Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 2012

O.K., we'll try to keep up the blog with more frequent entries, but we'll have to spend a few minutes bringing this blog up to date, starting with our arrival in La Cruz on December 30.  Our goal was to spend New Year's Eve at Philo's, and did we ever!  We buddied with Linda and Kim from Endeavour and Linda's Mom, Moira.  Dinner first at a fish restaurant followed by several hours of music and dancing at Philo's.  His band has always been wonderful; it seemed to us that it was even better than last time we were here in 2007.  We were surprised to learn that the music scene in La Cruz has expanded to include fine dining with spectacular music.  Masala restaurant features fixed price Mediterranean dinners on Wednesday evenings with the Banderas Bay Jazz All Stars:  thebanderasbayjazzallstars.com performing two sets.  They are habit-forming!   We've attended three times so far and will be there again tomorrow night.  We've spent two Friday evenings at the Black Forest Restaurant dining on delicious German dinners with Flamenco music provided by guitars, castanets, and violin -- Latcho, Andrea and Geo -- most unusual and spectacular.  Luckily they've produced some CDs so we can listen to their fine music all season long!  Here are their websites: www.latchoandrea.com and www.geomusicasite.com.  New on the music scene is Duvalin, a band started by our friend Dave (Mai and Dave on Dolce Vita).  They currently play at Cafe Britannia and  have a few gigs lined up for other venues as well.  They have a great Mexican singer, Freddie.  Wow -- he does rock and roll in English, love songs in Spanish, all with a huge tonal range.  You can hear some of their songs at: http://youtu.be/2MJALYhxvow

Another change in Mexico: we now have a modem for our computer that enables us to send email from the boat rather than take it into internet cafes on land -- technology moves on!

Also new to us: a new Mega supermarket is down the road, a short bus ride from La Cruz.  Whatever we can't get locally or at Mega -- we really don't need!  What a treat to not have to ride all the way down to Puerto Vallarta for major provisioning.  Speaking of locally, the produce we get here in La Cruz every Tuesday and Friday at 5 pm (when the truck arrives, seemingly from the farms) is fresher and tastier than any we get when we're at home -- with a few exceptions, of course, at farmers markets.  And the fish -- can't move on without mentioning the fish at the fish market in the marina -- a fantastic variety that is always fresh, delicious, and so reasonably priced.

For the past two Saturdays we participated in the Vallarta Cup Regattas.  We had never before sailed a course, making sure to not cross the start line before the official start, rounding buoys, and finally getting to the finish line.  The first time we had two friends, Dan and Will, from the boat, Sophie, who are avid racers and they taught us a great deal on how to manage sails while racing.  Linda and Kim and their friend Rick also joined us -- a great time had by all. On the second time around, we had a friend, Pam, from the boat TugTub join us, but with only three of us we decided to sail with main and jib alone.  Both times we came in third in the multihull class.  I hasten to add that there were only three boats in the class, ours being the smallest and, of course, the "greenest."

Last Sunday, we, along with 90 other people, had a spectacular bus ride up to San Sebastian, about two hours away from La Cruz.  The road takes you through lush valleys, a few towns, and then winds its way up a mountain, near of the top of which is the charming village of San Sebastian.  Philo organized the trip and he takes his whole band, instruments and all, along with a few guest musicians, to play music all evening long on Sunday.  During dinner they played as usual, all set up in a corner of an outdoor square where dinner was served.  After dinner, a bonfire was built, musicians and all the rest of us gathered around the fire for music until very late.  We stayed until 11 pm and music was still in the air.  The package included a hotel room, dinner and a continental breakfast on Monday morning.  On the way up the bus stopped at a Tequila factory, a small family owned operation where we all had a tour, learned how 100% Tequila is made and even had a chance to taste some of their products.


Our extended time in the La Cruz marina has allowed time for workers to thoroughly clean and wax Damiana's exterior and bottom.  Her hull and decks have never looked so nice.  We had some plumbing work done inside as well.  Staying in a marina offers all sorts of opportunities: night life and boat maintenance.

~~~ Marlene and Roy ~~_/) ~~
currently in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle