Mex Life | Sayulita Easter

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Continuing from where we left off nearly 18 months ago, the following is a newly published “catch-up” post from our time living in Sayulita, Nayarit.


6 April 2021

We got back into town the day before Good Friday with just under a week before welcoming our first visitors in over THREE YEARS.

Like the Christmas / New Years holiday time, Semana Santa and Semana Pascua (Holy Week and Easter Week) are reported to be just as raucous and festive, if not more so.

This year, however, a flurry of new Covid cases have brought renewed restrictions in terms of the number of visitors that can enter town and reduced capacities at restaurants and hotels.

When we left town for Mascota earlier in the week, we were advised by our property manager to take a piece of mail with us showing our names and Sayulita address.

The only thing we had was a huge box from Amazon.com.mx.

This being Mexico, we were hesitant to alter the box in any way that might displease the authorities. So the entire box traveled with us to the mountains and back.

Of course, this being Sayulita, no one ever asked to see the box. In fact, we didn’t encounter a single checkpoint the entire way there and back.

But the renewed restrictions must have been enough to scare away some visitors, since visitor numbers to Sayulita were down quite a bit for the second Easter in a row.

Bad for all those beach-deprived Guadalajarans. But great for us.

Sayulita did see its fair share of revelers, but we’re largely removed from the bulk of the craziness in Centro, living on the north end of town up the highway a bit.

Fortunately, there are no shortage of beaches to hang out on, far away from the party. It’s not that we’re anti-party. We just can do without the whole sardine-in-a-can experience at a beach we can visit any time we want.

Noe puzzling while mom and dad try to squeeze a work day in between holidays and visitors. These keep him busy for hours. Riley, on the other hand still needs quite a bit of supervision. Fortunately, Riley’s sitter’s available for a couple hours before the holiday starts ramps up.

Saturdays are typically our big hiking days, and this one is no exception.

We did have to alter our plans a bit for the big holiday, hitting the trail earlier than usual and doing a lunch out afterwards instead of brunch.

For the past several months we’ve split our time between doing the hike to Playa Malpaso north of town, and Playa Patzcuarito to the south.

Patzcuarito requires a bit longer golf cart ride on some back roads to get to what we consider the trailhead. From there, it’s a shaded one-mile walk downhill through lush jungle to the beach. A perfect hike for Riley who’s becoming more insistent on walking and less tolerant of the kid carrier.

It never ceases to amaze me that, even on Easter weekend and less than two miles from Party Central, we’ve got the trail and beach all to ourselves again.

Back in town, we head to the northern end of North Beach after nap time to try and catch a sunset. A bit more people than usual, but still not too many.

Most of the time we’re pretty lucky with the nighttime noise in our neighborhood. Certainly better off than our friends who live in and around El Centro, which can be loud into the wee hours on a regular basis.

Occasionally, we’ll get a small group at the Airbnb next door playing their music from a small bluetooth speaker until sunrise. But that hasn’t been an issue for a couple of months since the Canadian owners of the property have been staying there for the season.

But every couple of months or so, a large group rents the community center across the street for the night, which amounts to little more than a large metal-roof-covered open-air concrete structure with the acoustics of an automotive shop.

And when I say that they rent it “for the night,” I literally mean the entire night.

It always starts innocuously enough. Sometime in the late afternoon, guests begin to arrive and the “DJ” spins a random assortment of pop party favorites from both sides of the border at a moderate level.

Then, around 9pm (yes, 9pm) the opening notes of a rousing live Banda (think marching band) ring out like a propane tank exploding, and a full complement of horns and an entire drum line belt out tunes non-stop at full Fuertisimo until just before dawn – all, a mere 50 feet from our bedroom.

By now, I feel like I’ve come to terms with, and am able to understand on some level most forms of Mexican celebrations (including the insane bottle rockets known as cohetes).

Banda events, on the other hand, boggle my mind. Self-indulgence and celebration at everyone else’s expense. One giant middle finger to everyone within earshot, even on the night leading into Easter morning, the most sacred day on the Mexican calendar.

Just goes to show, it’s not all beaches and margaritas in paradise here in Sayulita. At least not ALL the time.

So, bleary eyed and operating on about three hours of sleep, we awoke to Easter morning. With a two-year-old, sleeping in isn’t really a possibility right now for us. No exceptions for Banda night.

But it’s a brilliantly sunny morning and all is calm for the moment. We get the boys ready and head out for an Easter brunch at North Side Cafe.

Then, it’s time to hit the beach for a morning stroll before things start to heat up and get crowded.

We would have liked to sit in on Easter service at the main church but thought we’d pass this year. With more locals attending than seats available, two energetic boys, and that pesky Covid, we think we may just have to settle for viewing a service from afar at some point in the day.

By noon, it’s getting pretty toasty. Water squirter time in the backyard.

After nap time, it’s finally time for the boys have been waiting for all day: The Easter Egg Hunt!

Star stickers decorate our white hardboiled eggs this year. It’s a pretty low-key affair, but that’s nothing out of the ordinary with holidays at our house.

We didn’t want to boil more eggs than we could reasonably eat, so Lori came up with the idea of augmenting the hunt with two things we have plenty of these days: bottle caps and jam jar caps.

After daddy has stealthily hidden our motley assortment of items, the hunt begins!

Riley was the first to spot this jam lid under the sprinkler. Thought no one would find that one. Turns out I was outwitted by a two-year-old.

Halfway through, taking stock of their booty. Noe’s ahead, but not by much.

The hunt ends with Noe in the lead by a couple of bottle caps…which he promptly divvies up between him and his brother, making their spoils equal.

A thoughtful gesture, sure. But they are bottle tops, after all. The whole thing might’ve ended very differently with candy.

Seems the hunt wore out our little Riley. But he didn’t protest too much when we told him we were headed back out for pizza at his favorite place.

But not before one more little stroll along the beach to let things cool off a bit more.

And with that, it’s another fun and low-key Easter in the books.

In other news, the well digging project behind our house that never ends seems to have resumed.

After several months of drilling and clanging, we’ve enjoyed a couple of weeks of quiet out back.

That is, until the bulldozers and power shovels came through a month ago and dredged the “river,” destroying most of the vegetation along the banks – ironically the only thing that was keeping the river banks from eroding and filling up the river bed with sand and silt.

We’ll see what happens when the rains return in June.

As for the well-digging project, it appears they’ve been running some sort of pressure test day and night. Water’s getting pretty scarce in town and Sayulita desperately needs another well to keep pace with demand. Just wish it didn’t have to be right behind our house. Hopefully the testing will be wrapped up before our guests roll into town.

We’ve got a handful of days to get this place ship-shape for Grammy, Grammy, and company. That means time to pull out the big bag of broken toys and get cracking on fixing them all.

Yep, Riley. This is mostly your handiwork.

Stocking up for visitors. Lori, maybe we should stock up on a little food as well?

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