• Feb

    Barra de Navidad


    Once I’d arrived in Puerto Vallarta, I realized almost immediately that it didn’t feel right. Within two hours, I wanted to leave, but I was held back from doing so by my power supply problem, which demanded resolution. Fortunately I was able to deal with it quickly and left town two days later to Barra de Navidad, roughly a 3-1/2 hour bus ride to the south.

    Getting there wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. While I’d purchased a ticket on a so-called first class bus, it seemed to be anything but. At one point the bus stopped for quite awhile in south Vallarta to pick up a number of people, most of whom appeared to be workers, which I thought was strange, then letting them off at various locations on the highway going down.

    The next disconcerting thing was having to use the facilities and discovering that there was no water to wash my hands, nor soap, for that matter. And as it turned out, this section of highway had a lot of twists and turns, which meant for a long, slow ride.

    And if you’ve ever needed to use the washroom during severe turbulence on an aircraft, that’s what this experience was like. (As it turned out later, the bus service I’d gotten wasn’t as premium as I’d thought. That’s available from ETN. I’ll have ample time to see what that’s like tomorrow – Feb 19th.)

    When I got into Barra de Navidad, it was nine o’clock at night and I had no idea of what to expect after the bus let me off downtown. Fortunately, some locals were immediately helpful and pointed out a line of taxis, on the next corner. I got one and gave the driver directions to the hotel. As we got closer, I noticed that the area had a nice feeling to it. As we got closer to the hotel, that feeling became stronger.

    Once I arrived and got my stuff put away, it seemed that Barra was a really sweet place. When I went for a walk later, that was reinforced by what I saw in the area, all sorts of shops, brightly lit and with a wide variety of restaurants.

    As you’ll see from my photos, it looks a lot like many other Mexican towns, but the feeling is different. It’s impossible to explain any better than that, but once I got here, I know that I could spend months at a time in this place.

    barra de navidad street signs

    When you’re on the road into Barra, these signs can come in handy.

    washroom sink in toucan fredy's puerto valarta

    The Hotel Delfin, where I stayed. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but when you pass through that doorway, you discover a really nice hotel.

    puerto vallarta city bus

    The fourth floor of the hotel, where my room is located.

    barra de navidad hotel delfin room

    My room on the fourth floor of this hotel. It was very comfortable and clean. It also has a great view, which will be in evidence later on.

    barra de navidad grand bay hotel

    The Grand Bay Hotel, accessible by water taxi, boasts a huge marina where all sorts of yachts are moored. I got a look from the water when I went out that way on a tour.

    Barra de navidad hotel delfin rooftop view

    One of several views of Barra de Navidad from the top of my hotel.

    barra de navidad hotel delfin stairs

    To get a great view, you need to climb this staircase, which leads to the highest point on the hotel, but the view is spectacular.

    barra de navidad hotel delfin view

    Here’s one of the spectacular views from the top of the hotel

    barra de navidad hotel delfin sunset

    A spectacular sunset, taken from my high perch.

    barra de navidad streets

    Outside my hotel, the streets looked particularly inviting.

    barra de navidad streets

    Another example of a downtown street. Note the contrast between the building on the right and those on the left. This street is one of two leading to a park at the end, which contains a lovely walkway of paving stones that goes out to a point. It’s a natural breakwater, and in some ways reminds me of Ogden point in Victoria.

    barra de navidad coffee

    If you’re a coffee junkie (like me), this place makes great espressos, lattes, etc. It also helps that Arienne, the proprietor, bought an automatic machine that makes the coffee for her. It’s fast, reliable and tastes good.

    There’s also another coffee place, one block over called, “El Horno France,” which features French baking and drinks. It might sound bizarre, but all this place serves is the equivalent of a continental breakfast – all day long.

    barra de navidad street vendor

    One of the local street vendors. I’ve bought all sorts of nuts and sweets from him. So far, my favorite is his chocolate covered almonds. A small bag is about ten pesos.

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