This post is not intended to have more friends angry at me, and refusals to see further posts, neither to make anyone upset by not having this opportunity. It’s more a practical description of someone who did not really care much about beaches during his life, someone who did very few holidays, none of them targeting a beach unless it was organised by someone else and only tagged along for the sake of group spirit. Yes, I did live almost all my life half a mile from a beach but I can count by my hand fingers the times I’ve been there. It wasn’t a paradise beach, but it had plenty of sand, much more you can find around here, lots of safe water and a quite reasonable weather half of the year.
Matosinhos is a satellite city of Porto and its main borough with the same name is where I spent most of my adult life, either living by myself or with my charming family. It’s almost a 200 thousand people borough which is four times the country I now live in, but it felt smaller. Old generations living in this place always used the beach as the center of their activities,
either sports (volleyball and soccer) or just leisure, also because travelling wasn’t that easy as today. Today we can be in three hours in the southernmost part of Portugal the top beach destination, even if full of ‘beefs’ (our Portuguese nickname for English tourists), but back in the days it took more than half a day in very unsafe roads. Also the coffee shops, video games, movie theaters, and tv shows were not so available so people had a more outdoor life and without a proper park, which we now finally have, the beach was the ultimate destination. I was born with the decline of this healthy way of life so I started soon to have video games, a lot of social gatherings and better places to play soccer. I do remember going to the beach very young with my mother and later a couple of times with some friends, but after it’s as if the beach was always decorative. Good for nice restaurant views, but too cold to use and abuse it. Yes, the water temperature helped, average 16 C, but it can’t be all of it, it can’t be the only reason why the city is so divorced from its population.
Now my relation with the beach has changed again, don’t know exactly how but life has brought us to a paradise latitude, and to one of many examples of paradise islands. Cayman Islands has nothing especially unique to this regard but has what most of the top beach destination has, and for someone living in Europe all life it is more than one could ask for. We managed to have a house rented fifty grassy yards away from the ocean, with a short, but enough, white sand beach and lots of palm trees around.
The rent is an average of 1000 CI$ dollars plus internet that can cost 60 CI$ a month, which is almost half of what we paid for a room with no bathroom in a social house in central London. Sounds unreal, but living in the center of London has its advantages that in some way are comparable with the ocean life, but lets leave that for another discussion.
So, what can you do when you live by the ocean in a safe and clear warm waters beach:
- Wake up in the morning and before anything else go for an ocean bath
- During the day, go underneath a palm tree shade and read a book or just sleep
- Bring the snorkelling gear and in a matter of minutes see the National Geographic TV Channel live
- Seat on a long chair and watch the sunset
- Go for some drinks or finger food or bbq and do a romantic moment by the ocean
- After dark, take some chairs and seat on the warm water watching the stars
For a non particular beach lover I can confess we’ve done all of these things already and some of them several times. And we can do all of them in the same day, or just spread them out to enjoy it more. It is just too easy and enjoyable to skip as a whole, but of course it helps being so close to the water. It’s very hard to have this type of rent in such a great location, as most of the people on a budget like us live more central in town, meaning a lot of savings.
We’ve been here for more than half a year now, and it will cost our hearts to leave this paradise life, but it will eventually happen, as our thirst to travel grows every day. Maybe our future will cross another paradise like this, or maybe we’ll find a way of enjoying part of our years in a piece of heaven like this island. I’ve met, while working in the bar at Michael’s, plenty of people who spend part of the year in Cayman and the rest of the year on a more urban environment. Can’t say it wouldn’t be a perfect lifestyle satisfying the total needs of an individual having the best of both worlds, but for now it’s still time to travel…