We have taken photos around Old Town of Puerto Vallarta, so yesterday we got a car and driver to explore nearby small villages. These are beach towns averaging 1500 to 3000 inhabitants not counting tourists in the tourist season. We drove to Sayulita, San Francisco, Playa lo de Marcos, Playa Venado Buccerias and Rincon de Guayabitos. The last one is about a one hour drive from Puerto Vallarta.

On the way we stopped at a cemetery. It had many above ground structures including one that looked like a Chinese pagoda. Many bright colors as well. In November the Mexicans (and other Catholic countries) celebrate All Souls Day. But, here it is day of the dead and it is a time of celebration. The cemetery reflected in its colors a joy.

We have seen a lot of dirt roads, roaming animals and poverty by our standards. But, we have seen beautiful beaches, buildings painted in bright colors and even a circus. There was a large tent in a field with a truck that had painted in Spanish "Gigantic Circus." A donkey grazed with a camel and some other animals. It was 93 degrees and humid. I wondered what the temperature inside the tent would be.

There are people with interesting faces. Old men with cheap western hats sitting on benches in the shade with the eyes closed. Two or three men in white shirts sitting around a small table talking. A woman in a bright dress sweeps the tile floor in a small park. There is a huge bright mural on the wall behind her showing scenes of people working. I wondered if it dated from the Communist era here. 

We drove down a dirt road and there was a horse tied at his head to a rope fastened in the tree above. The horse could not put his head down to graze and kept trying to do it. I wondered if there was a reason for tormenting the horse in that way. All kinds of dogs running around everywhere. Small ones primarily. A little boy, about five or six carrying a small dog down the beach. He would stop to put the dog down to get him to follow, but the dog didn't want to walk in the sand, so he picked him up and carried him further only to repeat the process all without success.

Old boats pulled up on the beach that looked like they had not floated in the water for a very long time. Small out door restaurants that have no one inside, right on the sand of the beach. The Fall tides bring the water lapping right to the edge of them. Wooden tables with chairs stacked on top. Many small stores selling all kinds of things with only the locals to sell to at this time of the year. 

My Spanish has not improved, but our driver speaks English fluently so we get along. People stare at the large man dressed in black with a head of white hair. Gerry Spence stands out in a crowd. They are curious at these two men walking around with big cameras and wonder what we are doing in their small town. A wonderful lunch of fresh shrimp at a small restaurant located right over the water with a cold beer and an ocean breeze made the humidity a little better. It is uncomfortable, but bearable.  I have collected some good photos. I am still looking for the great photos. Today we head to the mountains, so we will see what awaits us there. 


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