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I woke up this morning with a back ache so decided to go walking. Went down to the main road, about a block away, the Costenera, and turned south. I could see the ocean, but didn't know what kind of beach would be down there. Eureka! Just around the bend in the road is a nice long beach. There's black sand from the road down to almost the edge of the surf, and then it changes to a shell base right down to the water. I walked through the shells and as a life-long shell collector, picked up a couple as I walked. Nothing spectacular, but it doesn't matter to me. There's about 20 feet of little cone-shaped shells and then several different kinds of clam shells down to the water. A good part of the shoreline is rocks so you get some really good sprays upward as the waves come in. "Wow, that's a good one!" (That's for my friend Denise.) The crunch of the shells, the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean--I'm in heaven.

There's just one disconcerting element to beach walking here: no one picks up their trash. Even though there are garbage cans all along the beach. The city needs one of those tractors with a rake. Leaving no footprints is not a well known concept here yet.

But it won't stop me from walking the beach. I may carry a bag each time and be my own one-woman clean-up crew. And maybe one for shells.

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