Puerto Vallarta is the sort of love:hate place you need to get away from every so often in order to keep that ratio in a healthy balance. Fortunately there are easy getaways in any compass direction (except west unless you have a boat or are a strong swimmer).
A couple of weekends ago I went south about 100km to camp on the beach at Bahia Chamela at a place called Xametla. I took along Cashew for some company that didn’t require dialogue and together we had this beautiful place to ourselves. Cashew is a slightly silly version of a pit bull that doesn’t look for fights and avoids pits. She does however love to chase a moving target but doesn’t quite know what to do when the quarry is cornered. Cats and even squirrels usually have the last word. Tossed coconuts are more easily pursued, subdued and chewed.
She loves the beach but never says no to a road trip anywhere.
After a lazy start we’d arrived late in the afternoon but time enough to swim, walk and read a bit before the sun settled down for a prolonged sunset.
The onshore breeze went with the sun and the extended twilight that followed heralded an annoying spate of no-see-ums (hehenes). Repeated infusions of cold beer dulled the annoyance and lime juice eased the itching. A glorious sunset and call to tripod also took the mind off the pesky little insects. We slept soundly, Cashew inviting herself into my hammock with the pre-dawn chill. What a pussy. A little further south down the Costa Alegre on the way to Careyes is one of my favourite seafood restaurants, La Viuda, which proves every time that you can’t beat fresh fish and that an eatery doesn’t have to be flash or expensive to be top notch.
A secondary reason for the weekend away was to revisit careyes to present some photographic prints of a job I’d recently performed there, shooting some of their hallmark villas.
A tertiary reason for the road trip was to watch some international polo as USA, Canada and Central America competed for the right to play in the 2008 World Polo Championship. Canada won. Mexico, being the host nation for the 2008 tournament also get to go.
The afternoon’s event was a good spectacle but the highlight was when the excitable Cashew, who had been dutifully restrained from pursuing the equestrian targets, finally wriggled out of her collar and ran on to the field, causing chaos, general panic and eliciting curses from players and umpires but conservative cheers from the small crowd. She eventually singled out one retreating horse and gave a spirited and high speed chase down the length of the field, prompting one heckler to suggest that they paint a number on her flank for the next chukka. I’d have photos of the action but was too busy chasing after the bloody dog….!
And as if that wasn’t excitement enough…. on the drive back to PV the next day we happened upon a recent accident involving a fuel tanker and a case of exceso de velocidad which delayed our return to PV but added some different photos to the weekend’s catalogue.