Puerto Vallarta's charming cobblestone streets
Off the main roads, Puerto Vallarta has cobblestone streets that add to its charm. The craftily constructed lanes illustrate an art form no longer seen in most westernized areas.
When I first visited Vallarta, I was intrigued with the quaint, bumpy roads zigzagging around Old Town. Winding though traditional neighborhoods – small corner shops, unmarked bus stops that everybody knows about and taco wagons with contented patrons – these streets are the arteries of the town.
What actually caught my attention was watching a crew rebuild a section of road that had been dug up to access an underground water pipe. The cobblestones had been removed and were stacked in a neat pile next to a pile of loose dirt. Workers painstakingly chose the proper shaped stones one by one to piece together the street, sort of like a mosaic. Afterwards, dirt was poured in the cracks between the rocks. Within a short while, it was packed tight again and you couldn’t even tell where the hole had been.
I am amazed at the skill of the local drivers, especially big trucks and buses, and how easily they maneuver around the occasional pothole caused by an upturned stone, as well as double-parked delivery vehicles, topes (speed bumps) and unmarked intersections. It seems that drivers read the roads and each others’ minds, taking turns crossing intersections and seamlessly blending into the flow of traffic.
Now as I travel the cobblestone streets I appreciate their charm even more, remembering how artfully each stone has been chosen and put into place.
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