Saturday,24 Nov 2012


Justin Henderson is responsible for most of the the text on this site. Justin is an established writer, having published six novels as well as many non-fictions and travel guides. When he’s not writing, he’s usually riding waves on a surfboard or a paddleboard in Sayulita or Punta de Mita.


This past week was a remarkable one in Sayulita. The first half of the week belonged to the Mexican Revolution, celebrated on Tuesday, November 20th. All the kids had Monday and Tuesday off from school, and Tuesday morning saw one of Sayulita’s several annual parades, with troops of tiny ninos dressed up in full revolutionary garb, including mustaches that would have made Zapata and Pancho Villa proud. They fired their toy cannons and guns, and won the revolution one more time! As always, the parade ended in the plaza with ceremonial activities, and everybody had a great old time. For the ex-pats who live here, and stand somewhat outside the culture, it is wonderful and inspiring to see how another country celebrates their heritage and history.

Thursday brought the American holiday of Thanksgiving, and we all gathered with family and friends to eat turkey (you can get them frozen at Costco in Puerto Vallarta, and nowhere else) or whatever we had to substitute for it, and gave thanks that we were down here in the sunshine instead of up there freezing our butts off. There is always a little sadness tempering those thanks—we do miss the family and friends we left behind, when we chose to live down here. For visitors, it was a question of finding some semblance of a turkey dinner in a local restaurant. I heard there were a few on offer.

But what I really want to say is, early Thursday I went to surf at La Lancha, one of the local surf spots over by Punta Mita. There has been some decent, middle-sized swell this week, and Sayulita’s waves have been very busy indeed. As have been La Lancha’s. But by some confluence of forces—and this happens all the time around here, in spite of the many, many surfers in the area—I found myself at high noon, on Thanksgiving Day, surfing alone at La Lancha. The waves were head high, and I was paddle-surfing on a short paddleboard, a fat, quad-fin board I’m still learning to ride. The waves shaped up well, the sea was smooth as glass, and for 45 minutes I had it all to myself—well, there was one Mexican kid on a shortboard, but he was at the left and I was at the right–and we were both shredding.

Then a boat from Anclote pulled up and dropped five people in the water, and six more emerged from the trail, and the waves got busy.

But I had that hour, for which I give thanks.