In 1963 Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and John Houston came to Mismaloya to make Night of the Iguana. Then, Mismaloya was a little cove on the Bay of Banderas half an hour's drive from Puerto Vallarta. Today millionaires' mansions climb up the hill and there are various shacks on the public beach where they'll grill you a red snapper but the pueblo of Mismaloya is still a dirt road.
We were in one of those millionaire's mansions, near the top of the hill with vast shimmering views of the bay, lumbering v formations of pelicans, schools of whales spouting, humming birds, butterflies, frigate birds gliding in the thermals. Life consisted of getting up to the sound of the er servants making us breakfast, wandering down to the beach in the company of mainly Mexican families and observing the numerous ways in which it is possible to tie a sarong, for example, making a halter neck dress out of it. We drank the tequila production of Mexico dry. We spent New Year's Eve in the pool, watching the fireworks like a jewelled chain exploding along the line of the bay and then went down to the hot tub for tequila shots.
Now, blearily I confront the bitter cold of this London Arctic winter. Normal service resumes. Sullenly.