A short hop then to start again. The 6.00am Airporter to SFO and a 3 hour flight to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico which I cannot recommend to anyone. Huge luxury hotels, vast cruise liners, acres of condos, crowded streets and hot, very hot. My taxi driver, Hector, was kind enough to stop at an ATM so I could withdraw some Pesos, but it didn’t work. Nor did the next one. ‘Third time’s a charm’ says I, Hector looked baffled, but it was and replete with Pesos we went to find La Puerto de los Muertos, but he didn’t know where it was. Fortunately I had a vague idea after visiting a few years ago and after floundering about I persuaded Hector to drop me off a few blocks away. Dressed, as I was, for dawn in N. California the walk wasn’t the greatest, high humidity and 82 (28C) degrees but I found the jetty, now very modern, and headed off for the speedboat ride to Yelapa, about an hour South.
Not a lot has changed over the years. There are still no roads, no cars, perhaps more All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and if anything the locals are more friendly, “Hola Amigo” from young and old at very turn. The food on offer is still the same, basic, rice, beans and tortillas with fresh caught fish, shrimp, mahi mahi, sometimes chicken or even an omelet. The Lagunita Hotel hasn’t changed at all, still the same palapas, basically a hut with a dried palm leaf thatched roof, no glass, a very basic door and the walls are bamboo blinds. The roof is raised up from the structure so bugs get in and get out again. There are scorpions, I found one in my bathroom, geckoes and other lizards are everywhere but appear to be harmless. Staying in Yelapa is very like camping, if you like camping you will love it if not, you may not like it. People came and went, many left because they didn’t like the rusticness, others came to enjoy the peace and quiet, do yoga and meditate. Every day boats would unload visitors from the resorts in Vallarta who would risk landing through the surf for a day of overpriced margaritas and Pacifico beers. They would pack the five or six bars further down the beach arriving between eleven and noon, but by about 4.30, they were all gone. It was the Spring Break for US College students but again, Yelapa was too rustic for them to stay though it was interesting to see them on their big motor yachts, dancing away to techno music on the top deck with a drone to take selfies. There was mumbling on the beach of torpedos.
Yelapa is the perfect place to do nothing and that is what I did. Of course I met lots of interesting people, read some books, walked into the Pueblo (village) after wading through the river, ate, drank a few beers and enjoyed the tranquility. A special hello to Barbara and Mark from Portland, Oregon. I read a lengthy tome called SPQR, a history of Rome by Mary Beard and as I had just left the shxtshow that is the American election process one piece stood out.
Cicero back in 63BCE had a bit of a disagreement with Catiline exclaiming in the Senate:
“Quo usque tandem abutere, Donald Trump, patientia nostra?”
“How long will you go on abusing our patience”
Well not exactly that from two thousand years ago but apt I thought.
Sorry, but I really wanted to share!
There was a storm, totally unexpected by local people and visitors. The first I knew of it was when I realized at about 4.00am that my mozzie net was flapping about horizontally to the bed. The walls weren’t proper walls as I have mentioned and with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the wind and groaning trees and could quite imagine myself in some kind of battle. Four fishing boats were lost, dashed to pieces on the beach after dragging their anchors, including a brand new one with twin outboards. Dawn came and we residents gathered in the sand looking like survivors of a shipwreck. Everyone had donned all the clothes they possessed, three tshirts, jackets, hats, scarves, everything. It had its lighter side though the power was out for most of the day and of course the poor fisher folk. Mark and Barbara were in a house reached by a narrow track along the cliff edge which filled up with water, they couldn’t use the path until the waves died down, they were, as it were, marooned.
There I was then in Yelapa for a few weeks, it was very relaxing and I think I may have ceased feeling sorry for myself after the recent health issues, I had two operations on my leg. I have not been practicing blogging skills, hopefully they will improve as time passes. We will find out.