Saturday, January 17, 2009

Puerto Vallarta

The third and final port of call was Puerto Vallarta. The actual city was a bit more touristy and less charming than I'd imagined; it has no doubt multiplied many times since Richard Burton and Liz Taylor put this fishing village on the map. Indeed the prettiest part was the posh Mismaloya area to the south, which in some ways felt like a tropical version of Carmel. But even in these tropics the Pacific Ocean remains colder and darker than, say, the Caribbean. Otherwise the weather was totally pleasant.

The resort at Mismaloya (below left) is where we almost spent our last vacation, so it was interesting to see it on this vacation. It's on the cove next to where Night of the Iguana was filmed. The hotel in that movie, the one managed by Ava Gardner, was located on the adjacent point (below right). Director John Huston built it as a set in what at the time was a random piece of jungle.

It was interesting to learn that Night of the Iguana, the film that was such a boon to the local tourism, was never released in Mexico. Apparently the deeply religious population had no use for Richard Burton's portrayal of an errant priest turned drunken, womanizing scoundrel.


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