For the last number of winters, we have been spending our time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Needless to say many pictures were taken. Water, buildings, people, the surrounding country side and their very unique streets. They are cobblestone. The best way to experience what it is like to travel them is to take a taxi or bus. It is quite bone jarring, as their suspension is worn pretty thin. But it is also worth the few pesos. An adventure all to itself.
The streets offer up many intriguing photo opportunities. What follows is just a small sample. Enjoy.
No stay in Puerto Vallarta is complete without a visit to their botanical gardens. We have been annual visitors and never disappointed.
Founded in 2004 and open to the public in 2005, it is situated about a 45 minute bus ride into the Sierra Madre Mountains on a winding road. The Gardens is situated on 64 acres at an altitude of 1300 feet above sea level.
The Gardens was selected by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council in 2013 as one of the top ten gardens in North America worthy of a visit, it lived up to that reputation.
Abundant in greenery, many flowers, trails and a top notch open air restaurant, it is very easy to spend the better part of the day. With so much to take in, it can seem at first a bit daunting to get a grasp on all that it has to offer. It doesn’t take long to get lost in the beauty all around you.
Armed with insect repellant and our cameras, we set out. For the first time since purchasing, I took the opportunity to try out new lens extenders; these allow you to get great close up shots. A bit of focusing problems at first, but when I switched over to manual focus, (read, trial and error) I liked what I saw. With 3 separate pieces at 12mm, 20mm and 30mm, they can be used singularly or in combination. These are attached next to the camera body and the barrel mounted to that. Some of the pictures that follow were taken with the 20mm lens in place, camera hand held. A tripod (it was at home) and a remote release are essential for this kind of shooting. Next time.
The pictures below are just a small portion of the 100s that were taken. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. Cheers.
When the flowers bloom, the bees come uninvited. Ramakrishna Grasp
This song was written in 1931 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and appeared in the 1932 film of the same name.
Parades can and do take many forms. They do not always include people. Ducks and geese are sometimes seen parading about, but their faces are all the same, and they do not respond well to the music. So we will stick with people, they do it best.
Last year Puerto Vallarta hosted the Folkloric Dance Festival. Dance troupes from Mexico, Chile, Peru and Columbia competed. But before that started, they put on a parade, and it was a dandy.
In keeping with this weeks photo challenge, the pics that follow are just a small sample of the colour and the talent that we were treated to.
This brilliant eye catcher is known as the primavera tree. It is very prominent in Puerto Vallarta at this time of year, even though it is not a native species to this country
These large trees are actually native to South America, and is the national flower of Brazil and Venezuela. Once the blooms are finished, leaves will emerge, usually in the rainy season.
Their sweet fragrance attracts both bees and hummingbirds, and the large flowers, 1-3″, are pollinated by visiting bats. The wood is also prized for it’s few knots and very straight grain.
When I saw the word for this weeks photo challenge, the title for this blog just popped into my head. The phrase really does not have anything to do with flowers ,but was uttered by Jackie Gleason in the 1963 movie Papa’s Delicate Condition.
Next week we plan a trip to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This seems to have become an annual event, but one that never disappoints. Pictures to follow. Until then, cheers.
And now for a totally different kind of sweet. A child’s delight, and a dentists nightmare.
Pelicans are rather entertaining creatures. One of the few animals that is almost a caricature of itself.
Down on the beach in Puerto Vallarta this week while downing a cold one, we were entertained by a flock of pelicans on a feeding frenzy.
Having a front row seat, our cameras went into overtime. What follows is but a small sample of the pics that were taken.
This fellow was having difficulty swallowing a rather awkward piece from a cleaned fish. Their beak, over a foot long has smooth edges, but once the food is in the pouch, the tongue is controlled by a number of muscles that allow the pelican to manipulate the food. This one struggled for over 10 minutes before flying off.
Since our photo challenge this week deals with variations, I could not help but to add this fellow to the collection. Cheers.
Sad to say, our stay in Puerto Vallarta will come to an end in another week. But before we leave for our next adventure, I want to leave you with a few words and pictures. We found that being here nearly 4 months has had a very enlightening affect on both of us. The people of Mexico are not rich by our standards, but they are rich in so many other ways, and are anxious to share this wealth. It never is forced upon you, it just grows, until you come to the realization that something is different in how you feel and view your world around you.
They have so much they want to share; their wares, their stories, their culture, their way of life. But it doesn’t end there, they are also interested in you as a visitor to their country, where you are from, how long staying, what part of town, are you enjoying your stay. They go out of there way to make you welcome and comfortable. You become their friend, their amigo, you find yourself interacting with them. The following pics are just a small example of the opportunities we had to try an capture this.
Much new construction taking place in town.
Three of the fine waiters at Vitea’s restaurant.
Beer being delivered right on time.
Many Mexican families share the beach during the celebration of Semana Santa.
Mother and son enjoying the cool flow of the Cuale River.
A little break dancing on the Malecon.
“Breakin” in mid air.
Slow day for hat sales.
A siesta can happen anytime, any place.
One of a number of hawkers selling silver.
One of a number of sketch artists who do caricatures.
On his way to a royal event.
This “ape” is promoting the Zoo bar and night club.
A few “armed” forces personnel.
Your typical delivery vehicle in Puerto Vallarta.
Sir, I have just the hat for you.
There is a texture here that just has to be experienced, to be absorbed. But that takes time. A couple of weeks here just wets your appetite. Hospitality is spoken here. It is a universal language, one that we all could experience and learn from. I am looking forward to home and our new adventure, and plan on bringing a bit of Mexico with us. We will be back next year. Until then, adios.
With Semana Santa (Easter Celebrations) in full swing in Puerto Vallarta, the Malecon is full of vacationing Mexican families, and a diversity of the weird and wonderful sights that are always a part of the celebrations. For those who are willing to participate, there is a surprise at every turn, some very imagitive, some wild and scary .
My ventures there with Maggie over several days produced some very interesting encounters. Enjoy.
The pictures above are just a small example .of the varied building styles to be found in and around PV. It is an eclectic mix of Hispanic and contemporary styles, helping to retain the old world charm with that of current design. This can be seen in the Spanish influence on domes, courtyards and arches.
Construction today is designed to be earth quake smart and only sway and not crumble. Materials used are usually cement and steel, but some adobe materials can still be found in rural areas. These materials also act as a deterrent to termites of which a number of their nests can be seen in and around PV.