Posted by: vlbyers | December 26, 2009

Dec. 23, 2009 Yelapa waterfall and fish tacos.

We spent a wonderful 2 days at an anchorage just outside of Puerto Vallarta called Boca Tomatlan. It is very small, will only accommodate 2 boats at most and the conditions must be very calm as the shore drops off to 100 feet very close to shore. The locals drive their pangas into the river which feeds into the bay, where they leave them in a wide part of the river when they are not using them. It is a real challenge to get the boats through the current and also judge where the lowest point is so they don’t run aground, which many do. We hiked up the shore by a river that feeds into the bay. It was very beautiful, full of the noises of birds and many roosters and chickens. We saw banana trees for the first time here and I continued to pester Andrew to cut some down, he refused but he bought some from one of the local grocers in town.

Vicki with coconut, yummmm

We also were able to buy a coconut, we drank the juice and then they cut up the flesh and put some lime and pepper sauce on it. It didn’t even taste like coconut, the juice was yummy as was the coconut. Swimming in the water was quite chilly as the bay was sheltered on both sides by high hills not allowing the sun to heat it up during the day, it was made colder by the river dumping into it also. Andrew and I did swim a little though, I donned my mask and fins but the visibility was poor. At night the locals rake up the debris that is deposited on the shore, most of which is small twigs and branches and pile it up along the shore. At night they light the little piles to burn the rubbish. It is pretty to see all the little bonfires but it does lend a smoky atmosphere to the place, second night was difficult sleeping it was so smoky.
The second night was also the night we had our anchor drill. These things need to be practiced once in a while, just like the man overboard drill, so when you need to really do it you are practiced up. When we are anchored we get up several times each night just to make a quick check. Larry discovered on one of his checks that our stern anchor was dragging so at 0300 (anchor drills are always practiced when everyone is sleeping soundly) we had to pull the anchors. There is a narrow inlet into the bay and it is unlit so we turned our bow into the beach and dropped the bow anchor and waited until morning light to head out.
Only about 7 miles down Banderas Bay is another very nice anchorage called Yelapa. We wanted to see this since many had told us it was so nice. After hooking up to a mooring ball and having lunch it was off to explore. We all hopped into the dinghy and rowed to shore, thankfully landing was without melodrama. We had heard that there were 2 waterfalls, one right in the village and another further inland, quite a hike we were told. We took off to see what we could find, ended up walking toward where we thought there was a waterfall. After a 10 min walk or so we found ourselves watching some folks play croquet, the owner of the restaurant was able to give us some detailed direction to the waterfall. We had separated from Andrew on the beach but as we continued on our hike we happened into him again. He said he had been looking for the waterfall but hadn’t found it so we explained that we had good directions and he decided to come along. We walked for several miles, up hills, over rocks, through meadows and crossed the river several times. Thankfully we were in the shade most of the way as it was a warm day. After several wrong turns we finally made it to the waterfall and what a sight. Of course we couldn’t wait to jump in to the pool to cool off and refresh ourselves. It was cold at first but the excitement we felt to have finally found it more than made up for the cold water. There were only 2 other people there at the time so we had it to ourselves. Andrew tested the depth and then decided to jump off the rocks, one jump was probably 15 feet, the other was about 20.
What a treat, to be able to walk through a Mexican village, hike through beautiful scenery and be greeted with an incredible waterfall-I am so thankful to be able to enjoy the best life has to offer.
After our hike we were all famished so we came ‘home’ to the boat and made great fish tacos which we devoured with relish. We are hitting the sack early as we have decided to head to Punta Chamala to meet up with friends from Lady J. It is about an 80 mile trip so we will head out about midnight tonight so we can make a landfall in the daylight hours. We haven’t gotten to sail for the past 2 trips so hopefully there will be some wind and great sailing. Until next time, Vicki

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