I dipped my toe in the aquamarine water, marveling at the white sand that stretched the length of the bay. Tiny pebbles bounced over my feet as the surf crashed onto the shore, scrambling towards the safety of the palm trees, only to be dragged roughly back to the sea.
I trailed my hand through the salty foam and splashed my neck, my arms. It was warmer than I expected – a clear sign it hadn't rained in weeks. I lowered myself into an oncoming wave, letting the water roll over my shoulders. Strands of hair clung to my cheek, mingled with the coarse sand.
I lowered still further until my head slipped beneath the surface. My everyday thoughts, concerns, the stresses of the world, all drifted away with the current. For this one afternoon a buoyant cocoon protected me from the real world.
Last week Ibis and I went to Playa la Ropa, the largest and cleanest of the four beaches on Zihuatanejo Bay. As we drove over the hills between our house and the beach, my jaw dropped when I saw the water. It's normally a deep blue, but that day it was pale turquoise, like the Caribbean.
When we arrived at the beach, we discovered that the June storm that washed away much of Barra de Potosi also affected La Ropa. (We also saw a difference at Playa la Madera last weekend, but the water color hadn't changed.) Now the water covers what used to be the last 20 feet of the beach and laps at the tables and beach chairs of the restaurants and hotels. It's this shift that's caused the change in water color. The water over the pure white sand appears aquamarine.
It looked like a different beach. It was even saltier than normal. I normally don't go past my waist – I'm too nervous about whatever creatures are lurking beneath the surface – but this time I spent the majority of the day frolicking in the waves, enjoying my pseudo-vacation.
Have you ever had an experience like this, where a place you frequent changes so much it feels like you've transported to an entirely different place?