Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Banderas Bay aka Puerto Vallarta, La Cruz area

Woo hoo! We have come a long way.......

Banderas Bay is one of, if not the largest, bay on the Pacific coast. This is a big accomplishment for us as we've dreamt about it, but now we are here and have finally 'done it'!

Banderas Bay is home to La Cruz (north), Puerto Vallarta (in the middle) and Yelapa (south) along with other small towns in and around the bay. It offers access to great towns and good sailing, like day trips to Las Mariettas, bus to Sayulita or anchor in Punta Mita to go surfing and more; there is tons to do here! And there is a a great cruiser community so plenty of activities; if you want to be busy every night, you can be!

Banderas Bay

Ok here is a quick overview of everything we've done since we've been here - if this bores you, skip to the pictures. But a quick read through of this list may make you lol!

- Went from Chacala to Punta Mita for a night, and then into La Cruz
- Snorkeled @ Las Mariettas with s/v Destiny & s/v Heavy Metal
- On our way into La Cruz, we caught several sierras - awesome white fish, delicious eats!
- Hit up Philo's in La Cruz for some live music with s/v Anon
- Visited the vet to make sure Olds was in tip-top shape ($250 pesos, about $22 for the visit and antibiotics! We love how inexpensive vet bills are here!)
- Went to the free movie night @ the La Cruz Marina- pizza on Rhythm beforehand with s/v Valkyrie & s/v Inspirare
- Went to a hip super bowl party at the SkyBar at the La Cruz Yacht Club with s/v Destiny, Heavy Metal + Doug, and Valkyrie. Fun times!
- Did yoga with s/v Kenta Anae, taughy by Liz on s/v Fluenta
- Learned how to 'douse' via a dousing lesson by Allison on s/v Kenta Anae - it's magic I tell ya!
- Learned how to cut, de-fruit and de-seed a delicious yaka fruit, lessons compliments of Allison on s/v Kenta Anae
- Ate at the delicious Black Forest restaurant in La Cruz - T needs to get his German on, so we did - excellent bratwurst!
- Got our hull, stainless steel and fiberglass professionally waxed and polished; Rhythm now glistens across the water from being so sparkly clean even I would want to throw eggs at our boat if I saw it! lol
- Enjoyed the La Cruz Sunday Market (twice!) - such a fantastic market. I am now the proud owner of two awesome rings designed and created by a local artist
- Had a sushi lesson at the La Cruz Yacht Club with Mike of s/v Wanuskewin & Julie from s/v Buena Vida
- Raced on s/v Inspirare with s/v Destiny in the Wednesday Night Beer Can Races
- Left La Cruz to head to Puerto Vallarta and stayed at the Paradise Village Marina - great pools, beach access and nice people on the dock
- In PV, we were invited by s/v Inspirare to a nice dinner with s/v Amizade; delicious food and great conversation
- Our friend Bryan visited us for just over 2 weeks and became part of our shenanigans
- We all went to our first foam party, got shit-faced, the guys had one too many libations, danced in foam, got sick, and we cabbed home like responsible adults. We promise to grow up at some point, seriously.
- Enjoyed Valentine's Day with s/v Bella Donna, had a great dinner and then hit up J&B Salsa Dance Club for some seriously fun dancing!  Some of those dancers were incredible!
- Enjoyed noshes and drinks with s/v Bella Donna, s/v Razzle Dazzle and s/v La Bollera Too
- Did a few boat projects - new pump for the head (grossest job on the boat), new secondary fuel filter, cleaned the fenders
- Got our yoga on at the fitness center/spa at Paradise Village and met some cool peeps (Denise & Harvey from Canada!)
- Did a Costco run and wow, do we miss food from home - we stocked up!
- We rented a car with s/v Inspirare and drove to the Alta Vista petroglyphs where we hiked around and saw a ton of amazingly old petroglyphs from 2000-3000BC
- Bought our first yaka fruit, which took 30 minutes to clean. Super delicious, worth the work!
- Went to the Luna Rumba cd release party with s/v Buena Vida, at the wonderful and beautiful Los Arroyos Verdes spa and retreat
- Went into Puerto Vallarta with Bryan and shopped around, went to his favorite restaurant the Cheeky Monkey and enjoyed downtown!
- After our adventures and many late late sleepless nights from our shenanigans, man down - T got the flu. I now have that same flu as of this posting....arggghhh!
- Once T recovered, we left Paradise Village for a night stay in Yelapa, a darling little town with cobblestone streets. They just got electricity in 2001!  We hiked to a waterfall just outside of town, we got lost of course, and then 45 mins later arrived at the waterfall.
- We left PV to Chamela, Bryan's first overnight on a boat! He's a champ, no seasickness the whole time!

Here are the photos (some were omitted because they are for immature audiences only - lol!):

View of Punta Mita, where we will return for surfing in a few weeks!
Us sailing to the Mariettas with s/v Heavy Metal & Destiny
Got our spinnaker up!
 Photo compliments of Doug! Thanks Doug!

Little pink horses for you and me....
oops, I meant houses

Las Tres Mariettas

The cove where we snorkeled

Tons of hermit crabs on the beach

A cove/cave at the Mariettas, one of many

Dinghy'ing around the Mariettas with s/v Heavy Metal & Destiny

The view of La Cruz Marina as we entered coming from the Mariettas

La Cruz Sunday Market, filled with local artists and food, fabulous!

Wares for sale at the Sunday market

Best juice at the market, freshly squeezed 
Chatting on the dock with s/v Inspirare, Heavy Metal & Destiny

View of the bay from the fabulous SkyBar at the La Cruz Yacht Club 
Sushi lessons at the La Cruz Yacht Club,
now we just need to catch some fish! 
La Cruz Marina at sunset

Beer can rally - Annika of s/v Inspirare

T & Dawn of s/v Destiny, checking out our competition and wind

Dawn on port side jib sheet, grinding

Me on starboard side jib sheet, checking out the sail trim
 Pluto is near me, s/v Inspirare's great dane!

Annika on the main sheet

Arvid of s/v Inspirare checking out the spinnaker

"The Yellow Boat"
Everyone knows this boat in La Cruz,
a derelict boat with bird crap all over it
out at anchor and when the wind blows, we can all smell it!

Paradise Village Resort, crocodile slides

Dinner at s/v Amizade's with s/v Inspirare 

The beach at Paradise Village Resort

A view of Paradise Village Resort from the breakwater

Paradise Village Resort beach, indeed paradise

Guess what type of shoes T loves to wear - lol!

T goofing off as I try to take a picture of the sunset!
This should be an ad for Claritin.

Self portrait 

Sunset at Paradise Village
Bryan and me @ Paradise Village

Annika & Arvid of s/v Inspirare as we enter the petroglpyhs

Bryan enjoying the lovely rock formations and water at the petroglyphs

Cool rock formations at the petroglyphs

The rock formations were right out of a movie set!
I was waiting for Indiana Jones to swing out on a vine!

A group photo, out of focus but good nonetheless

Our rental car, airborne back tire as we try to drive it down an arroyo, sweet!

Night out with s/v Bella Donna, here we go with the tequila shots...
game on....
Bryan, T, and me

From L to R:
Bryan, T, K, Deborah, John, Lucy (s/v Bella Donna)
Let the shenanigans begin...that's all I can post about that! lol
The absolutely beautiful Arroyos Verdes Spa & Retreat
Us at Los Arroyos Verdes, Bryan took this pic, thx Bry!

Luna Rumba CD Release Party @ Los Arroyos Verdes, excellent venue!

Me and my Yaka fruit (aka jack fruit) - delicious!

Bryan helped too! Here is our bowl of yaka!
Leaving PV for Yelapa, this is a view of Puerta Vallarata
a part of Banderas Bay

Entering Yelapa, darling hotels and houses on the hillside

Panga boats in Yelapa

Bryan and T enjoy a Raicilla (local moonshine!)

Us at Gloria's in Yelapa for dinner

A view of the anchorage in Yelapa

A view of the houses and hotels on the hillside

Our hike to the waterfall, Bryan to the left enjoying the waterfall

Houses on the beach in Yelapa

While T was sick...we hit downtown Puerto Vallarta and went to Bryan's
favorite watering hole - The Cheeky Monkey

We checked out the inside of the cathedral in downtown PV, pretty

Bryan bought this wrestling mask for his son, I made him
try it on in the cab - lol!
Sculpture along the malecon in PV

The malecon in PV

Awesome sand sculptures on the malecon in PV

Bryan is ready for our overnight passage to Chamela!
We left PV to head south!

And south we went -- to Chamela, Tenacatita, Barra de Navidad and then to Santiago, where we are now- with the flu, the Mexico version of it anyway, trying to get better! It's hot down here, super sunny and we are tan, who can complain? More photos of those places to come...


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