bit of a jump again hear, But a quick over view: Spent the morning with the guys in the palapa, bought a guitar for 600 pesos, had a long drive through the mountains so Sayulita, was late when I got there so just found a campsite and went to sleep.
Yesterday was a long day. I had a pretty chilled morning which was nice, went for a swim, climbed a palm tree and got a coconut down for breakfast which was funny. I got hungry again pretty quick though so made some porridge anyway. Like I said I didn't want to hang around, so after I had chilled a bit I packed up and went to get a bit of wifi. I actually found an open one just park on the street which was funny, It was really shit though, so I couldn't do a lot of the things I wanted. And then I was off agin! Then next bit of my drive was amazing! Puerto Vallarta was funny, literally like being back in america for 10 minutes. There were Walmart’s and Costco’s and big building and good roads! It was crazy, but then as soon as I got out if the cities grasp It became clear why it was a tourist destination.
The bay which Puerto Vallarta sits in is huge and absolutely stunning. The mountain range which runs down the west coast of Mexico comes right out to the sea hear, so the road winds along at sea level at the foot of the mountains. Everything Is completely covered in the thick, impenetrable tropical jungle. The palms at the foot of the mountains hang out over the ocean. It takes a while to make the drive through the bowl of the bay, as there are holiday homes and resorts every 10 feet, but the place is so stunning an wild that it almost doesn't matter. There was one place with a couple of massive water slides the went from the roof out in to the sea! the looked really fun, they ended like 5 feet above the surface, so as you shot out the end you would have been flying!
At one point, towards the southern end of the bay, I saw a load of islands just of the shore. One of them had a massive arch through the middle of it. It was so cool that I had to stop and take a look. Funnily enough, the place I pulled over had an old, disused stair down to the water! It was telling me something. I looked at it, then out to the island, calculating the distance. Couldn’t be much more than half a mile, I could be out, around, through and back in under an hour… I had time…
Smiling to myself I jumped in to my boardies, grabbed my 8’0 and hopped the fence on to the stairs. The rocks were covered in urchins, but I picked my way through them and set out with fast strokes to the archway. The closer I got the bigger it became, until It was looming over me, like a massive 20ft keg. I didn’t realise how long it was till I was half way through In the darkness, paddling through inky black water. I suddenly didn’t feel that comfortable alone in there, half a mile out to sea, and my pace quickened. To my relief I came gliding out the other end in to the light with a smile on my face, wondering how many people had paddled through the arch. What was funny, was as I came out the other side a tourist boat pulled up with a load of americans looking it me like I was crazy. I waved at them and kept going. I paddled out and around the island, through a channel between It and another, and the set back in for the paddle home. Getting out proved ticker than getting in, and by the time I was back on the stairs I had 2 urchin spines in my big toe.
I cut them out as I eat some food, and then set out again. The road cut inland after that, taking me back up over the mountains and down the other side, It was another long winding beautiful drive. I passed a place that was doing canopy tours, which almost made me pull over again. But I knew I probably couldn’t afford it, so kept on. I was nearing my destination, no more than an hour away, and I still had a few hours of light! For once I was actually going to get somewhere at the time I had planned… Oh how naive I am.
Bridges are a luxury hear, and don’t get built where possible. As a result, the roads get washed away in heavy rains. This means that you constantly are having to take little dirt roads of to the side to pass the collapsed bit of road. Now this Is fine, until it rains again and washes the dirt road away. So it was, an hour from my destination, I came to a stop in a traffic jam which stretched for a mile. After a brief inquiry I discover the road had been washed away, that we were stuck hear for at least 2-3 hours. Great.
I walked down to the point of action, and watched for a while as a team worked to make a ford over the new river. They were putting a big tube In and covering it in dirt so we could drive over. They seemed to have it under control. I headed back up to my truck. About half way back along the line, I came across a group of guys, maybe in their 50’s, drinking tequila and cervezas. They called over to me so I went to join them. They were defiantly making the most of the delay and having a great time! A mariachi band blasting out the radio, a bucket full of empty beers and more than half the tequila gone. That Is how you do it.
After a few laughs and a nip of tequila I set of for my truck again. All along the road, people were parked up and chilling on their cars. Nothing we could do, so everyone was just taking advantage of the rest stop. I got Back to my truck and started playing around on my guitar, Just trying to remember all the songs I could. And that was where I stayed for the next hour. The word of completion came by the sound of engines firing up. It was dark by this point, and the car lights were coming on in a wave up the line. I jumped in my truck but didn't turn my engine on, I was far enough back that I knew It would still be a while till I started moving. and the cars on the other side of the river would have to cross as well.
It took another half hour before I was across the river, by which time I was ready for bed. I decided that I would pull over at the next petrol station to spend the night in the car park. But again I was out of luck. I was driving and driving, all the while hoping to see that Premex sine. I could tell by the condition of the road that I was unlikely to see one however. I eventually started to get close to ‘La Jolla*’, I figured I may as well just get there. you can usually park up on the beach in these places. So it was that I found myself winding through the jungle In the middle of the night, negotiating a badly maintained dirt road in the hope of finding surf in the morning.
I woke up this morning morning in the jungle next to a locked gate. I had reached It last night and just climbed in to bed, If it was locked then no one would need the road, so where better to sleep? When I got out my truck, an old guy came out of a little house on the side of the road to see what I wanted. I asked if this was the right way for the beach, and he said it was, but he wasn't supposed to let people through till 8. It didn't take much persuasion for him to let me through.
‘La Jolla*’ was only on my list because of its proximity to Tenicatita. Tenicatita was where we spent Christmas 10 years ago. We spent like 2 weeks there just chilling because It was so awesome. I have so many amazing memories of the place, going back there to see it has been one of the things I have been most looking forward to. Any way I will come back to that. But yeah! I was on a mission, racing through the jungle, chasing the tale I had heard of waves down hear. Again an incredible drive, climbing steep ravines and winding next to rivers and around mangrove swamps. Mexico has a never ending stream of awesome drives. Just like that I broke out of the jungle and on to the beach. It sure was a beautiful beach, Palm trees lining white sandy beaches, With rock out crops and craggy Islands up and down as far as I could see each way.
The bit of beach where I came out was much the same as that at teacupan, the angle too steep, but the rocky out crops up and down the beach were looking like they had sand built up around them, possibly creating good banks. There was a track running parallel to the beach, I took it south. I drove slowly, stoping to check every bit of rock for potential. I eventually came to a river mouth, where my search heading south ended. This river mouth defiantly had potential. There was an island about 100 meters of the shore which was blocking most of the swell, but perfect sand backs had formed up on the inside of the island. If there was a big swell this place would probably light up!
It was too small today however, so I headed back north to where I could see another river mouth with yet more potential. This is where I scored. The river to the north opened out in almost the same way, the only difference being that this island wasn't so much an island, the sand had built up, turning it in to a small headland. To the south of the river, the beach had a pretty steep angle, but not too steep… It was actually almost rideable. Perfect square barrels unloading just of the sand, some of them were makable if you were fast enough. When the big sets came through they jacked up on the out side of the island, looking like they wanted to break. A couple of them did. If it had a bit more swell, a bit less tide and a bit more sand it would be a awesome right point.
The north side of the river was more manageable. The sand was at just the right angle, I could see perfect head high, barrelling A-frame peaks coming in up and down the beach. Not a soul in sight. I jumped in to my boardies like a frothing grommet, Sun-creamed up as best I could, contouring in to yoga poses to get to my back. I made a careful scout for crocodiles before jumping in to the river, but even then I paddled like mad to the other bank. I could remember the size of some of the beasts we had seen 10 years ago and didn’t fancy my chances. It cant have been more than 10 ft wide and 3ft deep, so my fears were probably irrational. Turns out there was a fair few houses on the other beach! Well not loads, but a couple. They looked empty. I figured they were holiday homes or something. they looked pretty nice.
The beachie was trickier than it looked, but I still managed to get a couple of fun ones before the wind came up. It came up really early however, so I only ended up getting an hour in before it blew out! I was a bit unsure what to do, I was thinking about going strait to Tenicatita, but It was only like half an hour away, and I still had the whole day. My mind was made up when I saw that the right coming of the rock was threatening to break. The tide was dropping out so it was getting shallower, and the rocky out crop was sheltering from the on shores. I could wait a few hours to see if it started to break and then head to Tenicatita!
I filled my time collecting coconuts and drinking the milk. I had a sudden thought that I could make my porridge with coconut water instead of milk and water and it would probably be amazing and cheeper! I decided I would have porridge for lunch made with coconut water to see what it tasted like. I also chucked a load of the coconut meat in there as well to spice things up even more! It tasted epic! I have resolved that that will be my new routine. I just have to make sure I am near some palms (which Isn’t hard). After a while it became clear that the swell was to small to get in to the right hand point, but I have marked it down as a place to return.
I packed up my things and headed out to Tenicatita! I was almost nervous when I turned of the MEX200 for the sand spit. It had been so simple and beautiful. The thing that made it so amazing was there was nothing there but the beach the view, no holiday homes or resorts, just perfect un spoiled beauty. That pretty much describes the whole of Mexico, but the place was special to us. I got in to the little sea side fishing village in the bahia de Tenicatita and could get no further. I was told that you couldn’t camp out there any more, or drive out there. The area had been bought by someone, and they didn't want people running the land. You could still get to the beach on foot however, just a shot walk around a headland and you were there! The beach is the sand spit I have talked about (Also called an ithsms or something… An island join to the main land by a thin strip of land). It is right out on the north end of the Bahia de Tenicatita. And it is stunning. A corral reef fills the little bay formed between the land, island and beach, and the water Is crystal clear. the sand is perfect and is covered in corral washed up from the reef.
As I walked round the headland I could feel the excitement and and anticipation building up inside of me. The beach came in to view, and every feeling I had before was transformed in to and overwhelming sense of happiness which I must subconsciously associate with this place. It was exactly the same. The same crystal blue bay, the same white coral covering the shore, I could almost see our old bus park in the right hand corner. And then I could.
I sat down on the sand and was 8 again, playing on the beach with my sisters. We were looking for shells and seeing who could find the best hermit crabs in the rock pools. I could hear the song played out a trolly, pushed along by the old guy coming to sell Ice cream. The classic ‘ice-cream truck tune’ that sent us scrambling up to beg money of mum and dad. The the memory changed and we were snorkelling together, swimming through the corral heads, follow dad like ducklings. Then we were crowded in the tent wearing the sombreros we had gotten for christmas, wrapping paper every were. Then It was sweets everywhere, everyone laughing as they came flying out the pinata. I was remembering more and more, and the memories were coming thick and fast. The dried cactus we had found and decorated like christmas tree. Waking up the next day to find it covered in ants eating the chocolates we had hung. The Bushels, another family who were staying there. Watching the sunset with the Bushels, watching the bull riding with the Bushels, singing the 12 days of christmas with the Bushels in a restaurant. Mum cooking pancakes with chorizo and cheese. A green flash while doing cart wheels on the beach. A different beach and a rubber ring. Fruit salad in the morning. yoyo’s. I found my self sat there with my mind In over drive, re-living memory after memory from that year, and being filled with all the associated emotions. Most were memories I still had, but a few new ones came back to me, memories I forgot I had. I had associated so many happy memories with this place that just being there provoked happy memories. It had opened a door which time had closed.
I don’t know how long I was sat there, alone and cut of from the world. I was bought forward in time again by a donkey. There was no one els there, just me and a donkey sat in paradise. The donkey was old and crazily friendly. It just came walking up and started nuzzling me with it nose. I sat there stroking it for a while as is rustled around to see if I had any food on me. I was still covered in salt from my surf, so I was soon battling away its tong as it tried to lick every inch of my body. I was thinking again, I thought I could remember there being a donkey hear before. If so was this the same one? it was defiantly old enough to be. I thought about how amazing that year had been, how much we had learned and how happy we had been as a travelling family. What would the world be like if kids spent their whole lives in the same room learning then same things over and over again, never learning what the world is truly like. Oh, wait…
It was getting late and I was starving, so I gathered my thoughts and headed back to my tuck. I couldn’t be bothered to cook, so I drove a little way till I found a nice little local comodoria. I ordered some enchiladas. There was a guy sat near me eating some tacos. He looked over and addressed me in english. We talk a while, he was from around hear, knew all about what had happened with the sand spit. Apparently people were going down there to have raves, the land was getting ruined, so it was bought up and they put a stop to it. Shame you cant camp there any more, but at least they preserved it. He tipped me off on another good place to camp, so when I had finished he pointed me in the right direction. I was heading to the beach to the north of tenicatita. It was long dark, so finding it had its excitements, but as always I got there in the end. I drove till I could sense the void on the ocean up ahead and made my camp for the night.
*I have come to the decision that I will refrain from using spot names, as I don’t want to anger any people if I happen to find a spot which has been kept a secret. Sorry for the inconvenience ‘La Jolla’ is one of the more common names used in Mexico, and was used to disguise Barra de la Cruz when the Ripcurl search even was held there.