This was quite an interesting saturday of beach. Full of relax, laughter, tattoos, beach vendors and fortune tellers. That's how our 11/11 weekend went.
We are lucky to live close to the beach, so, without much thought, Claudia organized a trip to Cata. We drove all the way through the wooded road to the village.
Cata is one of my favorite beaches in Ocumare.
This time we decided to go by car and let the bikes rest. We packed a little bag and at 8am we were on our way to our destination. Already on the road I realized that I had forgotten to bring a towel and other essentials but no biggie!
As soon as we arrived we sat at a table by the sea, had some delicious arepitas for breakfast prepared by Beatriz and filled them with a tuna salad that Claudia brought, it was divine!
A few minutes later an ambulant artisan gave Claudia a handmade palm flower as a gift, he respectfully commented that he was attracted by her beauty and for that reason he made the gesture.
After talking for a while we concluded that since it was November 11, it would be a good idea to do a meditation to align ourselves with our best intentions and let go of everything that doesn't edify us, and what better place to do it than in the sea? The water that cleanses everything, so powerful but at the same time so subtle.
So that's what we did, on 11/11 at 11:11 we decided to go into the sea to do this mindfulness exercise, to observe and be grateful. The waves were strong and it was difficult to enter the sea without being tossed by the waters, Beatriz didn't notice and entered with her glasses, as expected she lost them and due to the difficulty to move forward she decided to sit on the shore and meditate, Claudia did the same.
I persisted a bit and passed the roughest part of the sea to get ahead of where the waves break. It was worth it, the water was beautiful and although the waves came and went frequently at this point I could float and let them pass. I took my time and made a mental list of things to be thankful for and let go of, I really enjoy these little rituals.
On the way out, as usual, we were approached by one of the ice cream vendors. He had previously approached us and upon our refusal he left, but not before saying he would be back and so he did. We were curious, we wondered how one can survive being a street vendor so on his return we talked to him and he told us a little about how he does it.
He commented that he doesn't change the freedom of working on the beach, managing his schedule at his convenience and enjoying meeting new people, even if it meant making less money than a regular job.
We agreed that we would buy him an ice cream before we left, he had to visit another beach so he agreed to come back later.
Johnny, the ambulant tattoo artist, when he saw that we were joking with Carlos, also approached us and told us about his experience as a salesman. He only sells during the high season and the rest of the time he works as a laborer. He slowly, between jokes and laughter, convinced us and ended up making a tattoo for Claudia.
As soon as Johnny left, we were approached by another salesman. This time with the intention of reading our hand, after giving us a rather generic but entertaining speech/reading, he gave us each a quartz and a quartz bonsai (made of copper) and only asked for whatever was in our heart in exchange, imagine that! Of all the vendors this one was the most skillful. Of course we were not going to receive his work without giving him something in return and even less understanding the effort involved in working on the beach. He knew it, we knew it too. We contributed some money and he left.
It was a funny weekend where we were able to enjoy and get to know other realities. Recognizing the ingenuity of the Venezuelan people to make a living with enthusiasm and creativity.