Nov. 14-17: Welcome to Mainland Mexico, Sayulita, Nayarit

On Nov. 14 (day 45), after sailing all night from La Paz, Baja California Sur, to Mazatlan, Sinaloa, MinEssa, Danielle and I set off towards the small gringo-filled town of Sayulita, Nayarit about 5 hours or so away. The drive was quite interesting for us as we'd left the desert behind and had now entered rich jungle. We arrived in Sayulita in the afternoon, and found the Sayulita RV and Trailer park where we set up camp. Compared to free camping and very inexpensive camping while in the Baja, staying in Sayulita was quite expensive at about CAD$20/night. Danielle and I decided to stay for two nights, while MinEssa paid for three.

While in Sayulita, all four of us wandered the town and the beach, soaking up the vibes. Danielle and I checked out many of the shops, walked the beach every morning, as well as indulged in gelato a couple of times. The highlight of our time in Sayulita was easily experiencing a baby sea turtle release at the Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita. The non-profit works to protect and encourage the sea turtle population in Sayulita by doing, among other things, nightly beach patrols as well as the releases each sunset. Watching the children release the turtles and the little creatures scramble into the crashing surf as the sun set was a very memorable experience.

On the 16th (day 46), Danielle and I said our goodbyes to MinEssa, and began our journey across the mainland of Mexico heading towards our destination of Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, commonly known as Oaxaca City. We left Sayulita after lunch, and drove across the country before stopping for the night just west of Guadalajara, Jalisco, sleeping in a hotel's parking lot.

The next morning (Nov. 17/day 47) we drove for many hours, crossing many state lines, until stopping for the night in Tula de Allende, Hidalgo. We'd booked a hotel here, as this was about the halfway point between Sayulita and Oaxaca, and wanted to break up the journey. Originally we weren't going to leave Sayulita as early as we did, and were going to make the drive all the way from Sayulita to Tula in one day, but decided against that. No matter, we stayed the night at the City Express Hotel, in among many industrial properties, one of which being a Pemex refinery.

Sayulita Beach.

The turtles at Campamento Tortuguero Sayulita just prior to being released.

At the Campemento, they have a bar, run by the founder, where the profits from drinks sold go directly to the conservation efforts. They also have this cat.

As the sun began to set, it was time to release the turtles.

They gave the children in attendance small pales with a turtle in each one, ready to release on command.

And they're off!

You've got to feel bad for these guys getting just rocked by the unrelenting waves.

Before departing Sayulita, MinEssa and us took a farewell photo featuring MinEssa's MPV's plates.