Walking into our Mexican rental was a bit surreal since we’d already located and travelled the entire area via Google streetview. The surrealism of it all vanished pretty quick. I was thinking, ‘hey, I can handle this’, while Bradford was thinking ‘um, can I handle this?’
We’ve rented an apartment for the month of November. It’s the upper level of a house and we have a covered terrace on which to sit and enjoy the atmosphere that makes up Boca de Tomatlan. Boca is an authentic fishing village located just south of Puerto Vallarta. There are mountains, jungle, a river, and a bay. Our apartment sits at the end of a residential street. The street is lined with many interesting Mexican homes. Chickens, roosters, dogs and cats roam freely. Children play, farmers walk by selling their fresh produce. Trucks drive by with bull-horns shouting the sale of bottled water, gas, and pineapples. A lively street for sure!
Immediately upon arriving, Bradford insisted on sweeping and wiping everything down, he even hand-washed the brand new, right-out-of-the-package, paper-like sheets along with the dingle-balled bed spread.
So, let me give you an idea of what it’s like on our terrace. Half of it is the household laundry area. There’s a textured rock surface built-in beside the outdoor sink, specifically for hand-scrubbing your clothes. On our half is a traditional, Mexican tiled floor with a glass and bamboo table, where I like to sit in the morning and drink my coffee. To the south of us is a view of a concrete house, it’s got this paint-roller sized patch of yellow paint that looks identical to a splash of sunshine. To the west is a view of the jungled hillside, all lush and tropical. To the north is the street that leads to the shops, restaurants and the beach. But it’s the view to the east where all the excitement lies. Let’s see, if you walk down the stairs that lead to our terrace, cross the narrow street and climb a set of stairs, you’ll be standing on a major highway, i.e., a major, two-lane, pot-holed highway. The only highway that leads down the southern coastline. It’s a continuous convoy of transport trucks, pickup trucks loaded with men of all ages and tour buses. You’ve got your chicken trucks, your cement trucks, refrigerated trucks, air-conditioned tour buses, and then there’s city buses with their screeching breaks.
On the first night we laughed, hysterically. Lying in bed with the large wooden shutters open to enjoy the fresh night air, we stared out into the lush vegetation growing along the embankment that leads up to the highway. Listening to the screech of the J-breaks as the 18-wheelers had to slow down on this steep, windy part of the road. At that time, we could only discern the tops of these noisy vehicles as they convoyed south. And north. Ear plugs and half a Gravol solved the problem.
On day two we noticed a couple fellows working along the embankment that rises up from our apartment to the road. They were swinging machetes, chopping down the brush from the hillside up to the road. When I say brush, I mean all of the lush vegetation that was providing a much-needed sound and sight barrier.
Now, we can see everything, and everyone.
I can look into the eyes of passengers on the passing buses. Wave to children on their way to school. Say ‘hola’ to tourists, beer in hand, making their way to or from the bus stop. And, all from where I sit on our terrace, or the comfort of our bed.
To be honest, I don’t really mind. I’m in a beautiful part of Mexico, the folks here are warm and welcoming, the ocean is steps away, and so is the jungle. We got an incredible deal on this apartment. The noise doesn’t seem to bother the locals, neither does the lack of privacy. And, I’m not going to let it bother me either.