Cycling in the scorching heat and beach time! Mazatlan to Sayulita.

I´ve been spending the last week in a nice little surf town called Sayulita.  Although somewhat touristy it has a good vibe to it and has proven to be another excellent place to have some time off the bike.

The trip down from Mazatlan was interesting.  The first few days I was with Billy and we pushed some reasonable kilometres even though we experienced unusually high temperatures; always meaning to start early, we inevitably left later and were punished by the scorching midday sun.

Our first night we stayed in Escuinapa, a nice little town where everyone was exceptionally friendly.  This may be in part because they rarely get any tourists but also because bicycles are a major use of transport around town; so I think they took special appreciation to our trip.  Due to limited budgets for such a long journey, Billy took the initiative of asking to sleep in the town hall (although we initially thought it was a police station due to high police presence).  Tony and Carlos, who worked for the President of the town, took us out and very kindly bought us dinner.  I mainly sat there watching Billy talk Spanish to them; I think I managed to decipher one word every ten minutes.  We slept in the president´s boardroom.

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The gold bicycle in the main plaza; a pivotal part of the community.

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Moody and very hot; over 30 degrees C.  Tough going on some of the hills.

After Escuinapa, we pounded out a not-unreasonable 130km or so to Ruiz.  Exhausted and slightly feverish we found an exceptionally low budget hotel.  Badly in need of work, I´ll spare the details but this place was pretty filthy and by far the grimmest of the trip.  The town was interesting and again we were somewhat of a novelty since no tourists ever really go here which meant for some interesting conversations. It amused me to be there, only by bicycle would I ever have been in such a place.

The next night we stayed in San Blas and after that we stopped at a reasonably pleasant little beach full of beach restaurants called Platanos.

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Platanos beach:  Billy and I paid 25 pesos (~$2 each) to camp in this run down building at the end of the beach.  Great view but the bugs proved a bit of an issue and I wouldn´t recommend camping there  (unless this was a bad year for some reason).  Tiny bugs that are small enough to crawl through the mesh of a mosquito net mean a poor night´s sleep.  Packing up in the morning was also somewhat tedious getting attacked by thousands of these little insects.  It was a relief to get back on the road where I said bye to Billy and headed to Sayulita where I´ve spent the last few days.

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Camping on this beach just north of SayulitaImage

Breakfast: eggs and bacon, pancakes, yoghurt and fruit.Image

This place is a time sink; days just slip through your fingers without you noticing.ImageNicely shaded camping; good for getting out of the midday sun.

ImageIt´s been a great opportunity to reflect on how good things really are.

I guess I´ll leave Sayulita eventually.  The only thing I wish I had here is my surf board.  The sound of the ocean at night is loud and it can be relaxing but also thought provoking.  I have a neighbour on the beach who keeps reminding me we´re on the San Andreas faultline but any worries disappear almost as quickly as they’re said.  The occasional day I cycle the ´long´ 15 minutes to town to get supplies, the rest are spent studying Spanish and watching the rare person come onto the beach on foot or horseback.  There´s a spot marked off where some turtles have laid eggs, perhaps they’ll hatch when I´m here…


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16 thoughts on “Cycling in the scorching heat and beach time! Mazatlan to Sayulita.

  1. Don’t leave. You’re time rich so why would you? That was one of the things I really appreciated during my time in SA: you could just stay in a great place and not worry about moving on until you felt you were ready… Disfrutelo

    • Cheers Steve, so true! Important to break the habit of rushing everywhere. I had to send the powerade top home, sorry dude. I’ll get an older picture up though from earlier in my trip.

  2. Sounds amazing, Nick! Are you still in Mexico? and who is Billy? Are you planning on going right down to the bottom of South America? Please keep the blog posts coming. They take me out of our winter in Somerset. Lots of love as always, Lucyxx

  3. As you rightly point out….you really are seeing small village Mexico (much more than I did), coz you be on the bike.

    Have you managed to borrow a surf board?

  4. Nice to meet you today. Stop by the house if you get a chance. Just ask someone where Sayulita Animals is and we are across in the white house. We also have surfboards if you want to get out. Jen

  5. Great to get your update, Nick. Stephen (McC) and his brother Michael have enjoyed time at the beach in Sayulita. Your description of the tiny “no see ums” at San Blas echoes our experience there in the 70’s, camping in a VW van – when Hamish and Giles were 7 & 8.
    Sorry to hear you are on your own – Billy must have been good company for the last few weeks. I was astonished to read of your crossing the Sea of Cortez!

    I hope you do get to surf, cheers Barney

    • Yeah those are tedious little insects. I left Sayulita yesterday and on my last night beach camping they started appearing again bizarrely so it was a good moment to go anyway. Just arrived in Puerto Vallarta. A huge difference to Sayulita; quite a shock to my senses!

      • Nick! Holy cow, I just got to Puerto Vallarta! I’m cycle touring the opposite way, going north from Mexico back to California through Baja. I am looking for a sailboat ride from PV to La Paz or Cabo and was astonished by your epic Sea of Cortez crossing. Shoot me a reply if you’re still here and want to connect, give me the lowdown on sailboat hitchhiking. Also, I met an Irish Billy cycletouring south from Alaska, in Guadalajara. Same?

  6. Keep up the good work my friend!

    Just in the midst of writing a short-term-let advert for my Dulwich pad, as the g/f and I are off for a two month backpacking adventure in Vietnam at the end of April – and it made me think of you!

    Those beach pics look stunning……

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