Drama & Diplomacy: In Sultry Puerto Vallarta
Although the American flag is given the highest respect, diplomacy takes on a new meaning as the author slips and slides through the darker side of consular work on foreign soil.
Present day Puerto Vallarta is a mature sophisticated city with almost every imaginable product or service available in the world. Air travel to everywhere, luxury cruise liners, limousine service, world-class deep sea fishing; it’s all here. Broadband internet, pari-mutuel betting, great health spas, top notch gymnasiums, tennis, eight first class golf courses, PGA tournaments. It has it! Some of the best residential and commercial architects in the world, exceptional restaurants by the dozen, full fledged department stores, and every conceivable class of hotel accommodation.
It was not always thus. The late fifties to early sixties was its infancy. There was little in the way of electricity, no bridge over the Rio Cuale, two or three taxis, and a couple of rudimentary hotels.
Then in 1963, John Huston and crew came to film The Night of the Iguana. This event marked the beginning of change in Vallarta which signaled a stirring in its loins. Progress was slow for a while, but by the mid to late sixties, it was showing awkward signs of puberty.
By the late sixties it had two airlines, twelve to fifteen taxis, a tennis court, six to eight hotels, a population of 15,000, and a half dozen acceptable restaurants. As the seventies began, one could discern the obvious: Puerto Vallarta was in full-scale adolescence. Condos began to appear; more beach restaurants and better hotels opened, and in 1974 residential telephone service came to town. Puerto Vallarta was on its way, but not without the stumbling, fumbling, groping of approaching adulthood.
It is to this period of time, the mid seventies to mid nineties, this manuscript is dedicated.
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