Puerto Vallarta Day 4: Night of the Iguanas (and Cat)

Today’s adventures began with a trip to the little village of Mismaloya, about 15 minutes by daunting bus ride south of here. Aside from a lovely little beach that was populated by nearly as many hawkers of “almost free!” jewelry as it was tourists, Mismaloya is the site where the film Night of the Iguanas was filmed in 1964.

(As a side note, I was rather disappointed to learn that the movie is based on a play by Tennessee Williams and has nothing to do with giant iguanas rampaging hither and thither.)

Once you dodge through all the hecklers, you can walk along a rather ill-kept path out to the point of the cove. We were there at high tide, and the waves splashed up against the rocks as we walked past, causing crabs and iguanas alike to scuttle for higher ground. The iguanas were pretty cool – not green like you often see, but grey with orange splashes on their sides, the better to hide in the rocks and dead leaves.

The set itself was locked away behind gates with razorwire on top, which was ridiculous because about six meters further down were places you could easily clambor over. The parts we could see looked like lovely ruins. I can’t figure out how long they’ve been abandoned, because wikipedia says after the movie was filmed, they turned the site into a cafe (John Houston Cafe) which was quite famous. The movie is given sole credit, in fact, for making Puerto Vallarta a tourist destination at all, but I suppose as the movie faded into obscurity, so did Mismaloya. Puerto Vallarta had established itself as a resort town on its own right, by then. I’m going to have to go rent the movie when I get home. Maybe I can write my first bestselling novel about rampaging iguanas.

We had lunch on the beach, so close to the water our toes got wet a few times before the tide backed out a bit. I have no idea how authentic or not the food in restaurants around here is, but it was very tasty. I especially liked my side of rice, which had yellow and green peppers in it. Mmm.

Next was a stopover at the house to do a bit of lounging on the beach. But, as today was all about outings to visit animals and eat food, I shall continue on to dinner.

We went back into Puerto Vallarta for dinner, to one of Bonnie’s favorite restaurants, the Fajita Republic. They pour tequilla over your fajitas and light them on fire right before they serve them to you. Totally delicious. The best part about dinner, however, was not the food, but the company. There was a cat wandering around the restaurant begging for food. Being in withdrawl from my own cat, (I need to pause this sentence for a moment to point out that Dustin is reading over my shoulder, and he strenuously objects that I mention the cat as the best part of company, and not him, my wonderful husband. That was unkind of me. I love him more than the cat. Just for the record.), I was delighted to find something furry to pay attention to. The cat accepted one scritch of the ears as an invitation to move in with me. He jumped up on my lap and immediately curled up for a nap. I was a happy diner. I gave him a bit of steak when we left for the evening.

I’ve been writing this post for about three hours now, and although I’ve got pictures, I’ve run out of energy to do anything about them. I’ll give that a stab tomorrow. Along with proofreading this thing. Good night!


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