April, 2013 – Paradise Village is not only a beautiful resort with a beach, pools and hot tubs, but it is a lovely community with a fantastic row of sumptuous neighboring resorts. Mark went running every morning (I was lazy!), and he always came home talking about all the wonderful things he’d seen on his run.
One spot in particular was strewn with flower petals, and we went back with our cameras to take photos. He called it “pretty litter.” I like that!!
Spring was happening, and all sorts of lovely flowers were in bloom. For a few days, we watched a tiny red cactus flower open up for its brief dance on this earth. It bloomed for just two or three days and then it was done. Such fleeting beauty!
The marina sits on the mouth of an estuary, and one morning we took the dinghy upriver. The sun cast a soft glow on everything.
We especially liked the mirrored reflections in the water.
This is a narrow estuary that parallels the main Paradise Village road for a ways. At first we were on the back side of all the little shops, and then the buildings thinned out and the creatures began to appear.
Lots of iguanas were sitting in the trees sunning themselves.
Yellow crowned night herons were in abundance. Like so many birds, they change their appearance completely as they mature. We thought we were seeing two different species of birds, but we were actually looking at teenagers and full grown adults.
Before we started cruising Mexico’s west coast, we had no idea there were crocodiles. But there are! The signs aren’t kidding.
Mark is good at spotting wildlife, and while I was busy staring up into the trees, he noticed a croc hiding among the roots. He pointed the dinghy’s bow into the dark undergrowth and we quietly slipped in.
Yikes. This guy was a big one!! Unfortunately some branches obscured his face a bit.
There was no mistaking that this was a croc! I got a close-up of his teeth. I don’t think I’d want those things clamped around my leg!!
Fortunately, he wasn’t in the mood to swim. He just sat there watching us float by.
As we pulled away, Mark noticed another bird was checking us out from the trees. Again, we had no idea what it was, and later thought it was a red-faced cormorant, but it doesn’t have webbed feet. So this guy is a mystery bird for now.
The estuary winds on and on through thick stands of trees. We took a right turn here and a left turn there and wandered all over the place.
Finally we turned around and headed back, emerging among some absolutely beautiful estates. Such gracious living. Lots of the homes here have a dock out front where the family yacht is parked. What a life!!
We passed little collections of boats, some very salty looking. It was one of those lazy mornings where we just drifted along on glassy water and let the pretty images on shore come into focus and then fade away behind us.
We came to a little bridge that crossed over the estuary and noticed there was a small room at its base with a door and window on either side. Tollbooth? Bridge keeper’s house? I have no idea, but it was a fun hobbit-hole kind of place.
Finally the estuary returned back towards the sea where the two big marinas are situated (Nuevo Vallarta Marina and Paradise Village Marina). Here we saw the boat Flying Dragon safely tied up and resting peacefully after its grounding escapade on the beach in front of Paradise Village Resort.
This corner of the estuary is home to Dolphin Adventures where tourists can swim with the dolphins. These guys are very well trained, and as we drifted by we could see them leaping and playing in their pool.
Suddenly, a group of trainers assisted a dolphin up onto the dock! What the heck! The dolphin posed for a moment, tail in the air!
Then one of the trainers began tossing fish into the dolphin’s mouth. The dolphin seemed to love this game and a bunch of fish quickly disappeared as he gave us all a toothy grin.
We later found out that the trainers feed the dolphins this way to keep their skills up. It also prevents their pool from becoming a fishy mess that attracts seabirds. This way every fish finds a home in the dolphins’ stomachs!!
We wandered around for a bit behind our slip in the marina, admiring the homes and yachts. This is a very beautiful place to hang around in a boat, and we felt no urge to take Groovy anywhere else for a while.