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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We were ever so glad to get out of Puerto Vallarta. It's not that PV is a bad place, it's just that life is better away from the hustle and bustle of the city... any city. Once out of the harbor we headed southwest along the beautiful southern coast of Banderas Bay, looking in on picturesque small anchorages along the way toward Yelapa. We arrived there around 1500 and took a mooring instead of anchoring in the small and very deep bay. The village of Yelapa is situated at the head of a small cove backed by beautiful little valley that is fed by a small river. It is a very photogenic spot. Access to Yelapa by land is limited to a single road that tends to wash out in severe rains, so the place is quite isolated and most people arrive by boat. Unfortunately the place was discovered by hippies in the 1960's, which led to a continuous deluge of tourists ever since. Before the hippies arrived and coined the phrase "a palapa in Yelapa...." it was a sleepy fishing village. Now everyone who lives there is an entrepreneur in the tourist industry, hawking jewelry, photos with Pepe the Iguana, clothing with 'Yelapa' across the front and back, tours to the waterfall up the river, sightseeing boats, fishing boats, horseback riding, four dollar beers and eight dollar coco locos. (We took advantage of the iguana photos, the beer and the coco locos). It's a bit disappointing to see this stunningly beautiful place converted to a cash cow, but it's their place and they can do with it what they want. Anyway, we spent the afternoon sunning and touring, sipping and pondering the scenery, then got back aboard the boat for a rough and rolly, and fairly sleepless night. The cove faces northwest, exposed to every swell that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean. With the night breeze blowing down from the mountains and the swells rolling in from the opposite direction, the Honcho was rolled and bounced all night long, leaving the crew rather unhappy in the morning. But it sure is a pretty spot.