Guys, I drank the Sayulita Kool-Aid and I don’t think there’s any going back.
It was love at first sight…for me anyway. Sayulita probably wasn’t so enamored with us. In fact, she’d tell you we were a goddam hot mess when we first met. In our defence, it kind of, wasn’t, totally our fault. It was Booey’s fault. But blaming Booey is like blaming a chef for your food baby. Let me explain…
Greg, Peter, Laina and I started our day watching the sunrise over Marina La Cuz before setting out on a full-day excursion with Ally Cat Sailing Adventure. (I’ll review the fully Ally Cat experience in another post.)
We cast off shortly after 9 a.m., setting sail for Las Marietas Islands. Shortly after 9 a.m. Booey brought us our first beers. And then our first margaritas. The rest of the sun (and tequila) soaked day involved snorkeling, swimming, whale watching, and plenty of quasi-awkward-awesome dancing. (I’m on a boat!)
Sometime during the afternoon I went below deck for water, because hydration. The bartender was pouring a two-ounce shooter for the lone guest in front of me. “You can’t shoot tequila alone, my friend!” he cajoled. Oh god. I don’t even like tequila. But, turn down for what…right? I realized in that moment, this day trip was a booze cruise cloaked in a sailing excursion. At the end of the trip they even sent us off with a road beer for the ride to Sayulita, which was rad – but at this point – completely unnecessary.
Arrival in Sayulita was unconventional, to say the least. At the point where our bus could go no further, we were dumped on a dust-choked road. It reminded me of rural Thailand. The driver assured us that downtown Sayulita was just four blocks north. A steady stream of sandal-clad holidaymakers, mop-topped backpackers and engine-rattling trucks tangoed for space in the packed roadway. Following their lead, we tottered into town like a foursome of wobbling tops.
Brains swimming with tequila, food quickly became priority número uno. Collapsing on a street-side table at La Rustica, our weary eyes pleaded with the waiters; the restaurant didn’t open until 5. The waiters, pleaded with us: “Sir, won’t you please put on a shirt?”
Bless them for not turning us away.
Over some of the best calamari I’ve ever eaten, I finally took stock of Sayulita. I knew that Sayulita had a reputation as a blissed-out surf town, but I was crushing hard. I loved the colourful flags strung high above the streets. I loved the sugar skulls with hollow eyes and wide grins. I loved the crochet dreamcatchers that danced in the wind. I loved the eclectic whimsy of the pom-pom garlands and ojo de Dios (God’s eyes). I loved that this seaside village lived life in colour: orange, fuscia, yellow, and neon. It was artisan, handcrafted, organic, sun-kissed and breezy; it was totally fucking gypset. It was my kind of place, with my kind of people.
A fire-baked, flat crust pizza appeared before me, heaped with salty prosciutto, thick gooey mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic reduction. It was exactly what my empty belly needed. As I tucked into my entrée, I drank in the throng of pedestrian traffic. Travellers squeezed by our table, making their way along the narrow sidewalk of Av Revolución, an artery that leads straight to the village’s beating heart: Sayulita Plaza. There were barefoot backpackers, all-inclusive day-trippers, salty surfers, tattooed expats, smiley locals, and bohemians who wore carefree ease just as fashionably as their hand-stitched kaftans. A bronzed yogi goddess pursued her equally beautiful toddler as he ran unsteadily along the thoroughfare. She wore the glow of a long day spent at the beach, salt washed through her perfectly untamed tresses. I imagined her seated in lotus position, greeting each sunrise. Later she’d sip pulpy juice, made from fruit plucked fresh from the tree. Afternoon would bring a lazy nap in an open-air palapa, and after sundown she’d lazily strum the strings of a guitar. I. Wanted. To. Be. Her.
I only broke from this creepy reverie when Greg splashed stagnant puddle water halfway up my calf. Then Laina nearly fell from her chair as we departed the restaurant. Yep — certifiably messy. We made a quick round of the shops before it was made clear by husband that we needed to leave, like RFN.
Luckily, we had it in us to visit a few days later, which allowed me to properly tune into the frequency of this beachin’ boho enclave.
Check it out:
Have you been to Sayulita? Did you dig its vibes as much as I did?
Also, someone please tell me how busy it is when it’s not Christmas. If there’s one thing I neglected to convey in this post, it’s how flippin busy it was. (Mostly because I wasn’t too fussed by the crowds.)