When you take a walk through the area of Puerto Vallarta commonly known as Gringo Gulch, you never know what surprises you will see. In a patch of jungle, that comes right down to the road that goes through the village, we saw this Banded Peacock. OK, Susan saw this Banded Peacock and caught a great shot.
But the butterfly was just to lure you in. The area of Gringo Gulch has been made famous as the location of Elizabeth Taylor’s house. I’d say Liz Taylor’s, but we really didn’t know one another that well. However, she did know Richard Burton well, even in the biblical sense, apparently. Richard either built or purchased a house right across the street from Ms (possibly still Mrs at the time) Taylor’s and they built a bridge over the street to make coming and going easier and less visible. Not that a bridge being built across a street is particularly visible or notable! These were film stars remember.
Bridge Between Taylor’s and Burton’s Houses
OK so now we’ve got the sex and intrigue out of the way, we can talk about this fascinating area of PV.
To get to the Gringo Gulch area from where we stay in Centro PV is fairly easy. We are already on the right side of the hill. It just means traversing the side of the hill along some narrow and picturesque streets, up some steep inclines and down a very long and steep set of stairs.
A street on the way to Gringo Gulch through the Centro region
These residential areas include the luxurious and the rustic. There is one area, at the back of a house, that is a huge rabbit warren – for domestic rabbits. We lost count of the rabbits and rabbit holes. Most of the roadways are built with local stone – similar to cobblestones in England, but less even! Taxi and bus rides can be quite exhilarating, but you talk with a stutter for some time after alighting.
Another typical street scape
Many of the walls are also built from the local stone, some cemented together, others just very careful dry-stone construction. They add texture and colour to what would otherwise be a blank wall.
So many interesting doorways and doors
In Mexico entranceways are full of character. I don’t think we have found two alike. It’s hard to keep walking when you pass so much beautiful craft-work.
Another great entrance – thank you, thank you very much.
No two doors the same
This is a detail of an old door we passed on our journey through Gringo Gulch
The whole enchilada.
Here is the complete setting. Wouldn’t you like to know what lies behind door number 3?
Up the hill
A few people have asked me , when they see the camera, if I will “Photoshop out” the wires! I try to explain, but this is Mexico, there are wires here. That’s part of it. It’s like taking a picture of a wonderful ancient face and thinking “hmm, I could tidy that up by taking out all the wrinkles” – OK on my face, maybe, no harm done.
Another street scene
Can you believe all the cascading blossoms? Ooh and peaking around the corner is my favourite house in the area.
This is one of my favourite houses in the Gringo Gulch area
There is something about the colours and the setting and the plants that makes me stop and sigh. There is also a fantastic view across the valley from the other side.
A detail of the balcony – how romantic can you get?
It almost makes me want to take up the guitar and learn to sing.
Another part of the balcony
Every corner is an opportunity for blossoms
After we leave Gringo Gulch we walk to a small village area with local shops. Everywhere you turn you see flowering shrubs and brightly coloured foliage.
These Bougainvillea are hard to photograph. The reds overwhelm the camera.
Vertical spaces are meant for decoration! They step up to the challenge in PV
As well as doors, many entrance stairways are beautifully decorated with tiles. So much colour! We feel colour deprived when we return home to Canada.
Wal-Mart may have been first with ‘Greeters’, but they can’t beat this little guy in his suit
This is a live greeter at a tiny convenience store/grocer. He doesn’t have much time to chat, he is working!
After visiting a shop where the lady sells embroidered articles, and dropping a few pesos, we returned to the Old Town of PV along the streets beside the River Cuales. We discovered a quiet haven for coffee – La Hacienda – on Calle Cardenas (open for breakfast) and rested our legs and soaked up the atmosphere in the restaurant’s courtyard. The photos of the courtyard didn’t turn out too well. So just imagine a small courtyard, surrounded by a lovely wall with flowering trees and shrubs. Solo cafe? no problema! But we ordered toast anyway.
Another lovely morning in PV.