Sunday, April 01, 2007


Life Treasure

These past few days have been a treasure of a lifetime. Sparkling clear waters, excellent snorkeling, good friends, quiet mornings and evenings, warm sun with cool breezes and plenty of laughs have made for a lasting memory.

We took the Niki Wiki over to Isla Ixtapa (aka Isla Grande) which is only about 10 miles north of us here, and stayed for 3 nights at anchor in a small cove. Our good buddies Deborah and Danny from the sailing vessel Cyclades joined us for our little "vacation". As an added bonus, fellow Baja Ha-Ha class of '06 cruisers Lady Hawke and Tequila Rose showed up to rest before continuing north. Here's a photo of Deborah and me drinking our cold beers after an afternoon of snorkeling in the coral reef behind us. In addition to all of the beautiful colored fish, I spotted an octopus! It was hiding among the dead coral pieces on the sea floor - really hiding as he had changed colors to match the sand and coral. Danny swam down to the bottom and scared the octopus so that it swam up - changing colors - and squirted ink!!! How cool is that???

After snorkeling, we sat in (the omnipresent) plastic chairs and had a few beers at one of the beachfront palapas. These little restaurants are only open for about 5 hours each day. Then all the tourists and workers take boats back to the mainland, leaving the four of us cruisers alone on the quiet island. Deborah prepared her mouth-watering ribs for us the first night and I made sweet & sour chicken for the second evening's meal. Yep, we eat good on our boats.

Just a short dinghy ride from the island is the tourist town of Ixtapa. We braved the scary dinghy landing (big waves - we're NOT doing that again - way too dangerous) and took a hike along the bike path up into a mangrove swamp. The Mexican government has done an excellent job of preserving this area and yet allowing visitors in to take a peek. Check out the iguanas in this photo to the right - they're there - keep looking. Oh, and the crocodiles in the green water...I didn't want to get too close to these big fellas. We walked for several miles - thankfully I had my "Walking Knitting" carry pouch with me so I made some great progress on yet another pair of socks as I walked, talked, listened, knit, and watched the wildlife.

Dinosaur egg? We're confused too. This is how we found this rock along our walk. It is about 15" in diameter with the soil all dug out around it. What creature would do that?
And here's a lousy picture of Jonesy and me - it's so hard to get photos with the bright tropical sun and the dense jungle shade.

We wimped out and took a bus back to the beach dinghy landing. What a ride! The road was narrow and curvy and the bus driver drove like a bat outa hell! We sat in the very back row with the wind streaming in the open windows and the terrified gringo tourists in front of us. At one rough point the bus bounced and Danny and I threw up our hands like we were riding the E-ticket roller coaster at Disneyland. The driver was not amused.

We'll leave you with a photo of Niki Wiki and Cyclades at anchor in Isla Ixtapa with the mountains of the Sierra Madre in the distance.

Wish you were here!

Me too; looks gorgeous and like SO much fun!
Looks like you had a fun trip to the Isle! I could use a little tropical water about now, but I guess I just have to settle for drinking in the scenic beauty of your pictures. I hope your toe heals fast--that Cipro is nasty stuff. Knit on! Kristina in TN
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