09 July 2014

A Walk on the Beach

I've been in Puerto Vallarta for over a week and only have a few days left, yet today was the first day I went for a walk on the beach. My general routine when living in close proximity to the ocean, is to take an early morning walk every single day. It hasn't worked out that way until today.

Strolling along the sand, gazing up at the sea birds, and watching the sun rise has to be the best tonic for anything at ails a body. It’s a combination of the rhythm of the waves along the shore, the smell of salty sea air, and the ability to forget that civilization even exists. One with nature.  

I love watching the pelicans swoop in for a fresh fish breakfast. They seem to stay in groups and hover around wherever there are schools of fish, or fisherman with bait. There are also these large, black birds that take head-first dives into the water to scoop up a meal. It is thrilling to watch.

A few old guys were out fishing with nets and rods. I’d guess they were of retirement age, but am fairly sure that fishing had been their livelihood. One doesn’t learn how to repair a fishing net, or throw one out onto the sea, if it is just a hobby.

Sitting in the sand on the shore, warm sun and blue skies above, you might never know that last night another tropical thunderstorm rolled through the city. It was wonderful! Maybe if you were outside and dodging lightning bolts it would be a different story. But being inside looking out through a bank of windows at the wind bending the palm trees and the sound of torrential rain, is simply magnificent. It’s also nice knowing that the storm will pass through quickly, the skies will dry up, and in morning it will be sunny again.

Still trying to make use of every last minute I have here, the day is already planned. In a few hours I’ll head down to the beach café to watch Argentina x Holland in the World Cup semi-final. After yesterday’s disastrous game between Brazil and Germany, I’m hoping this will be more of an exciting, close match.

I would always have come back down to Puerto Vallarta, but I especially did so at this time to watch the World Cup in a Latin country where I thought it would be great fun. It’s not 

as big of an event as I thought it would be. A few days I wanted to simply watch the games on the TV here, but they were not broadcast. As far as I can figure out, the World Cup is not shown on basic, Mexican TV stations. A step up to cable gives you CNN, (and not CNN International), and periodic news stations from New York, but no World Cup. A step up from that – (maybe satellite?) and you get Sky Sports, which has the World Cup contract. This is very strange. Granted, this is the first that the World Cup has been shown extensively in the US – even broadcasting games on regular networks.
But  even in 1982, pre-cable/satellite, I was able to watch the games on a Spanish language network, even if it was a little fuzzy.  I’ve never heard of another country that did not broadcast the Cup on stations that were available to everyone. All is well, though – I have gotten my fill of games both watching in the US and here. I’m already planning where I’ll be for the 2018 World Cup.