Live Free 2 Sail Fast

La Cruz: So Much More Than I Expected

From Tulum V’s HelmsMistress…for your reading pleasure:

I knew La Cruz would be a stop for us and had heard of this “famed cruiser hub” with an incredible live music scene, but I had no idea how much I would enjoy all that it has to offer.  La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, one of many towns along Banderas Bay, is proving to be my favorite place yet.  Despite the seasonal influx of visitors from the US, Canada, Europe and other cold places, La Cruz maintains its small town appeal.  From the marina, I awaken to the bells from the small church on the square and numerous roosters reminding us all it’s time to rise – much better than any alarm bellowing from my phone.  We’re now in the anchorage where I awaken early just for the off chance of spotting a whale (actually, I’m waking up most mornings due to the rolling and creaking of every bone in this ol’ boat – but still the thought of a whale in the anchorage is motivating!)  We stop by the carniceria to pick up the best thick cuts of meat for the Big Green Egg or the fish market for fresh dorado to make ceviche.  After a short walk up the town’s cobblestone streets, for about $1US we catch the bus or vanpool (let’s call it that) to the neighboring towns should you need an ATM or large scale American provisioning in nearby Puerto Vallarta.  Vibrant live music emerges nightly from a few tiny open air venues around town and disperses to every vessel and villa.  For the most part, minus an ATM, everything you need and more can be found in this little town.  And the best part is…we walk everywhere!  I compare this with moments back home where I drove competitively around parking lots, seeking rockstar parking as if I didn’t need the exercise….walking, so underrated….

My newest pastime with the girls is iguana spotting.  We look way up in the trees for their orange and black striped tails and have to be cautious in getting too close to the lush green shrubs covering the ground – the green iguanas are everywhere, guided by instinct.  These guys are amazing to watch as they scale straight up a palm tree, chase a fellow male iguana out of their territory, or swim under the dock to evade us 2 legged creatures.

The first Friday we were in town we went to the dancing horse show held in the cobblestone road off the town square….wait, What? Dancing horses?  This suburbanite clearly needed some schooling – see below for the visual.  The best part was during each intermission, the riders were given their round of tequila shots to quench their thirst-my kinda performers.  A close second was the moment when they hoisted my kids on a horse to ride up and down the street (mind you there were still cars coming by – Can’t you see there’s a show going on here?!!!).  My kids ran around with fellow cruising kids and find iguanas and coconuts while playing tag and the floor is lava as we sipped margaritas and watched these amazing horses move with precision back and forth down the road in front of us – this is Friday night in Mexico.

Sundays the marina hosts an artisan/farmers market like I’ve never seen.  It stretches half the perimeter of the marina and includes some of the most intricate and diverse craftsmanship as well as food.  Warning; Bring your extra stomach – this is a gastronomic experience that cannot be missed, but it is tough to decide which delicacy to eat.  We purposely spent our second market with a limited amount of pesos – call it self-restraint.

When I envisioned cruising, I pictured always looking ahead to the next port and only staying in a location for a short period of time before moving on.  I’m realizing that the beauty of cruising is that you can find a place that you like and get this….STAY.  We have amazing social outlets for the kids thanks to Kat and the robust La Cruz kids club and are surrounded by some intriguing people in a beautiful location – why leave?  I’m noticing my prior hesitancy has turned to a more definitive “Si” when I’m asked if I live here.  Sometimes I offer further explanation, but sometimes it is unnecessary.  Where you are from is becoming less important than where you are going.  Weather windows will open and those departing to cross the Pacific will leave as we head back up to the Sea of Cortez, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying this place we call home.

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