Rallies in Rincon de Guayabitos, Nayarit, Mexico
Rincon de Guayabitos is quite likely not a place that has been on your radar, unless perhaps you are from Mexico. You have likely heard of it's neighbor, Puerto Vallarta which is just about an hour south. Rincon de Guayabitos is a beautiful partially protected harbor with many hotels that line the beaches abutting the very warm waters of the Pacific. We drove the 200 miles due west from Chapala in about four hours. Portions of the well maintained Highway 15 and 15D are toll roads which add up to just over $15. As you approach the ocean, the vegetation becomes lush and verdant. After having spent the last two months in dry and dusty weather, you could hear my skin sucking in the moisture!
In late May, due to the heat and humidity only a few expats seemed to be around, but there were lots of Mexicans flowing in to the town to stay at the plentiful hotels, Airbnbs and inns, and to enjoy the beautiful beaches and many restaurants. It is a weekend excursion destination for Mexicans coming from the nearby cities of Guadalajara and Tepic.
The beach was lively and fun - families everywhere, but it was not crowded at all. And the seafood - fresh & delicious... even if you are with someone who doesn't like pickleball, they have to love the seafood. And well, if they don't play pickleball and they don't eat seafood, it might be time to question.... just joking, they have great margaritas too! Something for everyone.
It is not a place renowned for it’s pickleball status (yet), but you can find courts and players there. We were fortunate to meet Edgar Roberto Gomez Torres. He kindly answered my email after tracking him down through some expats who had already left for the season. He offered to play with us, and to see if he could find some of the other four or five locals who regularly play to round out a foursome.
The courts are on land owned and controlled by a government office. They were approached by a group of expats and the officials gave their necessary blessing to build courts on the site next to the tennis courts that were already there. Those players donated some money and wedged the four pickleball courts between the tennis courts and an old unused bocci court, which is bounded by a jungle-like forest. There has been talk of removing the bocci court and adding one or two more pickleball courts. Apparently, there can be quite a waiting line during peak season. That seems to be a consistent theme for Mexican pickleball. The founders ask for donations to play, to cover the cost of equipment and balls.
It seems that most Mexicans who play pickleball, unlike the large and growing retired crowd in the U.S. and Canada, are young and still working, and they may also have young families. Therefore, when the snowbirds leave, there is usually only a small contingent left to play.
Until the sport grows more in Mexico, and the abuelos and abuelas begin to play, there will continue to be a shortage of people to play with in the off season. However, that doesn't stop anyone who is determined from finding some good games with someone fun like Edgar. He let us know that he was unsuccessful at finding a fourth player, which we assured him was okay.
Edgar arrived on his motorcycle at 7:45 am after dropping his six year old son off at school. We had a chance to practice our Spanish with him, and then we warmed up with some usual drills, dinking, third shot drops, deep serves, deep returns, 3 shot drops, etc. After Ky and I got our old muscles warmed up, we began playing cutthroat. We had a blast. Young legs, ones conditioned previously by playing a lot of tennis, prevailed though. Despite the fact that the two guys were playing full court and I was only playing half court, they both still beat me! Humbling to say the least, but I did score some points and kept them from scoring, many fulfilling times ;-)
Edgar looked great in the hat that we passed on from Carlos in Chapala. And now, Edgar has at least two reasons to visit the town to the east - to say thanks for the hat from his amigos de Chapala, and to get in some better competition than two old foreigners could give him. ¡Gracias por los juegos Edgar. Nos divertimos mucho!
If you go:
Google Maps plus code: 2PJR+99 Rincón de Guayabitos, Nayarit
Contact info at: https://www.places2play.org/place?id=5574
Rates: 50 Pesos/day;200 Pesos/week;500 Pesos/month; 1,000 Pesos/year Fees are to
maintain & build future courts .