Saturday, January 21, 2012

Richard Goes Native in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Rich dives into Mexico
Sarah’s brother, Rich, joined up with us aboard El Tiburon for a week in Marina La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, on Banderas Bay. We made a list of things to do every afternoon and evening; places to go, sights to see, and food to eat for each day of his visit. I am proud to say that we accomplished each and every goal, and we all have the sunburns, dragging legs, and empty plates to prove it.

My baby brother

La Cruz is not only a popular sailing destination, but widely known in Banderas Bay for it’s international food and lively local music. We kicked off the week with “The Taste of La Cruz” sampling treats from many of the local restaurants, listening to some great spanish guitar and rock n’ roll music, and even did some very fine tequila tasting.
Rich and Darrell enjoyed the tequila tasting ALOT!
Our friend Catalina did an EXCELLENT job of organizing "The Taste of La Cruz"
Famous Philo's
No trip to La Cruz is complete without going to Philo’s for some local entertainment. Philo landed in La Cruz 11 years ago after sailing around the South Seas. His pizza-burger-rib joint featuring both local musicians and cruisers, young and old, join forces to play some pretty darn good blues, jazz, folk, country, R & B after dinner. There is no shortage of grey panthers dancing to the funky music to the wee hours.

Sunday Market at Marina La Cruz
Sunday morning we were up early to “hunt and gather” at the La Cruz Open Market, featuring homemade tamales, pastries, flowers, and organic fruits and veggies. Pangueros sell freshly caught tuna, dorado, shrimp, and langosta! There is also a variety of beautiful handicrafts, and of course, plenty of musicia. That night we seared fresh tuna with wasabi, grilled gigantic shrimp accompanied by baby greens with big red tomatoes drizzled with basil dressing,and then we polished off the meal with boysenberry pie.

So much to choose from...but TUNA it is

Served with Chilean Chardonnay in my Mother's Waterford goblet

A couple of trips across Banderas Bay aboard El Tib convinced all of us that the daily 15 knots of breeze makes for just about the BEST sailing conditions in the world. We even made a trip to Yelapa for lunch, walked through the village, and had a nice refreshing swim. Both days of sailing were punctuated by lots of jumping fish and spouting, leaping, and diving humpback whales.

Best sailing in the world!

Rich snaps a few pictures on our approach into Yelapa
Oasis, our favorite spot for the BEST Chili Rellenos
 After lunch we followed a burro through the village
A colorful hang glider drops gracefully on the beach
San Pancho
Of course, we HAD to drive to Punta de Mita for a little condo shopping, on to Sayulita for sightseeing, with lunch at a fav spot in San Pancho. All resort spots are doing well and growing too fast for our tastes, but we wish the local people well with their successes.

Rich and friend on the PV Malecon
A trip into Puerto Vallarta to stroll the new and improved malecon with even more outrageous sculptures than ever was another highlight.The cobblestone road is now closed to cars and lined with great new shops.

The shop featuring Day of the Dead skeletons screamed FUN 
Our road trip also included a drive further south through the jungle just past Mismaloya (think "Steamy" with Richard Burton and Ava Gardner in "Night of the Iguana") to our favorite spot for a casually elegant meal, the Le Kliff restaurant. The place is pure romance, perched high on a cliff overlooking Banderas Bay, and surrounded by lush palms, colorful and fragrant flowers. We dined on organic field greens with Asian pears and goat cheese, arrachera, calamari, and tiny brioche rolls accompanied by a crisp Chilean chardonnay.  

Always a happy camper at the romantic Le Kliff
Our meal was enhanced by lots of splashing and frolicking from a baby humpback a stones throw from our table. After our meal a local character, a white-nose coati (a close relative of the raccoon), stopped by for leftovers.

This little guy was particularly fond of brioche!

After the long drive home we made it just in time for the Marina La Cruz Thursday Night Movie feature, the Italian Job, shown at the amphitheater on the water. The following day after a long morning walk on powdery white sand and a refreshing dip in clear sapphire water we enjoyed a final meal of chicken enchiladas with chili verde sauce before Rich flew back to rainy San Francisco.

Back home to Marina La Cruz to watch "The Italian Job" on the Malecon
One of many Nayarit beaches 
I might add that our busy daily activities ensured that no excess calories from all the fantastic food and beverages we enjoyed hung around!

That's a Wrap! 
Rich, we'll see you in La Paz!

1 comment:

  1. All of the fun things we miss from Mexico - thanks for sharing the photos and flavors. Glad you had a good visit!