The Grass-Beach Chronicles

All text and images in this article courtesy of Lincoln Eiley of Corozal Realty.

Notes from Corozal Town, Belize : William “Bill” Link

Although promoted relentlessly by the “Travelcation” industry, sandy beaches are highly over-rated. I can confirm this having lived more than two decades near tropical beaches, from Mexico to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to East, West and South African shores and Louisiana; and another decade to boot, on Great Lakes beaches in and near Chicago.

Famously, the beach across the street from my sea-front office (corner stool; Primo’s Casita Bar) in Corozal Town, Belize, Central America, is green-green grass gently sloping down to beautiful, topaz colored Corozal Bay. In contrast to a Rubicon of burning sand my beach is cool to bare feet. There, children gambol and are not crying because someone kicked grass into their eyes.  

I have watched bands of sand-beachcombers quarter a hot granular shore like bird dogs  armed with metal-detectors proving what most already know, that a sand beach is a sink-hole-portal to another dimension where watches, rings, small-change and car keys vanish forever. I can report further that sand in one’s shoe, a condition romanticized by some, is not nearly as pleasant as a few blades of close-cut lawn caught between your toes. Even better, sand invading other body crevices is a non-irritation issue on my beach.

Green grass does not collect in gritty piles on spread-out blankets, and children are not scolded by parents for walking on them because they have a few leaves of grass stuck to their feet. The blankets fail to blow away in a breeze, held fast by the living carpet; and, sand-free towels can be swept up to swaddle wet toddlers in an instant.

Coconut palms and other trees grow right down to the water’s edge providing shade, and multiple stanchions for hammocks to swing from. Beach umbrellas, ubiquitous to sand-strands are rarely seen on Corozal Town’s pastoral seaside except to shade a street-side vendor parked in the sun.

Perhaps I shouldn't chuckle as resort owners and builders in Belize truck tons of sand around to build artificial and ultimately environmentally unsustainable sand beaches. Before long, these hot-foot generating illusions will wash away and be costly to replenish. Grass stays put.

Psychologically I think, a sand beach suggests risk-less continuity, no tactile surprise occurs as you wade out, feet treading on sand; only now it’s wet. Corozal’s luxurious grass beach on the other hand, marks an abrupt mental terminus between land and sea. Soft mud and rocks surprise your feet as you cast off into the bay.  Contrast-anxiety is replaced by comfort though when returning to our soft green beach, wading ashore to cool grass underfoot instead of sole burning sand.   

Courtesy of Corozal Daily (Sometimes)



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