I live in Northern California, so I notice, first of all, the climate. It’s warmer here. I know that seems obvious, but as soon as I get off the plane the warmth embraces me like a welcoming hug. Yelapa is generally cooler than Puerto Vallarta, of course, but even in January (during which month I write these notes) socks and long pants remain forgotten in my suitcase awaiting my return to the Central Coast. Sometimes warm is what I need. And it is almost always here waiting.
All of the little houses here at Casa Santa Cruz look out over Banderas Bay and the vast Pacific Ocean. Just before dawn (nearly 7 a.m.this time of year) it is lovely to sit by the railing and await the sunrise. All day the sea and sky subtly change color: sometimes the water is gray, sometimes deep azure or even shades of green. When the sea is calm, the water sometimes is so clear that you can see the sandy bottom close to shore. We are always greeted in the morning by pelicans and frigates. The pelicans lumbering along to keep aloft; the frigates soaring effortlessly. Occasionally there is a snowy egret, with a startling flash of white. Fishing boats meander out into the bay even before light. Water taxis keep their regular schedules to and from Boca or Puerto Vallarta, the blue or orange or green of their canvas canopies moving dots of color that my eyes want to follow until they disappear around the rocky point to the north. Walking the path to the pueblo is always a treat, as you pass donkeys carrying their burdens, often with boys as young as six astride, making smooching noises to keep their charges moving. The path is now rocky, now sandy; steep then level; paved sometimes, mostly dirt; narrow and winding; but always there is the ocean to your left and the land rising up to your right, You will meet fellow visitors and locals walking leisurely or with purpose. Children engaging in serious play, paying you little mind. Friendly dogs of every imaginable shape and size, expectantly watching for morsels of food.
Constant and dominant is the voice of the ocean. It is a sound that encompasses everything here, yet it is never the same. It can be quiet and soothing, and it can crash upon the rocks with the ferocity of a thunder clap. Our houses are very close to the water, and some visitors find the ocean’s voice a little unnerving at first. But after a day or two it becomes a lullaby for me and I wonder how I will ever live without it when I must return home.
Yelapa is a sensory delight. When you visit, please be sure to pay attention; you won’t want to miss a thing.