The Footbridge in Puerto Vallarta
The first time we took a foot bridge was over the Rio Cuale in Puerto Vallarta from the once very popular grocery store Rizo, to the island. We’d been told this was a viable shortcut and were on our way to the Malecón, so it made sense to cut through and save some time. There are two very stable bridges over the river a block to either side but after all, a sunset and margaritas were waiting for us. No one was on the footbridge, so we had no idea the lack of firm grounding we were about to experience. We trotted out, in for a big surprise.
We were terrified, to say the least. It was the middle of winter in Puerto Vallarta and the river was a long drop down and certainly not deep enough to safely fall into. The boards that one had to walk on were uneven, very wobbly, and one was missing altogether, requiring a long jump-like step. With a death grip, we held the wire and wove our fingers through the fence, taking each step with great caution. About one third of our way, from the other side came a group of school boys wearing blue pants; black oxford shoes; and white dress shirts, pulled out and flapping in the breeze as they galloped towards us, laughing and jolly, forcing us to one side as they easily traversed their way past.
We managed to complete that trip unscathed, and throughout the years have become quite adept at going back and forth, sometimes carrying bags from the market. We have marveled at wizened old men and women who, sometimes with canes to complicate their trip, whiz by us. Women in high heels dressed to the nines leave us feeling foolish. Mothers with babes in arms, move smoothly behind or in front of us.
Over the years we’ve watched the footbridge in Puerto Vallarta fall into disrepair and consequently get renewed and put back in shape. This past week, we saw it completely crumble when the waters of the river rose until the battering the footbridge took was too much. We’ve been told it will be rebuilt, yet some have cried out to replace this icon of Puerto Vallarta with something safer and more secure. Once rainy season is over, we will keep an eye on this progress and hope the city sides with tradition. There are two perfectly concrete bridges on either side for the less brave.
Que es cómo es.
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