Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beach Action

All the action was by pool #1 where there was a beach side bar, showers for those coming out of the ocean, and a beach volleyball court.

After lining up all the beautiful people (read young), the beach Olympics got under way.

There were several different competitions all designed to get people sweaty and full of sand.

This hat vendor was more intent on inspecting the bikinis than selling his wares.

A platoon of fully armed soldiers marched by. A military and police presence is supposed to make us all feel safer. It felt like we were in the USA.

Boogie boarding was quite popular but was really a hit on the last few days we were there when the surf was pounding in very hard and very high.

Sailboats of various shapes and sizes were out in full force on the windy days.

This one got marooned at low tide.

Just another colourful day at the beach.

Monday, January 30, 2012

At The Beach

We were usually up by sunrise, shortly after seven, and would head out to the beach for our early morning walk. The air was cool and the beaches were not so busy. What a delight to watch the sky lighten and cast a warm glow on the day.

Above, the tracks in the sand are from a Police ATV that patrolled the beach day and night. This stretch of beach is a turtle reserve for the giant Sea Turtles that come up to the sand to lay their eggs. There will be no resorts built here and so the Decameron will always be somewhat isolated, which is a good thing.  

Walking south from our resort one soon comes to this impressive building, the Riu Palace, a five star resort. Beside it is an abandoned old beach house covered in graffiti. This is typical of Mexico, juxtaposition of old and new, the tawdry next door to the palace.

Long pants in Puerto Vallarta? Although the early mornings were cool, by the time the sun was up, you did not want to be in anything but shorts.

The flag on the beach was always yellow which meant caution was the order of the day. If it was not jelly fish, it was pounding surf.

The village of Bucerias is accessible by beach or road and we prefer the beach. These three photos are typical scenes along the way. We walked both routes several times.

Lazing on the beach is much warmer and stickier that relaxing beside one of the pools. The hard core tanners were at the beach, as well as the French Canadian smokers. There is more action on the beach and one cannot really get bored there. The last two days we were treated to some pounding surf. What great fun to watch unsuspecting snow birds turn their back to the rogue wave and get pummelled into the sand.

This is walking in the heat of the day(facing south) with the tide out. It makes for easier walking but beware the sun burn. If you walk a half hour south you get into some heavy duty resort areas.

Looking north. The sky does not appear to be blue because it was not. There was a sea fog on the edges of the sky most days, but the sun overhead was usually brilliant.

'Our' beach. It is always interesting to talk to the folks around you. You learn all kinds of things about them and the latest gossip about back home, the resort, or Mexican culture in general. There is always someone who has just texted* their kids and received the latest weather report. When we hear "snow", as we did on the 18th, we break out into great big smiles.

*If texted is not a word, it is now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


They are on T-shirts, pottery, and all manner of art work, but mostly they are crawling around the grounds of the Decameron Complex. They are harmless and in a perverted sort of way, quite beautiful. There is an Iguana viewing station by the tennis courts and every day the kitchen staff of one of the restaurants throws out leftover fruit for them to feed on. They show up by the dozens. The rest of the time they are hidden in the various trees around the property. The one above was directly over my head one day as I lay by the pool reading a book. Shortly after I took this photo, he crawled out to the end of a limb, chasing a female, when suddenly there was a rain of terror only inches from my lounge. Iguana poop is scary stuff. It splatters down out of the tree in what I can best describe as Seagull times ten. As I was gloating about the near miss, a bird did what the Iguana could not do. It plastered my knee with whitewash. I jumped into the pool, swam to the far end, and got out, not swimming again that day.

The feeding station.

The staff use air cannons to scare these prolific birds away from the outdoor restaurants as they fly right in and steal sugar packets and other delights right from the customers plates. They have a raucous call and remind me of our Blackbirds.

One of the delights of walking the beach is observing the grace and marvelous flying skills of the ungainly Pelicans. They usually fly in groups of three or more and almost always skim the tops of the breakers, riding the pressure ridge of the rising wave. They skim the water with inches to spare and when they spot a meal, they suddenly take a forward plunge into the water and come up with a fish that is sometimes obvious in the pouch beneath their long, rugged beak.  

The Egrets are not as common but are as interesting to watch. They go after the little Hermit Crabs that scurry across the sand as the tide recedes.

Not sure what these are called but they resemble a Snipe or a Sandpiper. Some have straight beaks and others are longer and curved. They scurry in and out of the surf, always knowing exactly how far the wave will wash up onto the sandy beach.

These Frigate Birds are the most graceful fliers you will ever see. I have watched them until they are out of sight and never once do they flap their wings. They are masters at reading the convection currents. When they do feed, they drop from the sky like a rocket and make a tremendous splash when they hit the water. They probably kill their prey on impact.

This young lad was offering rides on his burro. Or maybe you could just get your photo taken while sitting on it.

I spotted this strange thing in the sand on the beach one day. It appears to be a northern foot revelling in the warmth. It could be a female of the species due to the colouration of the appendage.

Horseback riding on the beach is now prohibited, and well it should be. The gauchos were not always diligent about picking up after their steeds. Here we see a lone pony having a break in a quiet spot behind the hotel. Tomorrow we will go to the beach.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mexican Flora

We spent very little time in our room, but when we were there, this was the view from our patio, looking straight ahead.

And then looking a bit to our left.

Reflections on an evening when there was no sunset.

Bougainvillea and Banana leaves.

One of the many varieties of Palm trees.

Coconuts ready to fall on some one's head.

Three photos of Bougainvillea against different backdrops.
Tomorrow, Mexican Fauna.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Colours of Decameron

Why do we like it here so much? Surrounded by bright light and bright colour one cannot help but be happy and upbeat. It is so much the opposite of drab, which is the order of the day for winter back home. There are seven restaurants, six pools, six buildings, most of which consist of three wings of at least three floors each, and gardens everywhere. There are over 600 guest rooms and while we were there it was at capacity, the highest occupancy rate of any resort in Puerto Vallarta. Too many are discovering its charm and ambiance and there may be a day when the prices will go up and availability go down. Most people we talked to had been there multiple times.

I will let the photos do the talking.