Pretty, huh? This is Puerto Madryn, located on the southeast coast of Argentina and yes these are photos off google (because I haven’t had a chance to get my camera card to a pc yet) so you’ll have to take my word for it that I’ve been there and seen it. Recently, too. If I wanted to be flamboyant I would have given you the leaping whales and perfect beach front photos 😛 But no, these two are much more real, much more what I saw and loved and lived when I was there.
For those who haven’t been; it was gorgeous. Incredible. Amazing. The Southern Right Whales go there because the gulf is relatively warmer than the Antarctic and thus a better environment to raise their calves. In winter the bay is full of them, sightings of those awesome (in the old literal sense) and magnificent mammals becomes commonplace. It’s also a great location to mine aluminum, despite water needing to be aqua-ducted from the river a while away. So today it’s a beautiful growing prosperous little city.
I’ve got a piece I’m not quite done writing, about our environments and how they affect us, but I’ll save that for later. But they do affect us, short and long term, superficially and deeply. 90% of the worlds population lives on the coast, and there’s really no surprise why. It’s beautiful, the ocean, beautiful in every weather except a hurricane 😛 Water and sun and sky and rocks and sand and clouds and space and salty breezes… Many countries, like Argentina and Paraguay and Bolivia, Austria and Hungary, Kazakstan and Nepal and Mongolia, and a large percentage of people in India or the United States, live inland, rarely seeing beyond their hills and horizon of land.
For many people, to be by the sea isn’t natural for them, they crave the lands they grew up in. I’ve been living in such an inland place, city life in a valley between hills, for 9 months, and I’d spent the two months prior to that living on the paradise-on-earth that are the tropical islands of Indonesia. There’s quite a difference, and you feel it strongly after time wears on. Many of my fellow beachers-living-inland had strong emotional reactions to seeing the ocean again, and to be frank it was lucky I had already been to the beach a few weeks prior because after 9 months away from such a huge part of my soul, I literally cried, tears of such profound homecoming emotion. Because for many of us, the ocean is part of our lives. I can’t help wandering, what is it about these coasts that draws us? Is it the way the water reaches as far as the eye can see, twinkling in the sunlight with its constant motion, peaceful restlessness and impossible blue that crashes hissing white foam onto the edge of our territorial land? Is it how the sky arches endlessly over it, celestial azure, space and light and freedom? Is it the wind, the smell of salt on the breeze and the crunch of sand beneath your feet that nothing may grow in but many grow above, as the sand that starts on the edge of mother earth and slips under the bottomless blue where worlds live and grow?
All I know is that I love it, with every single fibre of my being.