Saturday, July 26, 2008
beaches and cream
I have always loved the beach. I grew up in a small town in the Oregon coast range. Even though the ocean was very close, we did not always have the money or time to drive there. But, when we did, it was like walking through the gates of Oz.
Some of my best memories from grade school, high school, and college are connected to the beach. Not to mention the fact that the beach is Professor Jiggs's favorite place in the world.
I fully understand my attraction to the beach. If the beach was a woman, I would have married her when I was in my 20s. That may explain why, over the past 10 tears, I have been tempted on several occasions to buy a house on the Oregon coast. I have avoided the temptation only because I can get Jiggs to the beach with a short one-hour trip in the truck.
For that reason, alone, I knew that I could not objectively judge the beach at Melaque. By any standard, it is a beautiful beach. It stretches in a crescent shape for about three miles from the harbor at Barra de Navidad to a point just west of Melaque.
The crescent creates multiple types of beaches. A large stretch of the beach is not well-suited for beginning swimmers. The sand has a very steep pitch. As a result, the waves do not lap the shore; they literally slam down hard. Hard enough to wake sleepers in the night.
The waves are not large. But they attract surfers and skimboarders. Each ready to catch the waves that break very close to shore.
At the west end of the beach, the waves almost disappear. This is where most families swim with their children.
Those last two paragraphs sum up one of the reasons I like the beach: people. There is something vibrant about families and young people throwing caution to the wind on the sand and in the surf. Some people claim to feel that same electric thrill at various religious shrines. I feel it at the beach.
Was I in any way disappointed with this beach? Not at all. It has everything I would expect a beach to have.
It also has all of the negative things a beach would be expected to have. Sand gets in everything. Bugs seem to appear out of thin air. And the most obvious: the sea air is one of the most corrosive substances for man-made objects. The microwave surrendered to the sea's assault while I was in Melaque -- in one big papal-election puff of smoke.
Here is an example. This is the front gate to the house where I stayed. It is nicely-designed with bright colors -- and it is beginning to rust away. Even the aluminum rails had begun to corrode on the sea-side veranda.
None of that bothers me. It will be something to work around.
If weather was not a factor in moving to Mexico, being close to the beach is. I do not need to live right on the beach. But I may have an opportunity to do just that -- at least, at the start of this adventure.
But what about those people on the beach -- and the people who live in Melaque? What type of neighbors will they be -- and will I be? Next post.