I like beaches without the crowds

By Osmel Almaguer

Beach near Guanabo, Havana. Photo: Caridad
Beach near Guanabo, Havana. Photo: Caridad

Last Sunday I went to Guanabo Beach, one of the most visited shores on our capital’s eastern coast.

My body had been begging for a bit of relaxation, but my mind insisted on studying, because I have to graduate and still have a year to go.

Finally I decided to call my friend Leslie, and by noon we were on our way.

The urban buses were passing full so we went to a place where inter-provincial buses pick up people going east to Matanzas Province.

We were immediately able to board a minibus by paying the under-the-table price of 10 pesos (about 40 cents USD), which the driver pocketed – as is customary.

In ten minutes we made the trip that would have taken much longer on a normal bus.

We went to an area on the coast where there were not a whole lot of people since the sand is not so fine, nor so clean. We prefer it like this because too many people congregate in other places; you can hear their conversations, they splash water and kick sand and yell and everything else.

I like to go to the beach to rest, to get rid of stress: to drink, eat, look around, play and get a tan only with the people I want around me.

Since the beach is free, the seashore is the preferred destination for almost everybody. That’s why people from all over the capital meet up at the same places and form this mass that I try to avoid, maybe because I was raised in the tranquility of my home on the outskirts.

Such proximity results in incursions and triggers conflict, because although people go to the beach to relax, they also drag along their frustrations from the preceding week – all their hassles, headaches, etc.; and that’s not mentioning how some people just don’t get along well with others.

With all this, I don’t mean to say that I spurn people, only that I view the sea as something magic, and I prefer to enjoy it alone.

Fortunately, on Sunday I was able to escape from the mundane mutter, to dive into the magic of nature and into my own inner world. It was an experience whose beauty cannot be put into words.