Sunday, March 17, 2013

South of Banderas Bay

...and everywhere in between and below....

We left the PV area for Chamela, a quick overnight, and arrived at around 7:30am or so. Ok so my map is off - and no, we didn't go through land - lol - I was playing with Google Maps and ended up with this. We rounded that corner west of Puerto Vallarta called Cabo Corrientas - if you don't watch and wait for good weather, you can be in for it when going around this corner - the wind will blow you down and can make for a miserable trip. Once passing Cabo Corrientas, we headed to Chamela (B on the map) as there really isn't anywhere to stop in between Chamela and PV, hence why it takes an overnight to get there. We then continued to head south!

Chamela is a very small town, nice anchorage with a beautiful white sand beach. It is very serene and has small islands just off the anchorage with uninhabited beaches, great for snorkeling and lounging in the sand for the day. We met up with our buds s/v Inspirare who showed us the beautiful Isla Cocinas, just a few minutes off of Chamela, where we snorkeled and took in the sun on our very own private beach for the day!

Dawn in Chamela, our view as we arrive

The anchorage in Chamela, pristine beach!

Annika of s/v Inspirare, we enjoyed drinks at a palapa

Rhythm at anchor

The main square in Chamela

These boys were so sweet, they came by to all of the boats at anchor
to take out our trash! They didn't want any $ but
I gave them 20 pesos anyway. So sweet!

Annika & Arvid showed us a beautiful beach just outside of Chamela
at Isla Cocinas - we snorkeled and enjoyed the beach!

Manta Ray City! Tons of them in the anchorage
belly flopping and jumping around!

Me, on our way south with messy short hair!

From Chamela, we headed further south to Tenacatita. Tenacatita is a cruisers' dream - white sand beach, beautiful water (though cloudy when we were there of course, because we always get cloudy water!) and tons of activities - volleyball, bocce ball, swimming, boogie boarding, surfing, flying kites, etc.
T & Arvid fly super cool kites

s/v Inspirare - Arvid, Annika & Pluto

Playing bocce on the beach with other cruisers

T flying a kite

s/v Inspirare as we head further south

From Tenacatita we went further south to Melaque, a town just north of Barra de Navidad (about a 2.5 mile walk on the beach) in the bay. Melaque is a busy town, lots of retirees and people, tons of cute shops, a very Mexican feeling town! From Melaque, we headed into Barra de Navidad (Christmas Bar), the south part of the bay into marina at the Grand Bay Hotel. Wow - the Grand Bay is a 5 star resort, tons of beautiful pools and meticulously maintained grounds, including a golf course, beach club and an assortment of activities. A lot of boats anchor in the lagoon, but we opted for the .60 per foot special and use of the amenities of the resort. Water taxis take you into town for 20 pesos round trip - about $1.60. We enjoyed the pools and even had a movie night in the hot tub with Annika & Arvid of s/v Inspirare at the 10th floor 'secret pool'. Fabulous! The town is laid back, hardly touristy and feels like Mexico should feel outside of the mega resorts. It is charming, has fantastic restaurants and delicious churros from the guy in the main square (2 for 10 pesos, about $.80)! Plus, the local French baker comes into the marina, in his boat, selling freshly baked French goods, daily - yum!

Sunset in Melaque - awning in Melaque - LOL
(no seriously, check out that website!)
Entering the marina at the Grand Bay Hotel

View of the marina from the hotel
A view of the lagoon
A view of the Barra inlet from the hotel
Pools at the hotel

The secret pool on the 10th floor, incredible!

Main pool swim up bar
Hot tub & movie anyone??

The golf course at the hotel

The Beach Club at the hotel - crazy surf -  the waves were 10 ft,
with 50 ft spray on a steep beach!

If you look closely there is a staircase on the rocks...

A closer view of the staircase

A view of the ocean as we hiked up the staircase

T at the top!

A view of the other side, a small beautiful beach

A view of the ocean from the Beach Club at the hotel

Dinner at the Grand Bay Hotel - Mexican Fiesta Night
with Annika & Arvid!
Arvid enjoying his favorite donut!  

Two peas in a pod! T & Arvid!
The most excellent French Baker who arrives at the
marina every morning with his freshly baked
French goods! We became regulars!

Holly, me & Mike stuffing our faces with a pre-dinner churro
 at the churro stand in town while T stuffs his face behind the camera
and takes our photo! We became regulars!

From Barra we went to Bahia Santiago, where I enjoyed having the flu, but mustered enough energy to enjoy it and Manzanillo! We met up with our buds s/v Wanuskewin (Mike & Holly) and had a great time touring the town of Manzanillo (including an iguana sanctuary (aka iguanario)!), Santiago, having fun sampling restaurants at Barra and took a road tour to Comala y Colima. I'm saving that story for another post since there are tons of cool pics of the active, yes active and smoking as I type! volcano there!

The busy beach of Santiago

The main square in town (Santiago)

The main marcado in Santiago, old building, charming

Mike of s/v Wanuskewin sampling tamarindo - before and after - lol!
Rhythm at anchor

Just cause...
our little old timer is doing great!

And's time to make a decision on what we do next, head north? or go south?


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