A Walk Along the River Cuale, Paco Ojeda, and Other Tidbits
By Christie Seeley
I'm still here in Oakland, California, and therefore, I don't have a lot of news about Puerto Vallarta that I haven't already reported to you. However, my friend Paco Ojeda keeps me informed of some events on his blog. Paco hosts a daily interactive coffee klatch called coffee and headlines on his Facebook page, where he speaks to and with the English speaking population living permanently in Puerto Vallarta. He covers the latest local news, the weather, what's going on that's fun, and various other entertaining topics. This week, he took us on a walk up the River Cuale Island to check on the progress of the municipality's changes. I found it very interesting to see that they've progressed reasonably well. Checking in with other friends involved there, it looks like the cultural center, and other establishments at the far east end of the island will be available to the public around mid-September early October. The part of the island closer to the bay is functioning and in great shape. They are just finishing up some work on the hanging bridge. Picturesque restaurants like Oscar's with views of the bay and river and River Café also overlooking the river are open, as Oscar's Tequila Distillery site of last year's Bahia World Music Festival.
The project will offer a nice improvement to the far end of the island. Of course, there will be changes as they have removed some of the older and unused buildings and are adding very nice architectural and landscaping touches. Arancha Asensio has announced she will not be reopening the area’s popular Babel Bar, home of wonderful daytime music for several years. Everyone will miss them but as they are dedicating their efforts to their darling hotel in El Tuito, a refreshing mountain escape just about 45 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta, we should all plan a visit. I am sure we will have news for you soon as to what will be happening there. I will be following up as the project continues.
If you haven't joined Paco's coffee club, you should check it out. Paco is a very knowledgeable and gentle human being. His goal is to involve the English speaking population in the community in a meaningful way. His program is very worthwhile even if you aren't a permanent resident of Puerto Vallarta. One gets a good feeling for how people are living and behaving currently in our wonderful community. Just go to Facebook and look for Paco Ojeda. You can tune in by clicking on the icon at 10:30 central time every morning to join in. If you miss it in person, you can view the video. He keeps an archive. I think you'll enjoy it.
Meanwhile, here in California, we have not had enjoyable times lately. As you may have read in the news, we are experiencing wildfires caused by dry conditions and recent dry lightning storms. They have caused destruction, bad air situations, smoke and ash, and danger to the people who live in and near those areas, including their homes and farms. Add to that the coronavirus issue. We have had some improvement, but we're still definitely not out of the woods, so everyone is conscientious and takes prescribed precautions. Then, of course, there is the chaos of the political conventions we have just witnessed and all the tension leading up to our election on November 3. We are all crossing our fingers for our favorite candidate. I don't think anyone will have to guess which one is mine.
I am genuinely hoping to be back in Puerto Vallarta this winter. Hopefully, conditions will improve everywhere and allow us to enjoy a wonderful musical getaway in paradise! See you all then!
Entrance to Isla Cuale Seen from Oscar's