A “Photo Hike” through Puerto Vallarta; Part I

Blue to blue roofline; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
One of my favorite days began on an uncomfortably crowded bus in Nuevo Vallarta.

The “Photo Hike” (Intro)

I planned to travel from “Nuevo”, in the state of Nayarit, Mexico to Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; city busa simple slide down and around the crescent Bay of Banderas with a moderately challenging bus transfer near the WalMart. Already in the midst of a major life re-alignment, I simply grabbed a couple of maps with my camera and figured that I’d find my path as it appeared.

This was an absolutely amazing day. The people I met, the vignettes that played out before me… As the sun plunged back into the sea, I remember thinking, “Wait! I was going to have a fish taco!” Too late, though. By then, I was racing to catch the last bus home from the depot; a “Cinderella at midnight” moment but with flip flops and a pretty nice sun tan…

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; ice cream and politicsOk. Me and my camera… I hopped my bus that morning and immediately met Jessie, young mom of Isabel. Jessie was riding to her office job, in a bit of a struggle to support her baby and her husband as he looked for a sales position. I was both an encouraging ear and her “English practice” for the length of her bus ride. We developed a mutual admiration, sharing the common bonds of motherhood and a curiousity about the worlds beyond our own. A couple of guitarists in the back aisle of our bus generated a surprisingly energetic sing-a-long that seemed to revive even the most bleary-eyed commuter. I knew “Stand By Me”, the only song sung in English, and picked up what Spanish phrases I could in the rest… It was fun.
Jessie and I would have enjoyed chatting a few more minutes. She spent the last couple looking over my map and haltingly advising me on my pending transfer. She made a slow exit at her stop, telling me that she hoped we’d meet again. An unlikely event, I knew, but sweet to hope for… In what felt almost like a benediction, she pronounced me “very kind”, and said that she knew I’d meet many nice people that day.

She was right. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; bull-fight poster That’s usually the best part of travel for me… The random exchanges with individuals just slightly removed from their own “usual”.

There were a couple of high school kids from Chicago then… Mom held the grocery list and a short leash on the schedule. The daughter was on the cusp of college selection and brimmed with her own possibilities. Her younger brother was deeply troubled by the bull-fighting phenomenon his bi-lingual, 70-ish grandmother found so captivating. He traded seats to better converse with me. We talked about a lot of things but always slid back to the bull-fighting. I silently sided with him, praying she wouldn’t compel him to watch another blood-bath on their annual vacation. One grandma’s “art” form; one grandson’s garish nightmare… We’re all made so differently, aren’t we?

There’s more. Much more…

A “Favorite Day” in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco (Part Two)

*I’m headed out-of-town in the next couple of days on another one of those long drives that I find so challenging. However, my oldest son does have his temporary driving permit now, so it should be much easier this time (right?)…


4 Comments to A “Photo Hike” through Puerto Vallarta; Part I

  1. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

    (And I think COTA would do well to employ musicians and encourage sing-a-longs on their buses. Everybody in town knows Hang on Sloopy — they could do that one at the top of every hour. (Your central-Ohio readers are singing it now.))

  2. Thanks Delmer! Don’t know that I could stomach “Hang on Sloopy” being the U of M fan that I am… (sigh) (Not ready to be a “non-fan” like you but ready for a better year)(!!!)
    Headed to NC with a carload of kids in the a.m. Now, there’s an opportunity for some musical bonding! Any requests?

  3. Traveling by bus in Mexico must have been a rich experience for you!

  4. Cyprus Hotels: Why limit the fun to when you’ve arrived somewhere? I did enjoy the bus ride. I learn so much from the people I meet along the way!

Thoughts? Comments?

View Heather Dugan's profile on LinkedIn Subscribe to me on YouTube
Follow Me on Pinterest