Water flows #986

A slight miscalculation on my part today resulted in an unexpected and challenging adventure. Totally accidental, totally daredevil, but totally worth it.

My primary mission today: go to the southern end of Playa Herradura and shoot waves crashing on rocks. So sometime after noon, when I thought the time was right, I packed my bag and pedaled my bicycle to the beach, estimating that I would get there when high tide would be receding. I based that estimation on the last time that I saw high tide and what time of day it was then. There were some fundamental problems in my estimation, though.

For one thing, I didn’t even know what day of the week it was today until I finally checked tonight, long after being home. Secondly, I had no idea how many days ago it actually was when I saw that high tide. And the final component in my less-than-stellar estimation was that I had absolutely zero clue as to what time of day it was however many days ago when I saw that high tide.

So I got to the beach, pedaled to the end of the dirt road threw my bag over my shoulder, and began walking the bike around the bay. I see wet sand much higher than where the water is hitting the shore. Perfect. You timed this like a pro!

And so I walk and walk and walk. With the bicycle. Because I have no lock for it. And there be pirates in a cove of the bay. And pirates love one-speed cruisers more than gold.

After about half an hour of walking (and having long since passed the pirates), I propped the bicycle up against the side of the mountain and continued on.

“Nobody could possibly steal it this far out. Those pirates are like half a kilometer back.”

At this point, I was solidly out on nothing but rocks. The waves here were crashing hard close to the shore. I looked at the next bend and thought, “Nah, there isn’t that much room and it’s too much effort. This will do. So I took some photos.

Coastline #989

Wave crash #14

Wave crash #17

Wave crash #27

Wave #30

And then I began to walk back. And as I began this trek back that’s when I realized that the tide wasn’t going out but was instead, coming in.


Crap, I’ve got a long way to go. With the bike. And the rocks. And the waves. And the camera and equipment.

Alright, this is doable. I can do this. Like, right now! Go, Scott, Go!!!

The challenge here is that, at high tide on the southern end, it’s all rocks and the tide goes all the way to the side of the mountain. There are pockets of sandy areas and dry land here and there, but for the most part, high tide is waves crashing over rocks at the shoreline and running up to the mountain (or up the side of the mountain).

So my trip back was this: making short two-part runs around rocky bends hugging the coastline, one after another. At each bend, I’d set the bicycle and bag high up against the mountain to keep them dry and then do an inspection of what I needed to do to get around that particular bend. Once a set of larger waves finished crashing, I’d run out and take a quick look (or two if I didn’t have time) to identify a path over the rocks I could take which would get me to the other side free of injury. Then, after the next set of waves finished crashing, I’d pick up the bicycle over my shoulder and run as quickly as I could around the bend, depositing it on dry land on the other side.

Then I’d run back and get my bag. Wait for the waves again. Then run with the bag around the bend. I did this… I don’t know how many times.

And eventually, I made it. There were a couple of times during the trip back when my timing was less than perfect. I once found myself suddenly waist deep in water as a wave came rolling in, but my footing was sturdy so I was fine. And throughout this little adventure, when it was feasible, I would stop to take photos. Sometimes because it was beautiful. And sometimes just for the memory and perspective.

So, all in all….. Fun!!

Had I not taken a single photo, that would’ve been perfectly fine. Because I had an awesome little adventure!

More photos….
Shore #81

At water's edge #113

There were more than a few times when my feet and ankles took a beating by all the rocks being thrown about by the water. Like what you see here.
Flying pebbles #135

At water's edge #161

A bicycle lock would’ve REALLY have saved me a lot of trouble. 🙂
Bicycle #177

Still walking back toward the pirates and their ship. In perspective, if you look at the center of the picture… right around there is where the main road ends. The bay was so beautiful from this vantage point. Especially with that one massive cloud.
A cloud above #192

Water flows #220

The up side to my timing was that I got to see waves crashing the whole way back.
Wave crash #238

Foam is as close as it appears.
Foam #269

On the other side of the pirates now. Perspective again: see where the mountain meets the water? High tide? I was around on the OTHER side of that. (Not the island in the distance.)
Playa Herradura #270

Looking in the same direction as the previous photo (back from where I had come), you’ll notice that you can’t even see the boat any longer. It’s hidden behind two or three bends.
Playa Herradura #289

Playa Herradura #290

Ahhhhh! This was my final rest stop. I waited here in the shade for a little bit for the waters to calm. From here on out, it was mostly wet, sandy beach. Fun!
Playa Herradura #297

And your daily moment of tranquility.

About the Author

Hello, I'm Scott. I take photos. Do things. Whatnot. Mixed Digital Media Artist.

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