The Sleeping Warrior
Fables abound in Mexico and are retold, embellished and treasured by everyone from schoolchildren to grandmothers. Puerto Vallarta, though a younger settlement than perhaps some of the ancient cities in the central part of the country, has many of her own tales full of grandeur and woe.
From any viewpoint in Puerto Vallarta, one can look to the south and see The Sleeping Warrior, a mountain which rolls down the hill to Los Arcos Beach and into the ocean.
Many ferocious battles were fought up and down the coast of The Americas. As legend has it, long before the town existed, a Spanish ship dropped anchor in the harbor to seek replenishments that might be discovered growing wild on the land and also to give her injured warriors a chance to recuperate and heal. These ships often also carried the young lovers and mistresses of their armies.
One dying soldier, a victim of a ferocious encounter with pirates, was being attended to by a beautiful Zapotec Indian girl, who had fallen madly in love with him. The young man was gravely wounded and all efforts to save him proved hopeless, though the girl prayed that her heavily flowing tears would wash away the peril.
Finally, she begged the captain to let them stay ashore and they were gently transported by canoe to the beautiful sandy beach where huge rocks grew out of the sea. The two lovers were left alone as the ship sailed, their fate uncertain.
For several days the girl wandered through the jungle in search of the miracle herb of life. When she felt she had gathered enough, she ventured back to the sand. It was too late. Her lover had died peacefully, his arms by his sides, sleeping into the next world. The young Zapotec girl was devastated, of course, and continued her weeping over this body, while covering him with the massive amount of leaves she had brought back from her trek. Her tears, which had not healed him, now caused the miracle plant to grow higher and higher, until a hill had formed. Over the years, with the imminent growth of the jungle, the hill turned into a mountain, which became known as The Sleeping Warrior.
The beautiful Indian girl floated into the ocean on the crest of her tears, widening the inlet and causing it to be one of the most protected bays in the world.
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