Semana Santa

Thursday, April 28th, 2011
My front yard, almost

Being veterans of, well, only one Semana Santa in Sayulita, we elected to beat it out of town and fled to Guadalajara and Tlaquepaque, where we looked at great stuff we didn't need and couldn't afford, saw some exciting art shows and ate in some cool restaurants, went to the fabu Guadalajara zoo and generally did the urbane urban thing. It was fun, but the pavement was hot and the wind was hotter, and even emptied-out for Easter, Guadalajara felt crowded and busy and well, urban. The Big City.

While we were happy to get away from the Thursday-through-Easter-Sunday madness in Sayulita, we were even happier to get back. As we drove back towards the coast, the traffic heading towards Guadalajara on Easter Sunday was stop-and-go, backed up all the way from Compostela to San Pancho. Oh my God. There was a movie by Jean-Luc Godard in the late 1960s or 1970s called Weekend, basically positing a huge traffic jam in the French countryside as the beginning of the end of Western Civilization as we know it; driving home on Sunday, there it was.

Then we slipped into town and came home and ten minutes later, on my trusty, dusty, 25-year-old bike, I rode down to the trailer park to see the waves. Beyond the thinning but still heavy crowds on the beach, on the perfectly glassy, pale blue-gray sea, under a slightly hazy sky, head high sets rolled in at the town left, and there were just four people out there riding them. Oh my God! 800 bodies on the beach and four in the waves.

I raced home, got trunks, rashguard, wax, and board assembled, raced back, waxed and paddled out. Aaaaaah! Home.

Home Sweet Home

I grabbed a wave or two and then got caught up. Paulina, of Darren and Paulina (he shoots videos and they sell clothes and stuff on the corner by La Casona Hotel), told me about the swell I missed. How La Lancha was bombing so big. Then she caught a wave and I caught the next. A shortboard ripper from downtown, the only one out there, got the next, while the other three flounders floundered. Then Geordie showed up on his new, won-at-the-CVIS Surfathon green foam shortboard, and we checked in. He and his family had been on the same vacation escape route as us, and had gotten home about the same time as us, and yep, here he was already out in the waves. Where he, where we, belonged. Then his wife Kirsten paddled out, and we talked, between waves, about Tlaquepaque and Tonal√° and Guadalajara and P√°tzcuaro and then, in the end, agreed that, here in the waves in our little town is where we wanted to be. The waves rolled in, the tide rolled out, the swell subsided but will return again. Later that evening Nick reported on his trip to San Blas, where he scored some perfect barrels while I was gazing at the amazing Orozco ceiling murals in the Hospicio Cabanas in historic Guadalajara. I had no regrets either way. Those heart-stopping murals inspired by Mexico's fascinating and bloody history will still be there the next time I go to see them - the building is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site - and there will always be more waves at San Blas, and in Sayulita, where I wake up every day happy to be living here, by the eternally-resurrected surf of the Pacific, in my community of friends.