S/V INTREPID II - Cape Dory Intrepid 40

My photo
Intrepid II is a Cape Dory Intrepid 40 sailboat, hull #2, designed by Chuck Paine and discovered by the Captain in Blue Hill Maine in 2006. The crew are Kelly (Captain) and Carol (Admiral and Blogger). In 2009 INTREPID II embarked on her West Coast journey from Victoria to San Francisco, the Baja Sur Peninsula and into the Sea of Cortez. In 2010/2011, we sailed ifrom Guaymas, south to Bahia Banderas and back. In 2011/2012 she left Guaymas, headed south to La Paz, spent three weeks at anchor on our northward journey and rested on the hard in San Carlos. Her 4th, 5th and 6th seasons were Boat Projects related. Season 7 - we are hoping to cruise again at long last.

March 24, 2012

La Paz Art and Cultural Festival

The City of La Paz was sponsoring the "6th Festival Internacionnal de Arte y Cultura por la Pax" these past few days.  We cycled downtown to see some of the activities last night.  There were dance performances scheduled from 17:00 to 21:00 horas; we thought we'd catch the earlier ones and enjoy the sunset from the downtown malecon.  The wide sidewalk brings out families, tourists, cruisers, to stroll along the waterfront, meet friends, take in the sights and enjoy the lovely evenings.

While we waited for events to begin, we propped the bikes up outside the open air restaurant of the La Perla hotel and had a great view of the beach area in front of the Muelle Fiscal.  That is a long pier which houses API, in effect the harbour master, to whom anyone anchored should be paying fees for the privilege, hence the 'fiscal'  muelle title.  We sipped cold cervezas and shared a plate of ceviche while we enjoyed the view in comfort.

Highly decorated ceremonial costume
A tall pole, possibly 90 feet in height, was already in place. Soon we saw people climbing to its top.  After a time, when 4 costumed men were in place around a flat platform, a 5th individual climbed to the top, balanced on the platform and began to play a flute.  At a prescribed time in this ceremony, the 4 other members flipped backwards to begin a controlled descent towards the ground. They somehow rotated around the pole, to the sounds of the flute - quite spectacular!  These performers are the "Voladores de Papantla" (the Papantla Flyers).
"Totonac myth tells of a time when there was a drought, and food and water grew scarce on earth. Five young men decided they had to send a message to Xipe Totec, god of fertility, so that the rains would return and nurture the soil and their crops would again flourish. They entered the forest and searched for the tallest and straightest tree.  When they found the perfect tree, they stayed with it overnight, fasting and praying for the tree to help them in their purpose.  Blessing the tree, then cut it and took it to the village next day avoiding touching the earth. The men stripped the tree of its leaves and branches, dug a hole to stand it upright, then blessed the site with ritual offerings.  The me adorned their bodies with feathers so that they appeared like birds to Xipe Totec, in hope of atracting the attention of god to their important request.  With vines wrapped around their waists, secured to the pole and made their plea to fly with the haunting sound of the flute and drum."

Voladores descend - ropes tied around their feet

El Caporal - the flute player - begins his descent 

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