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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | May 2007 

Grand Dames in Vallarta
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Locals and visitors enjoyed one Grand Dame extreme to another in Puerto Vallarta last Sunday. The first has 250 devoted men serving her exclusively, the second no less impressive but considerably livelier: Las Chicas de Ayer, Hoy y Siempre.

First things first. Her name is Usumbcihta, she has 250 devoted men serving her exclusively; and she is the pride of the Pacific Coast.

Usumbcihta started life as the U.S.S. Fredrick in San Diego. She was bought by Mexico in 2002 and now resides in Manzanilla, going out to sea for up to four months at a time. She does a lot rescue work, sending help into natural disaster areas such as Hurricane Lane at La Paz last year.

Commander Rodriguez Leyva chose Vallarta for the honor of hosting this 160 meter amphibious Landing Ship Tank transporter, because of our new dock. When you see Usumbcihta, you'll understand why that would influence the decision! Her nine holds can carry nineteen tanks or 20 trucks and two helicopters; she is the biggest vessel in the Pacific Coast.

More than a thousand Vallartans queued up to prowl her massive deck, admire the tanks, trucks and helicopters parked around the grounds, and wander the Marine expo that has sprung up next to her opposite Sam's Club.

They will be here until Presidents Day on June first, when the President of Mexico, who is the Force Commander, arrives.

The other Grande Dames we have the privilege of hosting at the moment are no less impressive but considerably livelier: Las Chicas de Ayer, Hoy y Siempre The Girls Yesterday, Today and Always, are a dance troupe from Mexico City who entertained us at the square on Sunday afternoon.

Elegantly clad in black and silver, showing off some very fancy footwork and beautiful traditional Mexican dancing. The youngest member of the troupe is 65, the oldest is 90.

You go girls!
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