A bunch of bull

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Dateline Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Well, as promised, I got a cheap ticket out of town. As I write this, I’m in beautiful Puerto Vallarta. As you read it, I’m in Reno. (I hope.) Round trip, it cost me $770, including taxes, through Expedia. You gotta love that interweb.

I haven’t actually seen a lot of the city yet. We had to switch planes in Phoenix because we lost auxiliary power, and we arrived late. I had about 10 minutes to check into my hotel, the Flamingo Vallarta, and head to the corrida de toros. I’d been wanting to see a bullfight ever since I read Ernest Hemingway’s A Death in the Afternoon, so I guess I can check that one off the list. I haven’t really processed the whole thing yet—ritualistic killing of anything is a little hard to comprehend. I lucked into an aficianado named Luis who was able to give me a running explanation of the four bouts.

After walking back to the hotel from the stadium, I set out in search of dinner. Puerto Vallarta is right on the Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags), so the catch of the day is the soup d’jour. I found a nice little restaurant and got a lobster and shrimp combo and then headed out in search of cocktails and music.

I haven’t quite figured out the lay of the land, and I’m a little skittish of the taxis—I’ll figure out how far to trust cab drivers today—so I started walking. I can tell you, pedestrians do not have the right of way in this town.

Anyway, a waiter directed me to a place called Agua. It turned out to be a topless bar, which was not what I was looking for—I should have realized when the door fee was $20 American. I didn’t stay long. Needless to say, I did find the sort of cantina I was looking for. Have you ever heard of the liquor raicia?