Take A Chance
On my first day in the DR I discovered a bustling public entrance to the beach, about a 7 minute walk from where I was staying. (Bustling by quarantine standards anyways - likely not by The Before Times standards).
A few days later, I ventured a little farther, with the idea to walk to one of the beaches I had been hearing about. Playa Macao is considered one of the world's best beaches by UNESCO, with stunning white sand and crystal clear waters. Its shoreline is also fairly undeveloped, which makes it all the more attractive. I didn't make it there on that walk - when I finally did go, by car, I had a good laugh that I even thought I COULD walk from where I was staying.
But I digress.
Along that walk, I did discover another slightly less busy public beach entrance. (All other access, from what I could tell, was private, via the resorts. Although I did find two other access points near me later in my trip, but that is also beside the point of this post).
I used the main road near the apartment where I was staying to access each of these entrances, depending on how I was feeling that day. Until one day, maybe about ten days in, I was at one end, and wanted to get to the other, where the market was, and I had this lightbulb moment when I realized, perhaps I can walk from one entrance to the other, ON THE BEACH?! As a Northern California native, the idea of miles of uninterrupted shoreline, from one access point to another, wasn't something I could even fathom. I mean sure, you can walk for stretches of beach, but usually you then come upon rocks or some other barrier getting in your way.
So I set off to see if my hypothesis was correct. And it seemed it was! Until about half way into my expedition, I came upon a building - a former Russian gift shop - that was standing between me and the rest of the sandy expanse.
As I got close, and peered around the corner, I saw a couple, perhaps twice as old as me, peering back. The waves were crashing the wall with a vengeance, the noise deafening. I contemplated making a run for it, along the lip jutting out from the wall. I hoisted my bag up, took a deep breath and... turned right around! That wave looked like it would leave a mark. My other option was to scramble up the crumbling concrete side of the building, and across to safety. I put my flip flops back on, to brace myself from the jutting wires, and...
As I looked up, there was the couple... On MY side!
'Oh wow!' I exclaimed. 'I'm so impressed, didn't it hurt?!' 'No,' they laughed, looking a little bewildered. I began my ascent up the side of the remains of the building again, and as I did, the gentleman shouted back, 'Take a chance! Wait for a big wave, then go. You can do it!' If they could, so could I... right?
And so... I once again hoisted my bag, took a deep breath, and... made it to the other side!
As I looked back, this is what I saw.
A gently lapping ocean and an easily traversable stretch of sand.
The moral of the story?
Take a chance. Find your brave. Likely what awaits on the other side is way less scary than what you've made it out to be in your head.