The Arrival Chapter 1
Photo Credit - Cliff1066
Walking down North Ocean Boulevard, two heavy bags strapped to my back like a Mexican donkey ascending a mountain, I suddenly realized why hardened travelers always advise the newbies to travel light. In the preceding weeks I had put forth my best effort to accomplish this, selling what I could and leaving anything I deemed unnecessary back in Lynnwood, WA, at my apartment.
Future back problems aside, I was ready and anxious to see the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Fort Lauderdale had just seen it's longest period of sub 50 degree morning temperatures ever, but I figured that being a native of the Northwest had prepared me quite well for a visit to a cold beach.
Since my arrival, the main topic of conversation among locals seemed to be the frigidly cold 50 degree temperatures. The thermometer at the hostel read 55 degrees on this day, although considering the quality of the accommodations, it could have been broken. Still I'd say 55 was pretty close to being correct. Hearing of the 35 degree rainy days back in Seattle from friends and family, I didn't feel sorry for these angry Floridians. It seems that wherever you are in the world people need a general topic to complain about as a icebreaker in disguise.
Nearing the beach I stumbled upon a small sandy white alleyway, wedged between some waterfront condos and a beach long bluff that separated me from my days destination.I took this detour and after a few steps felt the corners of my mouth defying gravity.
Grinning ear to ear, I tossed my baggage aside (physical and emotional) and took off my socks and shoes. This little semi-private beach was just what I was looking for after the 12 hours of travel I had endured the day before. Now I usually try to avoid using the cliche travel writer descriptions, but damn this sand was powder-like. It sunk beneath my feet slipping 6 inches with every step. It was like trudging through warm soft snow, except in your bare feet on a beach. I had heard from the locals that the water stays warm year round, however was admittedly apprehensive about testing this theory. Luckily this rumor held water.
Sitting there I thought about what I had left behind, and what lie ahead in the coming months. What a tremendous place to ponder life, my ass sinking in the soft sand just yards from the crashing light blue waves, capped in white. This place was just a stepping stone in the journey that lie ahead. After all I would depart in two days for Lima, Peru, before proceeding down the coast to Chile and eventually crossing the Andes Mountains to Argentina. Still this brief stopover, relaxing on the beach and achieving clarity in my thoughts, was just the R&R I was looking for before embarking on the South American Leg of my tour.
With the goodbyes and two flights all behind me, it was time to settle in and get to work, after all I was trying to be a writer, and had yet to write anything. As the warm water hit my shins and knocked me out of balance, I looked to the South. The only thing left to do is pursue my dreams and discover lifelong friends and memories in foreign lands. With the assistance of my morning beach awakening, I was ready. The only questions was if South America was ready for the big crazy Gringo...