So, How Far is the Beach?

Well, I’ve been writing about all the amazing experiences we’ve been having here in Bahia Asuncion and the list has gotten longer with lots more to tell. But before I can get onto all the other things, I just have to stop and highlight the best, most incredibly awesome attraction that exists around here, and that is the beaches. Here is a completely inadequate description and pictures of three areas we have now explored, each very different from the others and each a delight to discover.

Shell Beach:

This area, for some reason known only to scientists and maybe the wise local people, is covered, and I mean covered completely, in gorgeous white seashells for several miles.  They number in the millions, they make up the ground, the sand and the cliffs and they must have taken centuries to pile up in the amazing formations along this beach. They are even lodged in rocks in a permanent way, impossible to break off or pick up. You need a hat with a wide brim and dark sunglasses to keep from being blinded while walking this beach and the crunch under your sandals is continuous.  And because the cliffs are made up of sand and shells, they break off in fantastic formations, leaving you gasping and awestruck as you walk by. It quickly becomes obvious that even though there might be much needed shade under these fragile formations, they would not be the best place to stop for lunch.

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Chorros Beach:

Home to surfers, both local and professionals, this beach is breathtaking. After a tooth-grinding ride on a very, very washboard sand road in which you are in mortal danger of becoming stuck (the sand is like snowdrifts and sucks in vehicles with a vengeance), you finally get to follow the local directions and make a right hand turn “at the tires” (two tires kept upright by a big branch) onto another sand road. Another half-mile of careful sand drift driving brings you to within walking distance of the wild west coast of the ocean and Chorros Beach (not that there’s any kind of indication that this stretch of beach has a name; it’s just that the verbal descriptions match what you are seeing. Sort of).  You grab your stuff and head off to the bluffs. The sight that greets you takes your breath away in one big swoop. Wow. Who knew such beauty existed. Paradise.

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A walk up the hill brings you to a very old “vigilante” shack which is the name of a now deserted hut on the tip of a point. Apparently, the fishing co-op posts lookouts whose job it is to watch out for poaching fishermen. This hut was a lookout post in the past. Now, it is a lonely shack which stands silently on a peninsula.

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And the neighbours are awesome too.

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Chorro Beach, altogether a gorgeous place.

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The Way to San Roque:

And finally, our favorite beach that starts with our rock shelter and goes to (and beyond) a fishing camp called San Roque.  This beach walk starts only ten minutes from the Inn where we are parked and so we go there often. We have a secret path with which we get down to the beach from the cliffs and then we’re there.

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This beach is different from the other two, and even different in its own various parts as you continue walking.  We notice this because every time we go, we walk further. This sounds simple but only if you know what you’re doing.

In a place like Bahia Asuncion, we trailer trash do not get radio, TV, news reports and few weather reports. Likewise, there are no tidal charts and not even reliable maps. Therefore, you look out at the sea, gauge the feel of the wind and the look of the clouds and even discuss how full the moon will be the coming evening. And to judge the tide, you think about how it was yesterday at a certain time and compare it with the present moment.

All of this is important because on the San Roque beach walk, you can be cut off from getting home by the tide. Yep, cut right off. You (especially if you are a dumb gringo) can be cheerfully walking along on the beach, marvelling at the beauty and beachcombing without a care until you decide it’s time to head back. So you turn around and start walking, still having a ball. All of a sudden, oops. Look at this set of big rocks. What, the water is right up to them? Covering them? Where’s the beach we walked on? UNDER THREE FEET OF WATER? Covered by roaring surf? And where’s help when you need it? Ha, sorry, amigo. We’re all two miles away. You’re on your own out here, just you and those huge, very freaking huge waves. Oh oh.

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Well.  If you get into this situation, your options are now to climb huge pointy wet rocks and hope not to get sprayed or pulled back into the surf or worse,  climb fifty foot disintegrating-under-your-feet cliffs and walk back along the hot dusty ravine- filled road. Hmmm. Let’s watch the tide. Carefully.

And so it goes. By knowing what you’re doing, you can still have a fabulous time on this beach. After one near misadventure (yes, we climbed the big pointy rocks) we now are pretty good at it and so our adventures continue.

Yesterday, we found a dead seal lion. Yuck. Today, we found a trap with six live lobster in it. Last week, we discovered an area where the rocks change, all of a sudden, from black to a beautiful sand colour, all within two feet of each other. Inexplicable. This morning, we saw a moonscape like no other. We’ve found sea caves, monstrous breaks in the rocks, sea urchins, gorgeous tidal pools, amazing sea shells, little rocks of all colours and any number of other awesome things. But the pictures tell it all. Walking the edge here is truly gorgeous. Enjoy.

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