Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Getting Tropical

Since we arrived in the greater Puerto Vallarta area, it has started to feel very tropical. Or at least like a cliche of the tropics.  Brightly colored blossoms cheer everywhere. 

The marina we are staying in is on an estuary, and we awake in the mornings to the crazy jungle sounds of exotic birds. The estuary is connected to a freshwater lake where reportedly, crocodiles ply the waters. I hope to tour it before we leave. There are parrots nesting in palm trees and stalks of bananas on the banana trees. 

Patrick saw an iguana about a meter long slide off the dock into the water the other day. I glimpse dozens of white egrets roosting in trees near a swamp or a redwood-sized tree trunk covered with thorns from the bus window, as I whiz by on some boat-appointed errand. There are full grown coconuts floating in the water. (That's the way coconuts get around:  They float. How else do all those coral atolls get vegetation on them? Coconuts are just the palm tree's crafty way of spreading its gene pool.) 

To a Seattle-lite like me, the heat and humidity are oppressive. I don't think it is even 90 degrees out, but I'm uncomfortably hot all the time (and no, this is not the hormone-induced heat of "my own private summer"--- an apt turn of phrase by a friend at Marina Palmira.) It can't be that humid---because it hasn't rained once---but it is humid compared to anything we've experienced in Mexico so far. Our new dinner time is 8 p.m., because that's when it becomes cool enough to even think about using the stove. We finally put away the cushy fleece sheets that have accompanied us down the coast and exchanged them for cotton:  About an hour before dawn, we might actually need a sheet. 

This has been my least favorite stop so far, but perhaps that's just because I'm anxious to get underway. It's more than that, though. Paradise Village Marina is part of a larger hotel/resort complex that feels like a gated community. The culture is that of keeping the tourists happy by giving us a taste of the exotic (the landscaping and palapa roofs, for example) while keeping things familiar and comfortable (a business center houses a Starbucks, Subway, and a McDonald's.) This marina feels cut off from the real Mexico and it is a long way to anywhere else. La Paz was an imminently walkable city; whereas here, one must take multiple buses and spend half a day executing a simple errand.   

Several of the boats we met in La Paz will be making landfall in French Polynesia within a week, and we have not even left for the Galapagos yet. From what we hear, the 40 boats at anchor in the Galapagos are waiting for wind to leave for the Marquesas. Boats everywhere are languishing in the doldrums, and we are languishing at the dock. Did I mention that I'm anxious to get underway?



  1. Who is taking these marvelous photos?

    1. While I took the photos for this particular post, the photos on the blog are usually 50:50 Patrick's and mine. If a photo is out-of-focus, you can bet it's mine!