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Published: March 28th 2018
Puerto Vallarta 19 January - 18 February 2018
I have been so relaxed in PV that I totally messed up the blogs. I forgot to write about the first month because I put a few photographs of PV in the blog about Loreto and then swanned off to Morelia and became obsessed with butterflies. So that is why two blogs are coming along at once.
We continued to enjoy Posada de Roger and it's eclectic mix of residents. As we were going to stay for another month after going to Morelia we decided to spend more time relaxing and go sightseeing after our return.
I think I explained on our previous visit that the plumbing in Mexico is dodgy to say the least and in fact last time we resorted to carrying a plunger around with us. Any toilet paper put in the bowl immediately causes a blockage and must be avoided at all costs but even without paper the toilets seem to fail every couple of days. In hotels they quickly remedy the problem but it is a pain to keep reporting it and waiting for someone to come especially if,
as happened at Posada de Roger, a guest disappears along with the plunger. So after a few weeks we again invested in our own personal plunger. I am hoping Jim will agree to leave it behind before we fly out.
The carnival procession was entertaining, certainly not Rio, but fun too watch. I was surprised that there was no evidence of a religious content, it was much more a Gay Pride event.
We did visit the Botanical Gardens as we had done seven years ago. It has grown since then and a number of new trails have been created as well as a butterfly garden and cactus 'mounds' to highlight the range of cacti that grow in this climate. The aquamarine Philipines climber has spread across the conservatory and looks more glorious than last time. It is such a strange colour and texture that everyone's first response is to ask if it is plastic!
I continued the Spanish lessons for the month but gradually came to realise that the benefit was limited because although it was really helpful to listen to the teacher speaking Spanish, most of the time it was
the other class members speaking and the majority have such strong US or Canadian accents it bore little resemblance to Spanish or even Mexican. In fact the best part of going to class was spotting the iguanas in the trees on the walk there. Jim enjoyed his weekly bridge sessions until he went down with the flu bug.
After visiting Morelia we returned to PV fully intending to get out and about to the southern beaches and the islands as we had done last time. Unfortunately that was not to be as Jim started with a cold/flu type bug. Within a couple of days he also had a sudden severe attack of gout, the first time (and he hopes the last) he has experienced it. I know it is one of those conditions that sounds comical but he did really suffer and his lower foot was very swollen. It erupted the night after my birthday meal so Jim was uncertain if the rich food was the cause, or whether the virus had triggered it or perhaps it was all coincidental. However, with medication it eventually deflated but it took about three weeks before he was feeling fully
restored, just in time to head off by plane to Mexico City.
It was so lucky that we had moved into the apartment as being housebound for a while was much more pleasant there than being confined to a hotel room.
So life in PV continued around us. I went to Spanish lessons, read a lot and prepared for next winter while Jim rested. It is a relaxing place and we did enjoy it but the sheer volume of visitors from North America has overwhelmed the Mexican character as we have seen so often before. What is worse, most of them seem to have brought their dogs with them, sometimes as many as three or four each.
However the plus side is that it is a very sociable environment as you soon get to know people and we did meet some really pleasant Americans, others we knew to avoid, especially the avowed Trump supporters. The souvenir stalls have interesting, if rude, T shirts about Trump as I am sure you can imagine. I like the more gentle one which says simply 'Trump's Wall: Mexico will soon get over it.'
In many ways PV appears like a mammoth open air retirement complex only counterbalanced by the huge gay and lesbian community ( many of whom are also eligible for places in the retirement home) which does reduce the average age. It is not possible to sit in a bar without getting into conversation, a great bonus for those people here alone.
It is a wonderful place to spend the winter as the climate is perfect, the sun shines, the choice of good restaurants is endless, the street food is good and there are sufficient supermarkets even if the ones in town are a little limited in their stock. Everything you can possibly need is within a hundred metres of wherever you are.
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