I don’t remember now what time I got up, but I didn’t sleep long; 4:45 or 5:45, so only 4-5 hours either way. Seems to be the way this trip is going. But I don’t feel too worn out, although that probably fed into the decisions I made about today’s itinerary.
(As an aside, here’s the same view from this afternoon. The one this morning taken about 8:30am; the one immediately above around 5:30pm.)
Breakfast was similar to prior ones, but with a pancake!
As I was sitting over breakfast I was reading various things online about Yelapa, a little fishing village that’s about on the southernmost end of the bay, and where I planned on going today. As I’m reading about it I’m reminded of the need to be on a boat again – no other way to get there, it’s not accessible by land. With some horror stories in reviews about how awful the boat rides were since it’s usually just smaller water taxis that take you there. Depending on what you read, there’s either a lot to do and you must stay the night, or not much to do and you just wasted an afternoon. Can you feel the ambivalence building?
I texted Jon and said if he was up for coffee I’d come by and bring his stuff back (sunscreen and repellent). Sure! So I made my way up there a little before 9am.
By the time I got to Jon’s I said: Unless you tell me Yelapa is a life-changing experience and I must go, I think I’m going to skip it. He confirmed it was not life-changing and it will be there next year. After two very full days, I decided I needed a day of not much, so that gave me the permission I needed. (Not that I really needed any…)
This text comes in from Art while I’m there. Many of you know Art, or at a minimum met him here if you read last summer’s blog; we did some stuff together in NYC.
You’ll have to read yesterday’s blog if you don’t get it 🙂
So with that, I just hung out the rest of the day. Walked around town for a good part of it, taking streets that I knew and that I didn’t, without using a map, just to get more acquainted with the town.
I do love this little nature preserve in the middle of town along the Rio Cuale. It was so unexpected last year.
Eventually it was time for lunch and I made my way over to Super Salud, rated #1 on TripAdvisor’s list of restaurants and recommended by two friends via Facebook since I’ve been here. Verdict: closed on Sundays. Had a flashback to last year – think the same thing happened then. I made my way back to Basilio Badillo – one of the main drags – because I decided I’d try Joe Jack’s Fish Shack instead since I’d just walked past it and knew that was open. But at about the corner of BB and Olas Altas, I had this guy selling skin care products stop me and start applying stuff to my eyes, trying to convince me what naturally great skin I had this would make it even better. He didn’t believe me when I said “the problem is, I just don’t care enough about it” and walked away. So I didn’t want to go back that way!
Instead I went up some side streets which took me into the hills and the lovely sidewalks of stairs. This is higher than it looks and that sidewalk took many turns before it got back down to street level.
I forgot to take a photo of the outside so this will have to do.
Instead of chips you got jicama, cucumber and radish with some spice sprinkled on them. Perfect. Haven’t had a ton of vegetables since I’ve been here!
There are some things that I will get whenever they’re on the menu because you just don’t see them that often. French onion soup is one. Beet and arugula salad is another. It was on their specials list. This had goat cheese and candied pecans, and a light dressing. It was delicious.
This was also on their specials list. Sea bass over fennel and a green I couldn’t identify (and don’t remember what the menu said) over white beans. Very different, healthy, tasty.
They also have a nice area upstairs, which I came across when I used the restroom.
Dessert after was ice cream again. I figured since this was my 3rd time here (I forgot to mention it in Friday’s blog!) I should at least credit with a photo. And an interesting name for an ice cream shop, don’t ya think? Today was Bananas Foster and Peanut Butter with Belgian chocolate.
From there I walked around town some more and eventually made my way back to the hotel. The weather had changed. At lunch time it was 80 degrees and blue skies. Later in the afternoon it had clouded over and dropped a few degrees to 77, which really cooled things off and felt wonderful on my warm skin. I sat here in my favorite spot and read some (the latest Jonathan Kellerman if you’re a fan) and then got the blog ready up to this point. I’m meeting Jon and Pedro for dinner this evening at a place a 4 minute walk from my hotel.
Cafe des Artistes is probably the most famous restaurant in PV. It’s like 2 blocks from my hotel. I stumbled across it last year just walking around, and then someone I met this year suggested it for when I came back. Jon and Pedro have been here a couple of times and they were game so Jon made reservations for 7pm several weeks ago.
Past the entrance, you are greeted with a piano player and a violinist.
What it might be best known for is its garden seating, but it’s limited and it was full so some other time! Jon had asked for this when he made the reservation but they’d said then there were no guarantees.
The main dining room isn’t exactly shabby. That’s Jon and Pedro to the left.
We couldn’t figure out what was in the flavored butter – and now I forget although we did ask. Garlic and something green, maybe like pesto but to me it had the consistency of a blue cheese. It was good though. The bread sticks and the top crusty piece you see were incredible, especially the crusty bread.
Tuna and avocado tartar, served on rock salt. This was pretty special and might be my favorite bite of the night.
Jon had the waiter take this of us. WordPress had trouble with the format this came over in from SnapChat so I came up with a work around using Imgur.
A suckling pig taco. Pedro got the same thing for his main and did a much better job of eating it like a taco! I didn’t do so well and ended up having to use a fork. The pork was very good, couldn’t tell you what else was on it.
Pumpkin soup served, of course, from a pumpkin. “A 28 year tradition” the menu says.
Broiled octopus with grilled polenta and smoked beets. Everything about this dish was amazing.
After all that we passed on dessert; nothing was really jumping out at us enough to push how full we were. (The 2nd round of bread didn’t help…) We were there for 2.5 hours.
I got back to my room and did most of my packing. Went to bed early for this trip, about 10:30. I was pretty tired despite doing not much of anything. The prior two days caught up with me I think!Tags: Puerto Vallarta, Steve Haas, Travel blog