Doing absolutely nothing in Yelapa

Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen

Somehow, we’ve been in Yelapa, Mexico, more than a week already. Time slips by here without my noticing too much. Our days are empty, yet full. I guess the best way to describe them is simple. A walk to the beach or to town or to a waterfall and we aren’t walking around that much because I have a blister on my toe that started as an ant bite and was aggravated by cheap flip flops. Anyway, we are mastering the art of doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

We spent another day at the beach yesterday watching tourists come and go. Boats bring people here for day trips from Puerto Vallarta. Small boats ferry people in from larger tourist boats, and run up onto the beach so the tourists don’t have to risk waves knocking them down as they try to jump off the boat. Running the boats ashore is good for older people and heavier individuals. Other small boats are water taxis, and people jump off them at the shoreline, like we did. Usually, the water taxis have the women with babies because the women with babies are more likely to be locals from a nearby town or village here for a day to visit. My spouse Tedly joked if this was happening back home, it would be considered child endangerment. Watching the crew relay a baby over the side, through waves and onto land is something that would never, ever happen in the U.S. Too many litigious opportunities. But here, it’s cool. There is no ill intent. No greed to get rich off of tragedy. No fucking drama. It’s just life.

I remember my first time coming to Yelapa by boat more than a decade ago and thinking, ‘Wow, this is so cool – it’s so primitive.’ I like to watch expressions of tourists as they arrive. On the faces of people arriving by water taxi, I see a mix of shock at the procedure of getting ashore after a 45 minute boat ride from Puerto Vallarta, and awe at the scenery once they realize where they are. They look like they could be thinking, I just did something adventurous. And indeed they have, when compared to their sheltered lives back home. The expressions are a little different on tourists whose boats run ashore. These people cheer and clap and maybe screech at the adventure of being on an accelerating boat heading for what must look like a collision course with land as the captain gambles with when to raise the motor. These tourists step over the side and onto land with giggles. If they are obese, and several are, they are helped by restaurant staff who’ve come to the shore to assist them. Then the tourists are ushered to the restaurant to stay for awhile. Relax, have some drinks and a bite to eat and enjoy the beach. You’re on vacation, and your time is slipping away, a minute at a time.

As we watched people on the beach yesterday, the afternoon slipped by us. We enjoyed ceviche and other snacks, cold drinks, and shade under an umbrella with a front row view to the shoreline action. I was so relaxed and lazy, I never even snapped a picture. (The pictures below I took several days ago.) We should make a video and narrate the arrival of tourists. I think most people who’ve never left the United States would feel a combination of shock and awe at seeing the tourists experience arrival at Yelapa.

From our own initial experience of wonder more than a decade ago, today we let days slip by while doing absolutely nothing. It’s dream-like. Literally – we do nothing. After we left the beach, I went into town for some quick business, met up with Tedly back at our open-air living flat upriver, ate beans, cheese, tortillas and my special salsa and guacamole for dinner, read a friend’s blog, part of a book, fooled around on Facebook and Messenger. Bed time. Then morning and the roosters and birds and other sounds of the jungle and the nearby campgrounds. Coffee. Web surfing a bit. Then my spouse woke up. And here I am, right now. Typing up this useless blog entry because I’ve nothing else to really do except think and ponder on whatever captures my attention at the moment, while waiting several minutes for each picture to upload on this post. I’m also chatting with Tedly, who is always groggy for some time after waking. In a little while, we will grab the day pack to wade down river onto the beach to watch the tourists come and go, along with the tide, also known as – doing absolutely nothing.

Try not to look down your nose at me, in case you’re reading this on the sly in the office. I believe people who go to meaningless jobs week after week to earn more money to buy more things to gain more status to live the programmed American dream do mostly nothing – other than supply the plutocrats with lifelong slavery to keep the whole shabang going. But that’s another meaningless blog entry for some other time.

Our Yelapa water taxi nearing shore.
A tourist boat reaches Yelapa’s beach.
A tourist boat ashore in Yelapa.

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