In an effort to preserve and tend to the needs of a live aboard sailboat, we made the acquaintance and developed a fast friendship of a man that does exceptional boat work in the Banderas Bay region. To our delight, upon returning to PV, there was our amigo and maintenance guy, Dublas. No sooner were we settled into our slip, Steve and Dublas were analyzing the next project to preserve Flyer.
Farewell dinner with friends Mike and Twila, recapped our travels, their love for Flyer and the confirmation that they’ll soon return for another adventure aboard. Twila has generously committed to investigating unorthodox remedies for Peggy’s seasickness ailment.
Our return to PV was timely, allowing us to attend Easter Sunday mass at the Catholic Our Lady of Guadeloupe Cathedral in the downtown district. Following the bilingual service, we enjoyed a Mexican brunch overlooking the church grounds, including the malecon/waterfront – followed by a peaceful day of relaxation and cleaning aboard Flyer.The malecon district offers a weekly sculpture walking tour. A few highlights of the tour include the elements of the Millennia sculpture and its extensive meaning. The extensive art history is well worth the two hours to learn more about Mexico, their artists and art itself. The slideshow features a recap of the magnificent bronze sculptures –most of which were generously donated via the artists and their craftsmen.
While learning about the extensive history of the beautiful sculptures, the tour happened upon the infamous Voladores de Papantla, or Flyers of Papantla, one of the Puerto Vallarta malecon’s biggest attractions. Five Voladores climb a 50-foot tall pole in traditional native attire. One plays the flute as he sits on top of the spinning pole, while the four others literally fall head over heels off the top of the pole, dangling by just one of their ankles from a rope. The Voladores gracefully spin and flutter around the pole until they reach the ground. It’s worth mentioning that this talented group only recaptures their expenses via tips.
This spectacle of bravery and talent is worth the few minutes of time their performance requires. This important religious ceremony dates back 1500 years ago. The ritual started in central Mexico in honor of the God of Sun, for the purpose of boosting that year’s harvest and improving fertility. The “flyers” represent fire, earth, water, and air. As they “fall” from the top of the pole, their arms are outstretched and their heads point towards the ground. The flutist on top of the pole begins the ritual by facing east, symbolic of the origin of the world. Each “flyer” spins thirteen times around the pole before reaching the ground. 13 spins x 4 flyers = 52, and 52 years, according to the Mayan calendar, encompasses one solar cycle and 52 weeks makes a year, which symbolizes the birth of a “new sun.” The beadwork on their costumes consumes over 90 days to complete.
Winding down our PV residency, we prepare to sail northbound into the Sea of Cortes.