Friday, March 4, 2011

A Paplapa in Yelapa

A Palapa in Yelapa is better than

A Condo in Redondo

1960’s California long hair saying

After a few false starts we left La Cruz crossing Banderas Bay to the South side. The south side is more jungle like and has steep mountains, the Sierra Madre Occidental range,which go straight down into the water creating deep, poor anchorages.  We had to stop at Yelapa just to say we’ve done it. It is famous hippie, yoga, ganga and peyote hangout from way back. It is populated by Chacala Indians who had the land granted to them  by the King of Spain in something like 1581. The entire town is owned communally. It is built along the steep hillsides overlooking a small pristine bay.

yelapaIMG_6777 A humpback guarding the entrance to Yelapa.

yelapaIMG_6778 While Yelapa might be a kicked back spiritual hangout, it is also a big tourist hype. Before we were near entering the bay we were met by Rafael in his panga to graciously offer us the use of his mooring. When I asked him how much, Rafael says “”What ever you want to pay.” The new, low-key tourist marketing in Mexico. Then he went into telling us that there are no police in Yelpa, so “it was OK to drink and smoke as much as you want”. No, we didn’t. We took him up on the unpriced mooring, as the anchorage is really deep and we didn’t want to hassle with getting our dinghy off the deck. His mooring float was in 160 feet of water. It turns out that Rafael's main gig is to get people to go to his families restaurant, Domingo’s.  I guess we should have figured that out by his t-shirt that said “London, Paris, Rome, Yelapa – Domingo’s Restraurant”.  Rafael dropped us in town so we could do some hiking around. He made sure to let us know he would pick us on the beach right in front of Domingos Palapa right after we were done eating.

yelpaIMG_6802 Steep mountain side architecture.yelapaIMG_6799

The village of Yelapa, approximately 2,000 inhabitants- no roads in.

yelapaIMG_6781A little hike up to the waterfall followed by a delicious limonada.


Chris crossing the bridge over waterfall run off. Note the re-bar ready and waiting to be turned into hand rails.

yelapaIMG_6794The Yelapa transportation department- no cars here!

 yelapaIMG_6790 Jeorgia (on the left) hanging on her mooring, as seen from the main cliff side road through the village.

After a cruise ship priced meal at Domingo’s of Chilli Relleno’s and shrimp Quesadillas, we got Rafael to drop us back at the boat. I gave him 40 pesos ($3.50) for the rides in and out. Then we were off for an overnight passage around Cabo Corrientos (Cape of Currents) and on south to Bahia Chamela as we start heading down the mainland Mexico coast. Hopefully to some good skin diving and warmer water. This La Niña year has brought a ton of harsh weather to US and left Pacific Mexico with much colder than normal waters.


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