Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Away From La Cruz

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Finally! – We’re outta here…..

That sounds as though we do not like La Cruz, when the opposite is the truth. La Cruz is great, lots of good people, locals and cruisers, and a rustic Mexican Puebla feel. The town is only about 5 blocks east to west and about 4 blocks from the marina and waterfront up to the road to Punta De Mita, with outlying growth above the highway and east towards Bucerias.
Main Street La Cruz
The streets are cobbled with +/- 5” round river rocks in various stages of disrepair and the merchants serve the local community. We were welcomed by many as regulars after a few weeks. Kids and dogs play on the streets and the cobble stones ensure the infrequent cars move at a crawl. But, we left here on March 28th, so to still be here in May, waiting for parts was a stretch of our patience.

During that time La Cruz had a small street carnival with little kid’s rides, that took  over the town for a week. This was followed by Easter processions that lasted several days and recently we had the La Cruz De Huantecaxtle Days which lasted 10 continuous days.

A great street side restaurant
At 5:30 in the morning the first of the explosions would go off followed quickly by 10 to 12 more. This was repeated several times throughout the day ending with a final group of explosions at about 10:30 pm. It is a tradition that dates back to the Spanish period when the canons were used to ensure the outlying farmers knew they had to get to the church for the special masses that are held.

There was a street parade with kids of all ages marching, playing in the band, riding floats and having a wonderful time. The restaurant tables spilled out onto the narrow streets vying with the floats and horses for space. I’m certain the horses, with fireworks going off around them as they skittishly pranced up the road inches from patrons at restaurant tables would have cause apoplexy to a litigious attorney from the north.

The Plaza at a quiet time
Every night the plaza was filled until midnight with the makeshift stage presenting everything from the contestants for Miss La Cruz De Huantecaxtle, to children’s cultural dancing groups and an endless assortment of adult ethnic dance troops and local bands. The streets are packed with food kiosks and carnival attractions. Local families crowd together greeting each other , only a few cruisers are still here in the crowds. The winter condominium dwellers from Bucerias and above the road have already headed north for a cooler summer climate.

Each night the big finale was the fireworks in the plaza. Here, there is no separation from fireworks and audience, sparks are landing everywhere. And finally, a man with a bulls costume emitting flares and fireworks chases through the crowds, much to the excited pleasure of the kids of all ages.

Eddie's side, Jerry on other side - camera died
After turning on the hook twice daily for 3 weeks in the anchorage, we decided to move into the Marina Rivera Nayarit, the La Cruz Marina. If the anchor chain was fouled by the turning, we had no engine to reset the anchor should we drag in the afternoon thermals. Eddie, previously from Disturbia, now Om, and Jerry from Lazy Lion put their dinghies on each side of Kanilela and we moved from the anchorage into the Marina just in time for a visit from our North Vancouver friend of many years, Paula Campbell. With her were her daughter Laura, son-in-law Brice and their three young children who were staying in Punta De Mita, they savored a real Mexican experience and rode the local bus to La Cruz. It was great visiting with them.
Mags and Paula

Our other big news from La Cruz is that we now have a crew member. On the morning cruisers net on the VHF chan 22, there is a section for boats looking for crews and/or crew looking for a boat. Alexis (Lexi) announced that she was a Canadian looking to crew south. She had had some experience in the Sea of Cortez but was a traveller wanting to learn more about sailing. Mags and I have been alone since Vancouver and have never had crew. While on the street in La Cruz we bumped into an Aussie cruiser we know who introduced us to Lexi. After a street side visit we invited her for dinner on board to let her know who she would be with and for us to hear her story. We agreed it was a fit and she endured our prolonged raw water pump wait before finally setting out. 

Eddie and our new crew Lexi
Love this billboard
I received the pumps late yesterday and installed one immediately, the other is a spare that I should have rebuilt when it went last July. Oh well, I have it now so there will be no further raw water pump issues. So with that said, we are truly outta here!!!
Tuna sashimi and prawns, we'll miss the fishermen's market

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