A little water can change everything

While in Pureto Vallarta for a soccer tournament this past week, I repeatedly enjoyed sitting in the traffic jam that can result from extreme stormwater flooding.

Rains took out the northbound span of the Ameca River bridge back in September, when, in the equivalent of a 100 year storm, the area received a month’s worth of rain in one night. So now traffic in and out of the city from the Nayarit Riviera is all funneled onto the remaining span while the damaged one is rebuilt.

Not a great shot of Ameca River Bridge
Barriers make it hard to get a shot of the damaged span, but note that those white rails disappear behind the tree and don’t come out again.

Puerto Vallarta wasn’t the only town affected by stormwater flooding. The flood wiped out bridges in several smaller towns. I personally saw the gaps at Sayulita and San Pancho and we sloshed daily along the two and a half mile section of dirt road that leads to our accommodations. Four wheel drive makes this road easier at the best of times. Which is one of the reasons I love Mexico. All you have to do to get away from those annoying people who want everything clean, smooth, perfect and taken care of for them (if this is you, please just go to your local mall instead of traveling) is head up a dirt road.  But these days, with rain water still running off of the mountains and coastal hills, it’s better to have big tires and exceptional ground clearance as well. Viva  adventure!

Bridge repair at San Pancho
A dirt causeway over a temporary culvert provides access to the town of San Pancho while bridge is replaced.
Hombres restroom tipping into the river
I’ve heard men are hard on restrooms, but at Sayulita the situation is extreme.
Sayulita changing room falling into the river
Okay, maybe it’s not just the guys.
Image of Nissan pickup stuck in muddy road in San Pancho, Nayarit Mexico after stormwater flooding
This is our little dirt road just after the September stormwater flooding. Then it was no four wheel drive, no go. It’s been fixed since.  (Thanks to Susan Cole for the pic.)

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  1. Hi Bill,
    It was not my intention to make it seem as if 4 wheel is always required, or required in all areas. I guess I could have been clearer. The picture of the truck stuck in the mud is from Sept the rest are from last week. I will make adjustments for accuracy.

  2. The pictures are dated they are from September 2010 after what was probably the equivalent of a 100 year flood. Significant improvements have already been made

    This blog is doing a dis-service to the residents of the towns of Sayulita and San Pancho.

    Four wheel drive vehicles are NOT required to visit the area.

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