Monday, June 28, 2010

Beach Day!

Los Frailes Beach

Rain or shine, today was to be a beach day, and so it was, and an absolutely marvelous one. We took a 'motortaxi', which is a motorcycle which has been attached to a two wheeled buggy. The contraption hardly looks safe, and is loud and slow, but is the premiere mode of transport throughout the town of Puerto Lopez, and up and down the road that follows the shore. We arrived at Los Frailes beach before 10, established our space a little to the left of the entrance, and explored in both directions. Maya was in her bathing suit in minutes, despite the lack of sun and threatening rain. We followed the pelicans diving into the water to the left of us. They were busy fishing and ignored us. There were tide pools with crabs and sea urchins and sea stars, so Maya was scrambling all over the rocks. Two small very inviting enclosed beaches on the other side of the rocks beckoned, but there was no dry sand to sit on, so we did not move our 'spot'.

Sea Star

Fishing Pelican

A Beach of her Own

I settled in to read a book that has been difficult to get into, while Maya took her time gradually wading into deeper and deeper water. The surf was strong and she was battered about a bit by the waves. I was hoping to get warm before I made the plunge, but at one point, I felt compelled to join her in the water. It was warmer than expected and became warmer and warmer the more I splashed about. I could hardly fight the current, and was swept under a few times, so I was surprised that Maya could remain standing.

Watching Pelicans

Watching Crabs

We were the only ones on the beach for a time. A group of children joined us for a while and we felt a bit safer with so many more people in the water. Later, we took a walk toward the cliffs to the right and climbed to the top of a 'Mirador' with views in all directions, and by now there must have been some sun peeking out through the clouds, so we could see more clearly. I never put any sunscreen on either of us, which was not too wise, since both of us burned a little by the end of the day.

Malecon Puerto Lopez

Our original plan was to visit an archeological site for the afternoon, but we were enjoying the beach too much and did not want to move. It was peaceful and quiet and relaxing listening to the surf and reading and walking and body surfing and swimming. We waited until closing time (the beach is part of Machalilla park, which closes early, at 4 PM) to find a motortaxi and visit Puerto Lopez for a while, before going back to the hotel. We were both red and shining and feeling wonderful after our first true 'beach day"!

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