December 1, 2015
After purchasing our bus tickets for Friday and then arranging for a tour to San Sebastian for tomorrow, we went and got back on the same bus as yesterday. This time we rode it further, about 1/2 hour, to the Botanical Garden. We had visited it last time we were in PV and thought it would be good to see it again. It actually hadn't changed all that much. Some jungle trails, some more manicured trails, lots of interesting plants. We walked down to the river and thought we should not have forgotten our swimsuits! It would have been very refreshing on a hot day to have a dip in the water. We had a very nice lunch on the balcony of the main building and got to watch a Plain-Capped Starthroat hummingbird visit the feeder several times. We saw quite a few colourful birds, all ones we have seen on previous trips, but nice to see anyway. Don got some good photos of them.
We caught the bus back into town and found our way back to our hotel. Our hotel is very close to the river and we often have to cross the river to get to the bus or whatever. We can do this on the traffic bridges, but we can also take the shortcut very close to the hotel, which is a swinging bridge across to the island, a few steps on the island, and another swinging bridge to the other side of the river. I still have not mastered the walking on the swinging bridge - probably look very drunk to any watchers - but it's nicer than the traffic bridges.
Because it's the first of December, the Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe has started. Each evening for 12 days, there are processions thru the streets to the Church of Guadalupe. "Combining traditional Aztec and Christian motifs, young warriors dance in the streets commemorating the miraculous apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the Indian peasant Juan Diego on December 12, 1531."(from the Discovery Vallarta website) So after we had supper at Bravos, a very nice restaurant with excellent food, we wandered over by the church. After a while, we got to see a couple of processions. Apparently, different family groups sponsor and participate in them. They have to schedule the processions so everyone doesn't end up at the church at once - it's just not big enough! So here is a short video of one of the groups. These people danced for about 10 minutes in front of us and had been doing the same thing on each block for a few blocks. Hard work!
I've also included a picture of the "Icteo-Dermic treatment" station or the place where you put your feet in the water and let the fish eat the dead skin!