February 23, 2013 - Saturday
I made the long drive (about 15 miles!) to Sayulita by myself - mainly to honor myself and my new RV life of adventure. Fred and Barbara planned to leave very early; I didn't feel the need as the trip would be so short, so I slept in and left about 10 or so.
There had been an early parade in Sayulita earlier in the morning and the town was very crowded. As I didn't know exactly how to get to the Sayulita RV park - again right on the beach - I took several extra forays within the limits of the town; at one point I turned onto a one-way dead-end street that wasn't wide enough for my Toyota Dolphin. A very nice gentleman 'helped' me, verbally, maneuver my rig backwards out of the street. [A lesson well learned, without too much consternation: Know where you're going or stop, get out and look/research!] Finally I radioed Barb and she and Dee drove up to meet me at the Pemex station to usher me into the park. It's a very busy park with lots of big rigs and also something I haven't seen before ...
There are several kinds of 'trailer-sized' little bungalows, that are built by visitors who no longer want to make the long drive from Canada / USA in a big rig. So, they fly in to Puerta Vallarta and either take a cab or rent a car for the 45 minute trip to Sayulita. [Dee and Mary Jane, both in their early 80s, no longer drive a big rig, but prefer to drive an SUV and stay in a rental unit. I guess there's some kind of monetary arrangement between the park owner and the visitor where they share the cost of the building and then the bungalows can be rented when that particular visitor isn't in residence.
It's evident that Sayulita and the likes along the Coast are very busy throughout the Winter months; then clear out, almost completely, the rest of the year. Several merchants and restaurant owners in Sayulita are actually US/Canadian citizens who work here in Winter, then relax either here or elsewhere during the off season.
A little about rental prices .... generally speaking, hotel rooms and / or bungalows range in the $600-1000 a week. That's a little steep for my budget but by US standards, it's pretty inexpensive. Restaurants, I find to be reasonably priced and the food is good. Los camarones (prawns) are to die for. And so reasonably priced. Although I choose to be careful always, about water, ice cube and lettuces, the food is 'safe.' A word about food and water safety: Gringos tend to think that the water is 'unclean.' After having now traveled all over the world, my thought is that 'foreign' water is not unclean as much as it's 'different,' having, for us, foreign bacteria, minerals, etc. that our digestive system isn't used to. Often, water and water-containing vegetables are not BAD, just different. As I stay longer in places, I can gradually incorporate more local water and fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. I have to say that in all my travels to 'third world countries,' I never been sickened by the water.
Offshoot story: Three years ago, while traveling in rural India, I accepted a Chai tea from a lovely lady in a small village. And, that night I developed a fever, headache and diarrhea for about 5 hours - maybe salmonella. I'm not a milk drinker, never have been - I think the unpasteurized and non-refrigerated milk in the Chai drink bother me. My companions drank the same Chai with no negative effect.
Our week in Sayulita was enjoyable - lots of sunbathing and visiting with family and friends. On Friday, March 1st, Barb, Fred and I visited old friends of theirs, Maria Ruiz and __________, at their home in Puerta Vallarta. This is an American couple, in their early 70s, who had traveled around the world for ten years, then decided to settle in PV, where they live in a little house in a Mexican neighborhood. They are both writers who started a Gringo writing group several years ago and very actively participate in it to this day. They live very simply on about $1K a month!!