Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

Among all the less than pleasantries that come with parenting there are those sweet moments that keep us going, and bring fullness to our existence.  Moments when the efforts of our daily struggles seem to be working out.  Like when a kid finally takes their plate to the sink after dinner without being asked, when I get an expression of sincere "Thanks Mom," when they are kind to each other just because, or when their goofy antics make us laugh.  I savor those moments!  To me they are sweet mercies!  Like islands that lift and renew my energy.  This photo will always remind of one of those moments.  We decided to visit a nearby national park called Marino Ballena, named for a unique spit that emerges from the water during low tide that looks just like a whale tale from above.  We started at the very south border of the park and found ourselves on a nearly deserted beach.  The map at the ranger station revealed a picture of waterfalls that could be accessed at low tide so we set off in search of the fabled falls.  The kids rallied together as explorers marching down the beach in enlivened harmony.  I felt deep gratitude as I watched them all tromp together through this breathtaking part of the world.  For the moment, completely excited to be voyaging together.  A rare cherished memory of synergy.

In the end we found the jagged cliff face to be impassable for all of our little legs, but we found some creatures hidden in tide pools among these giant rocks, anemones, snails, urchins, and lots and lots of black rock crabs.  We also found a little alcove with some black sand, perfect for a sand war. 

Sand wars always start like this, all fun and games,
and end like this.
Once the joy and excitement of our exploring adventure wore
off, someone had a hard time with the walking.  Such a
beautiful places for a meltdown.

On our way back we found an estuary to play in.  These areas where fresh water flows into the salt water quickly became a sought after oasis.  The Pacific in this area is incredibly warm.  To the point that it doesn't feel refreshing.  The rivers, on the other hand, are cool and invigorating, and, my personal favorite, not salty.  Maggie and Max had fun jumping over the river, a little group of islands called Los Tres Hermanas can be seen in the background.

One of us is serious about sun protection.
There was a great little pool where the river met the beach
that we took full advantage of.  
Today's school lesson, buoyancy.
Only Aaron was able to help Tessa move on from meltdown.
He is magical.  Meanwhile the others loved tromping through
the pools at the edge of the beach and the rocks where the
sea water had been heated to bathtub temperature.
The day was still young so we went to the most popular area of the park where the spit is.  The tide was up by this time, but we found another estuary where we could build sand castles by the fresh water and in the shade.  Perfect!

Max, "Today wasn't very interesting.  We packed up and drove to a natural reserve.  We payed $12 for parking and went to a beach.  We went along the beach and found a stream.  The current was fast, but it was cool so we cooled off.  After that we climbed some huge rocks and threw sand at each other.  Then we couldn't find a waterfall so we went to a different beach."  

1 comment:

  1. A) Gorgeous pictures!
    B) Max was clearly too exhausted by the magic of it all to include the happy details that you did. :)