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Published: August 9th 2017
Neil here, reporting live (except for the time between I write this and the time I upload it, which will probably be weeks) on the rocks by the sea, slightly south of Sayulita in Playa Los Muertos. I chose a random dirt road to get here as I was leaving town. It went towards the ocean, so.. DUH.. I followed it. When I arrived at the ocean, near a palm frond hut thingy and a few other cars, the guy asked me for $20MX to park for 20 minutes or so. Then I walked out onto these very rocks upon which I sit to hang out briefly with a couple guys from up north who were on a bike trek. We smoked a little weed and talked about traveling and the beach. What else do you talk about? I asked the guy running the place if it was cool if I camped there in my tent; he said, "What are you like? Are you cool? Do you smoke weed or what?" Obviously we became friends and he said to stay for a few days or whatever, no extra charge. There is something unique about this area, a certain je ne sais quoi. There are so many places that are unspoiled, apparently untouched, right on the ocean.
Unfortunately this experience ended on a bad note. The guy ended up getting high on meth and getting angry at me for no apparent reason in the middle of the night. I left swiftly because I didn't want to get stabbed. I also got threatened by an unrelated individual with a stun gun the night before on the beach for no reason. I think he was high on meth too. Don't do meth, kids. Smoke weed instead!
I'm told that the drug cartels (Narcos) are very influential here, although you can't tell. They have clout, but don't really fuck with tourists; we're part of their customer base. As long as you don't infringe on their territory, you won't have a problem. Don't try to sell drugs, or your severed head might end up floating onshore with the coconuts. This is my impression anyway.
Monkey Mountain is a rare treasure that deserves its own big-ass paragraph. If you're in Nayarit, fucking go here. From the limited interet information I could find, it seemed that hiring a guide was necessary, potentially deadly if you don't. I took most of a day making a few calls and driving all over asking locals in the vicinity (many of them didn't know about this place) to find a guide. Finally in Sayulita, I found Manuel who gave me a good feeling right away (we touched penises). I returned to Sayulita the next afternoon with Miila (from Finland, random friend from San Pancho beach) to go for this trek. We were joined by two other lovely Mexican girls. Manuel drove us in his truck through many unmarked, circuitous and bumpy dirt roads to the entrance. This is not a long walk, but it is a bit arduous. I suppose it took 1.5 hours to get to the top of this mountain, and we huffed and puffed nearly the entire way. They've tied ropes to the trees in some places so you can pull yourself up. You gotta do some serious up. I had seen a lot of this area, the towns surrounding the Bay of Banderas, but I had never seen it all at once; it's a breathtaking way to see this land. I didn't realize until he started preparing it, but Manuel had brought some fresh fish with him to cook for us... Just take that in. Freshly caught, freshly cooked fish at the top of a motherfucking mountain. He also lit up a joint for us to share. Picture it in your mind.... The real experience is way better than your shitty picture, ya dingus :D Just kidding, I love you. We took pictures, ate the fish and talked for a bit. Such an intoxicated evening. Manuel explained that he and his friends would do this for fun when they realized they could make a little money bringing travelers along. I was surprised that we waited until dark to leave the mountain. It was a bit dangerous, but we persevered. We saw bugs who's eyes light up green in the night, hundreds of fireflies, a wee baby scorpion smaller than your finger tip, giant spiders AAAANNNDDD.... Richard Simmons! Imagine that! Manuel charged us about $20USD per person. He got a tip.
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