Travel Blog 29: Beach Bum
Breaking free from the comforts of having my own apartment in Puerto Vallarta was no easy task. I stayed two weeks longer than planned until a young, first time traveler from New York City approached me on the pier while writing at sunset. He took a risk in speaking with a stranger, which led to the two of us planning our departure for Sayulita.
While he stayed in a hostel, I slept to the sound of waves. At the end of the block, a grill was situated to cook up fresh fish for beach visitors while a make-shift bar poured the drinks and the Surf Rebel Surf School taught people how to connect with waves. “Surfing is easier than people think. The wave will guide the board and tell you when it’s time to rise to your feet. It’s about connecting with Mother Nature,” Carlos told me. I asked why people call him Charlie Brown, in which he said, “Carlos is Charlie in English and my skin is brown.” Brilliant. Carlos and Fabian spoke wonderful English, welcoming me in to their world. I can’t thank them enough.
During the Sunday sunset, the working men carried their beach chairs and tables back to the storage space. I picked up a few, lending a hand. The head guy, Cabayito, offered me a drink in which I refused to prove I simply wanted to help with nothing in return. Instead, he gave me parking protection and friendship over the next five nights!
Sayulita was filled with surfers, long term travelers, short term tourists, and locals trying to get their money. I spent time at Yeikame with Alejandro. He employs local teenagers to learn English and restaurant work skills. His family recipes landed as my favorite authentic Mexican food in all of Sayulita.
Another person that made my time in town extra special was Vero at Lucid Bar. The courageous girl from Slovakia challenged herself to make a life in a totally foreign environment with no Spanish or English in the beginning. Her art skills, surfing ability, and enjoyment in connecting with strangers has helped her make Sayulita her new home for the foreseeable future.
Live music is all over Sayulita. Sunset Station is a band that grooved my feet while dancing on the beach during their first music video. Another musician, Rafa, displayed his musical variety in playing jazz one night and grunge metal the next. The long haired guitarist introduced me to various beach towns, each holding its own unique vibe. While Sayulita’s beach was jam-packed with people hanging under umbrellas, San Pancho was less crowded and food half the price. Continuing north, Lo De Marcos was much more authentic with the community gathering around the fútbol court every night after sunset. While I understood nobody’s words, locals conversed about the game and whatever else was going on around town. I began each morning with a jog between the two gorgeous rock walls bordering the soft sand beach.
In Lo De Marcos, I came across a van that would become a constant in my life over the next few weeks. Los Carrascos is a family originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina that has been living in their van for the past five years with their 9 and 10 year old sons. They fulfilled several needs of mine in playing frisbee, chess, and fútbol on the beach. I enjoyed watching the energetic boys jump off the lifeguard booth at sunset as the golden sun dipped over the Pacific Ocean.
Bouncing between beach towns introduced me to an assortment of people living their individual lives. Everybody in this area flocked from various parts of Mexico and all around the globe to create inspiration for their own personal worlds. With the open Pacific views, amazing coastal landscape, and affordable prices...this environment provided a freedom unlike anywhere I’ve EVER seen.