Puerto Vallarta

the-prow

Los Muertos Pier

Our Hacienda was located in the Zona Romantica and this beautiful pier was just a short walk down the hill to the beach.  The sands are almost white despite how they look in this shot.  I liked this area because you could see locals along with tourists enjoying the beaches which are all public.  Shouldn’t all beaches be public???  As you approach Puerto Vallarta by air you can see dense jungle and hillsides and suddenly the most beautiful coastline much of which is taken up by resorts.

The view right outside the Hacienda

The view right outside the Hacienda

I love this shot – it takes me straight back to Cairo.  Cobbled streets, flags across the street.  It was a curious mixture of a wool shop here, a gay nightclub there, beautiful small hotels, street food and exquisite small restaurants.  The mixture was tantalizing.  When I chose the Hacienda, I noticed it was aimed at the gay community but welcomed straight folks.  Even more intriguing… When I researched the area, the guides said it was particularly safe, with a strong police presence.  Teddy and I went out to a lovely little restaurant called Casa Naranjo.  I think we were the only straight couple there but we were all the same age.  My appetite had disappeared and the host went out of his way to cook some mashed potatoes and also some buttered home-made pasta just for me.

yellow-dog

Isn’t there always a little yellow dog wherever you visit?  There were many in Cairo and Istanbul.  This one resided at a restaurant and was well cared for.

Teddy and the cat

Teddy and the cat

…and then there are the cats.  This one was not a stray as you can see from her lovely red collar.  She looked just like Katniss.

Teddy and Bunny with funny hats

Teddy and Bunny with funny hats

 

Grand Junction, Colorado

colorado national monument Grand Junction is a lovely little town in west Colorado, very close to the Utah border. It has the nearest airport to access Moab in Utah. United Express flies regularly from Houston. I was accompanying my better half who was training in the field. When I last went to Moab, I thought that Grand Junction was just lovely and this time the trip was focused there. It seems to be an affluent little town nestled between the most magnificent mountains and canyons. The Main Street is partially pedestrianized and I was really fortunate to be there during the town’s Cinco de Mayo’s fiesta. The sun was shining and everyone seemed so happy. The dancers were local Hispanic young men and women and their families, who mostly looked like migrant farm workers, were proudly applauding their various dance sets. It was very impressive – not just the dancing but the beautifully intricate costumes which must have been expensive. Despite the nearby mountains, the valley is fertile with orchards, vineyards and other produce. Not far from town is the Colorado National Monument, a national park which preserves one of the United States most fabulous landscapes. There are amazing views into the red rock canyons and valleys and it is easily accessible. I drove there early in the morning and it was fantastic watching the sun burn off the morning clouds, illuminating the rosy sediments. It was really easy to negotiate the roads around Grand Junction, get deliberately lost out in the countryside and wind slowly up the canyon roads. Small town living is so appealing when you live in one of the largest conurbations in the US. Click on the link for some lovely photographs and read about my adventures.POSTCARD FROM GRAND JUNCTION – click here