Welcome to our mid-life crisis! These are the chronicles of Laura and Patrick, their young son Jack, and their goofball Labrador Retriever named Evinrude (Rudy), as they travelled the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific coast of mainland Mexico in their catamaran. We went cruising in search of a change of pace, a closer knit family, and peace of mind. We found all three and more. The fun all started in October, 2008 and nearly four years later the Mexican adventure came to an end August 3rd, 2012. With our mid-life crisis cured in Mexico, we are excited to start a new adventure - life back in America.

Patrick has since joined the Sales Team of Marine Servicenter as a boat broker. Whether you are looking to make your dream of sailing away come true, or ready to sell your boat he can help. He can be reached at http://marinesc.com/about/crew/patrick-harrigan

Candeleros Chico

Candeleros Chico
Just another beautiful day at anchor on the Baja. 2010

Dolphins at play in the bow wake 2011

Dolphins at play in the bow wake  2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mexcaltitlan - Place of the Herons

Above is an aerial photo of the village called Mexcaltitlan. It's located on a tiny island in the middle of the mangrove wetlands of the Nayarit coast. A couple days ago, Lori and the kids of 3rd Day joined Patrick, Jack and me on an excursion to visit it. The round trip excursion involved a second-class bus trip, two fairly long taxi drives in tiny sedans crammed with seven people (us and the driver), a ride on a collectivo (small van), and pangas to and from the island. It was quite a journey, and though it didn't go as planned, it was one of those adventures that you can't think about without bursting into laughter.

Mexcaltitlan was worth the effot. This island town is believed to be the ancient homeland of the Aztecs. When the conquistador Cortez met with the Aztec Emporer Montezuma in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), Montezuma told Cortez that all the Aztecs were immigrants from a land called Aztlan (the place of the herons). The Aztecs had long ago forgotten where that was. All they knew was that Aztlan was a magical island with seven caves. Since then, the archeologists have pegged this town as the place they came from.

By the time we had navigated all the transportation hurdles, and had finally set foot on the island, we found that we had little time for much more than a lunch and a quick look round before we had to leave to catch the last collectivo home. The town was very attractive with narrow cobbled streets (no cars obviously), red tiled roof homes, and a lovely town square. Standing in the town center, looking down the main avenue in both directions, you could see the shores on either side. It is quite a tiny town with about 2000 inhabitants. Of course the museum of the Aztecs that I so wanted to see was closed despite the fact that the sign said it should be opened! Knowing Patrick, he probably called ahead and promised them money if they would close early - he hates museums.

Our lunch was quite the experience. It was one of the strangest meals we've eaten in Mexico. Only shrimp and fish were sold as you can imagine on an island in the middle of nowhere. The most unusual thing was the plate of deep fried, whole shrimp. I usually avoid eating things that still have their eyes on them, but they were pretty good.

As you would imagine, the town survives on fishing and tourism. We saw many vacationing Mexican families who had traveled out to Mexcaltitlan, but we were the only non-native tourists I saw.

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