2012 Mexican Roadtrip: Chapala, Jal. to Puerto Vallarta, Jal.

It was 75° degrees and sunny when we left Chapala. We were at 1530 m and at 20° N. We left at about 10:40 a.m. and  went along Lake Chapala to Ajijic and it was very pretty to Jocotepec. Ajijic was a much more prosperous-looking town than Chapala. We had to backtrack towards Guadalajara on Hwy. #15. We were seeing mountains and farms and it was lovely. The toll road, Hwy. 15D was spectacular curving through gorgeous mountains, up and down and around. It was 4 lanes. We spent M$301/US$21 on tolls and it was worth it. Then we got on Hwy. 200 to Puerto Vallarta and it was a 2 lane road. There were South African tulip trees in bloom and beautiful big, shade trees which Audre thinks were rain trees. Lots of white butterflies were darting around (and slamming into the windshield).

 We were really glad we made the detour to Puerto Vallarta. It's beautiful, with mountains of tropical trees descending into the sea. We had pre-booked at the Westin Resort & Spa (Paseo de la Marina sur #205, Puerto Vallarta 48354, tel. 322-226-1100) a room for US$141.71.

We really liked our one-night stay at the Westin. Our room was large and had a 2-person comfortable chair. It also had a desk and a king bed. There was a mini fridg and a coffee maker. The bathroom was large and had a tub as well as a shower. We had a balcony but didn’t use it. We went down to the pool and beach area and went into the ocean. The temperature was perfect and it was calm because we were in the Bahia Banderas. It was very enjoyable. We felt like we were having a beach resort vacation! Breakfast was included and opened at 7 a.m. with a full, huge buffet. We had the cook make us omelets and they were very good and made the way we requested. We have only one criticism: we hate paying for Internet. The charges for Internet at the Westin are high and annoying.

For dinner we took a taxi to the Plaza Principal where Dimitri had his shoes shined and Audre watched a mime perform on the malacón. Then we walked along the sand until we found a restaurant we wanted to eat at. We stopped and looked at the menu of the famous restaurant called Palapa. There wasn't anything interesting on the menu (like oysters or lobster) so we left. 

We ended up at The Blue Shrimp Restaurant just as it was starting to rain (Olas Altas #336 on the sand in the Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, tel. 322-222-4246, web: www.theblueshrimp.mx). We sat facing the ocean and could see the waves break (and could hear the rain). The service was good and we had a ceiling fan cooling us. We ordered oysters on the half shell (M$130) and the 8 oysters were really good. Then we ordered the lobster cooked on the grill (M$460). The lobsters were really langoustines and unfortunately they were over-cooked. We still enjoyed them and each had a glass of sauvignon blanc.  We recommend this restaurant. We spent M$760 plus tip.

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