Half Moon Bay – El Granada , Pillar Point

I have always loved the Half Moon Bay in California. So many beaches , small towns and light houses in between. This time, my first trip, once I got my rental, was to the Surfer’s beach (also called as El Granada Beach) along with the Pillar Point Harbor next to it. There weren’t as many surfer’s as I would have liked and the wind and tides weren’t in favor too. But that did not stop me from enjoying a very quiet time at the beach watching kids and the dogs play. Some kids were trying so hard to try to be on the surf board. It was a pity that the day wasn’t that conducive.

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Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses

In response to the Earth Day Challenge by K.E. Wilkinson.

I am obsessed with beaches. I just love them. I did a whole series on the various beaches I have visited and how each of them are special to me. I called them ‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses‘. I don’t know swimming, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the ocean. Recently someone asked me the question as part of a psychological quiz (and yeah, we know how much I just LOVE them 😉 )  ‘What is your view about the ocean?’. I replied ‘I admire them and find them very peaceful but at the same time a little intimidating too’. It seems how we see the ocean reflects on how you view death. So yeah, I feel the same way about death too.

Here is my photograph of Drake’s beach in USA, where I am planning to visit this time too. I just love this place. I love beaches especially when they are empty. I feel as if the whole place belongs to me. Add a slight drizzle and I am in heaven. I would love to just sit there and stare at the ocean for hours listening to water crashing at the shore. I hope that this time too there will be very very less crowd (or no people at all 😉 ) when I get to visit (fingers crossed)

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A Yearly Round Up

A round up of this year’s activities in my blog, because I did a lot than the previous year and I am really glad about it. In fact there are a few more friends of mine who know about this blog than last year and for me that isn’t a small thing. I still don’t want it to be known to my colleagues though. I am still not comfortable revealing my real name, which I sometimes feel that I should do, but I haven’t reached there yet. I am still content with my mask on and the real me is more boring than the virtual me.

So here we go.

I started participating in Steve’s Music Mix / Cosmic Musicology as it is called now, from Feb 03, 2014. Here is my first post. Since then I am a regular for that game. I listen to enough music to play and to use the songs as answers. Just check it out. Its real fun and you are most welcome to join. Thanks Steve for that brilliant idea and I am really sorry I still couldn’t get some good questions for that game.

Started participating in the Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, hosted by Linda, from Mar, 1, 2014 and have continued since then, because it is pure fun and its interesting to see how different people interpret the same prompt and also how people from different parts of the world think and post alike for a given prompt. I am no writer, but am glad to take part in this prompt. Thanks Linda for this wonderful idea and hope to have the same fun in 2015 too. She is also starting a Just Jot It January, if anyone is interested. I am planning to take part, but am not very sure.

Did two mini series this year on my own, just for the heck of it 🙂 One was about the way I got introduced to various genres of the books (which still needs a lot to be covered, but then didn’t want it to be too long a series) and was named Portable Magic and the other one was about my love for beaches and about the various beaches I have been to and my jog through the memory lane which was called Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses.

I did cross 1000 followers this year, Yay!!! and started following some awesome bloggers too. I follow some on Bloglovin’ too. As usual the top 5 posts are related to the Weekly Photography Challenge but this year, the ‘Minimalist‘ Photographs I posted, scored me a lot of comments. I was very happy to see that my favorite photograph was appreciated by all. ‘Baralikadu‘ still seems to be the top search term in my blog (guess no one else wrote about that small quaint eco tourism place) which is followed if not closely by ‘beer shampoo‘ (urgh, I still feel the smell of it) and Chotta Bheem (I ain’t fond of him and his group, even now)

So that is it. I am sure I might have missed a few details here and there, but these are the big ones. Its been an awesome and fun year with respect to blogging and wish the same for 2015 too.

 

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Finale

I wasn’t sure how many posts I would publish with respect to this series ‘Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses‘. I have exhausted all the beaches for which I had the digital photographs and there were totally 9 of them. Today being the end of this month, I thought of completing this series with a final post. I always had a thing for nature. When I first went to Ooty (or rather a small village in the hills) to stay with my friend in her tea estate for a couple of days, I fell in love with the mountains and calm and serene environment. I live in a land locked city. And the only region other than plains I have been to is the hills. I wished to live in a such a place if the opportunity arises.

And then when we visited the beaches, I loved the water too. I liked how the waves sounded when they crashed at the rocks or the gentle way they would caress your feet. I love it when it slightly rains while I am at the beach, something like the circle of water being complete at that time and the way the sea looks a little scary with the dark clouds closing in. A balance of the calm and the commotion. (Yeah, I am sort of obsessed with the theme of balance I think). I wondered if I had a choice where would I choose to live, will it be the huge and mighty mountains or close to the deep and intriguing sea (or any water body) ? Of course, I never got that choice, but it is better to be prepared right (did I tell you I was 50+% optimistic?). I have my answer now after all these years. I would choose water.

I am scared of it, combine it with the fact that I can’t swim, it is not a nice prospect. In fact, when we visited Ganges, my father and mother both had to hold me and push me into the water to complete my rituals. Really, they did push me into the water literally, I thought they were getting rid of their sins, but guess I was wrong (or was I ?). We have many ponds at temples in Kerala and every time we go there we are expected to take bath. But I am scared of those fishes biting my skin and I am a little shy to take bath in the open spaces. So I would always skip that ritual (even ready to incur the wrath of God, if it comes to that) and have never done it till now. So given all that, all I ever do is dip my leg in the water and sit and watch the waves. Watch people enjoy. When we were in Goa, the guys had such a blast and it was fun watching them enjoy it. There were so many kids who were so ecstatic in water. Seeing all those gives me so much happiness and joy. My sister is so fond of water. Doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know how to swim, she sees the sea, she has to get inside it.

If I am near the sea, you can see me like this (except that I will be looking out at the sea) contemplating all things or sometimes just thinking nothing

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or enjoying this small girls wonder

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or smiling at this dog’s enthusiasm and strength to try and invade the ocean to get what he wants1-IMG_9105

even enjoying the rise and fall of the people who try till the very end their hand at conquering the waves (this was my friend’s attempt at kayaking. They almost reached the shore waving their victory when a huge wave decided to humble them 🙂 )

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Yes, my choice is decided. I would choose the sea side to live my ever after, how ever long it might be. But will it happen ? I don’t know.  But will I dream of it? Yes.

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes

I dream of lying on the sand with the sky growing dark and the moon shining high and bright , the waves creating a symphony in the background and my mind emptied of all thoughts except for enjoying that moment of nature and calm and ecstasy. This image would be my patronus. 

I would like to end this series with this poem.

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls.

 

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls.

 

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
      And the tide rises, the tide falls. – HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Tossa De Mar

Part #9: Tossa De Mar, Spain
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IMG_6403One of my favorite beaches where I really did do nothing but relax. Got a room with a sea facing balcony booked in the hotel just near the beach and did not go around except for the 1 km walk in and around the beach. Spent time lying on the sand and looking up at the sky or using my camera in the early morning for a good Sunrise shot. Pure heaven I say. Very very clean beach. But then again, we went on a off season or just before the season. So it was empty. It seem that this small beach has almost around 50000 tourists in peak season ( I would really avoid that) and if it is hot, it does get very hot. I am already tan enough. And it was slightly rainy when we had been there and you know how much I love it, even though my friends think that I am crazy to wish for rain near the sea. Why not ? Lot of cafes and restaurants near the beach and you can have your own sweet time there. If you happen to visit Spain (hopefully during the lesser crowded times) do give Costa Brava region and its beaches a visit.