I’ve had the same dream each night in this tropical paradise just a half-hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Long, shimmering lines – ocean swells – march in over the horizon. They look like moving walls of water – and they are. The coughing booms of waves hammering sand fill my mind. Then I wake up, look out the window and see palm trees – and long shimmering lines of waves and hear the blasts of breaking water. Then I go surfing. Sayulita is one of the surf meccas of Mexico – which is one of the most underrated surfing destinations on this watery planet. Mexico has thousands of miles of shoreline, and, as seen from a United Airlines flight, most of it is unpopulated wilderness.
But this place, although already discovered, has as yet avoided becoming a tourist trap. Most of the streets are still packed sand and gravel – and most of them lead to the jungle in one direction and a sprawling bay in another. The waves roll in, pass over rocky reefs and explode on the sand.
Not everyone in this town is a surfer, but it’s not uncommon to see barefoot people – from all over the world – toting surfboards toward the ocean. Coconut palms rattle in the breeze, which carries the clean scent of air blown over thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean. The water is warm when I first paddled out to the lineup – warm enough to leave the wetsuit at home in Olympia.
At first, it’s weird to feel warm water flowing over my bare legs. Northwest surfers climb into thick neoprene wetsuits – including hoods, gloves and booties – all year round.
In Sayulita, it’s warm, and the water feels like silk. Giant rays the size of car doors shoot out of the water and land in bellyflops that sound like a 12-gauge shotgun blast. Flying fish skitter away from paddling surfers just outside of the breaking waves.
And beautiful birds – pelicans, egrets and more – are everywhere. In a way, it feels strange to be here, even though I’ve made a habit of traveling to steal a little summer each winter. I think of the wretched economy in the United States – one that has bitten me and everyone else at The Olympian. We all feel lucky to still have a job.
But I skimp and save hard to make these short trips to summer possible. I still know how lucky I am. I also see how people live in this small village. Tiny stucco homes line the streets, and many people seem to work well into the velvet evenings. Life is happily simpler here, but many locals don’t enjoy the things we take for granted. Even Internet – the worldwide network that grows like a dandelion 365 days a year — is not a given in this small town, where the major industries are fishing, tourism and surfing.
Mexican surfers must get exasperated with the waves of visitors surfing the main breaks on the town’s beach. But they are often generous with advice on how to surf this beautiful area. Sure, they have secret breaks, but this place is paradise for me – and lots of other Northwest surfers. So, I dream of long lines, hear them break in my sleep and then wake up.
I walk on hot sand, paddle into warm water and then bob up and down watching those lines approach. Then I paddle and a wave picks me up. I stand for a few moments – the sound of rushing water, the speed of a turn, the sense of flying fill my mind.
I’m a mediocre surfer, but every part of me sings in this place.
And I know how lucky I am.
for further information about Sayulita please contact La Punta Realty – LPR Luxury International
Tel: Toll Free: 800-841-2133
Fax: 01 (329) 291-6421
Toll Free: 888-756-1505
Vonnage: (213) 291-7590