After a short 3 hr motor we have arrived in Puerto Vallarta and are in Marina Vallarta. After checking into the marina we took a walk to find an ATM, a marine chandlery and our next comida (food) delight. First up was the comida which consisted of the complimentary tortilla chips, freshly made salsa and guacamole. The main course was a thinly sliced grilled t-bone steak with boiled shrimp lathered in a mildly spicy red sauce. it was accompanied with rice, a fresh salad, a pitcher of a berry flavored juice followed by bananas in a honey sauce. Total costs, 130 pesos or about $7! I know I keep raving on the food but I’m not lying when I say it has superceded my expectations! The Mexicans know how to do food! We walked to an ATM and I reloaded with pesos then we headed to the chandlery. The line that is used to deploy my main sail is slipping back in after the sail is fully out because the line was too small in the first place and has stretched making it smaller. The chandlery here is a really big store and there’s a few other items I need to pick up as well. On the way back we found a place selling freshly made crepes and we both got a banana and strawberry crepe topped with Nutella! Once again I have this pleasure pain sensation in my belly. I only took a few pictures that I’ve posted below but I intend to get more manana! We’ll be here at least a couple of nights and possibly more depending on weather. Most boats have headed back North for hurricane season but we’re heading south so the marina is really empty right now. Should be better sleeping tonight because come to find out the La Cruz Patron Saint Celebration lasts 7 days. It’s also cloudy and a cool 77 with 84% humidity and a nice gentle breeze making it very comfortable.
After the wonderful meal we had today at La Glorieta de Enrique’s, we thought we would head back for dinner. There’s one thing really different about Mexican businesses. The hours aren’t quite the same as in the states. I’m sure eventually I’d discover what each places regular hours are but being here such a short time that hasn’t been possible yet. Plan B was the highly recommended Tacos On The Street. We had a map and Google Maps and we walked by where it was supposed to be but we weren’t having much luck. I tried asking a couple of people but the language barrier prevailed. I saw a lady behind a chained fence of a house and she spoke english and asked what we were looking for. She said yes Tacos On The Street was her business but she was only open Wed-Sun. Disappointed, we ended up back at the Langosta Diez La Cruz restaurant. This time stone fired pizza was in my sights. I told the manager I had given them a 5 star review on Trip Advisor and after each of us polishing off our pizzas he gave us each a shot of tequila on the house. Stuffed to the gills and with a couple of Pacificio beers and the tequila we started making our way back to the boat. As we got close to the main Plaza it was clear that there was some festivities just beginning so we made our way through the crowd to where there was a stage set up with a performance going on. This was about 9pm and from what I could gather it’s the celebration of the Patron Saint Santa Cruz that the town was named for. Below are a couple of videos of some of the festivities. We were awakened at 5:30 am this morning with a barrage of fireworks with another round at 6:30 am apparently related to the celebration. I was told to expect the same this morning. As I write this post at 2 am I can still hear the music from the Plaza hence my still being up at this hour. Another full day and I’m anxious to see what new adventure awaits me next.
We were looking for a place to eat and we came across La Glorieta de Enrique’s.
It’s basically in the backyard of a house and if I’m not mistaken it looked like 4 generations of senoritas running the place. The youngest was the waitress, her mother was the cook, her mother was making fresh tortillas and her mother was clearing tables. We both had the pork which was so tender and full of flavor, served with rice, refried beans, the fresh tortillas and a whole 1 gallon pitcher of some sort of papaya juice and it was oh so delicioso!
Total cost 50 pesos or $3. Just one of the many unexpected culinary delights I’ve experienced so far!
Woke up this Sunday morning and after giving Desi a good bath, we headed down the beach in search of La Palapas where the buffet was. On the menu were omelettes, potatoes, refried beans, fresh fruit and flour tortillas fresh from the griddle. Both of us stuffed ourselves! I ran into Blanca the marina reservation manager in the restaurant and she told me there was a Sunday market on the malecon so we headed back down the beach to check that out. There were numerous booths set up selling food, art, coffee, clothing and numerous other items. There was a fresh fish market along the way and at the end there was a live band playing. There was quite a few people and it was a very festive atmosphere. By the time we got back to the boat it was really getting hot and we both ended up taking a short siesta. When we got up it was sweltering hot in the boat so we headed off to the beach. The water was a perfect temperature and we swam and laid out on the beach for a couple of hours. After that we came back to the boat, changed clothes and headed into town for some food. We ended up eating at the Langosta Diez La Cruz restaurant which specializes in Italian food. Thibault got fresh fish with an almond sauce and I had shrimp fettuccine with an alfredo and pesto sauce. It was delicioso and we were both stuffed again! Afterwards, we headed out and it was quite apparent there was a parade about to take place so we waited around until that began. If you’ve never seen a Mexican parade I’m here to tell you it was quite a delight! I thought I had made a video on my phone but unfortunately I failed and I’m really disappointed because it was really fun watching how much everyone was enjoying themselves. The parade made it’s way to the central plaza and we had to work our way through it to get back to the boat. I was so full and tired from our full day I hit the rack about 8 pm. At 5:40 am this morning I heard 4 large explosions. At first I thought it was one of the baffles in my dinghy exploding but it turned out to be someone launching fireworks, then at 6:30 am about 10 more went off. I have no clue what or why but I’m learning quickly that Mexico is full of unknown surprises. Today’s list is to get a new line for my main sail, to try and get my charts updated for my chart plotter, to check in with the Port Captain since we arrived on Saturday, the hull is going to be cleaned and hopefully find some new culinary delights. Departing La Cruz tomorrow and will probably head to a marina in Puerto Vallarta to get more provisions. We’ll spend one night there and then start working our way south again. Until next time!
It’s really starting to feel like the tropics. We crossed the Tropic of Cancer somewhere between La Paz and La Cruz and it’s evident from the lushness of the scenery and in the temperature and humidity. Really nice and cool (73 degrees, 72% humidity at 11 pm) this evening. I walked into town in pursuit of the cameron which is abundant here thanks to all the estuaries necessary for them to live. It’s my personal goal to kill as many of them as I possible due to my addictive personality and love of the tastes. I was rewarded with some of the best fried shrimp I’ve had yet. La Cruz is smaller than San Blas and though there is some influence by all the gringo’s from the marina it’s really not very noticeable once you get a short distance from the marina which is really nice because I really want to experience the real Mexico. San Blas was much the same and it’s so different from the tourist influenced places I’ve been so far.
One of the most amazing parts of the journey for me so far has been what a big hand fate has played along the way. If you remember Howard and I were the only 2 boats in a bay one night and the only communication we had was when I was leaving the next morning and he radioed me and asked if I was interested in teaming up for a trip up north. I was on the way south so it didn’t work out. A couple of days later I was looking on my AIS software to see if I could see Carolee and Jay coming up from San Jose del Cabo and I saw Howard’s boat in Marina de La Paz a couple of days after he was supposedly heading north. I walked over to meet him in person and met his crewmate Lisa in the process. He was having engine problems and I told him if he needed any help to give me a call. I went back to my boat and within the hour Lisa called and asked if I’d mind giving Howard a hand. I went over and spent 6 hrs helping him replace his oil cooler. He was leaving the next day to head north as he had originally planned. A couple of weeks later I walked to a swap meet with some friends I had met and ran into Lisa. She told me that Howard had been trying to reach me since they had arrived back in La Paz but he was having breakfast at a restaurant nearby so I walked over and found him and met Thibault. They had picked up Thibault up north and he was trying to find passage to mainland Mexico from La Paz. I was planning on heading back up north on Friday and Howard and Lisa were heading to San Diego on Tuesday. Thibault didn’t have a place to stay so I offered for him to stay with me until he could find a ride to the mainland or when I left on Friday. We really got along well and I asked him if he wanted to go up north as I have explained earlier. Had it not been for this chain of events I wouldn’t be where I am today. Another part that has played into this was meeting my beloved friend Angela about 10 yrs ago and now that connection enabling me to go live in Costa Rica on the water which I have to tell you is like a dream come true.
There have been so many instances I’ve experienced like this on my journey that I truly believe it is fate guiding me along the way. The people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had so far have been some of the most enriching I’ve ever had in life and I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever been happier. I wish the same to all of my friends and loved ones back home.
Going to the beach to go swimming today in 80+ degree water and then we are going to try the first buffet in La Cruz that is opening today with a price of 80 pesos.
La vida es buena!!!