Not a Droove

Sunset in Sayulita
Having spent a few good weeks away from the coast I had forgotten just how debilitating the heat-humidity combo can be and stepping off the bus in Puerto Vallarta it hit me like a ton of bricks. Before my foot even had chance to hit the floor, I was sweating. My light green cotton t-shirt quickly started developing dark patches and I fast became agitated.

With patience set to zero, I hailed an Uber from my phone and was soon picked up by some guy called Miguel who drove me the 20 or so minutes across town to my hostel. 

Given Puerto Vallarta's reputation as a bit of a party town I had expected the hostel to be bustling with young 20-something American's all down here to enjoy the summer Sun. But it was dead. Literally, I arrived and I was the only person there, so I checked-in, showered myself, changed into beachwear and headed to the nearest shop for 6 cans of the coldest beer I could find.

With beer in hand, I got back to the hostel and headed up to the roof terrace where three large sofas overlooked the town and beach below. The Sun had not long set and as fierce looking clouds rolled in from behind the hills behind, day was replaced with night in what felt like just a few minutes.

In the time it had taken me to go get some beer, two girls had appeared at the hostel, each of whom were sat on their own sofa upon the terrace. Sitting down on the one remaining free sofa, I opened my first beer and greeted the two young women. Sat opposite me was Michelle and between us was Jess from down under in Australia.

Preoccupied with her laptop, the Australian kept herself to herself and so whilst there may have been three of us up on the terrace, it was in reality just me and Michelle. 

Michelle was American and on vacation for a couple of weeks before returning to her studies. She was a little geeky looking, had big square glasses with thick lenses and sported an awkward dullness which left me feeling somewhat on edge.

Having spent the whole day on a bus, I passed the first half an hour on the terrace looking at my phone doing my utmost to avoid starting any real conversation with my new dull friend. As it started to rain, the Australian closed her laptop and finally I thought there may be chance of having a real conversation. But just as I was about to strike up a conversation, her phone began ringing and with it my hopes of sweet relief from Michelle were gone.

Another 10 minutes went by and I was now on my third beer.

As thunder and lightning began to accompany the falling rain, Michelle had begun giving these lingering and expectant stares at me and was visibly desperate to strike up conversation. Unfortunately for Michelle, the only thing more desperate than her need to talk was my need to avoid so.

As the rain intensified, the Australian scurried off with her electronics and with it left Michelle and myself to sit awkwardly alone whilst watching the increasingly ferocious storm. 

30 minutes and 2 beers later Michelle was now visibly agitated and it was just a matter of time before she made her move. 

With a flash of lightning, she looked down at her watch and she rubbed her stomach. After waiting for the thunder she looks across at me and says "I'm really hungry, have you eaten?"

I hadn't eaten in 6 hours and frankly, I was starving. But there was no way I would be joining her for dinner.

"I've just eaten actually" lying blatantly. "Think I'm going to call it a night soon."

With that, the rain cleared, the stars emerged, Michelle headed out for dinner and I tottled off to bed - hungry but happy.

The following morning I went downstairs for breakfast and joined the Australian who was eating alone. Off the phone, away from her laptop and free to talk, we began talking and immediately hit it off. 

From the get-go, conversation with Jess was effortless and it was as if we had known each other for years. What I liked most about her - and she won't mind me saying this - was her apparent lack of any real boundaries. Nothing was off the table. She was fantastically honest, disgustingly foul, bitterly sarcastic and so gut-wrenchingly funny I was in stitches for hours. 

With that, breakfast became brunch, brunch became lunch and the afternoon, evening and night unfolded outside a small Mexican restaurant, fueling the conversation with endless supply of cold Coronas and tasty tacos. 

Whilst we only spent a day together in Puerto Vallarta - somewhere neither of us had much time for - we came to spend a whole week together in the nearby surfing town of Sayulita. 

Sayulita reminded me a little of the first time I went to Tulum in the sense it was somewhere I felt I could lose myself for weeks or months at a time. Although it was a small town, there were dozens of bars and restaurants, all of which were set not more than a stone's throw from some of the best beaches I've yet had the pleasure of visiting.

The chilled atmosphere made it all too easy to do not very much in Sayulita. A typical day involved a short run before breakfast and then having coffee with Jess just around the corner in what quickly became our second home. After coffee, we'd usually head half an hour down the coast to a secluded beach where all but one time we were the only ones there. After a couple of hours fannying about in the water and chilling out on the beach, we'd head back for lunch before wasting away the afternoon doing something or nothing before eventually drinking somewhere between 1 and 20 beers.

The weather was fantastic. The town was beautiful. The beaches were stunning. Everything in Sayulita was just perfect.

The best part though was being able to enjoy my time here in the company of somebody with whom I connect so well.

And people like Jess, they're rare. These people, for whom I can truly be my raw, honest and unfiltered self, are I find like absolute gold dust. They are just incredibly special and whose friendship is quite simply priceless.

As I've said in several entries already on this trip, the best thing about travelling is the unknown and not knowing what's waiting for you just around the corner. And whilst usually I'm referring to the places you might come to visit, the same is true for the people you might come to meet. One night its a Michelle. The next morning its a Jess. 

Entries to my journal are at best sporadic 

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