Well, it may not be Paris, but April in La Cruz was unexpectedly busy.
It seems to be the big month for those who live here part-time to make their exodus back to the U.S. or Canada. Many “farewells” and “until next season!” in the past few weeks. The cruisers who set sail for the Sea of Cortez mostly took off in March. So we anticipated a quiet month.
Early on, we had Nakamal hauled out of the water for some minor maintenance (see En La Firma for details). It was a four-day process and we stayed at a local boarding house, Agave Azul, for the princely sum of about $27USD a night. Charming place, and I became one with the hammock.
Then the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders were in town!
They have an annual calendar and the hotel they stay at is owned by the same man who owns the Marina, so they spent a day here as part of their photo shoot. Mostly they sat around inside looking at their phones, I guess waiting for the right light. I did manage a couple of cheerleader sightings but couldn’t get too close. Better photos here, for the visually inclined (insert smiley face).
La Cruz was the site of the annual “Agua Abierta” (Open Water) swimming contest. The beach was full of swimmers of all ages who competed in ocean swimming. No, I did not participate….the last time I was in the ocean on this beach it took hours to remove the sand from all the places it had gotten into.
On the same day, a local family returned from their two-year around-the-world sailing adventure (read more here). The captain is a retired airline pilot and this was his dream. His daughter, son-in-law and their two small children accompanied him. The marina had a celebration to welcome him home including a mariachi band on the dock as they pulled in.
Then it was Earth Day. Katrina organized a beach clean-up. She was impressed that the amount of trash on the beach was so much less than in previous years. The most interesting thing I found was pair of men’s gym shorts with the seat ripped out, paired with a woman’s belt about 5 feet away from it. Hmmmmm…..
The next Earth Day event was a sail to pick up trash from the bay. Again, not much out there – the “winning” boat picked up two pieces of garbage! So hooray for local efforts to keep the beaches and bays clean.
Then the big finish – the Fiestas Patronales de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (Patron Saint’s Festival). This is a 10-day, or should I say 10-night, celebration. During the daylight hours, not so much going on but once the sun goes down around 8:30 pm, boy did they get going, with the stage active with music and dancing groups until the very wee hours of the morning. Then at 5:30 am, the cannon shots (actually bottle bombs) for the call to parade to church (read more about the celebration here and here). Needless to say, I missed most of the nighttime events (9 pm is known as “cruisers’ midnight”) but did catch one evening of dancers and the afternoon of dancing horses.
Later we learned that each state in Mexico has a traditional dance and costumes for that dance. The video below represents Veracruz.
The horses started from Bucerias, the next town over. They came along the beach to La Cruz in a group of a hundred or more. We’ve been told that these horses are special and there is peer pressure between the owners to keep the horses in better shape than the next guy’s horse. There were certainly some beautiful animals on our streets this past Tuesday!
In the middle of the festival was the kids’ fishing contest – for three hours, kids up to age 12 fished off a couple of the docks here in the marina. There were prizes for the biggest catches, and all fish got put back in the water to raise awareness for conservation our natural resources. Many had their own poles, but those who didn’t were given a rig of fishing line tied to a bottle of water. The little ones were pretty darn adorable holding their water bottle fishing lines. Or in some cases, watching their dad or mom hold the water bottle fishing lines.
Whew, we made it to May! Coming up is a trip to the botanical gardens, a kite-boarding contest, Friday Mexican Train (a dominoes game that is actually a weekly reason to get together for cocktails) and I guess we’ll see what else the month brings!
And just a couple of April’s sunsets: