So far, I am the first one up every morning. I've taken to drinking some coffee on the balcony, and then heading out for a long walk along the beach before the sun gets too scorching. (This is really only good for avoiding sunburn, it's plenty hot.) I walk all the way down to the point and all the way back up, the sea splashing my feet, and me marvelling at the waves.
We are on Kitebeach in Cabarete, so named because the wind and surf are consistent and strong - perfect for kiteboarders. Dozens and dozens fill the beach in the afternoon, but in the morning, before the wind comes up, the surfers sleep and I walk the beach just about alone.
There is a reef here, a little ways out, and it protects the beach. The waves are still fierce and strong, but it makes it possible to swim - provided you're a strong swimmer. We see no little kids anywhere near the water here. There's an undertow, and getting out is a little tricky - but once you're past the point where the waves break, you can swim for hours. (Then you have to come back in - past that point where the waves break again. Yesterday one caught me from behind, knocked me face first into the beach, folded my legs over my head then rolled me along the sand like I was a shell. The trick, I am here to tell you, is to see that as an emergency. You have to rush to stand up, once it lets go of you, or the next one will really have it's way with you. If two get you, the third one is sure to, and then you'll still be spitting up sand and examining your sandblasted knees at midnight.)
By where our little apartment is, the beach is just sand, but farther down as I walk I find rocks, and cliffs of stone for the waves to crash on, and it's all been carved into wild shapes by thousands of years of waves.
I could watch it all day, and it's just water. I'm amazed.
That's today's Spanish word. La playa. The beach.