Saturday, February 22, 2014

ROAD TRIP!!!

My beautiful cousin, Frances, and her charming husband, Mike, are avid and experienced sailors who have been involved in our cruising adventure from the beginning. They were our crew from Seattle to San Francisco and I can't imagine how it would have happened without them.
Last week they were finally able to join us again, here in Mexico, and we spent an absolutely wonderful 7 days together.


We expected to spend their time here mostly on or in the water, but as soon as we got on the bus from the airport, Frances turned to me and said "Can we go to Guadalajara?" I have wanted to go to Guadalajara ever since we were in Mazatlan. Until now we were never able to work it into our schedule. I was especially excited at the idea of exploring inland with three of my very favorite people.





Agave waiting to be cooked


We rented a car and drove first to Tequila where we took a tequila factory tour and explored the town center.

Fermentation vats
Blue Agave field
In Guadalajara we visited historic buildings, toured a history museum, and walked for miles, taking photos and soaking up the atmosphere of a large, modern Mexican city.










On the third morning we went to the shopping Mecca of Tonala. It was market day and the quantity of goods offered was overwhelming. I bought a lovely pewter serving dish for about $5 (American) and a colorful hand blown, hand painted glass pitcher with 4 matching glasses for $12. Next time I'll go with a list and a plan





Yesterday we finally got out on the water for a glorious sail. The sailing in Banderas Bay is perfection in the afternoons with winds around the high teens and gentle seas. There is the added, very special bonus of whales that live in the Bay and we were thrilled to watch one of them breach several times not too far from us.
 
The week was much too short and their departure this morning left a big hole. Frances, I love you to the moon and back. Can't wait for our next great adventure!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayrit, Mexico


One of the many delights of staying in La Cruz is the Sunday market at the marina. It is THE place to go on Sundays. Those who are in the know go early. Although it doesn't open until 10, some of the most popular venders sell out before noon. We make an early run for bread, dill, baklava, lamb empanadas, and strawberries.






 
 

After taking those purchases back to the boat, we return to the market for a more leisurely stroll from one end to the other. It is a delight for the senses; bright colors, live music and dance, exotic smells, and tasty food samples.



In addition to fresh produce and herbs, honey, a fish market, and hand crafted foods there are high quality arts and crafts including beautiful jewelry, textiles, paintings, pottery, tapestries, leather footwear, and so much more.








La Cruz has quickly become one of my favorite places of this journey.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Back On The Blog Again

20.44.908N; 105.22.841W

For too long now I have avoided posting on my blog. I have a basketful of excuses: no computer, new computer with malfunctioning keyboard, unfamiliar Windows 8 operating system, inconsistent internet access, strep throat and Montezuma's Revenge.







But my blogging resistance has lingered longer than most of my excuses and last night I realized what the true problem is. I was trying to catch up; trying to go all the way back to December and fill in the gaps. It was overwhelming to think about and not particularly inspiring to write about.

So --  We were in Mazatlan. Now we are in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. And this is what I did yesterday:

Sayulita is about 10 miles up the coast from our marina here in La Cruz. It is a vibrant but laid-back village well known by surfers, shoppers, and retirees from the northern countries. Aging hippies and well-heeled expats mingle with enterprising young local artists and vacationing surfers. The community is cheerful and happy, colorful and energetic but relaxing and peaceful at the same time.



My friend Margaret is visiting from Cape Cod and together we took a taxi to this little village we had been hearing about. The taxi was a bit of a splurge but the bus route involves back tracking for several miles and changing buses before heading in the right direction. It was the right decision as our taxi driver, Eduardo, was a charming and informative guide. He spoke some English and I'm getting better with Spanish so we were able to ask questions and understand the answers.


Eduardo heard that I enjoy visiting cemeteries and said that the one in Sayulita is particularly beautiful. So he drove us there before going in to the town. It was an amazing place, built up and down steep hills overlooking Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead). In Mexico the family of the deceased are allowed to build whatever sort of memorial is meaningful to them and the departed. There is a great sense of honoring the dead in this country that I really appreciate, admire, and envy.






After our cemetery tour we spent a delightful afternoon wandering the streets, exploring the shops, eating lunch on the beach, and beach-combing.  Meanwhile the captain stayed with the ship, cleaning the decks and planning the new spinnaker system. It was a good day for all.