We had planned a few days away from Puerto Vallarta and Juan Carlos found time to drive us first east to Pitillal, a wonderful real Mexican town. We walked into the church and spotted a spiral stairway up to the bell tower. A young girl appeared offering to be our guide so up we went to be eye level with huge church bells and a great view of the city and beyond. Then lunch of birria, stewed goat meat, served as a soup or tacos or atop chiliquiles. I had seen a shop of religious manger scenes, nacimientos, and wanted to stop. What a trip!
Then on to Sayulita which we had not visited for many years. It is a surfing town full of hippies and great shops and restaurants. The gallery that Juan Carlos runs in Puerto Vallarta shows the work of native Huichol people, beaded sculptures and yarn paintings in fantastic colors. And this is one of states where these wonders are created.
Two days in Sayulita and we made our way a little further north to San Pancho, an even smaller surfer town. No super market, just the fruit and vegetable truck, lovely murals along the beach and stunning sunset.