Scenes from Saladita

Like a scene out of Point Break: Long standing rivalry came to blows out in the water on Monday morning. Frederico and Ryan went for the same wave, exchanged words and then punches. As we sat eating lunch at Tony’s, we saw the state police trucks roll out with Ryan and his surfboard in the back. Later that day, Ryan had been bailed out of jail and was back out on the beach to tell  the story of the fight blow by blow. At first, our reaction was of disbelief that a gringo would pick a fight with a local. We later find out that over the past couple of years, Frederico has earned himself a bad reputation for his ability to play well with others. Frederico’s girlfriend is the daughter of a very influential man in town. Ryan left the country shortly after the fight.

Waves roll in at Saladita

Our friend Curtis filled us in on the local history: Every bit of development that we see in Saladita has come in the past 12 years, and most of it in the past 5 or 6 years. It’s hard to imagine that life here was nearly identical to the 1900’s only a decade ago. There wasn’t so much as an outhouse. Now there are five restaurants and places to rent a palapa or a bungalow. Recently built houses line the beach, ranging from tasteful to gargantuan. Some have palapas with hammocks, some have immense green lawns that look out of place in front of the ocean. Infinity pools overlooking the ocean seem to be the standard. Some properties have drilled wells, but others must truck in all the water that they use.

We started out camping at Curtis’ house, where we left the camper while John took a work trip to Florida. The trip to Zihuatanejo was very smooth, and we had arranged with a local guy Hubert for a ride back to Saladita. Within 100 yards of exiting the airport, I had a cold Barrilito in hand and flip flops on my feet, feeling the hot air rush by through the truck window (yes, that is legal here). When we returned, we were welcomed home by a refrigerator gone warm, oozing putrid juice and squirming with maggots. Note to self: don’t ever, ever leave meat in the freezer and your camper in the Mexican sun.

We were lucky to time our visit to match up with our friend Curtis from Santa Cruz. His parents were also visiting, as well as Emilio and Miguel from Guanajato. Curtis, Emilio and Miguel worked on various projects at the house each day and then prepared it for the rainy season. After a few days with Curtis, we moved down to Paco’s palapas for 50 pesos, per person per night. While the view of a cultivated field from the shower window was lovely, toilet seats seemed to be optional. We’re not really sure what the deal is with the hit-or-miss presence of toilet seats. At Paco’s dogs chased and barked at the free ranging horses throughout the night. The next day we moved down to Casa de Olas (house of waves) and arranged with Angel to camp behind the building for 60 pesos per day.

View from the balcony of Casa de Olas

At first we weren’t sure what to make of Saladita. We felt a weird vibe from certain folks, especially as we asked around about camping. After settling in, we’ve found the friendlier establishments and we have met some very friendly people too. Curtis’ neighbor Tim is certainly one of them. Quite the character, Tim is easy to find when you get to Saladita. Just look for a man in a speedo walking five dogs and a goat.

Priscilla the goat, aka Tim's girlfriend.

Don't let the fence fool you, this horse and several others roam freely down the beach and into people's yards.

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