Friday, March 29, 2019

It Begins With A Beach ~ Other People's Vacation Photos

All of our diligence in preparing our new home for visitors is paying off!  We live in a wonderful Resort with a pool and a beach... of COURSE the first thing we're going to do when our friends from Texas arrived was to spend the day on the beach!

Honestly, I don't want to sound pretentious or fat-headed... We really are STILL pinching ourselves to remind us that this IS our real life.  We are so fortunate to have found this little bit of paradise that we call home... we just want to share it!

After a leisurely morning, we packed a small cooler with drinks and a lunch... then we walked down the sidewalk and out onto the beach.  "Which way to go?  Let's head west today, then we'll do the east tomorrow!"

We haven't measured the distance, but we have a LONG beach to walk!  
The perfect shade!  Just have to keep moving our camp as the sun arcs across the sky!
Our little cooler has wheels too small to make it easy to drag through the sand.  Adding to that, the towels and beach mats we brought along, the exertion was making us sweaty!  We took advantage of the first nice palm shade we found and made camp!

I took the first turn in the water, wading easily out past the wave break.  When I returned, everyone else went out!

We gathered some coconuts and later, opened one and ate it!

During my daughter's visit, we discovered these two leaning palms and decided that they would be perfect for making commemorative photos of our guests!  Everyone who visits must come for a photo shoot!  

What a perfect day to share with long-time friends!  It's a lot more fun to have people to hang out with.  We spent several hours playing around, then collected our stuff and headed back.  We have some systems to work out, but we'll get it!  Collecting sea glass, shells, and rocks all the way home, we returned to the villa tired, but happily planning tomorrow's expedition to the river!

Click Photo to see ALL of the pics from this day!
OK, moving right along.  Since we've lived here, Bruce and I have wanted to further our exploration of the beach past an area to the east where the brush meets the water's edge.  There are only two ways around it... either by wading through the water, or by finding a path through the brush on land.  We haven't tried too hard really, but with the added comfort in numbers, our easy stroll/sea glass hunt turned into a true expedition!

We found whole bunches of recently dead sand dollars washed up in the seaweed line

When we reached the natural barrier, we could easily have turned back leaving this last stretch of beach unexplored...but we decided to press on.  Robert found an obscure path through the trees, so we followed him.  Now I'm really wishing we had a machete... but this doesn't look too bad.  The path was definitely there.  Some human has come this way before, but not regularly enough to make it easy.  We had to climb over more than one fallen tree and got scratched a little by some overzealous tropical bushes.  The path wove in through the trees and back out to the beach again several times before we reached the river basin.

Suddenly we came out into a large flat area where the Rio Grande de Patillas has secondary streams running alongside the main river until it meets Bahia de Patillas.  The waves wash into the river making it brackish.

We could see signs of sealife making a splash and a ripple, and birds waded along the sides or floated on the calm waters further inland.

This was a big moment for Bruce and I.  Robert and Kathy have been our vacation companions going back many years, and we have always been far more intrepid in their company than we are on our own.  Robert is just one of those friends that you would pick to be stranded on a deserted island with, so we were confident that this day would end well!

Looking across the river to the Patillas side, there's a tractor over there and a couple of guys digging a hole...

Low cost nose-job!
Faint reddish cloud in the centre alerted us to this creature's presence.
This is not a great photo of the red ink we found in the shallows.  Before I could get my camera out and get close enough to get a good one, the creature ran out of ink!

I was thinking it must be an octopus trying to frighten us away, but it turned out to be something else.

Later investigation confirms my second assumption... the nudibranch (aka sea slug or sea hare).  Before today, I had no idea that they had the ability, like the octopus, to eject ink for protection.

Headed back
We waded the shallows and combed the beaches looking for treasures until hunger drove us home.  This time we were travelling light, no food or drink to keep us going.  Our confidence level allowed wading on the return trip, although there was one deeper area where we went back into the brush.  Somehow we missed the path and ended up much further inland than we intended, so our return trip was truly an exploration.  Add to list:  purchase machete

Robert found this awesome conch! He sure wanted it, but there was a critter inside so he returned it to the water...
Click the photo to see all of this day's photos!
We continued to find creatures along the way home.  That conch was stunning and perfect.  Robert never takes live creatures, but he sure wanted that one.  He sort of sulked about it for a while, but in the end, he and Kathy found ample treasures to add to their massive collection of vacation mementos.

Our beach provided the perfect start to our reunion.  Having someone to show it to, increases our own enjoyment of the riches we are so lucky to possess.  Other People's Vacation Photos Puerto Rico ~ to be continued...

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