There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beach. Show all posts

11 April 2017

Guanacaste

Costa Rica would be the first country I would attempt to enter after being denied entry in Montreal. That bitter feeling combined with high anxiety levels were on full display as I approached passport control.

Nothing felt as sweet as hearing the click of the stamp coming down, and the big smile on the officer's face as he stated "Welcome to Costa, pura vida!".
It's dark, almost midnight, as my taxicab drives through the countryside to my hotel in Guanacaste. I've no idea what type of area I'll be in until morning. I check into the unassuming hotel and fall asleep quickly, dreaming of what will come in the morning.

I arise to the salty ocean smell, yet I can't see the water. At breakfast, I ask a young man which way to the beach. He smiles warmly and points down the road.

I start walking. I'm not in a hotel zone with throngs of tourists, nor a busy beachside city. It's a laid back and quiet little town with hostels and hotels hidden in the lush jungle, a store here and many a local's home there.

I come to the beach.
There are no annoying people bombarding you to buy wares or hook you up with things you don't want to do. Everyone is just enjoying themselves. I wander around from sunrise to sunset, sleep in the sand, find a shack to eat ceviche when hungry, a bar to quench my thirst.
Guanacaste province is the perfect starting place in Costa Rica. Let the sailboats gently rock in the morning sun as one falls in love with this country.
******

05 November 2016

Bowling Ball Beach

My mind is a curious wonder, is yours? 

No two are alike
naked as our bodies in the moonlight
against wet rocks crawling with desire and creatures of the night.
A bridge is built from makeshift driftwood
toes grip tightly until the soft sand
relaxes your skin
your senses
your former self.
Hidden stones under the skirt of the ocean
slowly are revealed with time
and patience.
I read the story of a madman
a murderer
a lost soul.
I find it strangely comforting out here
in the vast and open allure
of Nature.

01 October 2016

Schooner Gulch

He parks next to an old VW bus with brightly colored dancing bears on the rear window. It's barely eight AM and the curtains are drawn closed. He quietly skirts around the sleeping occupants and hits the trail head.
The sky is overcast, the ocean a faint roar as he starts walking down under the protection of the forest.

He reaches the Pacific sooner than anticipated, and find a makeshift hut of driftwood housing a surfing couple. Their wet suits are hanging on sticks, toes visible under warm blankets.
Schooner Gulch has the air of something special about to happen, he wonders if he'll be a witness to the magic.
The tide is high. Scrambling to higher ground on the rocks whose tips are still showing until he finds a perch that will keep him dry.

A lone gull watches him with bemusement. He stares back until the bird flies off. The kelp is slowly moving like a giant prehistoric animal among the incoming waves.

After a spell, he hikes to the top of the cliffs and finds a sandy spot. It's a perfect locale to set up and watch for whales to the West as the fog rolls across the hills to the East.
The stop motion of the shutter gives him time to explore the subtle nuances of plant life that cling to the crags along the cliffs edge. The sun has yet to make an appearance, and so all of life is captured in black and white.
It's a contrast that fits the day, and the area. A hard and lonely life for the inhabitants here, but the weary look and weather beaten wrinkles of time can not dissuade the peacefulness you find.
Mendocino County.
Norcal.
The Pacific Ocean.
Schooner Gulch.

Only memories remain.

13 November 2015

Cancun

I was told that the place I was staying at in Cancun's hotel zone had the best beach in the area. I would walk in the wet sand most evenings and just take in the surroundings.

Couples holding hands, children laughing, millionaires making out with big breasted women in the shallows of giant yachts.
The water was always smooth, never a rough surf. I wade in the clear blue ocean, letting the salty wonder lap over my sun kissed skin.

I head to the bar when thirsty or hungry, and then slowly make my way back to the beach chair.
Best beach in the area? Who knows, but one thing is for certain...
the beach was better than being trapped in a kitchen doing dishes.

30 June 2015

Isla Mujeres

I could see the passenger boats cruising past me, seemingly every hour or two, before disappearing into the ocean blue.

"Amigo, they are going to Isla Mujeres, the island of women. Si, you should go!"

The dock was only a mile down the road, so I stuff my pack back with essentials, and head down to the pier to catch the next boat.

The breeze cools the nap of my neck as I sit in the ocean side bar waiting to board. I see the allure of the beach life.

As the boat pushes back from the dock, the ocean water transforms into various shades of azure blue, hypnotizing me as we make our way to the Island. A local recommended renting a golf cart, as it is the easiest way to get around.
It's paradise, pure and simple. I quickly maneuver the one way streets and get my bearings straight, then hit beach after beach. A drink here, a bite to eat there, you go at your own pace as time stands still here.
Local iguanas become my fixation, as the variety here is endless. I try to count the different types I see, but the incoming lullaby of soft waves breaks my concentration.
Oh Isla Mujeres, you had me at "Island of Women".


01 February 2015

low tide at Playa Bandera

It's low tide as I pull into the dusty parking lot of Playa Bandera. There is a man in a beach chair with his sombrero pulled down over his eyes, sleeping in the mid day sun. Business is slow, but that seems to be par for the course in this desolate area I've stumbled upon.

A few locals are enjoying drinks near the man, but the rest of the beach is wide open and empty. I wander over to the far side, where there are only sea gulls and strange ocean carcasses left to dry rot in the endless sun.
The water is refreshingly cool as I walk in the never ending paradise. I stumble upon the occasional sea creature, but they are scared by my shadow and dart off quickly.
The bread crumbs that remain in my backpack become a feast for the local birds. They entertain as I lazily sit in the soft sand and watch them squawk and scurry for a morsel.

The stillness has me hypnotized as the wind softly blows.

A shell is cracked open in a heart shape, and the beauty of this one image causes a tear to roll down my sun kissed cheek. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

Perhaps.
To me, every hour of the day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.

10 January 2015

playa El Tecolote

As I reached the city of La Paz, I knew it wasn't going to be my final destination. The town was nice enough, but with the hustle and bustle of the work day happening, I wanted to find a more blissful and solitary location.

So I found the coastal highway, and followed it out of town. Everything disappeared as I went over the mountains, and the road was winding around cactus landscapes and run down seaside bars and surf shops.

I kept driving until it was only me on the highway. In the desert, I see a man riding a bike with a dog running alongside. I make out the shapes of a building or two in the distance.
As I pull up closer and park the car in the empty lot, it seems like another run down and abandoned seaside shanty. Slowly though, a few people emerge to check out the new arrival. I've found the hidden gem of El Tecolote.
A place where white beaches meet up against the Baja mountains. Isolation is the name of the game here in this paradise. RV campers are hidden in the sand dunes, their patrons in beach chairs with a book and a beer. As I walk past I get a hand raised in acknowledgement, then they go back to being lost in literature.
A young boy has drawn an incredibly detailed piece of art into the sand. He calls for his Mother to come out from the local bar they own to see his masterpiece before the incoming tide washes it away. She smiles at his work with the appreciation only a parent has, then goes back inside.
I carry on down the beach, making it as far as one can go. I observe a lone vulture overhead, scouring for a meal.

The crashing of the waves lulls me to sleep and dream the peaceful thoughts that come with worry free days.

30 December 2014

Playa Cerritos

Cruising on down the Baja California Sur highway, enjoying whales breaching to my right, and the beautiful Mexican landscape to my left. The worries of the work world are melting away with each passing kilometer.

In the corner of my eye I spot what appears to be a mosque built on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the ocean. I slow down and look for the unmarked dirt road so that I can explore further.

The dirt road leads to a surf camp and recreational vehicle park, with a smattering of personalities strewn about...American surfers sitting around a fire, Canadian travelers in their RVs drinking Tecate or Corona, people in tents looking to live off the grid, etc....

I wave as I pass each one, with friendly salutations given in return. Their are no judgments found here, as we all seem to be striving for the same thing.....freedom to just live the way we want.

The mosque building is actually a hotel, although the owners are about to go out of business. I park on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific and hike down to the water.
The tide is coming in as I get closer to the shore. All manner of crabs are scrambling on the rocks, bracing for the impact of the waves as they crash upon them. I see the remaining shells of crabs that lost this never ending battle with the ocean.

As I'm focusing on a particularly colorful monster crab, I pay no attention to the waves until it is too late. With a loud crack the wave slams against the rock and drenches both myself and the crab. Of course I'm taking a video during the whole ordeal, and the scene is captured in all of it's mundane brilliance.
I laugh uncontrollably as I take off my shirt and shorts and pin them to the car windows to dry off in the sun as I rest in Playa Cerritos.

29 December 2014

playa El Mirador

Without much stress, I use my own internal compass to find Highway 19 out of Cabo, and before I know it, I'm cruising along the BCS coast toward the town of Todos Santos.

It's a little over an hour, and with the window rolled down and the music turned way up, I relish the tingling feeling of sun burnt skin.

The town, not without it's subtle charm, doesn't have the "it" factor I was looking for. The Hotel California stationed here seems more to trap tourists than having any historical or musical significance. I'm somewhat bummed, and start to head back....

Only a couple miles outside of town, and a car heading the opposite direction on the highway suddenly veers off onto a dirt road, and disappears. The urge to follow is a strong one.

I reason that if my head is to become severed and put on a stick by drug dealers and left in the Mexican desert for vultures, it will happen regardless....so I turn quickly down the same dirt road.
The other car is nowhere to be seen. I find old, abandoned buildings in various stages of decay. I can hear the ocean but can't see it as the desert brush and cacti obscure all view. At a crossroads in the dirt, a weathered sign has the words "El Mirador" painted on.

I follow until the sand looks too deep for my little rental car to enter without getting stuck. I park and look around me....

The beach is perhaps fifty yards away. I cautiously step to avoid a chance encounter with a rattler, and find myself completely alone on a pristine sandy beach with massive ocean waves from the incoming tide.
I run like a wild horse, kicking my feet in the water and screaming to the pelicans overhead. Shoes leave my feet, and the freedom that only childhood holds floods my body, if only for a little while.
The smile from such an unexpected discovery stays with me the rest of the day, as I look for more little dirt roads to explore.

27 December 2014

stopping the clock in Cabo

"Do you remember the name of the town Red? a little place right on the Pacific?"

"Zihuatanejo."

Those words have been rattling around in my head for twenty years, with dreams of seeing for myself the bluest waters sparkling from the Mexican sun. The plane touches down and my feet step onto the earth of the Baja California Sur.
Days are filled finding dirt roads that lead to uninhabited beaches, colorful sunrises and sunsets to rival any artist's palette, observing life under the surface of the mighty Pacific. All of those stories are to be forthcoming, but for now, lets set the mood...
Cabo San Lucas....


12 June 2014

All Hail the Elephant Seal!

As one approaches the sea, you can hear the loud, deafening roar closing in.

Not the sound of crashing waves, it's much more barbaric. It's Nature in it's most primal, male elephant seals fighting for dominance and their choice of mating partners. The young lay in silence, frightened but watching and learning from their elders. You see the survivalist instinct unfold, and it's incredible.
Not all are fighting for seniority to be atop the seal throne though. Young adults find more pleasure in surfing with the ocean waves, letting the spray crash upon their smooth back.
Females seem to simply ignore the show the males are putting on, more concerned with basking on the warm sand. Typical behavior.....
It's a community as vibrant and full of life as any other. From the largest and loudest to infants that fully rely on others for protection and food, the Elephant Seal Vista gives us humans a fantastic opportunity to observe these wonderful creatures.
Enjoy the majesty of 7,500 elephant seals.

 

24 March 2014

Sunset Cliffs

Trepidation set in almost immediately from the warning signs posted about as one approached the edge. The constant battle between the moon and our oceans is ever changing this world. One misstep and the earth would give way to the water below.
Prehistoric flocks of pelicans pass I imagine B-52's bombers of old would have over Hiroshima. Eyes locked and focused, intent with a greater purpose than of mere survival.

I never feel more at peace with the world than when I am hypnotized by the timeless and never ending sound of ocean waves breaking upon the shore.
I breathe in the salty, let the reverberating crash of the waves penetrate my skin and soon thereafter, my soul.


26 November 2013

how crabs awoke my conscience

It was the night of June 23rd, 2013 when the SuperMoon broke free of the heavy clouds over the Indian Ocean and bathed us in it's light.
Crabs could easily be spotted running in the moonlight from rock to rock, skittering crazily along in the sand. A couple of the guys decided to dig a hole. I didn't pay much attention to them, as the moon was mesmerizing....

"Look at them go!"  I heard one of the guys shout. I wandered over to see what all the commotion was......
to discover they had caught two crabs, put them in the hole to watch them fight Gladiator style.

I watched for a few until I felt a sharp pain in my chest.

Heart attack?

No, just my conscience rearing up, making me feel sick about what I was witnessing. It wasn't right, it just seemed cruel.

I walked away, out towards the ocean waves with the SuperMoon as my guiding light.

06 September 2013

Isla Verde

I've dreamt of the Caribbean since I was a wee child.
Crystal clear blue waters and sugary sand to sink my toes into.
Sun that heals the heart as it burns your skin.
A cold drink in your hand, the condensation runs down your fingers.
Local girls pass by, smiling with their brown eyes.
Your toes tingle and curl.
Isla Verde, Puerto Rico.
A commonwealth, a paradise, my home for a moment in time.