Lin and I have found that we don't enjoy life quite as much if we don't live near the ocean.
Or at least some huge body of water.
Lin grew up on Lake Erie and later moved to North San Diego County, USA. I was born in Lima, Peru and my mom and dad took us to the beach at Herradura or Kilometro 22 many weekends.
Lin and I got married and lived for 5 years in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, where our daughter Kelsey was born.
We love the Andes and the Amazon Jungle, but we love the beach - and beach combing - even more.
For many of us, air charged with
negative ions makes us feel good.
Really relaxed and smiling.
Perhaps this feeling of "bienestar" (wellbeing) has to do with negative ions, those little electrical charges that tickle our bodies' electrical systems.
Research has shown that the ocean and large bodies of water evaporating, for example in ocean surf and waterfalls, produce large quantities of negative ions.
Many studies have borne out that these negative ions produce a sense of
wellbeing and proximity to large bodies of waters can have this effect.
Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, for example, showed that negative ions help protect the body from induced physical stress1.
Surfers used to have a saying, "All problems are soluble in salt water." Apparently, those "personal research" results were right on the money.
A medicinal dose of Vitamin D (administered by Dr. Sun) mixed with negative ions is a good reason
to spend a few days at the beach to round out your travel in Peru.
Warm beaches, mainly in the North of Peru, are a good bet for sun and fun. Relax and smile before going home... and impress your friends with a deep tan when you get there.
What are some things you can do on your beach days in Peru?
Yup, all these things will get you close to those negative ions that
make you feel so good.
What can you expect to find while beach combing Peru?
Different kinds of sea life wash ashore, and we are always amazed at some of the interesting things we find.
For example, the Mermaid Purses above; we researched these and found
that they are egg containers, which hatch and protect live fish. We
were surprised to find that certain kinds of sharks and rays (skates)
lay these things.
Then, of course, who doesn't like finding starfish - the cute "regular" kind...
The big, many-legged whatever kind...
And the small, intricately bejeweled ones.
Of course, there are many more things to see, and you'll need to share the beach with other beach combers, like this Blue-footed Boobie (yes, that's the real name in English, in Spanish it's a piquero).
Blue-footed boobies are not afraid of people. I wouldn't get too close
though - those red beady low-set eyes give them a downright ominous
If you are in a beach town, you can people watch - fishermen coming in with their nets, folks of all ages collecting seaweed (for ceviche), starfish, and octupus at low tide. You're likely to get a present of a fish or starfish from locals. Be nice and take them (you can throw them back after they're out of sight if you like).
And it's always fun to watch the country folk from the mountains seeing the ocean for the first time. Ooohs and aaahs.
Yep, you bet, you really need to take two or three days off at the end of your Peru travels to beach comb, be it from a beach chair under an umbrella with a cold drink in your hand, or in a more active way.
1. See citation at http://nutritionreview.org