A convenient southerly wind carried us on a 16 hour, overnight passage from Tenacatita, around Cabo Corrientes and into Banderas Bay where we would rendezvous with sister Wendy and her husband Wayne. We dropped anchor around 9 am in Yelapa (on the far southwest side of Banderas Bay). Yelapa is fairly open to swell so it quite a rolly polly anchorage. Though we were tired from being up all night, it was evident that we were not likely to be sleeping much, so we decided we might as well go on a big hike up to the waterfall. We waited for Mark and Dee on Speakeasy, fellow Canadian cruising friends, to pull into the anchorage so we could share the waterfall experience with them. Yelapa is wonderful! There is no road access so local transportation on land is primarily by mule and horse along cobble and dirt trails that are lined with beautiful flowers and foilage. To get to the waterfall you walk partway through town, then cross the river and hike along the river through jungle for about an hour until you get to a spectacular swimming hole and waterfall. We enjoyed the experience so much that we quickly put it on our list as a ‘must do’ with Wendy and Wayne (which we did about a week later).
While in Banderas Bay we stayed in Marina Vallarta for 3 nights in order to make for easy accessible visiting with Wendy and Wayne who were staying in an all-inclusive in the hotel zone. We enjoyed the location even though marinas in general are not our favourite. Ted is always great at making the most of marina experiences: boat cleaning, boat projects, boat refit shopping….It was a great place to be to enjoy lots of fun experiences with Wendy and Wayne as well as Dave and Consuelo (Waynes cousin and his lovely Mexican wife) who shared with us some wonderful Mexican experiences we never otherwise would have had: a home-cooked Pollo Mole, snuggling with Mexican rescue dogs on the couch, local oysters, enjoying the beach mexican style (just bring lotsa cervezas in a 5 gallon bucket of ice and hang out in the shade, swim in the surf, sit on the beach, repeat!), local market shopping, and in general wonderful friendly laid back energy!
Other Banderas Bay highlights included: La Cruz Sunday market, prawns from the fish market, Taco’s on the Street, joining in the Banderas Bay Regatta on Iolani, surfing and beach walks at Punta Mita, potlucks and visits with fellow cruisers we rejoined since Tenacatita….and eventually goodbyes to Wendy and Wayne and dear cruising friends as we all dispersed into our varied directions and journeys.