually experienced it when our friend Anthony showed us the way. Traversing the hillside neighborhood to the base of the stairs, there is a sometimes-working funicular (elevator on rails) that holds about four. On the way up you're swearing you'll NEVER do this hike again, and the stairs seem endless. But once at the top, your legs forgive you, for the 360° view of PV. If you want to see the sunrise over PV, start at the Malecon about 30-minutes before sunrise, the hike UP will only take about 20-minutes. On the way down, you can veer left at the bottom of the stairs and wind your way through the Mexican neighborhood on the hill, coming down more stairs onto Arroyo de Pedregoso. We loved it so much, the next week we did the hike again! And we can't wait to do it again. It's a great leg workout! with a spectacular reward.

2. Angél Yoga at Playa Camarones

Sunrise beach-yoga "Trees" blowing in the breeze...Heidi's Tree is going down! :-)

Angél Yoga is a friendly, community-based beach-yoga (actually on a concrete platform at the beach), en Espaõl (and some Spanglish), for every ability and person, pay-as-you-can, maybe it's a mango or a coconut, or $50 pesos, or $200+ pesos, everyone is welcome. 8am every Monday-Wednesday-Friday our friend and yoga teacher Sam leads us in a beautiful yoga practice with a backdrop of crashing waves (if tide is high and wave are big, you could get wet!) If you're lucky you may see a whale breach or dolphins leap, mid- tree pose! Palm-trees sway over head as you lay in Savasana, the perfect start to your morning. Don't miss this awesome yoga class in nature.

And the NUMBER ONE BEST THING to do in Puerto Vallarta area is...

1. Juan Bravo Panga Tour

Capitán Kirk with Pichón (Juan's brother and first mate), and Juan Bravo.

We've now been on four Juan Bravo Panga Tours with different sets of visiting friends...each one slightly different then the previous, ALL EXCELLENT. These made-to-order customer panga tours (24' open fiberglass boat with canopy) with our friend and Pangauergo Juan Bravo are a MUST DO to enjoy fully the beauty of Banderas Bay! You can hire Juan and his panga for the entire day for up to 8 people to snorkel, hike waterfalls at Yelapa ride horseback at Quimixto, whale watch, fish, swim, anything you want. If you've been reading our blog for long, you've likely seen some of our Juan Bravo Panga adventures hiking to waterfalls for Kirk's birthday (The Capitán Turns 70!), and whale watching for Heidi's birthday. Born and raised in Mismaloya, Juan speak excellent English and is a FUN and FUNNY tour guide. He can even pick you up on the beach in PV near your hotel or condo. Call Juan: +52 (322) 116 4625 to schedule his tour. We're working to get him a web presence soon.

Juan Bravo strictly adheres to proximity rules for whale watching, but two humpbacks surfaced 10' feet away from the panga for Heidi's birthday! Awe-inspiring and breathtaking -- literally! A bit too close for comfort, but so cool to be honored by their presence.

Now that you know our fav fun things to do around Puerto Vallarta, come on down and visit like our Seattle sailing friends the Thuesen's did at Christmas. So much fun hanging out with Chris & Eric and girls during the holidays, they even got to experience a Juan Bravo Panga Tour too!


So what have we been up to besides compiling our top 10 most fun things to do around Puerto Vallarta? Our current plans (always written in sand at low tide!) are to be here at least through March or early April.

We are so grateful that Kirk has made a nearly full recovery from his stroke just a year ago Valentines Day. Wahoo!! He is 95-98% back to "normal" (what ever that was!? :-D), and stronger and more physically fit that he's been in years, thanks to post-stroke PT and Pilates Reformer work.

The Capitán is studying to become a certified Primordial Sound Meditation Teacher through the Deepak Chopra Center, and needs reliable bandwidth for his online courses through early April. We had hoped to head south for a few months, but reports of reliable wifi down south are iffy so we decided to stay put. If you'd like to learn to meditate, Kirk is looking for students for his practicum and he'd love to teach you! In between studying, meditation, and yoga, he's got a mile-long list of boat projects going on including a new cockpit shower, new timing belt for the engine, and a new starter battery. Never a dull moment living aboard in the tropics.

Even John, Paul, George, and Ringo think U.K.-based Neal's Yard Remedies ROCKS!

Heidi is growing HappyWellLifestyle, her online holistic wellness business and creating new online wellness courses, so stay tuned for that. Passionate about providing alternatives to toxic personal care and skincare products (FYI: the US FDA does't regulate that industry at ALL and most products in the US are FULL of toxins!), she's been holding educational organic skincare workshops around Banderas Bay, including showing Unacceptable Levels. If you get a chance, please check out this award-winning documentary, your body will thank you. She is also working very hard to earn a trip to the UK in August to visit Neal's Yard Remedies flagship store in Covent Gardens, London, and tour their award-winning sustainable eco-factory and their organic Sheepdrove Farm where many of the herbal product ingredients are grown. If you or anyone you know is interested in using organic, toxin-free, ethical, sustainable, cruelty-free products, Heidi would love to talk with you and would really appreciate your business (shipping to US addresses only.)

As you can see, we're nose-to-the-grindstone the next couple of months with continuing ed and business-building. Gotta pay the bills after-all..."living the dream" is cheap but it's not free, LOL! We hope to head north into the Sea of Cortez by mid-April for a couple of months and get Due West moving again, before returning to Banderas Bay for Hurricane Season (June-November.) At this point we still plan to sail for Central America in November. And speaking of getting Due West moving, we're planning to participate in the Banderas Bay Regatta (daily buoy races) March 20-24, let us know if you'd like to come down and crew?

Tikka and Tosh could hardly be bothered waking up from their naps to make a cameo in this post, but they send their love.

Please keep us posted if you're headed this way, we'd love to see you and show you around Banderas Bay! Oh, and we were recently interviewed for an episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show podcast, so stay tuned for when it will be live.

Heidi, Capitán Kirk, Tosh & Tikka
Vessel Name: Due West
Vessel Make/Model: Passport 40
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Captain Kirk & Heidi Hackler + Tosh & Tikka
Captain Kirk grew up sailing on Lake Washington and has been boating his whole life. He has been racing sailboats for about 40 years, including two Vic-Maui races (from Victoria, BC to Maui, Hawaii), one in 1990, and the other on Due West in 1996. [...]
You can see pix of our boat here: Due West Interior Photos and in the Photo Gallery. Our racing friends call us "The [...]
Home Page: http://svduewest.com
Due West's Photos - Sights & Sounds of Puerto Vallarta
Photos 1 to 65 of 65 | Main
s/v <em>Due West</em> sung in her berth at Marina Vallarta.
We had a wonderful surprise visit from our nephew Tate (Heidi
Great day at the beach in Punta Mita with nephew Tate and extended family: Jack, Tate, Kirk, Heidi, Joan, and Mark.
The down-side of this nomadic sailing life we live is always saying "hasta luego." We met s/v Kenta Anae and crew: Matero, Allison, and Merle (and Shandro missing from photo) sailing last summer in the Sea of Cortez. These guys have pure hearts of gold, and the nicest, most outgoing, well-rounded teenagers we
More "hasta luegos" to our friends Lisa and Don on s/v Wind Charmer. They stayed with us for a night before flying back to the US for a month and we took in 3-D "Pirates of the Caribbean." Heidi will meet up with Lisa again in Orlando later this month when they attend their Neal
Tosh-the-Jungle-Cat loves how his stripes really camouflage him when he
Post haircut, "The Littlest Lion" lost about 2lbs in hair (or so it seemed). We know this photo is not the greatest quality, but it does show off his Kinky boots and Lion
Meanwhile Tikka the green-eyed lady lounges on her pink bed, finally warming back up to her brother whom she ignored for two-weeks straight post-hair cut. Not sure what she was so tweaked about, she
The lovely view from our amazing condo-sitting summer gig (THANKS Judy & Paul!) The views and scenery on the beach change daily, if not by the hour, or even by the minute sometimes. Anything goes on this beach... fun to watch and beach-walk along.
These cute little boys were so fun to watch. Before the niño in orange could ride the burro he had to walk it back and forth a bunch of times with his older brother riding it. Finally he could ride it with his brother, and he
Boot Camps and exercise programs happen on the beach most evenings. These head-stand dudes practiced for over an hour until they were finally all lined up together...then they had to go home and "wash that sand right outta their hair!"
Lots of LOVE and SUN on the beach in PV, lots of weddings too. This is a prime spot for wedding photography, and many destination weddings take place at the resort next door.
A bride on the beach...Beautiful.
The Captain being a "good-sam", every day we walk on the beach we pick up handfulls of trash. We
"OSHA-approved"... NOT! Another thing that has not caught on here is eye protection, ear protection, and respirators. We watched as 5+ guys used hatchets to whack-hack-thwack away the old tile and grout and make a smooth surface to re-tile the pool. They literally hacked away for 10-hours a day, 6-days a week, for 2-3 weeks... Unbe*¡*¡*lievable. Click this <a href="https://youtu.be/ieHh5C6c6qs" target="_blank"><u>link</u></a> , to check out the video including the soundtrack of our life for the past 2-3 weeks.
Our little bit of tropical paradise. With 5 swimming pools at the condo we
On the way home from yoga class one day Captain Kirk ran into a gang of banditos. Pretty nice guys...they weren
Umbrella ART at one of our favorite hangouts, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/La-Tostaderia-702794516467580" target="_blank"><u>La Tostaderia</u></a> (BEST tostadas in town!) BIG THANKS to proprietor Javier for creating this outdoor Art-space! Puerto Vallarta is full of ART and Javier wanted to give his patrons something beautiful to look at. He plans on changing up the art every couple of months.
Looks like this Bug parked too long and a palm tree sprang out of it
Nearby that VW bug this wall is covered in psychedelic flamingos, egrets, fish, snakes, bugs, and more. We pass this on our walk to the grocery store almost every day.
If you
A modern adaptation of Madonna & Child Mexican-style. Also note the painted tree trunk that lines up with the tree behind the wall (they do this a lot in PV), and the multi-colored ceramic bricks... not just "Another brick in the Wall."
A different sort of Madonna and Children? Or Native Mexican "St. Francis of Assisi" figure? We
This beautiful corner wall mural in Punta Mita celebrates the diversity of life in Banderas Bay, from frigate birds to blue-footed boobies, humpback whales to octopus and more...
This colorful humpback whale adorns the wall of another of our fav tostadarias, "Ocho Tostados" at Marina Vallarta. This family-owned chain of tostada stands all over PV has delicious fish, crab, and shrimp tostadas for only a few pesos.  Plus they have the BEST guacamole and pico de gallo (here they call it "Mexican salsa") we
There are amazing murals on walls ALL OVER Puerto Vallarta, like this one of "Uncle Albert."  Riding the buses around town we are often surprised to view new murals we hadn
Many of the city busses are decorated by the drivers themselves to their own personal tastes. This guy loved the Rolling Stones... Each bus has it
Often bus rides are accompanied by live musicians entertaining the riders for all or part of the ride, passing the hat for a few pesos. Talent ranges widely with some being awful to others being good. These guys on our 30-minute bus ride from Puerto Vallarta south to Boca de Tomatlán were some of the best we
The interior of this whole bus was RED including the LED lighting that turns on when the driver presses the break-peddle. His hand-carved coin-holder is decorated with the Virgin of Guadalupe. The "TUNEL" ("toon-el") sign indicates that this is an express bus taking the highway around the back-side of PV and through the mountain tunnel to Old Town, or Zona Romantica south of downtown PV, rather than stopping at every block along the malecon (ocean-front) in town. The words written on the window (far right in photo) are the major stops it makes. We
Another musician, another bus (this bus less full at this point but sure to fill up before the end of the line.) This guy (or his doppelganger) also plays every day at La Isla shopping mall just out side the back deck of the condo. We are serenaded daily by a mix of Peruvian Flute meets modern-music, whether we want to be or not. Click this <a href="https://youtu.be/gkVGbatSMOg" target="_blank"><u>link</u></a> to watch and listen:
The "Pink Bus" sends riders a mixed-message: Adorned with pink fringe curtains, an angel on the dashboard and pink-fringed Virgins of Guadalupe all over the ceiling...but what
Like in other parts of the world many Mexican shops sell only one type of item. Lots of cool baskets in this basket shop. We were looking for a new bed for Tikka, but unfortunately their prices were too much like Pier 1 prices in the US, so we
Super-Supplements meets the Vitamin-Shop Mexican Style—in the back of this truck under a blue tarp and a tree—you can find every type of vitamin, mineral, herb, and supplement imaginable, with  zero FDA oversight.
Because we try to eat as healthy as possible, because it
Many of the produce markets have these cool wooden bins and stock everything from Apples (manzanas) to Zanahorias (carrots).
Ever the good Sam (and engine mechanic too), Captain Kirk stopped to help an older Mexican gentleman on the street who was having engine trouble. Kirk was able to determine it was a fuel problem, but exactly what? Bad fuel? Clogged injectors? With out tools he couldn
Seen one hack-saw, seen
Another creative Mexican solution: the bell-ringing garbage man. Houses don
No, a bag of aluminum cans didn
YES we
SO PROUD of Puerto Vallarta for having one of the largest LGBTQ communities south of San Francisco, and throwing an amazing PRIDE Parade including the original Rainbow flag from the first Pride Parade in SF. The next day was the Drag Queen competition including: song and dance, rock-climbing wearing a dress, running down cobblestone streets in stilettos carrying a tray full of cocktails, and a blind-folded piñata smack-down of a neighboring country
Dame Edna, er-uh, Pearl! Resident PV Drag Queen from Tuna, Texas, all decked out for the Pride Parade. You can see Pearl perform weekly at Incanto Piano Bar [http://www.incantovallarta.com/] where she calls out Bingo numbers for charity fundraisers, interspersed with tales of life in Tuna, Texas... Most FUN you can have on a Saturday night in PV while fundraising for local charities!
Many parts of the hillside in downtown Puerto Vallarta are too steep to drive up. So these would-be-streets are beautifully landscaped with stairs, benches, terraces, and trees and shrubs in planters. When it rains  these hillsides turn into a man-made "river-beds".
One of the artfully decorated stairs on the PV hillsides. As you follow these stairs up there are hearts along the way, ending in a glass mosaic of hearts outside someone
View of Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Lady of Guadalupe cathedral) as we walk from yoga to catch the bus. The red tile roof is actually at eye-level and we have to duck below it walking down the sidewalk, or be clocked in the head! Clear passages on sidewalks are definitely not up to code in this town.
We could hear the church bells from this little church in the Versailles neighborhood from the guest house where we were staying. When they have big events like funerals or weddings, they block off the street with cars and set up chairs in the street to accommodate more people! No permits from the city, they just do it.
Architecture in PV includes everything but the kitchen-sink: architectural elements, arches, columns, window shapes, door shapes, wrought iron railings, ornate tiles,  paint colors and more...This house included nearly one of everything
We often walk past this super-cool door on our way to Costco. One day as we were looking at it about to take a photo, it opened! So we asked the owner permission to take a photo of their door. This extra-wide door swings open on a pivot point with 2/3 of the door on one side of the pivot. Amazing dove-tail precision.
Most homes in PV have some type of decorative gate at the entrance...we though this one combined with the ceiling, doorway, tiles on stairs, and paint colors was particularly interesting. If you
Mexicans are big on decorations, including door knockers, door knobs, handles, key holes, etc.
Classic doors abound. This massive door is right on the Malecon, surrounded by night clubs and restaurants and constantly beat upon by ocean breezes, sun and rain.  If this ornate old door could talk it would likely tell some good stories.
We loved the marine animal carvings on this beautiful door. Everywhere you look, a unique door or window appears...
The reflection of Heidi
Speaking of arches in walls, so cool that they made a little archway for the tree roots to protrude through this wall, saving the tree (which would likely not be done in the US.) Too bad the wall has been graffitied, we don
Monstrous Banyan trees are found all over PV with their roots and trunks merging into one.  Roots actually grow down from the branches until they reach the earth and take root. New roots fill in becoming trunk-like, supporting the large branches.
Coco... young coconuts ready to be harvested for their coconut water: just lop off the top with a machete, insert a straw, and drink. Don
Vibrant colors everywhere here... the colors of this beautiful Tiger Lily match Heidi
Heidi is off to teach her first class in Restorative Yoga at Davanna Yoga.
Captain Kirk and other students comfortably relaxing in Heidi
Preparing to perform 108 Sun Salutations (in 4 sets of 27) with Anna at Davanna Yoga, to greet the Summer Solstice—which also happens to be the International Day of Yoga. Why 108? It
View of Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe all lit up in the early morning light (0730) from yoga at Los Arcos (the arches) on the Malecon...
Our friend and fellow yogini Sam (far left) teaching yoga at Ángel Yoga on the beach downtown. This is the class that Heidi will be substitute teaching for the next couple of weeks (en Español!) while Sam goes back to Canada to visit her family.
Puerto Vallarta never fails to provide amazing sunsets... and we never tire of watching them. Adios el sol, hasta mañana!