December 29, 2010

A fast panga ride, whales and visit to a palapa, in Yelapa

YELAPA, Jalisco, Mexico - A ride across Banderas Bay in a fast panga is always fun, more so when the destination is the seaside village of Yelapa, south of Puerto Vallarta.

The area is accessible almost exclusively by boat. There is a road, of sorts,  but it is only for the truly brave, driving a vehicle with an excellent suspension.

The trip was to check in with Adm. Fox's cousin Lynn, who is there with her amiga Suzanne for a few weeks before they head south to La Manzanilla. Along for the adventure with us was Laura (with the pooch, Princessa Mia, of course) and Christina.

Sylvia's cousin and Suzanne are vacationing in a cliff-side home that is drop-dead gorgeous and has only one drawback that I know of: scorpions.

Scorpions I have known
Scorpions where they belong - in a case

Last season, the couple killed about 23 of the little buggers during a short stay in Yelapa - that's 20 more than I killed in our five-months in Arroyo Seco. And I think the three I killed is waaaaay too many.

Nasty stinging things aside, Yelapa is still as magical a place as it was when I first saw it in 2000 when Admiral Fox and I chartered a panga to take us there for the day.

It's changed a lot - more houses, more tourists, even some upscale development, it seems. But the water is just as nice. And it has a couple of restaurants, too - besides the tourist traps that the tour boats frequent.

Some years back, with Karson Swedberg in tow, we sat on the beach there sipping Pacifico beer and postulated that what Yelapa needed was a good local brewery. The fresh water there, we thought, would make excellent brews.

And the motto for the beer? Yelapa - ya love it.

OK,  but it seemed sooooo clever at the time.

The Yacht Club in Yelapa
The trip out and back was fabulous, too, with many whale sightings on the way south, then a close - and I mean very close - encounter with a manta ray on the way home.

Our driver, Gus, knew exactly how to pull the boat close to the action without being too intrusive.

Here's a few photos of the expedition - and a short video of a Manta named Ray...

Traveling to Yelapa
Laura, Princessa Mia, Gus, and Christina
on the way to Yelapa

Whales tail too
How close is that whale?

San Francisco Sailboat
San Francisco sailboat
anchored in Yelapa

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