Moving on from the foggy woods, the short trail was slightly descending downhill towards the beach. With the trees and brush behind us, we quickly conquered a few short staircases and were greeted by the wide open spaces, ready for our feet to hit the sand. It was late already as dusk set in with little daylight left, but who would resist a short stroll along the beach, right? It was priceless to hear the waves crash ashore and I would love to add that we were watching the sunset, but the foggy conditions were hiding the rays within its thick, opaque cloud of mystery. The picture perfect sunset with the romantic views (did I mentioned before that I’m a hopeless romantic?) of the sun disappearing into the ocean were replaced with a mystical feel of serenity and peace. It was perfect even without the warm fireball that was hiding from us.
I scoured the area for treasure, such as rocks, driftwood, fossils, leaves and seashells. Whatever I could find that evoked some kind of emotion while speaking to my heart. Of course time went by even faster and somehow it always seems to do so when we enjoy ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing. We didn’t get very far as we decided that we better turn around and head back. Snapping a few more pictures at the wooden tepee that almost knocked me out earlier with a plank coming loose and landing straight on my forehead (well, yeah I had to check the inside and yeah, I did feel that one as it would leave my forehead sore to the touch for days), we came across a group of people that were in the process of leaving the beach. “Enjoy our fire if you want to” we heard them call towards us as one by one made their way up the stairs. Within close proximity was a decent fire (actually it was pretty good size) and we couldn’t believe that it was left behind with nobody tending to it or putting it out to prevent the escaping embers to set a fire. The initial plan was to put it out, but I have to admit that I’m a sucker for campfires and I love sitting around that glowing ring of fire while letting its warmth’s hug my soul. Plus I never knew that you could have fires (where have I been) at the beach and it’s hard to believe that in all my years this has finally been a first. I can’t believe what I missed in all my hiking years, but like they say “Better late then never” and I’m sure it won’t be the last fire of this sort.
We stayed and sat next to the fire, rearranging the burning logs and keeping the fire fed with what was already within the built stone fire ring. I didn’t want to leave and I know that I could have easily slept next to fire all night. I’m sure the thought crossed my mind as I wondered why we paid for our campsite as the beach was free. Surely, I would have gotten cold at some point during the night, unless I kept the fire going, but I didn’t cared much and maybe it was then that a plan was born to cowboy camp in the soft sand next to ocean some day. It got darker and darker and the shoreline on either side of us was lit with fires that was dotting the beaches. I saw a young group carrying their musical instruments make their way to the right of us and shortly afterwards a new fire was born. I couldn’t help but think about how cool it would be to make a little video of them around the fire, playing their music to the background of the ocean. I was close and I was contemplating to ask, but in the end I respected their privacy and let them enjoy themselves among each other. There was something primal about all the fires lighting up, something you don’t see every day. It felt wild and you know how much I love the word “Wild” as I associate it with the memories that stay with us through thick and thin. The memories that stand out and translate into the wild moments of our life that we remember. The moments of our life when we “Light it up” in whatever form possible.
I would have to lie if I said that I wasn’t a bit nervous of walking up the hillside, through the brush and the woods in the dark, and yet I couldn’t tear myself away from the fire. I was mesmerized and it was the best campfire of the trip, plus it was inherited on top of it. We left eventually and I found that the worries of the dark were no worries at all. I even preferred to lead us up the trail which is a bit unusual for me since I’m usually the tail-light and don’t mind letting somebody else safe guard the path for me in the form of giving slithering reptiles (snakes) a chance to get away by the time I make it through. I had no problem at all that night and the half moon provided enough light to make out the path. Worries were replaced with a sense of adventure and some sort of adrenaline rush that had me enjoy every moment. I loved it and I’m sure that this experience was wild enough to stay with me forever. Definitely a must do if you visit the ocean.