A break in the weather Saturday morning led us to Coki Beach. Snorkling, safer swimming, calm waters and shade. The beach is a tourist beach in that the local aquarium is nearby and it is very very lovely - probably in many magazines and TV shows. But it isn't a publicly managed beach like some of the others on the island. This means you don't have to "pay" to get into it. However, the locals have capitalized on this management vacuum. First, there isn't a parking lot per se, just a potentially muddy space between the beach and the road and cemetery. A parking attendant, who I call a beach bouncer decides if you are going to pay or not to park in his part of the lot. Our bouncer was named Shaka, a very sweet enterprising young man (we did not pay). Then once parked and at the beach, the beach bouncer whose lot you have just parked in, offers you umbrellas and chaise lounges for a fee (if you don't care for tree shade and a towel). Next the bar owners walk down to give you menus for their very expensive french fries and less expensive drinks. Possibly a bucket of ice cold beers or rum and cokes. Next, the charming local elder comes through and skillfully opens a coconut, gives you a few mangoes, talks up a storm and then offers "Five for the mangoes, and five for the coconut". So at the end of the day you may have spent $10 on parking, $5 on chairs and $10 on an umbrella, $10 on mangoes and coconuts and $5 on rum. Luckily all the hawking can be ignored (except for the parking) and doesn't detract from the beauty and fun of the beach. I hope in a few months they'll recognize us (both as locals and as tight(though we did rent an umbrella) and leave us alone. Because, really, at a beach like this there is not time for lounging, eating coconuts, french fries or drinking buckets of beer and endless shots of rum (though it sounds nice from time to time). At this beach its all about the water.
M has not liked the water much but she finally broke down and stayed in the water for awhile and even asked to go in the water at the end of the day.
I feel for this little girl, not being able to swim in that blue sea.