Barra de Potosí

Last weekend Saladita was a complete mess in the water. Waves jumbled in from different directions and the bigger swell was too much for the exposed spot to handle. A little bird told John to check out Barra de Potosí because it has shelter from the southern aspect. The wave has to wrap around a huge headland and ends up peeling down the north side of the headland while SE winds blow offshore until the early afternoon.

The whole cove was breaking – probably four waves in all. The first wave started on the outside point, nearly a mile away from the parking lot. Some other shortboarders were sitting about 300m inside of them and catching waves right across the rock shore. Then another 200m inside of them John sad to catch the first meaty peak of the larger set waves. This peak set up a firing left that peeled, top to bottom, all of the way into the rivermouth, about 400m or more. John wrote in his journal, “Many of the big waves never let up and I stayed on the nose of the 9’8’‘ for 100m or longer. I remember riding just below these feathering lips, with 5 or 10 on the nose. If everything worked out right with the wave, all sections connected until the big closeout into the rivermouth slop. Sometimes I had to really work for it to paddle back out again. A few times I had to start from scratch, paddling out around the fourth wave – the rivermouth sandbar.”

Clean swell wrapping around the headland

In front of the beach at Barra de Potosí

Inside break at Barra de Potosí

John convinced Dave and Steve at the House of Waves to join us on the trip. We loaded the four longboards on top of Dave’s truck and headed to Zihuatanejo. Barra de Potosí is just south of the airport, at the end of a new road. We found the beach lined with palapas and some weekend Mexican tourists. The expats said the surf was the best they’d seen in 10 years (or maybe 2 years, depending on who you talked to).

The rivermouth at Barra de Potosí. Large waves washed several tourists down the beach.

One by one surfers from our group and others from Saladita trickled out of the water and we enjoyed a lunch at Neto’s on the beach. We managed to sample the wares of nearly every food vendor who approached us while we waited for an eternity for our food. I still marvel at the cultural phenomenon of food vendors cruising right up into restaurants without a problem all over Mexico. I for one certainly won’t complain that Jesus walks right up to your table to deliver crunchy, sweet churros. My first churro in Mexico, in fact! Or that coconut ice cream cones, fried plantains, and peanuts rounded out the meal. Also roving the beach front were various musicians. When El Hombre Orquestra meandered over, there was no way we could refuse a song. Fifty pesos later, we listened to a unique rendition of Oye Como Va played on cowbells, pan pipes, whistles and harmonicas.

El Hombre Orquestra charges fifty pesos per song

Jesus the churro man


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