Friday, 15 April 2016

More Puerto Vallarta

As I had mentioned, this is the seventh time I've been to P.V., the first time was in 1995. Each time I've seen changes. P.V. continues to grow. The first time I was here, I observed police attempting to get through the traffic - they had a portable flashing light that they slapped on the dash of the car, but no sirens. An officer was leaning out of the window and yelling and motioning to other drivers, trying to clear the way. For several years yhere have been regular patrol cars and but this year I have seen an increase in motorcycle police.

P.V. has a strong "enforcement " presence. There are district police, dressed in Blues, the military police dressed in brown and the tourist police with white shirts. As well you will see a military presence in P.V. and there are private security officers in many locations.  The tourist police generally don't carry guns.

Some new items I noticed this time - they now have emergency call stations in several locations in the downtown/Romantica area. 
This was a surprising new addition. The public bathrooms are gated. For $5 pesos you can enter.
The Malecon used to have a driving lanes in front of the shops, with sidewalks that you had to walk up three or fours steps to reach. This was necessary as the rainy season and the flash floods brought a torrential amount of water down from the hilly area to the ocean. After a hurricane a few years ago many of the stores and much of the malecon area was damaged. The government stepped in and provided funds for a makeover.  The original malecon area became walking only area and a much larger area for tourist.  It is beautifully decorated with statues, many which i included in the previous blog entry, stone inlays in the walkways and a better drainage system.  You can now walk from the beginning of the malecon, over the Cuale River and to Los Muertos Pier.

There are three bridges in the tourist area that cross over Cuales River, which separates the downtown area from the Romantica area. The first bridge, is a walking only bridge at the oceanside. You often see local families and tourists swimming in the river. Pelicans appear to congregate in this area. Fresh oysters and ceviche is sold. Isle Cuale is home to a few very nice restaurants, shopping sites and another area where artists are actively working. A small gallery is hidden away here. 

The second and third bridges are traffic bridges and they also have walkways to the shopping area on the Isle - swinging, wooden bridges. The third bridge is also beside the original flea market. It is still a three story market with a food court on the top floor.  However it is much more modern than past years and the cooking areas have commercial cooking equipment rather than small propane - outdoor type burners. Modernization has certainally taken some of the charmm away, but has provided a safer location.

The trees on Isle Cuale is home to many large iguanas and frequently you can see turtles sunning themselves on the rocks.

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