I don’t feel I can say I’ve been to Mexico – even though I have. I haven’t seen the real Mexico. I had preconceived notions of a dusty landscape, dotted with big, green cacti and a sombrero wearing Mexican man dozing in the shade on a rickety lawn chair. I didn’t even see one cactus, nor a tumbleweed blowing down the middle of a dusty road.
Puerto Vallarta is a total tourist trap (with tourist prices). The nightlife is garish and tacky, with 16 year olds dry humping all over town. Serious frottage. I knew I was out of my age range when I was staring at them and wondering if their parents knew what they were up to.
There wasn’t an awful lot to do in the area, unless you want to jump in a pool with the poor captive dolphins. We decided to go snorkelling and again, my expectations were high, featuring turqoise water, neon fish and our little group happily discovering the joys of Mexican sea life. ARRRRRRRCCCCH (sound of the needle coming off the nature lovers record). Swap that idyllic scenario for a bunch of boats – far too close to the swimmers, oil slicks on the water and the smell of diesel permeating the air – making me feel incredibly seasick. Yes, there were fish, but there were more people and we were all swimming on top of each other. The frustration levels rose higher than the enjoyment levels, and after banging into the umpteenth person and telling a boat driver he was a moron for being so close to us I gave up.
Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my holiday and relaxed by the pool with my book every day, loving it. The food was delicious (although not super cheap), as were the cocktails. I had a blast spending time with my friends and meeting new friends. The weather was A.MAZING. I missed the week that everyone spent in the gorgeous villa, although I did get to go there for dinner and Tequila tasting (yum!) and it was LOVELY.
I had friends staying in a fabulous resort – check out that pool! We pretty much had the place to ourselves and you can’t complain about life when you’re sitting poolside, cocktail in hand, reading, gossiping and sleeping.
But was it the holiday I expected? Not by a long shot. I’d love to go back someday and discover the real Mexico, away from the resort areas.