Monday, December 26, 2011
A calm overnighter of 92 miles brought us to the remote Island of Isabel, a bird sanctuary for the rare Blue-footed Booby. The birds were nesting and have no fear of humans due to their isolated location. It was fascinating watching their mating rituals and the comical way they preen and coo at each other like an old married couple. We dinghies to an abandoned fishing camp where a few pescaderos were mending their nets. Later, after a sundowner on the deck, we turned in, admiring the magnificent view of immense rocky white spires surrounding the anchorage. It turned out to be a great anchorage, even though the charts showed us to be in the middle of the ocean!
The One That Got Away (for someone else)
Amid the crumbling walls of the old San Blas, Longfellow wrote his tribute 'The Bells of San Blas' many years ago. Times have changed but much is still as it was in this ancient Mexican town. The original church, now in tatters, was established in 1769, and still stands proudly beside the new cathedral, and the shady plaza below. At night it is a pleasant pastime to enjoy the local scene. Being the Feast of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, the evening mass was in session, and all ages spilled out on to the plaza dressed in all their finery, the small children in costumes, and all singing the Spanish hymns of the season. The fellowship and community spirit was intoxicating.
A jungle trip, 'Tovara', down the river with Ian and Ellen on Kasasa, has been a major highlight of our time in San Blas. Our guide, Chengo, picked us up in his panga early one morning and we drifted downstream viewing a menagerie of tropical birds and reptiles, notably; Iguanas, Turtles and, yes, Cocorodillas! These amazing creatures lurked in the reeds and intertwined branches along the shore, smiling rakishly at unsuspecting Georgie as we glided by. We lunched at a small palapa and swam in a clear pool of fresh stream water, before a leisurely ride homeward.
Chacala is the quintessential anchorage most people dream of. Its clear blue waters, lapping at white sand, surrounded by lush vegetation and coconut palms, make it a special place. A brief dinghy ride ashore and we strolled the tiny village and made our way to a ramada-lined beach dotted with colourful beach umbrellas. Later we shared a succulent meal of hand-picked, BBQ'd fish with Ian and Ellen. Two golden sunsets later, we hoisted the dinghy and prepared for the mornings crossing to La Cruz.
A large white cross, (LaCruz), now stands sentinel at the centre of this charming village, where a revered elder passed away and a leafy Huanacaxtle tree was planted to commemorate the spot. There is a wonderful music scene here, and we have spent a number of evenings at the local haunts enjoying the vibes. Yesterday we met Jos and Barb, friends from Parksville BC who have a villa in nearby surf town Sayulita. We spent the night with them dining in the village and learning more about the people, customs and politics of this diverse country. The beach was bustling with young beach bums and surfers enjoying the holiday season. The cruisers have all arrived in Bandaras Bay for the Christmas festivities and many boats haves draped the rigging with Christmas lights. There is a Gringo turkey dinner being planned for Christmas Day with presents for the local children, and the pinatas are going up. I think I hear Jose Feliciano now......Feliz Navidad!
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both,
And be yet one traveler , long I stood,
And looked down one as far as I could go,
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I took the one less-traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.