[Originally posted January 20, 2008]
Puerto Vallarta is hard to wrap my mind around.
For one thing, it's huge. The "main drag" through town goes on for kilometers, cute little restaurants and shops everywhere. The main drag is also several streets wide. The sheer number of eating options is staggering and makes San Francisco look only slightly more sophisticated than Dillon, Montana. I'm serious.
Puerto Vallarta has civilization, at least what would be recognized as such by a San Franciscan. There are martini bars. There are raves. There are gay clubs, complete with rainbow flags. There is a goth club with elaborately-dressed (and extraordinarily hot) goth latinas making out in the doorway, which nearly compensated for the blaring industrial music of exactly the type I find irritating. I even walked past a drag queen on the way back to my room, just like home!
Puerto Vallarta's civilization is not an artifice created for tourists. Almost all the clubs and bars were filled with fashionably dressed spanish-speaking people in their 20s and 30s.
It probably helps that I'm in the southern district, where the hotels econůmica
and (apparently) all the cool people are. Still, despite the proliferation of megahotels and condos along the (very well maintained) beachfront, Puerto Vallarta feels like a modern, vibrant urban community. This is in sharp contrast to Cabo San Lucas, where tourists go to die.
I wasn't expecting to like PV but it's one of the few Mexican cities that I would both enjoy living in and remain entertained for more than a few months.
Nevertheless, I'm leaving after one night. I'm headed inland towards Guadalajara, which has a KTM dealer that can service my bike. The maintenance interval on the LC4 is short, only about 3k miles. This may become a problem later in the trip.