Iguanas and Waterfall
February 18, 2020 – Today was a good day. I slept in until my body said it was time to get up, then uploaded my blog from the day before while I drank my morning coffee and smoothie. Next a joyful yoga practice in the pavilion looking out at the sea, the whales, and the small boats coming and going. I then heated up my lunch and ate it, and packed up my daypack and headed to town.
Yelapa has a museum now. It didn’t when I was here three years ago. It’s very sweet. A delightful young woman named Lorena took my 50 pesos and gave me a thorough introduction. I think she liked having someone interested in actually learning about the artifacts and displays, as she stayed with me and talked with me for most of my visit. She told me that all of the 40 or so pieces they have are on loan from basically two people. This is because when people have found artifacts, they have either kept them and taken them home with them (in the case of visitors or short-term residents) or sold them to tourists. They have had an archeologist come and get the information on the pieces necessary to date them and perhaps understand what they might have been used for, and that hopefully they will get that information back in the next month or two. It will be fun to see the museum gain more of a community-supported identity. I am glad to see it there instead of a jail, which is what was originally planned for that spot.
After the museum visit I started up the path following along El Tuito River to the waterfalls about two miles out from town. I stopped at the tourist kiosk and spoke with “Lem” about getting on a boat out to the Marietas Islands sometime while I am here. He instantly and accurately identified me as a birder which told me he understood that I did not want to be on the “party boat”. He asked if I had seen the Military Macaws. I told him I’d seen them three years ago but not yet on this visit to which he replied that I would certainly hear them before seeing them. He got my cell number and said he would call me when he found others who wanted to see the islands.
On I went up the path, passing burros tethered to fences awaiting the removal of their tack and the rest of the day off from their jobs carrying people and supplies through the streets of Yelapa. I also passed a great number of dogs. I must mention just how chill the dogs are here. They are all shapes, sizes, and breeds, and not a one puts off a negative vibe. My little fuzzball back home would be happy about that.
The closer to the waterfall I got the more I realized I would have it to myself. It was getting close to 5 pm and I seemed to be the only one in the neighborhood. This made for some great wildlife viewing as they were all coming out thinking the coast was clear. A couple of four-foot-long iguanas ran across the path in front of me and headed up tree trunks as gracefully as if they were still on horizontal ground. Once on the tree trunks they stopped to check out what I was going to do next. All I could do was to stand there with my heart pounding with excitement just to be standing near these magnificent creatures. In this moment it occurred to me why I am single. I practically skipped with joy the rest of the way to the waterfall. I couldn’t really skip because it involved clambering over and around some good-sized granite rocks.
I did indeed have the waterfall and its pools all to myself. Down to just my swimsuit I waded in, took my photographs, set everything down on the dry bank, and layed back and floated in the deepest part of the pool. After about 30 seconds of pristine quiet I heard the familiar ear-cracking call of the mccaws overhead. 20 of them. It was magical floating and watching their torpedo-shaped bodies flying in formation over me. It was tough, but I endured…
Back toward Casa Isabel I trotted. As I entered the central part of town I ran into Lem who informed me that he had “three nice people” signed up to go to the marietas on Friday. Once back at the casa I made a delicious white bean vegetable soup to go with the cool, breezy evening.