Saturday, March 7, 2015

Back To San Blas

After 6 days in San Blas it was time to leave but already we were planning our return. We had heard about an upcoming festival to celebrate the birthday of San Blas, an Armenian bishop martyred in 316. I have no idea what his connection to Mexico is or why this particular fishing village bears his name but I knew that I wanted to be there for the celebration.

courtyard view from our room
A trip that had taken 2 full days by boat was a scenic 3-1/2 hours by car. Our friends Joy and Randy from s/v Spirit of Hanalei came with us and we all spent a delightful 3 days getting better acquainted with the town and enjoying the amenities of the lovely Hotel Hacienda Flamingos in an old hacienda style building that dates back to 1883.

hotel chapel
San Blas from the old fort
Abandoned house - I think I could live here
Another abandoned building in town

peaceful fishing pangas
happily eating the best churros in Mexico

Then came the big day, February 3rd, San Blas's birthday. We knew there would be fireworks in the town square that night but we had no idea that there would be a fireworks display the likes of which none of us had ever seen before. We got our first hint when we walked to the square for breakfast.

A crew of half a dozen men were assembling a framework of fireworks that would eventually reach about 40 feet into the air. It must have been much sturdier than it looked because there was a malfunction during the display and one of the men scrambled up the inside of the frame to release a pinwheel of fire that was not rotating properly.

The celebration started with mass followed by a community meal in the church courtyard. Then several men of the church took the statue from the front of the church and carried him through town accompanied by a a band. We followed to the waterfront where the statue was loaded onto a boat and taken out to an nearby island for the blessing of the fleet. Later were speeches in the square which I couldn't understand and then the fireworks display. The fireworks started going off from the bottom with huge pinwheels and rotating flowers that would light off the next section of the frame. Near the top blazed the words "Viva San Blas" and then at the very top was a flaming disc that separated from the framework and flew off over the town. At the same time were traditional fireworks shooting off from the church. It was an exciting display and well worth our efforts to get there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

La Tovara Jungle Tour - San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico

For a few days now I've been trying to continue the San Blas story, but I just can't find the words to explain the Jungle Tour. It is peaceful and romantic and adventuresome, interesting, informative and simply a very cool thing to do.

It starts at this boat landing, costs the peso equivalent of about 15 American dollars per person, including tip, and lasts about 3 hours.

300 species of birds (we saw maybe 50), 3 kinds of iguanas, turtles, snakes, ocelots (or so I'm told) and crocodiles live here.

I'm not eloquent enough to convey the awesomeness of the Jungle Tour so I'll just post a bunch of pictures and let you see for yourself.

An old movie set, maintained by the tour guides

Gradually the salt water changes to fresh and at the end there is a large, spring-fed, fresh water pool for swimming (chain link fenced to keep the crocodiles out, of course!).