Friday, February 27, 2015

San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico

As in most Mexican towns, exotic flowers grow everywhere
The Virgin
Typical fence in a downtown neighborhood

San Blas Social Club, a popular hangout for expats and Gringos.
Fast Food San Blas style

We have been in Mexico for almost 2 years and I am still in love with this country and her people.

Lately, though, I've been taking Mexico for granted. I feel so comfortable here that I often forget how unique my life is, how lucky I am to be here, and I forget to appreciate the amazing culture that surrounds me. Our 6 days spent in San Blas really brought back the awareness and appreciation.

San Blas doesn't get a lot of attention from cruisers. The cruising guide books warn of a potentially dangerous bar at the harbor entrance and the area is jungle, well-known for hordes of biting insects. So most cruisers seem to do what we did last year, anchor overnight in the large bay a few miles south of the town and move on the next morning.
But Mike had to been to San Blas several years ago and wanted to take some time to explore.

Two other boats were traveling with us (buddy boating) from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta and we all found San Blas to be a delightful surprise.
We spent 3 nights on anchor in Mantenchen Bay swimming in the warm, clear water, exploring the beach, and lunching at waterside palapa restaurants.

With a keel in excess of 8' we are always cautious, but after sounding the entrance from our dinghy and talking to the lovely folks at the Fonatur San Blas Marina, we established that we could safely enter the harbor at high tide and spend a few days at the marina in town.

The ruins of the old fort sit high on the hill with stunning views of the city and beyond to the ocean. We were told, but couldn't confirm, that when the fort was built it was on the cliff side right over the ocean. It only makes sense and old maps in the museum seemed to confirm that the ocean was once much closer than it is now.

I love to take photos through windows and open doorways. The church ruins at the fort provided ample opportunity and I took over 100 shots both inside and out.

Inside the market was this lunch stand with a sign advertising Yaka licuado. I saw advertisements all over town for Yaka this and Yaka that. I ate Yaka muffins, Yaka ice cream, and Yaka bread thinking that Yaka tastes a bit like peaches. Someone told me that it is breadfruit but it turns out that it is jackfruit which is not the same thing. I'm still not sure but I can tell you that it is delicious whatever it is.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Return To The Blog

Finally I am settled for a few weeks with reliable internet. I have been catching up on emails and bank accounts and feeling not quite as stressed as I was a month ago. Of course my phone still works only half the time but having internet makes communication and paying bills possible again. It's a big burden lifted.
In addition to good internet connectivity, our experiences since leaving Mazatlan make it easy to blog again. We've visited some places we hadn't seen before and seen some new things in familiar locations. It's been a really great four weeks and we have a lot planned in the weeks ahead.

From Mazatlan we sailed south to Isla Isabel. It's about 90 miles and requires an overnight transit but Isabel is the first anchoring possibility and a lovely place to spend a few peaceful days.
Many trails crisscross the island offering ample opportunity for exercise and exploration.

There is a small fish camp on shore. None of the men speaks English but they are quite friendly and will often sell fish off their boats when they return to camp after a long night of fishing. Seeing how hard they work for so little return I wonder how much longer their lifestyle will survive.

Isla Isabel is most famous for its colonies of Blue Footed Boobies, Brown Boobies, Frigate Birds, and my favorite, the gorgeous and graceful White-Tailed Tropic Birds. Last year I saw two Tropic Birds on Isabel and this year I saw six but I couldn't get any photos. I think that Isabel might be a little north of their normal range, but there they were and I loved seeing them.

Next stop:  San Blas, Nayarit where I fell in love with Mexico all over again...