Welcoming in the New Year in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Humberto and I celebrated New Year in Mexican style. We had dinner at Farmar a small family owned restaurant in Bucerias. We ate our favourite meal there carne asada. It was easy to find a table, and the cost of the meal a modest 250 pesos including tip.

At about eight thirty we set out to Puerto Vallarta to enjoy the newly remodelled Malecon. Everyone drove carefully, in an effort to avoid accidents. In Mexico there are a tremendous number of fatalities on the roads and there is a national effort each year to try and reduce the death toll on the roads.

We got as far as Ley the supermarket with relative ease but then the police had cordonned off various streets and we found ourselves rerouted out of town. Our anxious search for a parking spot was quickly rewarded as we found a convenient spot on Calle Honduras about four blocks north of the beachfront.

We had dressed in long pants and wore long sleeved jackets the evenings are chilly. We left the truck and set off on foot and found our way down onto the Malecon. It has recently been pedestrianised and landscaped with tall palm trees and attractive paving. The only part I don’t like about the new design is the small concrete bumps they have on each side of the walkway. They are hazards or as I call them ankle breakers.

On our way onto the Malecon, everyone was searched, liquor placed in plastic cups and any weapons confiscated. Everyone was in good spirits, with a festive orderly feel to the celebrations. Music of various genres blasted out from every direction. Small groups of musicians played on the roadside for tips and we were glad to support them.

Out in the bay, a good number of yachts have gathered to usher in 2012. They have a great view of the new Malecon, all lit up , and behind it the manic electric lights blazing out out of the various clubs and restaurants. We arrived early and walking along was comfortable but in a little while we would be joined by throngs of revellers celebrating the arrival of the New Year.

Humberto suggested we go into one of the restaurants to get a table but the entrance was carefully guarded with security and the board listed dinner at 950 pesos for adults and 500 pesos for children. The place was full but we both thought the prices were extortionate. We walked on got ice cream and then stopped at the church which was so full that people were spilling onto the street outside.

Back to the Malecon : we hovered near to the fireworks which would announce the incoming year. Nearby at the amphitheatre a band played traditional Mexican music and songs. Humberto knew all the words and sings along. Humberto wants to dance and so do I but I am unusually stiff after playing tennis earlier in the day. We dance anyway but I am like a corpse.

At around midnight the pyrotechnics begin and it is spectacular. They start over in La Cruz and then move smoothly around the bay until it is our turn. In the UK New Year celebrations are stingy by comparison. Here in Mexico, there may be some things lacking but when it comes to putting on a good show and celebrating in style Mexico gets a resounding A+.

Humberto and I hugged each other and wished each other a Feliz Ano and found our way back to the truck. Everyone was incredibly good humoured and well mannered. As we left the Malecon I wished the hardworking Fedarales,( Federal Police) a Happy New Year and they reciprocated with an equally warm and friendly greeting.

2012 is here and we were there right at the centre of it all in Puerto Vallarta.

A very Happy 2012 to all!


About Charlotte Ortega

I am a family physician and writer.I am an active member of the Puerto Vallarta Writers Group and I am coordinating this years International Writers Conference to be held in March in association with Los Mangos Library.Winters are spent in Mexico to escape the cold and the summers in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am British born but have not lived in the U.K. since 1997. My blog is intended to inform would be travellers and those who view Mexico as a preferred retirement destination on every aspect of living in Mexico, the good and the other...My husband Humberto is Mexican and is a font of knowlege on the diverse cultural and social nuances which exist in this vibrant and colourful country.
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