A bright sunny day and we got off to a good start. While my friend showered my wife and I went to the pier where I tried out my Ron Popeil Pocket Fisherman. The locals using fishing-line wrapped around an empty plastic soda bottle were stunned by the level of technology I brought to the table. Of course they were catching fish while I was not.
260) La Palapa
Probably the classiest beach-front restaurant and bar in Puerto Vallarta. The hurricane that hit here a few years back did a lot of damage to these bars but they have all been rebuilt and are much fancier, and more expensive, than they were. And they were pretty nice then. The bar had a golden-tan ceramic front and a multi-hued marble top. Mirrors behind it let you see the beach even with your back towards it. There are nice acrylic shaded lamps over the bar, kind of tan with little dots. The barstools are plush and have backs to them. There is a nice little lounge behind the bar where you can sit and have a drink while listening to live music, when they have it. They have a state-of-the-art temperature controlled storage bin for the wines they serve by the glass.
I had a Modelo especial at the bar before we sat down for breakfast. It was 30 pesos for a beer which is a bit on the pricey side, but they served it in a nice frosted pilsner glass. De classe all the way.
261) La Margarita
Down the beach a bit is another place with tables and loungers out on the beach. Inside is a fairly large bar but only three stools. It looks like it is more of a service bar because the bring the drinks out to you if you are sitting on the beach, like most people would do, unless you are on a quest. The bar area itself is up a short flight of steps so you have a nice view overlooking the beach. Traditional Mexican tiles underfoot. The bar itself is brick with a dark wooden top. There was a very pleasant breeze. The decor itself was pretty sparse, most of the action, as I mentioned, taking place outside on the beach. A few ceramic dolphins and a ceramic seahorse adorning a peach-colored pillar and a poster of pink flowers on another wall. There were five dozen eggs in cartons over our left shoulder. Although we were advised that the tequila we ordered was too good for a lime, we were offered a bowl of lime-slices anyway. The scantily-clad Chinese woman at the end of the bar took some of ours and thrust them into the narrow neck of her beer bottle.
I had a generous pour Don Julio Reposado tequila in a large snifter.
262) Meson de Calderon
Over the bridge into the north-side of town this place is on a sidestreet right across from the flea-market. There was a piano player which was quite nice. The place had light-pink wals and a fishing-net canopy was hung over the bar. Garlands of brightly colored artificial flowers were draped behind the brick bar that had a light-tan formica top. There were pictures of old mexico, some move posters of Liz Taylor, John Wayne, and Marilyn Monroe. There was also a large autographed picture of Carlos Rondero and some picture, not posters, of bull-fights and bull-fighters. On the wall seperating the bathrooms from the rest of the place were serveral carved, realistic and somewhat spooky-looking, heads.
I had a el Jimador Reposado that they served in six-inch minatures of the yard-of-beer glasses that you sometimes see. The actually had two of those larger glasses (but I think only the half-yard variety) on the bar ready for action.
263) Hotel Rio
Next door and up a few steps was this wooden bar that had a nice, sturdy bar-rail. It had 5 stools with acrylic cushions. There was a large sailfish mounted on the ceiling for some reason. I guess to give you something to look at if you toppled backwards off of your barstool. This place had a piano, but no piano player. It was kind of austere with a grey tile floor and white-washed walls. It was very nice and sunny though. There was a ceramic replica of an old diver's helmet in a niche in the wall.
I had another shot of el Jimador Reposado.
264) Papi Chulo Bar
Things took an interesting turn here. Before I could order my first shot of tequila my buddy, sitting on the otherside of a small partition, managed to down two of them. This was kind of a local bar tucked into the flea-market. It looked like a lot of the customers were off-duty timeshare hustlers. The ones that get you to show up a a timeshare presentation with offers of money, discounts to festivals, etc. Nobody approached us, however, so I guess they were on break. We were pretty much surrounded by tee-shirts on display so you would kind of have to say this place had a distinctly unique ambience. A friendly bartender and a total lack of will-power on our part resulted in us drinking way more than we should have.
I had at least 5 shots of tequila and my friend had a few more than that.
265) River Cafe
We managed to make it over the wooden-slate and cable bridge to get to the island in the middle of the river and stopped by the River Cafe. You may recall I said I had eaten here with friends before but there were too many of us to sit at the bar. This time with just the three of us the number of bar-stools was perfect. This is a really nice looking place right on the river.
I had a shot of tequila but I don't remember what kind. My friend wrote it down but I can't read it. I wonder if the fact that we have now had at least 10 shots of tequila has anything to do with this?
Still on the island but heading toward home we passed this place. It is fairly new, but I can't remember the name of the place that was here last year. This place has a nice modern, although somewhat austere, decor and the three of us were the only ones in there. It looked like they might just be setting up for the evening.
One last shot of tequila and it was time to go home, although we stopped to get hotdogs from the famous hotdog lady on the way.
All and all a very good day in some respects, not the least of which we were all still standing at the end of it. Just 734 left to go.