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Mexico: Ensenada - Puerto Vallarta 15.11. - 4.12.2004
15.11. 23.11. 30.11. 4.12.
has 100 million inhabitants.
The capital, Ciudad de México with a population of 20 million, is world's densiest populated and largest town.
Mexico is a federal state (the official name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos). There are 31 states and one federal district.
Official languages are Spanish and several indigenous languages such as Nahuatl (Aztec) and Maya.
Baja California is 1200 km long (700 nautical miles). From Bahia de Tortugas we sailed to Puerto Vallarta, 700 nm. Between P. Vallarta and Manzanillo we visited some anchorages before heading 200 nm to Zihuatanejo. From there it's 100 nm to Acapulco.
We spent three nights in
anchor, then we moved in to marina Baja Naval, because the price
different between anchoring + dinghy dock, and a marina slip wasn't
great. In addition, we have bikes again, thanks to Sylvie and Jean, who
gave us their bikes in San Diego. Transporting the bicycles with the
dinghy every day would have been troublesome.
On Saturday evening we went
to town and it turned out to be the right moment: the oldest bar in
Ensenada was celebrating its 140th birthday. The party was going on
outside at the street because all didn't fit inside. And it probably
went on early into next morning, but the generous tequila shots were too
much for beginners, and we left at ten.
Bahia de Tortugas, Mexico
The village is covered with dust. Only some brightly painted walls distinct from the overall colour of dust, greyish-brown. It probably rains very seldom. The only green spots are planted trees and bushes, in addition many have pot plants. Every house has a fenche - and you should see the materials! Pieces of wood, plywood, tin sheets, tyres, bricks. We even saw a fence-embankment made of used fridges. Every yard has a barking dog or two, some have chickens. Children are shy and smiling, shouting 'hola gringo' when we pass. There are houses of every sort, from large, painted stone residences to plywood huts that look more like kids' playhouses than real homes.
The most peculiar buildings, however, were found on the cemetery (we were taking an evening walk without camera, so you have to be content with a written description). Instead of gravestones and crosses there we small houses. Though some we bigger than the plywood homes nearby. All the gravehouses were very well kept, tidy, painted and decorated. There were wooden doors with carvings and golden knobs, different shapes of glasswindows, glasspaintings, brick decorations, statues, and of course crosses and pictures of the Holy Madonna. Inside the house - those we could see in - was the grave tomb and a lot of flowers and decorations. Most of the Mexicans are Roman Catholic. Maybe this is a normal way, but for us it was new and most special graveyard since the Tongan sand piles.
Our plan has changed a bit: we are going to sail directly from here to the mainland, to Puerto Vallarta, about 700 miles away. But let's see where we find us next. Hasta proxima!30.11.2004 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
It took exactly six days for the 710 mile passage from Bahia de Tortugas to Puerto Vallarta, which makes 118 miles per day. The wind was most of the time light, only on the last 24-hours it was blowing 25-30 knots.
Fish stories havn't been told lately. We have got good value for the 1400 pesos (130 dollars) fishing license we bought in Ensenada. We have got so many mackerells, that we have also released them. The biggest were two kilos (4.4 pounds). Mackerell is ok fish, a bit dry though. After Bahia de Tortugas we got tuna. First one 3,5 kg (7.7 lb), then a 5,5 kg (12 lb) yellow fin. This amount of fish led to creative cooking and experimental spices to get variation to dinners. In addition Hannu dried tuna and Auli made cheviche of mackerell. Last time we got tropical fish was on the passage from Hawaii to Alaska.
One morning, just after the sun rise, a minke whale was visiting us. About ten metres long, slim baleen whale was rounding Kristiina for an hour. It came close, turned sideways so that we saw the whitish belly, swam a bit away and came up to breathe. This was repeated several times. Every time the whale came a bit closer and turned sideways when it was next to the boat. To see us? Probably whales are able to see above the surface as they are able to see under water. Some times the whale was behind us, some times on either side. Then it dived under the boat, sideways. The strong and musculous tail was pedaling slowly. The whale came up to the surface and departed.
4.12.2004 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
We are leaving Puerto Vallarta today, so here is just a few words and several photos. The town is very touristic: hotels, souvenier shops, restaurants and street-sellers. Marina Vallarta is located a few kilometres out of city centre. It's surrounded by hotels and condominiums, restaurants and shops. An artificial place, not very nice.
We bicycled twice to the city centre, which wasn't easy: traffic is grazy, fast and unpolite. Totally different than in Ensenada. Here it is not possible to clear in and out by yourself, instead you have to take an agent, and pay them 440 pesos, which is more than the clearance fees, 326 pesos. Marina costs 37 dollars per night, there is no anchorage. Very expensive place.
The pink bridge joins two houses, that belonged to Richard Burton and Elisabeth Taylor. Burton bought the houses when he was making the movie The nights of iguana. And there are some iguanas here: