taken this evening in our neighbourhood!
four days and counting. sigh.
taken this evening in our neighbourhood!
four days and counting. sigh.
there are not a lot of japanese people in mexico. or at least around sayulita. in the nine months that we have been here, i have only met one other person from japan! that all changed when we went up to san blas and had the good fortune of meeting kazu and hiro. these guys are sponsored surfers travelling from california down to panama with the intent of catching as many waves as possible on the way. i hit it off with them immediately and invited them to come and stay with us in sayulita. a couple of days later they showed up and we have spent the last week hanging out.
having visitors is always cool because i get to see sayulita through a fresh set of eyes. i was once again reminded of how special it is, and how lucky we are to have spent time in a place like this. i hope that we can come back soon, permanently or otherwise!
hiro brought his water-proof digital camera and snapped these photos of us surfing. brenda and i have been talking about photographing each other in the water for months, so it was like a dream come true. i think the photo of brenda captures everything that is cool about surfing. just look at the smile on her face!
i enjoyed hanging out with hiro and kazu a lot. i haven’t really had a chance to hang with guys much out here for one reason or another, so having some “man time” was very refreshing. plus being able to speak japanese was cool too!
we introduced them to guacamole and they shared their stash of quality japanese rice. these guys have been hauling a 5kg (11lb) bag of rice from japan with them along with their backpacks and surfboards. now thats dedication.
hiro and kazu both hail from osaka, although hiro now lives in miyazaki. hiro’s descriptions and photos of miyazaki have made us very keen to go and visit. it more or less sounds like a japanese version of sayulita, complete with tropical weather, nice surf and plenty of nature. apparently you can make a good living there teaching english too! it has got brenda and i thinking and scheming…
as usual there was lots of hanging out at the beach. we had an even balance of great surf days and mellow rest days.
staying sober was not necessarily our forte.
staying clothed is definitely not nayou’s forte. this kid can barely keep his shirt on for the five minute drive to the beach. and we’ve given up on pants at this point.
kazu and hiro left this morning to continue their trek south. even though we’ve only known each other for a short (but intense) while, i know that we are going to be hanging out with these two sometime, someplace in the future.
their departure also marks the end of our stay in sayulita. from here on out we are going to be running errands and getting rid of our stuff in preparation for ours. only ten more days to go. eek!
while we were in san blas i had the good fortune of meeting two very cool japanese guys – kazu and hiro – who are travelling through mexico. we hit it off instantly and i ended up inviting them to come and stay with us in sayulita. they arrived almost a week ago and have been staying with us since. however, our adventures with them is for another post.
i wanted to share this set of photos that hiro took. they were taken in front of a bare wall of the sayulita recycling center. ever since brenda first laid eyes on this wall she has been wanting to beautify it, so she made this crazy cool fish out of old wood and bottle caps. the story of the fish is also something that she will share in another post.
we don’t have very many family photos so having an extra person as a shutterbug is so nice. especially when that person has a great eye like hiro does!
its a testament to how awesome sayulita is that despite being here for almost nine months, we have only done one road trip. its just so easy to live here – nayou has plenty of friends, the beach and surf is just down the road, and we love our house. now that our departure is imminent, we started wondering whether we should have explored more and so we decided to take a quick trip up north to a town called san blas. we went with our friends sondra and risa. oh, and risa’s dog snickers as well.
the drive up there was gorgeous – lots of mango groves and long, wide beaches. we drove at a leisurely pace and slowed it down even further once we got into town. risa is from san blas so we had the inside track on all the good surf spots and places to go. she took us to stoner’s surf camp, and that’s pretty much where we ended up spending most of our time. the place is a big palapa with some cabins and is right on the beach. they serve food and you can lounge around in the hammocks they have scattered around the place. paradise.
the only things keeping san blas from becoming as developed are the mosquitoes and the sand flies. they come out in droves during sunrise and sunset, and are impossible to avoid. the sand flies are so small that they can get through mosquito nets! luckily we were staying in an apartment in town and not on the beach, so things weren’t too bad, but nayou still came home with tons of bites on his face.
the surf in san blas was phenomenal. there are a bunch of breaks to choose from, but we just surfed one called second jetty. on our second day i had what might just be the best surf day of my life. in the morning we went to second jetty where the waves where huge – around 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) – and steep, but also very forgiving. brenda and i caught some heart pumpers out there! one of the things i love about surfing is that it really challenges you to put faith in yourself. on bigger waves my mind often starts freaking out when i’m about to drop down its face, but i’ve learned to trust my abilities and trust my body. sure there is skill involved but its also about just letting go. when you’re dropping down the face of that wave there’s no time for thinking – you’re completely in the moment. yet another way that yoga and surfing are similar to each other. check out risa and sondra’s post-surf faces. those are some happy ladies right there!
for sunset we went to a place called aticama. it was a left break so we got to practice our backside turns and take in the beautiful views. the best part about both places? there were never more than four or five people in the water. having all the waves to yourself is such a special thing, especially coming from the crowded waters of sayulita.
the town of aticama is a weird place though – there were lots of guys ogling the ladies as they went out to surf, and there was one guy who kept on following nayou and i around, but we managed to shake him and have a good time running around.
on our last day we spent the morning taking a boat through the mangroves. the area around san blas has many rivers feeding into the ocean and is home to many birds and crocodiles.
the boat took us to this restaurant at the end of the river where we could also splash around in the water. luckily for us they had fenced off a section so it would be croc free! as of late nayou has been obsessed with being in water. he was ambivalent about the ocean and pools until last week when some switch inside him flipped. now he wants to swim at every chance he can get!
we were only gone for four days but it was a great adventure for all of us. on the way home we hit up one of the many colourful fruit stands that line the highway, making brenda very happy. the yellow stack on the right are mangoes. a sight like that is the stuff fantasies are made of.
two days after we got home we took the plunge and booked our tickets to maryland. now we have a concrete departure date, which is may 29th. 18 more days to go. its really hard to believe that our stint here is coming to an end – we all knew the day had to come sooner or later, but our stay here has been so awesome its hard to imagine going anywhere else and being as happy. perhaps this will mean that we’ll try and come back here permanently later… who knows? at least our next stops will be into the loving arms of nayou’s grandparents.
the next town up from sayulita is a sleepy place called san francisco. to avoid confusion, everyone refers to it as san pancho. its a really cute bohemian sort of a place, complete with a montessori school, a polo field and a museum promoting recycling. nice beach too!
approximately once a month there is a lucha libre in the main plaza of san pancho. i have been chomping at the bit to go for many, many months now but for one reason or another it never worked out. so when i heard that there was another one happening last week i had to go.
omar, one of the neighbourhood gang, is also a big lucha libre fan and he was all psyched up for it the day before. he came over wearing his mask and even gave his old one to nayou!
we are getting a lot of mileage out of the mask. nayou likes to terrorise everyone with his fierceness.
we arrived early so nayou would have a chance to see some of it, but he was more interested in the guy selling time on his trampoline.
this guy also had what might be the world’s most precarious merry-go-round. would you put your child on this thing?
brenda took our little boy home early and i stayed on with a group of crazy québécois that we met in sayulita. this is vincent, who is one of the most energetic people i have ever met. he is, in both looks and behaviour, what i imagine a young anthony keidis was like back in the day.
the fights themselves were everything i imagined them to be, but better. there was a total of three fights, all fought by the same four guys (just different costumes). their level of fitness and agility was a true marvel, and even though they fake and/or exaggerate the pain they are feeling, you know that a lot of it is real. especially when they start wrestling out of the ring on the concrete. sometimes one will jump off the ropes onto another fighter outside the ring (usually for saying unspeakable things about his mother). watching them tumble onto the cold hard pavement was enough to make everyone wince.
in between fights it was a free-for-all, with all the kids getting up and emulating what they just saw.
these two very drunk masked girls from the audience jumped in as well and were subsequently forced into a real match by everyone.
all the wrestlers and emcees had the dirtiest mouths imaginable, much to the delight of all the ten year old boys in the audience (and me). none of the adults seemed to mind, so perhaps the wrestling matches are the one exception where you can run your mouth off without getting into trouble? there was also a lot of slapstick humour, usually involving genitalia in the face. of course we all thought it was hilarious.
the costumes were pretty special too.
as usual we’ve been slack with our blog updates. there are a bunch of photos that i have been meaning to post for a while but haven’t had the chance to, so this will be the post where you get to see them all!
nayou is at the stage now where he is dirty all the time. we have to bathe him twice a day – once for each time he goes to sleep – and change his clothes just as often. i remember stories of my aunt adele hosing her two kids off in the backyard when they needed a clean. usually these stories were related with a touch of mock horror, but now i can totally relate. in fact, we are proudly following in her footsteps! usually when we come home for his afternoon nap, we let him loose on the front porch with the hose. i like to think it fosters independence 😉
it used to be that we would head down to the beach after nayou’s nap, but these days we usually end up hanging out at home with the neighbourhood kids. this group are a serious godsend as they entertain each other for hours. watching them play and take care of each other is so cool. nayou is slowly getting better at the whole sharing thing, and i’m sure that he is learning a lot from these kids.
these two pics were taken by ximena, the older girl in the photos above. for some reason i find them hilarious and totally adorable. nayou is using crying as a tool to try and get his way, which is what is happening here. when that lower lip starts jutting out, beware!
a couple more random shots:
oh yeah and we went on another one of darrien’s awesome cruises a few weeks ago.
and brenda took nayou to visit the land that we were (and kind of still are) interested in buying for our earthship. our boy got into the spirit of things in full expedition gear. note the bag of toys in his hand. we can’t leave the house without some sort of container stuffed full of his things. they don’t have to necessarily be toys – occasionally we’ll leave with a handful of his underwear too.
check out his big bag in this photo (if you can take your eyes off his golden mullet):
nayou still can’t swim yet, but he is very comfortable in the waves even when they break over his head. he’s kind of into surfboards, but mostly he likes to splash around in places where his feet can barely touch the sand.