Are you A Beach Watcher…or a Beach Bather?

Recently Mike wrote a great blog story about us becoming Beach People.  For those of you that know me this will come as a real shock since I lived in California for many years and never once sat on a beach along its coast.  Least one thinks it was the distance that stopped me the closest beach was less than an hour’s drive from my home; I have never found the hassle of getting to the beach to be worth the sun tan.

Why are we beach people here?  Mike bought a beach umbrella for 12 Euros ($15) and since we leave in early July and since we spend many hours inside the local library I decided he was right when he said we needed to get our monies worth and to use it.  We are also less than a 5 minute walk from the sand so the real hassle is in transporting the chairs.

Mike setting up our umbrella.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Mike setting up our umbrella. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

I’ve never been a beach person before but I have to say I’m enjoying watching the other sunbathers more than being in the water.  In fact I’ve never been in the water and most likely won’t be going in.  I’m a beach watcher, not a beach bather.  In reality most of the people on the beach here in Torrevieja aren’t getting into the water either.  If they are woman they might be sun tanning topless (an option here that some woman take advantage of) and if they are men they are sitting in chairs and reading or playing on their phones or occasionally playing with their children.  There are tons of children here on the beach playing with their pails and shovels and beach flotilla toys.  Many of the children under the age of 3 seem to run around naked so I’m hoping they are slathered in sunscreen.  Mostly they are running around laughing and having a great time and the sound of a happy child does seem to make me smile.

The sand here is plentiful so the children spend hours using shovels and pails to make sand castles.   © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The sand here is plentiful so the children spend hours using shovels and pails to make sand castles. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

The other show on the beach is getting to watch the vendors walk up and down the beach all day selling their wares.  Now I don’t know if they allow this on the beach in other cities since I’ve never done this before but here in Torrevieja you can literally do all your Christmas shopping right from the comfort of your beach chair.  They sell everything from cheap beaded jewelry to summer dresses, beach cover-ups, bathing suits, sunglasses, music CD’s, cutlery, massages (which she performs right on the beach) and sometimes food.  And you don’t even have to get up from your chair; they come to you. It’s almost like shopping on the internet!

This guy was selling handbags.  I could do all of my Christmas shopping here on the beach.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

This guy was selling handbags. I could do all of my Christmas shopping here on the beach. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

I do own a bathing suit and I’m blessed with skin that doesn’t usually burn when I sit in the sun; I tan, deep.  I tease Mike that this is because of all the olive oil in my blood (I’m Italian American) so I tan well.  My fair-haired blue-eyed husband on the other hand burns badly and he has on occasion looked like a hot slice of bacon for days on end while I just tend to get darker.  So he sits mostly under the umbrella and I sit outside of it.  We’re getting our monies worth just with having the umbrella up on the beach.

The beach’s here in Spain are a big money-maker.  They truck in sand to keep the beaches full and they grade the sand a couple of times a week so that it’s smooth and cleared of trash.  I think they do this because so many people treat the beach as their own personal ash can and if they didn’t truck away the cigarette butts we’ve be sitting on them instead of the sand. They do a pretty good job in keeping the beach’s a place where lots of families want to come and spend some time.  There are also tons of beach bars spread out along the beach front so there are plenty of places to get a cold beer or a glass of wine and some Tapas, all while you get that golden tan.

There are bars up and down the beach which sell food, drink and ice cream.  © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

There are bars up and down the beach which sell food, drink and ice cream. © Photo by Florence Ricchiazzi Lince

Originally I agreed to sit on the beach because I like to read and I thought I could sit and do that while I listened to the water lapping onto the shore and feel the cool ocean breeze.  What I never expected was getting to see the vendor parade or to hear so many children laughing; in essence to beach watch.  I think from today forward if I sit on a beach someplace and all around me is just sunbathers I’ll be sorely disappointed.  This is how all beaches should be, filled with vendors selling me things I don’t need, laughing children and sun bathers.

As for our beach umbrella, it’s been a good investment thus far.  We are getting some much-needed fresh air a couple of days a week, I’m getting one hell of a great tan and we’re getting free entertainment by beach watching.  And if anyone is coming to Torrevieja in July I know where you can get a good used beach umbrella.  Until then…where did my sunscreen go?

Florence Lince

http://about.me/florencelince

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