The regular way of writing a post about a travel destination is to talk about your highlights, to let people know the best places to go, to inform them of your secret insider information, or to tell a horrifying story about a place and why they shouldn’t visit it. Often the point of a narrative is to highlight and exclude certain things so that the readers can feel those dramatic highs and lows with you. But I quite often feel both positively and negatively about a place, and then a lot of the time in between I just feel bored. So in this post I am going to take you through the motions of my first full day in Puerto Vallarta, a gay beach destination on the Mexican coast, writing about the good, the bad, and the boring.
This is the time I set my alarm clock for but I am useless at getting up. SNOOZE.
This is the time I actually wake up. I take a shower and then think about breakfast. I’m staying in an apartment so I can actually make breakfast for myself (which I prefer to eating out) but as it’s my first day here I have not had a chance to go to a supermarket yet. The sun is shining and I take a short stroll around the neighbourhood before entering a local taqueria because I can see a few people sitting in a garden. They are advertising giant quesadillas, which sound good to me. I ask for something ‘sin carne’ in my terrible Spanish and get a cheese and mushroom quesadilla –hoorah. I also have a hibiscus flavoured agua fresca drink. I read my book (Invisible by Paul Auster – my favourite author) while enjoying breakfast in the garden – a decent start to the day. But I can’t stay for too long because I have work to do.
I open my laptop on the terrace of the apartment (I can see the ocean!) and for the next three hours my activity is a mixture of dicking around and working. But I do actually have to concentrate because I have a big writing job this week, creating a website for a London based Doctor. I have no idea how I managed to scoop this particular job because I have no medical copywriting experience. Still, not complaining.
It’s 1PM now, and so I figure it is beach time. I haven’t got as much work completed as I would have liked, but what’s new? I swap out my underwear for my Speedos, put on my sunglasses, and off I trot in search of the gay beach. It’s a bloody hot day in Puerto Vallarta and it’s half an hour walk to the gay beach otherwise known as Blue Chairs. It’s a Tuesday and it’s low season, so the beach is hardly swarming with bodies, but there is a smattering of gay men here. Everyone is sitting on a beach chair but I don’t see the point of going to a beach if you are not going to sit on the sand. So I lay out my sheet and sit on the sand, and for about one hour and a half, I alternate between listening to music and reading my book – all the while it is so bloody hot. While here, I spot a man in a thong and it is so revolting.
Time to leave the beach, and I guess I should find some lunch on my way back but I just don’t feel hungry at all. And yet I feel a little dizzy for the whole half an hour that it takes me to get back to the apartment.
Just as I reach the door of the apartment my vision blurs, I feel my legs buckle beneath me, and I completely collapse to the floor. Aside from breakfast at around 9 I have not eaten anything, and I’ve hardly had anything to drink either (I forget to drink all the time because I don’t ever feel thirsty) – so I guess I have a smattering of heat exhaustion. I know I should find something to eat and drink but I feel too weak to leave the house and I just lie on my bed with a fan above me for an hour.
Now I head out to the supermarket even though I still feel pretty light headed. Fortunately, the air conditioning of the supermarket helps. Even in my dreary state, I am excited by how cheap all the food and beer is.
Back at the apartment, I make a huge salad for myself and drink tonnes of water and juice. I am beginning to feel better but I still have so much work to do – waaaaah.
I work and dick around on my laptop for a couple more hours, while in bed and under my fan. I can’t quite cope from being away from the fan at the moment.
I now feel pins and needles in my face. I Google the symptoms and apparently I am pregnant. Either that or I have heat stroke. Yes, I suppose that heat stroke makes more sense. But this means I can’t go out for a beer tonight. Noooooo. I eat loads of yoghurt and drink loads of water in an attempt to cool myself down.
Now I have a conversation with a super-cute Mexican guy on one of those sites. He would like to meet me for a drink at 11. 11? I really can’t get used to these late drinking hours. In London, the pubs close at 11PM and then everybody goes home and sleeps at a sophisticated hour. I just have zero desire to be out past midnight. But I say yes because it would be nice to meet him and I now feel quite a lot better.
I arrive at a Martini bar (I don’t really know what one of those is – I just drink beer) called La Noche, which has a lovely roof terrace. I am the only person here at 10.30PM – I just do not understand the drinking culture anywhere but in London. A bar being empty at 10.30PM is ridiculous in my opinion. The bartender recognizes me from the gay beach earlier in the day and we have a great conversation about London (he is visiting next year) until the guy I am meeting arrives.
The guy’s English is very good (useful, because I’d be screwed if it wasn’t), and he seems quite lovely. He is from Monterrey in the north-east of Mexico and often visits Puerto Vallarta for his holidays.
The guy urges us to move on to somewhere else and we head to Paco’s Ranch, which is just around the corner and is one of the most popular gay clubs in Puerto Vallarta. There are enough people here for it not to be classified as empty, and that’s a step-up, but my God the music is terrible and it doesn’t improve a jot throughout the evening. Boring repetitive dance music that I can’t stand. I keep missing London of late, and this makes me miss my home because the gay clubs there play Britney, Girls Aloud etc… not this awful dance music.
Now there is a drag show with three performers. One of them is truly terrible. The other two are good but I can’t understand much of what is happening because everything is in Spanish.
I have been drinking all night and I am not drunk – I guess that’s what happens when a jug of beer is 30 pesos (£1.50). I am certainly not drunk enough to make a move on the boy and so we say our goodbyes and nothing happens.