Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blessing of the Fleet

Gail's sister-in-law Rosalee is visiting for a week. She arrived Wednesday and we have kept her busy ever since! Up to the market in La Penita Thursday; a trip into Puerto Vallarta Friday; Saturday was the finale of the Festival of Our Lady of Peace and today we are finally getting some down town- on the beach.

We met friends at Adriatico's restaurant yesterday morning as they had reserved seats by the open window on the beach. We wanted to be there to witness the "Blessing of the Fleet". When we arrived it appeared that there would be quite a wait for the boats so we went for a walk through town first then back to the restaurant on the beach side. Was it ever hot!! Finally we heard lots of music and ran outside because there was a parade of dancing horses all ridden by locals dressed in traditional costumes. The little girls were so pretty in their very colourful dresses. While the parade was going by we looked back into the restaurant to see the boats all lined up on the water and slowly coming in towards shore.

It's quite a spectacle, the fishing boats were decorated with balloons and flowers shaped like hearts and crosses. When they get close, they each take turns revving the motors and racing in to the beach. All the crew hop out and march to the church for the annual blessing.

The beach was packed with people cheering them on. It was a lot of fun. When we started to walk home we ran into at least 12 people that we knew, so each time we had to stop and visit. By the time we walked home it was about 32C and we were very pooped!

Last night we walked back into town as Rosalee treated us to dinner at Aduano's, another beachfront restaurant which is very popular. Afterwords we walked through the town square, which was hopping with people, music, vendors, food etc. Rosalee had a great time dancing in the middle with people who just grabbed her for a whirl. We wanted to stay for the fireworks finale but it was so so crowded and hot. I think they finally happened around midnight, but by then I was home and fast asleep.

Here is a short video of a boat racing into shore.

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