Showing posts with label Bucerias. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bucerias. Show all posts

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bucerias, Mexico: Back to our Future

There was a time when Bucerias, Mexico, a small fishing village north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast was our future. Now, it's a sizeable segment of our past. Earlier this month we revisited that past.

RivieraNayarit2012 177Seven years ago we sold our last property there, The Dolce Vitas, and filed Mexico away in our history book.

(Unlike our Casa de la Playa below, the DV’s still stand – next to them these days is a restaurant offering live music and dancing.) 

Back to our Future

Casa de la Playa 001In 1991 the laid-back fishing village we selected as the site of our second home --our heads filled with all the giddy future plans that go with such investments – there were maybe six restaurants.  Accommodations included a couple of Mexican-owned and operated low-end  hotels, a condo building or two, and a few privately-owned homes, such as ours, that served as vacation rentals.

The town’s landmark were the stalls of oyster vendors that lined the two-lane Highway 200 that bisected it.

From our U.S. home we brought supplies – sheets, towels, kitchen supplies –to the south-of-the-border house (in oversized suitcases; thankfully, before baggage fees came to be).

Today:  Tourism and Touts; Big Boxes and Banks

 Bucerias  is now a part of the tourist-zoned, Riviera Nayarit.  And tourism has come to town! (Along with the multitudes of over-zealous trinket touts and timeshare sales people that seem to come with Mexican tourism.) 

RivieraNayarit2012 058The gauntlet of trinket touts lines every street leading into town from the old footbridge over the dry, dusty arroyo. The constant calls:  “Hey Lady, come look!” “Hey, how long you here?” “Good prices, almost free!”  made us want to shout: “Enough already!”

RivieraNayarit2012 320Oyster vendors? We saw one  lone table  stacked with oysters to the side of  a ‘lateral’.

The laterals, those local access roads to the side of the highway, have been enlarged to two lanes each direction as has the highway itself,RivieraNayarit2012 069 making the road through town an eight-lane super structure with a palm-tree lined median strip.

RivieraNayarit2012 318Accommodations abound. This hotel sits across from the fish restaurants that still line the beach in the town’s el centro.
High rise condo buildings with unit price tags starting at $300,000US, are sprouting like beach grass all over town. The rental site, Vacation Rental By Owner, lists 129 accommodations – unlike the half dozen listed when we owned there.

RivieraNayarit2012 184Household supplies are readily available from Costco, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, in Puerto Vallarta, and the Mexican chain, Mega in Bucerias.  Each store is stocked with ATM’s.  Bucerias  has banks now as well.

Bucerias isn’t the town it once was, but we aren’t the same either. As we all know sometimes change isn’t always bad.  Have you revisited your future lately?  If so, what changes have you found?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Where Paul Theroux Goes. . .so do we!

Paul Theroux, the prolific writer of travelogues and novels, is a favorite of ours. Through his books, we’ve followed him around the Mediterranean, India, England and Africa  . . . as he has travled on trains, ferries, and even on foot.

He inspires us to stretch ourselves until our comfort zones tingle . . .

It was after she strapped the mask over her mouth and eased on a pair of rubber gloves, that I started to feel nervous; about the time the reclining chair began elevating my feet higher than my head. 

“Paul Theroux did it, so can I,” I told myself.  But when she had me open my mouth and the instrument she held  began whirring, I thought, “Do I really need to do what Paul Theroux does?”

RivieraNayarit2012 054Our first stop in  Bucerias, Mexico was to have our teeth cleaned thanks to an article of his published in many U.S. newspapers that told of his walking into Nogales, Mexico. While its focus was on border crossings, among his experiences was returning with cleaner, whiter teeth.

Each of our cleanings took about an hour and included an exam by the dentist.  The total cost for both was $91US.  When compared to the cost of having it done at home, the savings had nearly paid the cost of one of our airline tickets.

We are not advocating an exodus to Mexico for dental work. We tried it and were so comfortable with our experience that a future cleaning might prompt our next visit south of the border.

While the article sparked the idea, we went to this dentist because he came recommended by gringo friends who’ve gone to him for years.  His web site explains his qualifications, has photos of his office that we reviewed prior to our trip.  (The waiting room was never empty and every patient was an American on the afternoon of our visit.)

There are hundreds of web sites citing both pros and cons of having dental work done in Mexico.  We didn’t research any of them prior to our trip simply because if Paul Theroux could do it, so could we.

What travel experiences have made your comfort zone stretch until it tingled?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Casa de la Playa: Asi es la Vida

‘Asi es la vida’, in Spanish means, “such is life.” 

We didn’t rush to the small beach road. It wasn’t until our third trip to Bucerias, a small beach town north of Puerto Vallarta, last week that Joel suggested we  go visit our ‘old place.’  Walking down the beach road as we had done so many hundreds of times before brought back a flood of memories – both good and bad.

Riviera Nayarit 2012 037
Our Casa de la Playa, House of the Beach,  once reigned at the end of this road.  Now the road is blocked by a tall fence that encloses a condominium building called The Albatros. Our old Grand Dame was bulldozed within months of our sale to new owners from Mexico City. 

Somehow their assurances at the time of the sale that they loved the casa and would use it for years to come made saying ‘adios’ a bit easier.  They obviously hadn’t loved it as much as they claimed.

Ah, but, asi es la vida.

Riviera Nayarit 2012 038 There’s a prison-like feel to the large solid metal fence enclosing the place these days.
Riviera Nayarit 2012 039The garden area once at the side of the casa is now a very snug parking lot. The Albatros is one of a half dozen such multi-storied condo buildings that line the Bucerias beachfront these days – each vying for buyers.

We smiled as we noted the many “For Sale’ signs plastered to the front of this five unit building. And continued smiling as we walked down the beach.

Yes, Asi, es la vida.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

‘Basting Away’ in Margaritaville, Mexico

We are basting ourselves with suntan lotion on this Travel Photo Thursday as we play on the sand and in the sea  20  miles north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

We are in the midst of our first of two weeks on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit; this week on Playa Destiladeras. So slide into that empty chair below, there’s a margarita just waiting for you as we celebrate another great day in paradise.

Riviera Nayarit 2012 044

We drank the margarita pictured above at El Dorado, on Playa Anclote, near Punta de Mita, and a few miles north of where we are staying.  We’ve come to this restaurant for more than two decades to spend a few late afternoon hours and usher in sunset.
Riviera Nayarit 2012 046 

We’d begun our sunset celebration in this Mexican Margaritaville at another long-time hangout on this same beach,  El Anclote, which has been around since the mid-1980’s.  Our entertainment there was watching the beach vendors peddle their wares: jewelry, wood carvings, hammocks, rugs, and clothing  One of the most popular was the candy/nut vendor:

Riviera Nayarit 2012 043

I wasn’t the only one pulled to his display like metal to a magnet:

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Sunset and margaritas seem to go hand-in-hand in Mexico but this time of year the sun doesn’t set until after 8 p.m. – long after we’d sipped our margaritas. We toasted this day in tropical paradise with a glass of vino as we watched the sunset from our deck at the condo where we are staying.

Riviera Nayarit 2012 018

Many of you know this trip is taking us down Memory Lane. It’s our first visit since we sold the last of our homes here seven years ago. It has been a blend of discovery and nostalgia. I’ll tell you more about our Memory Lane, the places we are staying and Bucerias in future posts.

For now it is Travel Photo Thursday so stop by Budget Travelers Sandbox for another great photo journey around the world.


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