One morning this week, right after the ritual of brewing coffee, my attention was turned for the first time to the deserted sand and coral stone road by my campsite that appeared to go nowhere. With coffee mug in one hand, and a walking stick in the other, I set out to further explore my surroundings.
The road soon narrowed and bent around to the right.
The sky was clear, and the morning sun brilliant ~ almost too bright for my cell phone camera. As I rounded the curve, there before me was a wall of tropical vegetation and what looked to be an old, somewhat overgrown path.
With senses heightened, I continued slowly and with caution. Believe it or not, even in paradise there are snakes. Fortunately, I spotted none along the way, but that doesn't mean they weren't watching me!
The ground felt soggy beneath my feet, and had a strong, earthy smell ~ much like fresh mulch. With each step, I checked the path and tree branches overhead for snakes, bofo frogs, and iguana. There was definitely an opening ahead.
Once back out in the bright light of day, I turned around and snapped a photo of the dark green tunnel from which I had just emerged.
I was now standing on a very small, very rocky beach. To the left of me...
...and to the right...
Mangrove trees, like these here, are responsible for islands forming over time in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as along the Straights of Florida. The Mangroves send out multiple root shoots, and in no time form clusters of trees. The tree roots capture rocks and sand with the changing tides, eventually creating new islands.
Having discovered this charming little secret hideaway, I did the next very obvious thing: returned straightway with folding chairs...
...and a buddy!
NOTE: Buddy insisted on my deleting his pic, because he was self-concious about it revealing his bare chest with its flat boy titties, scant chest hairs, and girl-like biceps. Because I love him, I obligued, but not without this cartoon protest!
After all, what good is having a secret beach if no one else knows about it?
Come on in! The water's SO fine.