Coming back to La Cruz after cruising south for a couple of weeks was a unique experience. It was the first time we’d returned to a port or anchorage that we had already visited. In a way, it was nice to not have to question where and how to go ashore, where to anchor, where to eat, where to get supplies, etc. We knew it all!
Or so we thought.
While La Cruz was mostly unchanged, it was now the latter part of the cruising season and some things had changed to adapt to the lack of people. First of all, the anchorage was bare in comparison to the amount of boats that were there when we left just two weeks prior. Mostly single-handers at this point, so Dave will fit right in when I return to the States. It’s been a little sad sitting at anchor with no Charisma, Convivia, Dos Leos or Navigo sitting next to us. Now I have to play with Dave (LOL…just kidding Capt!).
The morning net solely consists of the weather, tide information and maybe one or two announcements. One morning we woke up at 8:45a, just missing the start of the 8:30am net. It was already over. It used to be that the first 10 minutes were boats checking in!
Also, we learned the hard way that happy hours at our favorite drinking holes have moved from the late afternoon to the evening. Boo. What happens now when I want a Cesar at 4pm?? The Tuesday and Friday produce market? Moved to Thursday. (Well, maybe only for one week, but still, totally disappointed I couldn’t pick up some fresh calabacitas and jicama).
One of the more welcoming changes was noticing the lack of dinghy dock fee enforcement. Sometimes the guard is there to collect your daily 20 pesos, but more recently, there hasn’t been any sign of the guards. Perhaps it’s not worth it to the marina to pay a man to sit there all day for so few dinghies. Of course, if they see you, they will run (and I mean RUN) down the dock to collect. Even if you’ve been there all day and are in the process of starting your motor to leave. I’m tempted to ignore the guard and just motor away, but with so few dinghies coming in, they’d probably figure out who we are and invoke some sort of fine.
The town plaza renovations were completed during our absence and there’s a celebration going on in La Cruz this week with all activities surrounding the beautiful space. It was a pile of dirt when we got here in January. You couldn’t walk through, the streets were a mess with construction, piles of dirt and torn out concrete at every corner…it’s a colorful, peaceful site now.
The completed La Cruz town square.
Along with the plaza is the arrival of a small Kiosko (like a 7Eleven in the states) on Langosta Street leading up to the highway. While we were super happy to find out that we could recharge our TelCel account there instead of walking all the way up to the OXXO store (another 7Eleven type store), I’m a bit sadden that the sale of drinks and snacks there will push out the lovely mom and pop tiendas in town. The main one on Delfin Street that has the twice weekly produce market will probably be fine, but what about the one just up the street from the new Kiosko or the one on the next street over (Marlin St.) across from Tacos de Lena?
I don’t believe I’ll ever sail back down to Bandares Bay after I head back to the States, but I do hope I’ll be back to La Cruz one day. It’s proven to me to be a much better place to visit than Puerto Vallarta, so I don’t think I could ever come back and stay at a big resort knowing that a quaint little town is just around the corner. I just wonder what it will look like a year from now. Two years. Ten years from now. I hope that La Cruz can hang onto what makes it so special to me – it’s small town, cruiser friendly atmosphere. The marina is in the process of building…something. It’s hard to tell. At first I just thought they were paving the dirt lot next to the marina office for a parking lot – but after an initial paving of some spots, and erecting structures for banners and signs, I’m unsure what they’re planning next. I think it would be a shame to build up a huge complex and lose the amazing view of the bay.
Banner holders, concrete foundation pads…what are they building at Marina la Cruz?
The face of La Cruz is definitely changing. People thinking about cruising down here, should hurry up.