December 13, 2004

Rellenos y Bicicletas




With the prank wars over, Dan Meredith and I settled into a more civilized lifestyle. We surfed a bunch and enjoyed all that this charming town has to offer.




It has been a real treat for Dan and I to get to eat out a bunch. Our favorite lunch spot is the Torta Stand where for about $5 we can get two giant sandwiches, and two smoothies. Dinner we can choose from the Carne Factory, a roadside taco stand, where dinner for 3 runs $8, a family style Mexican restaurant on the Plaza, dinner for 3 $6.50 or an array of fish taco joints.


The pan lady who brings fesh baked goddies to the Park every morning.


The Torta Stand Owner.

But our favorite place is Estella and Lorenzo’s, which is just up from the campground. Estella makes the BEST chili relleno I have ever had, and I fancy myself a bit of a connoisseur. We went there for dinner Wednesday night, the rellenos lived up tot heir reputation and we lingered long enough to pay our respects to the chef. While there we learned that Lorenzo is a biker. In fact he is the local bicycle repair man, and he is the coach for the local mountain biking team. His son Adrian is the Infantile Champion of Mexico. The Infantile category goes up to 15 years old, Adrian is 14 but this year he was bumped up to the Junior level.

We love mountain biking and asked if we could join them on a ride. Better yet they offer tours complete with front suspension bikes and any needed accessories. Cost of the trip, a donation to the bike team. We set up a date for the next morning, just a 1-2 hour tour.


Adrian with his trophies.

We met them at 8am. Adrian led us over the roads and passes between Sayulita and Punta de Mita which is 7 miles away along the connecting road. Lorenzo held up the rear with me, all the time giving me some sorely needed pointers which I am eternally grateful for. We wound up and down along the beaches then through the jungle, past mango plantations and farms. We rode past a rattle snake and even stopped for a coke in a small village along our route. Our one hour trip stretched into four and we rode somewhere between 15 and 20 miles. Lorenzo and Adrian both speak English very well and were amazingly tolerant of our broken Spanish. The ride and spending the day with them, was maybe my favorite thing we have done this entire trip.


Our group stopping for a Mexican Coke.


Me bringing up the rear.

Afterwards we made our donation in money and whatever cycling gear we could round up. Dan even sacrificed his favorite cycling shorts for the cause, essentially anything we figured we could replace we left for them.

The next day we ventured up to Chacala, another surf spot. This was our first official surfing skunk. From all accounts Chacala can be a heavenly place with a long safe left break. We hired a water taxi to take us out to the break, but the swell was all wrong and the waves were breaking only about 50’ off of the sea urchin covered rocks. Because we are all in our 30’s now we were wise enough to realize that losing $20 for a water taxi to nowhere, is far superior to being dropped off for three hours at a very scary break with no shoreline easily accessible. We tucked tail and returned to the truck. From there we drove back down to Burrows a much friendlier break for the likes of us.

Meredith left yesterday, but don’t you fear she will be reprising her role at New Years when we visit her again. Dan and I went to the big PV grocery store to stock up on some of the foods we love down here.

Once we returned to Sayulita it was time for my relleno lesson. Estella welcomed me into her home while she was preparing the food for the restaurant. She showed me how she makes the rellenos from start to finish. She would accept no help from me; I couldn’t even do the dishes. I stayed for 3 hours. I was fed cookies and a traditional rice drink. We talked about her kids, about how much she loves cooking and how well she and Lorenzo work together.

Lorenzo told me that he realizes Estella is the chef, she is a fantastic cook. He is there to help her, so he chops vegetables and helps clean up. They run an amazingly clean and conscientious kitchen. Because they are cyclists they are very health conscious, they cut out fats and use only fresh products. I was truly touched by their generosity and their willingness to not only tell me how to make this, but their insistence on showing me how.

Lorenzo said his role is to be social, greeting the patrons in the restaurant and making contacts to advance the bike team. People have donated everything from cycling socks to the full suspension, disc brake, Santa Cruz bike that Adrian races on. Lorenzo estimates that it costs 1500 pesos (about $150) per kid to go to the races, the costs are in entry fees, lodging, meals etc. Often they cannot take all of the kids who want to race because there is not enough money.

Recently they were invited to compete in a 12-hour race, but they can’t afford headlamps for the riders to wear during the dark times of the race, so they could not participate. From what we have seen the kids love Lorenzo and he is a fantastic coach. His team has lots of talent, but lacks funding. I wish I had more to give, but alas all I can do is tell you about it and hope that something more may come of that. You can learn more about them at :http://www.sayulitalife.com/sayulitabiking.htm




The past 12 days have been the Virgin de Guadalupe Festival. A fascinating festival that last 12 nights. We were fortunate enough to get to attend evening mass, where I was overwhelmed by the number of familiar faces I saw. You really can get to know an entire community in six weeks. We saw the parades and enjoyed nightly fireworks displays.


We have only a few days left here and I am desperately trying to soak it all in before we go. On that note I will pull my nose out of the notebook and enjoy the town.







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