Final run of 2017 with Anna and Ande

Something I had been looking forward to all season was my daughter Anna and her friend coming to visit. Anna spent two years in West Virginia and became good friends with Ande before moving to Montana. A trip to Mexico was a perfect way for them to reconnect and enjoy the warm sun/ocean, in addition to blowing off some steam from their recently completed finals.

Once these two “Mountain Mamas” settled in on Strikhedonia, a dinghy ride through the estuary to look at crocodiles and wildlife seemed like a smart way to add some excitement to lunch.

Since seeing whales was at the top of the list we left early the next morning to head out towards the Marietas Islands. Ande woke up in time to see a few breaching whales but unfortunately the whales were not very active and by the time we roused Anna the show was over. Major bummer.

We pulled into Yelapa, grabbed our mooring ball and paddled in to shore so the girls could go for a training run (both are Division 1 athletes). Unfortunately due to some miscommunications it turned into a run of way too many out and backs on the same trail. I’m sure the locals were shaking their heads at the loco gringo chicas. On the plus side, they may have identified a future Olympic runner – I heard tales of a race with a young girl who showed a lot of potential. We will keep an eye out in 15 years for her.

After their run we grabbed a tasty guacamole snack at Oasis and stumbled on some afternoon live music. And unexpected surprise! To finish off the day we walked through town to make a visit to the “big” waterfall.

Anna and I skipped the water as it is quite cold, and I am a whimp

To stave off her pre-dinner/post-run hunger Anna wanted to order some food at the base of the waterfall. After a thumbs up from the mom (chef) we settled in. It was fun talking to a little girl, her mom (both family members of the restaurant owner), and a guy who worked there. A “Spanglish” conversation ensued helping quickly to pass the time. As our food came out so did many platters for a family dinner that we had unknowingly butted into. The Mexican people are so nice and happy to accommodate others. In the US, we would have been shown the door.

Family dinner at the “big” waterfall

After Anna’s snack we headed off to find the trail that leads to the top of the “big” waterfall. It was an interesting mix under water pipes, over tree branches, and along steep drop-offs but we all lived to tell the tale. At the top, most surprising, a home was found. There must be a better way to come up…

Not much view of the falls, but the valley below was impressive

With the sun quickly setting we bee-lined it back to Stikhedonia and all managed to get through the surf break without getting dumped out of the kayaks. I mark that as a win.

The next day the big event was taking a hike to the “small” waterfall. Shortly into the hike we figured out where the girls running route went off the rails the day before, but all was not lost since Anna needed to put in some miles after today’s hike. Yes, you read that correctly, after the five mile hike she tacked on another seven or so miles while the rest of use took a leisurely hike back to town.

Of course stopping to visit with the dogs is mandatory

A bit more people than last time, Christmas does bring the crowds…

Guess she was excited to be swimming in December

Getting to spend time together was the perfect way to wrap up the 2017 sailing season

We could not head back to Nuevo Vallarta without securing a coconut for Anna. This was a must have, however supplies were running low in town but I managed to find one of the last ones.

The Ande and Anna reunion collection!

Back at Paradise Village, Anna needed a picture with her coconut before it continued its journey into the compost pile.

No one was injured hacking this coconut open

Who needs a pet in Puerto Vallarta?

The time flew by and soon Christmas was approaching meaning we all had to return home. For Vicki and me, the end of a nearly perfect eight weeks of traveling and exploring. For Anna and Ande, a week away from the stresses of college life and a chance to work on their tans while enjoying all that Mexico offers.

Here is the final page from 2017 in our log, this trip came in at just over 1,200 miles since the end of October.

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