Thursday, March 15, 2007

Yelapa and Farewell

Saturday - no Spanish class. We are off to Yelapa, which we have been told by the Lonely Planet is 45 minutes by water taxi. We decide to take the Dramamine, just in case (wouldn't want to ruin an entire day - though I heard that the best cure for seasickness is liquor - and there is plenty of that in Vallarta), and then to have breakfast at one of their lovely restaurants. The boat is full with many well-humoured people including my seatmate, Simon, who is one funny guy. On the journey, our driver suddenly stops - a giant sea turtle. "Extra bonus," the boatman says.

When we arrive at Yelapa, we get off the pier near town, which is a well choreographed event. We step off the boat when the wave comes in.

One of out boatmen suggests that we go see the waterfalls, and then go down to the beach. Our thoughts are on breakfast. But breakfast is not obvious from the pier. We walk up and around the streets, (emphasis on up). We follow the path/walkway, and find stairs to a restaurant. A beautiful view for our breakfast. BJ checks out the restaurant; after a thumbs up, I climb the many stairs. BJ is off to the bathroom when the restaurant owner approaches me, "I'm sorry, we're closed." Our idea of having breakfast on Yelapa is sounding like a bad idea. Before the next leg of the journey, I visit the rather unusual bathroom:

Yep, that's gravel on the floor.

We continue along the path, deciding that we will eat on the beach as there are no other obvious places. As I glance left, I see that the beach is behind us. My instinct says, "Stop, go no further." When I see people approaching, I ask where the path is to the beach. At the top of the path, we are told, pointing in the direction we came from. We retrace our steps and up we go, to find the stairs that lead us down to the beach.

We reach sea level, and find a restaurant immediately.

Our breakfast is Heuvos Rancheros and waffles. What time is it you might ask? 13:00 hours.

And off we are to the beach:

We are told that our departure is at 3 o'clock. I have already heard stories from home about overnights in Yelapa (which everyone enjoyed). As this is our final night in Puerto Vallarta, there is much to see - we do not want to miss our boat. Our guides decide that the waves are too high and we have to get onto the boat from the ladder on the other pier. Off we trek to the north side of the cove. Again, the choreography of boat boarding.

The journey back is full of good humour, some of it Margarita-induced. I sit beside Simon again, and spend most of the return trip laughing.

The ocean has stepped up the pace since the morning. By the time we arrive in Puerto Vallarta, I have a left arm soaking with sea spray.

Back on solid land, I head to the pool. The sun begins to sink in the sky.

We spend our last evening eating camarones al ajo and shopping for gifts. We walk the Malecon one more time, and though we are excited to go to the club, a midnight start time is too much for these busy gals. So I lay in my bed, hear the festive sounds of party-time in Puerto Vallarta, put in my ear plugs for the last time, and dream of dancing.

The next day, we forgo breakfast for more shopping. While I wait for our fresh squeezed orange juice to be squeezed, BJ finds a bookstore. A bookstore with two cats. One named Chapter, the other Verse. Chapter has not returned from the evening before. The owner is worried.

We wander back to our hotel and see an amazing display of necklaces at the vendors:

At the hotel, we order our taxi, which now costs less than half of the fee that we paid from the airport. This is the way. North we go past hotels, and shops, Wal Mart and Subway.

Buenos Tardes, Puerto Vallarta....

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