A Travellerspoint blog

La Familia in Sayulita

sun, surf and stray dogs

sunny 29 °C



I've been trying to get this blog entry written for a few days, but our company has been way more entertaining and diverting. Last night we celebrated New Year's Eve , today is our last full day together, and like all holidays, the long days that stretched ahead in the beginning have sped up and now it is almost over.

For the past couple of days, Alex and Dan have been struggling with la turista, and unfortunately last night Dan succumbed and had to stay home. Sayulitans bring in the New Year in quite a meaningful way - they head down to the beach mid-evening, and begin the countdown with food, drinks, bonfires, fireworks, sparklers - all things festive and noisy. We purchased sky lanterns - white paper lanterns with paraffin disks attached to a crosswire that are lit, and sent soaring into the sky (after first having made a wish). Literally hundreds of sky lanterns were sent off to bring in the new year, and that, combined with hundreds of sparklers and small fireworks made for quite the spectacle. As well, it is also customary to have your feet in the water right at midnight for good luck, so we should have 2015 well covered.

We wish you all a very happy new year, filled with good health and happiness.

Here is a synopsis of our time with Dan, Alex and Alanna - wonderful fun, with a few sick days thrown in, just to keep things real.



Dan on the beach

You know you've started to relax when you can spend hours playing in warm water, with the sun on your face and sand up your backside. Add a beach chair, some Pacificos and a mystery novel. Surround yourself with family and watch the parade go by - so lazy and delicious. With the exception of one stormy day, we have been blessed with perfect weather, so chunks of every day have been spent on the beach - early morning beach walks, surfing, swimming, reading, napping, eating, drinking, chatting with our neighbours, evaluating bodies and bathing suits, and buying souvenirs from vendors.


Ginny and Stephen on a morning walk


Ginny and Stephen - definitely on holiday


Our stormy day in Sayulita


Jungle walk at the end of the beach


Dan with Ray, a vendor we have known for a few years. He always remembers us, always stops to chat, and has been a good insider source for Mexico's current safety situation, which changes from year to year.

We've spent most of the time on Sayulita's main beach, but have also ventured off to a couple of other nearby beaches, and last night, trekked out to Carrecitas Beach, which is about a 45 minute walk (uphill, sweaty, but worth it) to see the sunset. It was gorgeous (photos can't capture it, at least not with my camera), and then we hiked back in a cooler, darker, noisier jungle road; trying to imagine what critters were hiding there.


Entrance to Carrecitas Beach


Alex and Alanna


Sunset at Carrecitas


Alex at Carrecitas


Try to imagine casting about four dozen stray dogs in a Disney movie set in Sayulita. Most of the dogs don't have a home, or someone to love them, but they have each other. They rarely fight. The weather works well for them, so shelter is not a problem, but the odd one has been on the losing end of a run-in with a car, or an unfortunate and curious gene pool. HOWEVER...they are the lucky recipients of tourists like Alanna, who is an animal lover. Alanna has befriended a number of little mutts on this holiday, and she travels everywhere with bags of dog food.


Alanna and friend on the beach

One dog in particular has wound its way into her heart - a filthy little ruffian appropriately named Scrappy. Scrappy actually does have an owner, but he spends his days on the loose, running with his amigos, chasing cars and playing in the ballfield. When he's not eating chicken bones he's found on the road, he is quite happy to cuddle up with Alanna.



Alanna and Scrappy

Steve and I were quite entertained by these two surfer dogs. They showed up on the beach one day, and then ran straight for the water - bodysurfing with the best of them. The German Shepherd showed the keenest instincts - she seemed to gauge the waves, and hit them right as they crested. They have collars, so presumably have homes, but also appear to have that independent surfer spirit.


Beach buddies


On Sunday, we headed to La Cruz for an outing, just because the idea of spending almost an hour with five of us crammed into a small car in CRAZY, MURDEROUS driving conditions seemed like an idea. La Cruz is south of here, and while the town is quiet, they have a magnificent international marina there, and an impressive weekly market. Once we were off the main road leading to Puerto Vallarta, things calmed down a bit.


Produce stand




Pelican waiting hopefully for a snack


Higuera tree - common to Mexico - gorgeous hardwood tree with fig leaves and gourds


Food in Mexico is so fantastic and so fraught. Is there e coli lurking in the lettuce? How long has that mayo-based hot sauce been sitting in the sun? Are the ice cubes really made with filtered water? Unless you come down here and eat straight out of a tin, you have no way of knowing. So... better to jump in, try everything and be prepared that from time to time, it might not work out for you. That is Mexico, and anti-diarrhea meds become part of your arsenal. We have all had tummy bugs (and worse), but the taco stands keep beckoning. El Ivan's is a fixture in Sayulita - famous for the pastor (pork) tacos, that are sliced right off the rotisserie, with the tiniest sliver of pork fat mixed in - all for about one dollar. There are four long tables set on the street, and the lineups never stop. Alanna prompted us to try this place, and it has become a favourite.


El Ivan's taco stand

We've had many great meals all over town - fish and seafood right out of the bay, wonderful coffee, fresh-pressed juices, complex spices. Freshly made tortillas, juicy rotisserie chicken, local yogurt - all simple, cheap and delicious. We're just hoping our systems will develop an immunity, so we can continue this food quest without any more problems.

Lots more to tell, but I'll finish with this photo. We will miss their presence and energy very much.


Dan hitching a ride

Posted by millerburr 11:56 Archived in Mexico

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Sounds like the family is having way too much fun for your own good! If the truth be known, we're just envious because we're not there with you. The pictures say it all ... Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year to everyone!

by Heather Scott

Great pics ..happy new year !

by Vikki &roy

Ginny, you look like Marilyn Munroe! Steve....I shall have to think!
Happy New Year to you both!

by marie

A great beginning to your retirement years. Stay
healthy & keep it up. Marie is right about Ginny
and Steve looks like her very contented partner..

by Keith & Kay

In Maui but want that dog. Bring scrappy home!
All looks fabulous

by Nancy

Bringing in the new year with a drink in your hand and your feet in warm sea water. I had by feet in cold snow. Doesn't seem quite fair.

by David

Great adventures and pictures. Keep the stories coming. Happy New Year to all.

by Ron Davis

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