Sunday, January 22, 2012

La Cruz and Banderas Bay

On the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta
We are a bit behind in posting our blogs, we have been in La Cruz now for a month!  That's the longest we have stayed in one place since leaving Alameda on Sept 2nd.  La Cruz is our favorite port so far.  The weather is fabulous.  The northers don’t make it this far south and the temperature is consistently 75-80 degrees with a strong breeze most every afternoon.  The anchorage is huge with good holding.  Currently, there are fifty or more boats anchored all around us.  It is a short dinghy ride into the marina where there is a free dinghy dock providing easy access to town.  La Cruz is a quaint little village with cobblestone streets and several small grocery stores and restaurants.  We keep a mental list of the happy hours where two-for-one margaritas can be found.  A few blocks up the hill is the highway and a bus stop.  For large provisioning purchases, we take the bus to a supermarket like Mega or Chedraui.  For a big city experience, Puerto Vallarta is a half hour ride.  We also take the bus to explore popular beach and surfing villages such as Saylutia and Punta Mita.
With Chris and Liz from Espiritu in Sayulita
Maintaining an exercise routine is important for us but not so much for the locals.  There are no trails or established walking paths and the cobblestones streets make for challenging travel by foot.  So we walk the beach.  Our favorite trek is three to four miles along the water to a village called Bucerias.  Once in town, we check out the open air market, have some lunch, and hop on the bus back to La Cruz.  The first time we made this loop, we ran into a woman on the beach with a large galvanized tub balanced on her head.  She sold us a little pineapple pie that was still warm from the oven for twenty pesos ($1.50).  It was fabulous.  After telling the pie story and explaining the route to our cruising friends, several couples have followed in our footsteps.  All have raved about their experience.    
Derrick on the beach walk to Bucerias
A stand at the open air market in Bucerias
Dining and sharing restaurant experiences is a big part of the social scene for cruisers.  Based on our limited experience, we have found that most all restaurants fit into one of two categories: gringo or local.  The gringo places are about three times the price of the local joints and offer relatively plush dining rooms and/or Americana cuisine such as burgers and pizza.  The local places are much more rustic and are focused on the basics: tacos, quesadillas, and tostadas.  Street tacos stands, literally chairs and tables on the side of the road or in someone’s backyard, are very popular and we try them all.  Another favorite local place is a little shack that serves half of a rotisserie chicken with potatoes, peppers and tortillas for three bucks.  We try to limit our dining to places patronized by the locals.  Worthy of note, we have yet to encounter ‘Montezuma’s Revenge.’  We eat everything the locals enjoy and yet to experience any ill effects.  Knock on wood. 

Street tacos make us happy!
Sand sculpture on the beach in Puerto Vallarta

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