Early September brought several visitors – the close approach of a very large hurricane, Newton, and a visit from our youngest son.
Newton was the 14th named storm of the year, with the closest approach to Puerto Vallarta so far. We were lucky – the coastal mountains to the south of Puerto Vallarta kept the hurricane from approaching too close, and we saw no wind or swell what so ever. Others were not so lucky. Newton headed straight up the Sea of Cortez and took aim at the Guaymas/San Carlos area where hundreds of boats were stored on the hard (out of the water) on stands or in the water at marinas or at anchor. Considered by many to be north of the hurricane zone, Guaymas/San Carlos saw winds of up to 100 knots which wreaked havoc with the large boating community. Floating docks were ripped apart sinking the boats tied to them, and boats stored on the hard were knocked over like dominoes. (http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/lectronicday.lasso?date=2016-09-09#Story4).
November 1 marks the official end of the hurricane season, and it can’t come fast enough. It is a little unnerving watching the progress of hurricanes moving up the coast towards us, wondering if our turn is next. Hurricane season also brings intense thunder and lightning storms, and last night we had a lightning strike in the water next to the marina which tripped our GFI outlets on the boat. Way to close for comfort!
It was great to have visit from our son Court. We spent time by the pool, wandered the craft markets of downtown Puerto Vallarta and bargained for trinkets, and took in the new Star Trek movie at a decibel level only found in Mexican theaters. We took the bus out to the surfing town of Sayulita where we saw some great art work made entirely of plastic bottle caps and had beers on the beach. We had dinner at Sonora al Sur, where you pick a meat cut from the counter and pay for it by the kilo. It is then grilled to order and returned to your table. You bring your own wine, and no corkage fee is charged – one of our favorite places!
Back in Puerto Vallarta, we capped off Court’s stay with a visit to the round bar (a small outdoor neighborhood bar that is, well, round), and a stroll along the malecon at sunset. Every Mexican town on the water has a malecon – a wide walkway to stroll, jog, watch the sunset or just gaze out to sea. There are park benches and bronze statues, fountains and vendors selling all manner of snacks and trinkets. The malecon is a busy place every night, but on Sunday night entire families turn out in their Sunday best to enjoy the sunset.
We continue to enjoy the differences between Mexico and the USA. On the way back to the marina the other day, the bus driver pulled over and went in to pay his cable TV bill. Nobody complained or even remarked on it. At the next stop a man with a guitar got on board and serenaded us with several songs. He passed the hat then got off at the next stop. A tired worker sipped a beer and stared out the window as the bus rumbled on. You just wouldn’t see any of this on the bus back home. Perhaps it is because here the majority of locals travel by bus, as owning a car is a luxury many can’t afford. Back home people only take the bus if they are environmentally minded or have recently gotten a DUI.
Our time here is quickly coming to an end. In less than a month we will be headed for Mazatlan for bottom paint and a rendezvous with a group of friends from Portland. Still some fun to be had here though – more visitors next week and a trip into town tonight to celebrate Mexican Independence Day!