Too many tourists!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
1
68
253
Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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Where I stayed
Tocha's RV Park

Flag of Mexico  , Pacific Coast,
Monday, May 17, 2010

A strange thing has happened to us during our travels in Mexico.  We've come to feel not like tourists but more like visitors.  What's the difference you may ask?  Well, we've gotten to where we like being the only 'gringos' in town.  We like shopping with the locals and spending time with them.  We've gotten used to finding those little off the beaten path spots and discovering what I would call, the real Mexico. 

With all that being said I was, strangely, looking forward to our stop in Puerto Vallarta.  We've been here before on a cruise ship and I remembered the downtown area being quaint and fun to walk around in while shopping. 

My first clue that we wouldn't enjoy our stop here as 'visitors' should have come when I read this in the AAA guidebook:  Vallarta knows what tourists crave, and along the city's cobbled streets you'll find the usual line-up of gringo-friendly businesses from restaurants to clothing shops.  The second clue was passing by a McDonald's, KFC and Carl's Jr on the way to the campground.  The final straw?  A huge Wal-Mart across from the cruise ship dock and a billboard for Chili's. 

Ken, literally, wanted to keep driving but I talked him into pulling into the campground - which was located right behind the WalMart and only a block or two from the cruise ship terminal. After all, Mazatlan had a few of the same type of 'gringo friendly' businesses and we really enjoyed our time there.  In fact, Mazatlan is still one of the highlites of our time in Mexico and is someplace we plan on visiting again in the coach. 

Well, hindsight is 20/20 and I should have let Ken keep on driving.  The downtown area along the Malecon is still as we remembered, quaint and scenic.  But the vendors and time-share hawkers are pushy and rude.  The traffic is horrible and everyone seems to be in a rush.  The campground we stayed at - the only one in Puerto Vallarta was the most expensive of the trip and the staff seemed put out that we were there.  On top of all of this is the fact that everything - and I mean everything - easily cost 30% more here. 

And, the final straw??  The place was crawling with English speaking TOURISTS!!!  Needless to say we couldn't wait to get out of there! 
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