by Nancy Bestor
I’ve always thought there is something extra exotic about a destination that you can’t get to by plane or car. Those places that you have to go the extra mile and make the extra effort to see, whether you’re hiking, taking a boat, or even riding a donkey, just seem more exciting to me.
On our five-month honeymoon around the United States in our old Volkswagen bus, Bob and I spent a few days at the Grand Canyon. This is truly one of the most awe-inspiring spots I have ever been fortunate enough to visit. We didn’t limit ourselves to the view from the Rim though. We took a day to hike to the bottom, where we camped overnight, and then we hiked back out over the next two days. We packed all our camping gear and food in and back out with us. I remember my pack being very heavy, and I remember the hike being exhausting, but I also remember feeling like it was all worth it.
I had to repeatedly remind myself of these beliefs when earlier this year my girlfriends and I were on a less than delightful 45-minute boat ride on our way to Yelapa from Puerto Vallarta. Yelapa is a sleepy village south of PV, that is only accessible by ferry (and I use the term ferry loosely). While the boats run several times a day, we just barely made it for the day’s final crossing. Our flight arrived at 4pm, and via email with the manager of the ferry boat, we had arranged for the 5pm boat to be held for our arrival. The crew and about 30 passengers were all waiting for us when we arrived by taxi, but we still needed to get cash as there are no banks or ATM’s in Yelapa. After a hurried ATM stop we stepped aboard.
We foolishly thought we would have time to buy beers before boarding. Beers that we would leisurely sip on what was sure to be a relaxing and picturesque boat journey to Yelapa (insert laughing/crying emoji here). There wasn’t time to buy beer, and as it turned out, we were hanging on for dear life, and our beers would have quickly gone overboard anyway. Apparently, boat rides later in the day are pretty choppy, and that is an understatement. We donned life jackets and held on to whatever we could. I was worried about our luggage, which was stacked haphazardly at the front of the boat. Fortunately the luggage did indeed stay in the boat, as did all 30ish passengers. And while I’m sure the views of the coastline were beautiful, I quickly realized I had to keep my head straight and my eyes looking ahead, for fear I would toss my cookies overboard. A friendly six-year-old boy sitting next to me kept me entertained by telling me this “ride” was the most fun he has had since he rode a roller coaster at Disneyland. I kept to myself the fact that I did not agree.
Yelapa was indeed delightful, and just as sleepy and charming as we expected. And once my feet were on solid ground—and I was sipping a cold beer while taking in the ocean view, as opposed to bumping on a boat in the ocean—the ride became worth it. Especially since I didn’t throw up.