03 December 2009

I'll Take This Neighborhood

Just when I was thinking that I might need somewhere other than Puerto Vallarta to use as my tonic for survival, I changed my mind. I went for my morning walk up the streets behind the church in the center of town.

Except for the one time I trudged up to see the gutted exterior of Liz and Dick’s house, I have avoided those steep inclines. But the weather here has been darn cold, (in the low 60’s F), and I resolved to leave the chill of my room and get the blood moving by scaling the hills of PV.

As soon as I got just one street above the main roads that ramble through town, a quiet descended all around me. The only sounds were from a few people talking in the street and from the kids practicing Christmas songs in a school I walked by. A few doggies barked as I passed and the birds ignored me and chirped.

I walked to the highest point on one street than crossed over to another. It didn’t take much time to realize that I most certainly could live in one of these hillside abodes. There were some rather large, brand-new houses, and other more ramshackle places covered in brilliant magenta bougainvillea and studded with tropical trees. I could just picture a little apartment with a view to the bay.

When I had been looking for places to stay on this trip, I carefully avoided anything that was situated on the hill. When I am at the beach, I want to live with my front door on the sand and be able to hear the breaking waves. Having said that, the beachfront possibilities here are grim and once I saw what life was like up on the hill, I changed my mind.

It sort of had a San Francisco feel with its sheer-drop-off streets running down towards the water. Of course this was on a much smaller scale with narrow cobblestone byways. I have no idea how the cars that were there managed to get up the street and hoped they had good brakes.

I also considered the walk up the hill, having sworn I would never again willingly live on anything above sea level. But in the cool of the morning it was an easy walk up. I imagine the afternoon might be a bit hellish. And then I thought that it would not be wise to live there in the rainy season. I could just imagine myself slipping on soaking wet, uneven rocky streets and dying a miserable death.

Who knows what the future will bring; but simply having the dream of a little room on the hill overlooking the Baia de Banderas fills me with great pleasure.