Last weekend I decided that I had been in Belize far too long without taking a dip in the Caribbean Sea. Though PG is a seaside town, it doesn’t really have any beaches; most of the locals go swimming off of wooden docks because the shore is rocky and unwelcoming. I had heard a rumor, however, that there was a hidden sandy beach behind the graveyard on the far southern edge of town. I had a Saturday free, so I decided to put my adventure hat on and see if I could find it.

I biked until I discovered the graveyard, and as I walked behind it I spotted a handful of bikes parked ahead. Getting excited, I followed the trail and found a stretch of rocky shore where several locals were snorkeling. I threw down my stuff and waded into the water — it was slightly cooler than a bath and felt amazing in the stifling heat. Though I enjoyed it, the rocky bottom was quite uncomfortable to stand on and I reflected sadly on what seemed to be a false rumor. As I stood on the shore looking back on PG, however, I noticed some people walking through the woods above me. My curiosity got the  better of me — what if there was a sandy beach if I just went further?


The view of PG from the “beach”

My exploration soon became an unexpected hike in a bathing suit and sandals. Starting to become wary of the bites and scratches I was inevitably going to suffer if I went too far into the woods in this outfit, I was about to turn back when I spotted a man ahead.  I decided to ask him if it was worth continuing.

“Excuse me, is there a beach up here?”
“Is it rocky?”
“Is it far?”
“Not too far. Do you want me to show you?”

Suddenly aware that I was talking to a stranger in the woods wearing only a bathing suit, I politely declined and kept on trekking myself. A little further ahead, I reached an inlet where the ocean flowed inland like a river. I could see that there was indeed a small sandy beach on the other side, but as I had my camera and phone on me I didn’t want to swim across. I stood looking at it for a little while and had almost given up hope when a family came out of the woods behind me. I waved hello and watched as a father, a mother, two children, and two dogs started walking into the water. They walked about thirty feet out from shore and then turned right along a sandbar to loop back to the beach on the other side. Amazed, I followed them, never hitting water deeper than my knees.


The family that guided me across the ocean

As it turned out, the beach wasn’t all that impressive. I’m still not certain if I found the rumored spot–or for that matter, if it even exists. The sandy part was just large enough for the family to enjoy, so I trekked on a little further, enjoying wading through water with a soft, sandy bottom. The views of Punta Gorda and the mountains of Guatemala alone were worth the trip to this secluded spot. I laid down on a large rock to read for a while and then turned around to head home.

On my way back, the father I’d seen before wordlessly directed me across the sandbar. There was one moment where I was twenty feet out into the ocean and hopelessly lost: every direction around me seemed to be water up to my chest. I looked back at him and he smiled and pointed me onward. It was a delightful interaction that left me abuzz with the beauty of human kindness and our ability to communicate across languages. Despite my failure to find a sandy beach to lie on, I could not have been more satisfied with my day.




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