Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Beach Walk to Punta Guilarte

Each Beachwalk is unique...
We may walk this beach a thousand times...
But no two will be the same!

We're working hard to keep balance in our lives.  With the sale of the boat behind us, our mental and physical resources are freed from past constraints and we're trying to restructure our lives in our new home.

You might protest: "But you've lived in Puerto Rico for a YEAR!" Yes, that is true!  But in that year, we've had so much to do... it is only just now that we're finally able to establish our new "normal".  And our new routines MUST include a balance of productivity AND fun!

So while the past two weeks have been full of painting walls, scraping paint off of the floor tiles, and hanging pictures... we're taking a breather and having some of that FUN!  Living right on the beach... that's an easy thing to do!

After consulting the calendar and finding the entire day free... we thought about what we should do. Being out of Haas Avocados (a daily part of my diet...) we figured it was a good day for a visit to Sam's Club in Ponce.  but first, a nice, long walk on the beach for some fun and exercise would fill the morning hours nicely!

Stepping out onto the sand, we could see showers over the mountains to the east.  But we figured they would either slip behind us, or not be bad enough to deter our walk even if they do catch us!  So we set off walking briskly, our stride punctuated now and then by pieces of sea glass in our path.

We didn't get very far before that rain caught up to us. And it was a little heavier than we expected, causing us to flee into the palm forrest in search of a dry place to wait it out!

The palm forest is always a quiet and magical place.  We stepped off of the sand onto the fallen leaves, looking around for a place that didn't look too wet.  The canopy doesn't stop all of the rain, but it's better than just standing out in it full force!  I laughed as the consolidated raindrops fell on my hat with a heavy thump!

As soon as the rain let up, the sun came out again, although there were intermittent clouds passing through to keep temperatures down.  This time of year is our favorite.  While the internet is full of photos and videos of snow piling up on everything, it is most delightfully cool here!

Cool is a relative term, I remind you.  Anything under 80° is considered cool in MY book!  During the "winter" months, the breeze here is so nice, and we can turn off our air conditioner and enjoy the fresh air.  It's not too hot to go out wandering, even in the direct sunlight!  It reminds me of how I used to feel back in Texas when, after a long, hot summer, we finally felt the first hint of Fall.  That's how it feels here all winter!

So anyway, continuing on.  We left the shelter of the palms and continued on to our next stop.  We are always happy to see that our two leaning palms have not fallen into the sea!  I find it impossible to pass this spot without a mini photo shoot!  Today was no different, and I had remembered to bring my new tripod with remote shutter control!

Yes... that's a KISS!
It was really funny as I realized the limitations of the remote shutter controller.

I put Bruce in position, then I go make sure the phone's camera display is catching what I want... then I take my place beside him and use the remote to capture the shot.

Then I run back and make sure it worked. I thought it would be fun to take a "kissing" photo... an activity of which Bruce wholeheartedly approves!!!

Problem was, for some reason, none of the kissing shots would take!  After many, many retakes... (no complaints from Bruce for once...) I finally figured it out.

The remote couldn't activate the camera through the palm tree trunk!  So once I switched it to my left hand, it worked fine!  Sorry Bruce... fun is OVER!

When I finally had what I wanted, we picked up our gear and made the call....  This is normally where we decide whether to turn back, or to press on.  With the whole morning at our disposal, we were both in favor of checking out the point, so we set off with purposeful steps to the west!

The sandy beach narrows for a distance and there are fewer tall palm trees in the forest.  So many of these trees have either fallen, or are in a precarious position that suggests that falling in imminent... we're always surprised to see some of them still hanging in there!

We find a lot of other types of trees, with less hardy root structure, that have succumbed to the forces of nature, and in a long stretch of the beach, the waters wash right up to the forest.  This requires some wading on our part if we want to get around and finish our trek to the point.  But it adds an element of almost-danger to it that makes it that much more fun!  We patiently time our quick hops around the obstructions with the advancing and retreating waves.  Sometimes we get caught by a big one that leaves us standing in water up to our thighs!!!

Not ALL of the obstructions are nature-made!

The skinny part of the beach eventually widens out again, and we are able to continue on without further difficulty.  Along the way, we find these big blocks of some long-forgotten structure.  Because they are made of rough brick, cement and rocks, with the remains of wooden beams running through sections, we assume that this was once part of a dock or maybe a wall.  They certainly don't appear to be any sort of modern construction, and we're lost in wondering what they were. There are so many ruins of sugar mills on this island.  Maybe these are part of some old mill... We may never know.

Looking back towards our home from Punta Guilarte!
Finally we reach the open point and there, the rain catches us again!

While I stood in the rain, Bruce wandered back up the beach in search of shelter.  This was just a brief shower, so I just held my ground, much more interested in seeing what kind of pictures I cold get of these birds.  I waited until they landed, then slowly... step by step... I crept closer.  They weren't having it though, and it was evident when I had overstepped my bounds.  They flew, and then landed just a little further away.

OK one more.  This center cut of a palm tree was fascinating!
Eventually I grew bored with this, and joined Bruce for a much quicker walk back home.  It's exercise we're after now, and you can hardly count our ambling stroll here as being exercise... But the walk back sure was!  I made a point to walk in the softer sand so that my muscles had to really work.

It took us only a little over half an hour to get back, with the entire duration of our walk being two and a half hours, you can tell how slowly we progressed on the outward leg.  But remember, it's about balance!  Being able to futz around and take pictures, laugh together and make every moment count, is what makes life here in Puerto Rico so good!

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