Mexican Adventures 2016

You know what they say! Better late than never! I think I have been avoiding writing this blog in some ways as I feel the memories of the trip were so good it just makes me want to go back too much! Nonetheless, here is a little snippet into the time I spent in Mexico, bearing in mind it is so hard to get across how unbelievably amazing it was! So here goes my attempt!

Last July, I travelled to Mexico for just over six weeks. It was definitely the most adventurous, exciting and rewarding trip I've done so far. I really feel lucky to have experienced so much more than just a surf trip, but a culture change along with many new found friendships and memorable experiences to last a lifetime. I travelled with a friend from Norway, Ingrid and thinking back, I laugh at how little we knew about our plans for Mexico. We had both been busy and had not discussed it much... I was after a recent break up, and wanted a big adventure, anywhere! Ingrid was talking about Mexico and I had always wanted to go, so it became a loose plan, flights were booked, the odd message sent here and there to make sure this was still actually happening and to coincide with dates. In fact the last time we saw each other was a few years previously on a surf trip in El Salvadore! So with very little ideas on what to do or where to go in Mexico, we were excited to catch up and throw some ideas around when we met in the airport on the way over. All we knew is we wanted a fun filled adventure that consisted of good surf, good people, good food and good vibes. Without a doubt, Mexico was beyond generous and delivered all that and a lot more! Luckily, a mate of Ingrids, picked us up in a little white Bocho, which I soon nicknamed the "beast" because it was our unfailing mode of transport for us and our boards for so much of our trip!
The Bocho and the boys Photo: Ingrid
We soon arrived a beautiful little town called San Pancho, which had a beautiful beach and pumping waves at our doorstep. Before we even found a place to call home, we found ourselves being introduced to some local surfers, dumping our luggage at one of their houses and grabbing our boards, fin keys, wax and bundling back into the Bocho, and soon arrived at a nearby spot called Burros (Spanish for Donkeys!). I will never forget the feeling when walking barefoot through the beautiful jungle path that first day, surfboards in hand, listening to the sounds of the jungle, and feeling so tiny in comparison to it all and eventually coming out the other side onto a secluded beach, surrounded by palm trees and coconuts, to the sight of a perfectly peeling right hand point break.
Jungle walk to Burros
Before I knew it, we were siting on our boards in the warm twenty-eight degrees ocean, washing off the past twenty-four hours of travel, surfing a peeling, not so crowded, four foot clean right hander in our bikinis. I felt so far flung from the cold Atlantic ocean back home and I remember thinking at that moment in time, how grateful I am to be a surfer and to get to experience moments like this!  I couldn't believe our luck so far. The first day of a six week trip and I knew it was already going to be a trip to remember!

San Pancho

I remember when we arrived at San Pancho, which we soon learned was nicknamed san Francisco (it even had a little San Francisco bridge) and thinking, 'where is everyone?' We soon realised that it was a bit away from the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas (like the nearby town of Sauyiliata), which turned out to be a far better culture experience. It was just perfect! It took a while to figure out which direction everything was in, as all the cobble stone streets looked so similar, but it didn't take us long to discover the amazing beach and best places to indulge in the most delicious Mexican food. It was pretty easy to adjust to the slow-paced, laid back Mexican lifestyle and we soon resided to the fact that Mexican time was a totally different type of time! You would never see anyone rushing anywhere and everyone had time to stop and chat. Saying you'll see someone at a certain time usually meant a few hours after that..but it always seemed to just work out. It was so stress free and laid back.  Everyone was super friendly! In a nutshell, my experience of San Pancho, and Mexico in general, consisted of pretty empty lineups, friendly locals, crazy heat, coronas, the most beautiful sunsets you can imagine and not forgetting some random salsa dancing on the streets until the early hours of the morning. Somebody actually showed up with speakers one night while we were dancing and played Mexican salsa music and loads of people joined in. I don't think I've ever danced and laughed for so long in my life! We all jumped into the sea in the early hours of the morning and I remember the tiny sea lice were glowing in the moonlight and it was just pure magic! Needless to say, I fell in love with Mexico and the little town of San much so that I changed my flight to come home (twice), as did Ingrid, because we didn't want to leave until we absolutely had to!

San Pancho Chilling
San Pancho Sunset
The Surf

San Pancho and Burros
The waves in San Pancho were really good fun. It was a punchy and sometimes heavy beach break. More often than not I ended up flung onto the beach after a wipeout but the waves were always worth it. It was also fun to watch some of the locals absolutely ripping and boosting airs!
Burros was the wave that we went to on the first day, and returned to quite often as it was such a fun wave for long rides and to practice turns. Pictured below is one of the bad windy days but it was still super fun!


One of my favourite times in Mexico was when four of us went on a six-seven hour road trip south to find better waves. The heat was insane in the back of the Bocho but with several stops, which often consisted of us going to gas stations and standing in a fridge and buying ice, we survived! We stopped in a place called Arroyo Seco on the way down which was a really fun beach break and there was no-one else out in the water!! I felt so lucky! As this was just a quick stopover, for a break, we hopped back in the car feeling refreshed and headed for our next stop which was a wave called Pascuales! It was one of my favourite waves in Mexico. It's a super punchy and barelly beach break, with so many peaks that it never really felt crowded despite it being a more popular surf spot. We stayed there a couple of nights in hostel accommodation, although its just as easy to camp there too if you have a tent. Everyone just seemed so super friendly and laid back. I actually couldn't believe our luck. I soon gained the nickname Rojo, for my red hair and was been hooted into waves. We were meant to go home after a few days there, but we were buzzing so much with the surf and the swell that we decided to go further south to Michoacán state, to a spot called La Ticla.

Arroyo Seco 
Arroyo Seco
Arroyo Seco

La Ticla

Ticla. Photo: Cesar Corripio Rosado
La Ticla

Cabana with our new friend

We had heard so much about this beautiful remote place with the famous left hand peeling point break so we just decided to keep going. However it wasn't the safest thing I have ever done. Only afterwards, did I learn to understand that it was more dangerous than we realised at the time, with there being a much stronger presence of drug war crime  and drug cartel incidents in this area of Mexico.

The Drive to La Ticla
On the way to La Ticla, a massive thunderstorm brought heaps of rain, which was welcoming in the heat of the Bocho, but the it started to leak water in so we had to pull in. This meant we were driving at dusk, which was bound to be less safe. Sure enough, we soon got pulled over by the military police. I woke up from a snooze, staring at a machine gun, as the guard was asking questions to the guys through the car window. Then, not long after, we got pulled over by a member of the drug cartel on a bendy mountain valley road, not far from Ticla. That was more daunting as he had an even bigger gun, holes in his t- shirt, fake police car and even more questions! They guys just told us to be quiet and say nothing. It was scary thinking back and I feel that only for we had the two local guys with us we may not have been so lucky! We were told they could have done anything they wanted really! Anyway, when we eventually got to Ticla about six or seven hours later, we realised that it was all totally worth it! Ticla was everything I'd hoped it would be and way more!

Chilling in the hammock at La Ticla
To try to describe La Ticla, I feel I will never do it justice, but I shall try anyway. In short, I felt like I was in Jurassic Park, surrounded by the most spectacular mountains, and the greenest of jungles I'd ever seen, surrounded by the blue skies and green/blue ocean with pumping surf and it was literally in the middle of nowhere with hardly anything else around. There was a wave that broke from a river mouth, giving both a super fun right and left, which often made the water murky brown. I couldn't help but keep a look out for crocodiles sometimes! Then there was a super long left further down that just went on forever! Somedays, we surfed for four or five hours at a time. We stayed in a Cabana which kind of felt like we were outside, as it didn't have an actual proper roof, with mosquito nets over the beds at night. We had hammocks to chill out in and we were only about hundred metres from the surf and the only restaurant in the place that had the most amazing post surf breakfasts! We had no phone signal or internet for the six days or so that we were there. No connection to the outside world, which was actually awesome to be able to switch off! Our days consisted of surfing, eating, chilling in hammocks, telling stories, sleeping and repeating! However we did worry a few people back at home. My mother was starting to get worried and had some messages from my brothers too! I was only relieved that my snapchats of the journey stops on the way down didn't deliver to my friends and family just before we lost signal, because it would have created even more panic! 🙈 I was very sad to leave this magical place...because that's what it was, pure magical! It's definitely somewhere I'd love to revisit someday.

The right-hander at La Ticla. Photo by Carlos Tapia

Sand Blas - Santa Cruz - Stoners
Santa Cruz. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen

Santa Cruz. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
Plane wreckage at San Blas
Yet again, another amazing trip we did, with a friend and photographer, was to an area called San Blas. We first surfed a wave called Santa Cruz, which was a really amazingly fun, uncrowded left-hander, which apparently can get even better on its better days. We then scored another wave nearby, called Stoners, which has the potential to be one of my favourite waves in the world. Even though we only got it on a small day, the right-hander delivered fun barrels and long rippable walls. It was such fun day and was exciting to be surfing new empty spots.

Santa Cruz. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
Getting ready at Santa Cruz. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen

Stoners. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen

Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen

Stoners. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
Santa Cruz. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
Peurto Vayarta

Secret Spot. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen

We also  squeezed in another raodtrip near the end of our trip to the Puerto Vayarta area. Here, a photographer brought us to a completely uncrowded empty secret spot, a fairly big beach break. It was so epic and no-one but us out in the water, but at the same time it felt eery and sharky! It was a really fun day with some big sets rolling through and everyone was taking turns getting some big bombs, and also some memorable wipeouts.
Secret Spot. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
Secret Spot. Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen
It was good to have the guidance of someone who knew the spot. The currents were very strong and we each had our turn at being dragged a few hundred metres down the beach after a wave, and getting thrown up onto the beach, having to walk back and do it all over again. One of the bigger waves totally knocked everything I was wearing off and I had to hang onto everything and put it back on while waves were crashing over me. I was so relieved it wasn't a crowded line up!
Walk back up the beach after a sandy wipeout! Photo: Cesar De La Rosa Flippen


Another day we also hiked to a waterfall, where we came some ancient carvings in the rocks in the jungle. It was such a hot day for a walk but we were hugely rewarded when we got to this amazing little waterfall where we swam in it for hours! Yet again, this was another captivating and enchanting place that was hard to walk away from!

When I look back on my Mexican adventure, I count myself as being so lucky to have had an opportunity to experience so much. Between the place itself, the surf, the people, new friendships and so many memorable moments and experiences that were had, I feel it would be difficult to replicate the trip again, but that is the exciting thing about travelling, each and every trip is an opportunity for new and exciting experiences, which is what makes travelling such an adventure in itself. Both myself and Ingrid were definitely sad to say goodbye to our Mexican friends and to the town and people of San Pancho. Thanks to everyone there who made our trip one to remember! :)

Road Tripping

This little cutie

Chilling at Sunset in San Pancho
Last day in Mexico - We got skunked for waved but the sunset was on point! 

Thanks for reading! :)
If you want to see more of Mexico, check out the video link below, which is a snippet into only just two days of our trip. Next Blog will feature my recent trip to Morocco! Follow me in Instagram for update on this summers adventures to the Maldives, followed by the Mentawai Islands for two months! I'll tell you how and why in my summer blogs! :)