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.

 

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Goa

Part #8: Goa
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What can I say about this place. A tourist’s paradise. We went there before the season actually and it was slightly rainy. But I love rains + (empty) beaches combination. Even though I had to skip a few places because of the ankle fracture, I did manage to cover the most important beaches over there. There are lot of beaches we did over the week long stay and it was such a cool place. I didn’t think I will like this place when we had planned for it. Thought it will be too touristy or too high end for my taste. But just loved it. The beaches are so clean and well maintained. There are guards all around and the restaurants on the beaches are so cool. And we stayed in a villa near the beach. A dream come true that vacation (except for the fracture of course)

I did make a video out of my photographs which I have it in my other post ‘A Week in Goa – Movie Style‘. No wonder this place gets tourists from all over the world so much. If you want to have a beach side vacation, Goa is a must visit place in India at least once.

 

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Playa del Carmen

Part #6: Playa del Carmen & Tulum

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When I was in Mexico for a month in Guadalajara on an official visit, I took the chance to go on a mini-vacation to the Mayan Pyramids in Chichen Itza and Tulum. I stayed in Playa del Carmen and even though I didn’t have time to actually visit and rest in a beach (because it was raining by the time I came back from my trips to Chichen Itza / Tulum for all the three days I was there). But I did get to the beach in the morning one day and it was so empty (it was near a hotel) and the sand was so different from the ones I am used to in California/India. And since Tulum is located near the sea and is based on the second largest barrier reef it is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g to see them. You can see more pictures of it in my travelogue. I would love to visit Cancun + Playa del Carmen once again and this time only to experience the beaches there.

Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses – Santa Cruz, USA

Part #3: Santa Cruz, USA Beaches_SantaCruzUSA

 

Santa Cruz in California, one of the places I happened to visit during my first US trip. And I went to this place on my own. Took the Cal Train to San Jose and then took the bus from there. And I chose a day when it was very hot. So there was a huge crowd there who had come out to enjoy the sun and get some tan. I am already tanned a lot, naturally and I was wondering what to do about the heat. The beach and the boardwalk was very interesting and the water was as usual very cold. This photograph was taken when I took the sky ride. Even though I am afraid of heights, I really wanted to see the whole beach from above. There was a cheer leading competition going on, and lot of young adults lounging and having fun. I walked as much as I could in the water to the other side, but it was very hot to go all the way to the light house, which was my destination at first. But the heat got to me and I returned back after an hour or two. It was quite big enough to accommodate so many people and I liked the way people enjoyed the sun and water in different ways. I would love to visit it and spend some time here when it isn’t hot, if I happen to visit U.S again.

More about my visit to this place here.

PS: Post is part of the series: Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses