I was a bit hesitant when I started walking to Paradise beach. I was told there was no road, but you just follow the coast line and I would get beautiful scenery along the way. I came at the end of a road near the water and climbed over some steps. A few kids were fishing and a man came to the water with some little kids. I followed a small dirt road, which led to a whole lot more dirt. I felt like I was walking on a path paved with garbage. It was disgusting.
I decided to walk a little further from the water where I saw a road. I still passed heaps of garbage for a while. Fishermen were standing on the rocks and occasionally somebody walked towards me, not paying much attention to me. The path got smaller and on my left I only saw a few buildings. The city was disappearing behind me. Some kids sat in the grass, shouting ‘hola!’ to me. As I walked passed them it changed to ‘Dinero?!’
I came past a lighthouse/military base or something and wasn’t sure if I was even allowed to take the path next to it. It looked official and I didn’t want to trespass. A dog started barking and a guy popped his head out of the window to see what was happening. I pointed towards the path I wanted to take and he nodded and waved. I kept going. The path went passed the golf course and then many small paths led through the hills.
I climbed up and down, following the paths closest to the water, not knowing exactly how far I still had to go. On one of the tops I found a man on a donkey. He was letting his cows out to graze. The old man smiled at me, amazed to see a foreigner on these tracks. He stuck up his thumb and kept repeating a word. This man made my day. ‘Playa?’ he said. I nodded a yes, smiled and kept going.
When I finally reached the beach it was already pretty late in the afternoon. A few guys were playing football, a couple sat on the beach and another couple was preparing to leave. I walked around a bit, felt the water and just breathed in the fresh air. A guy immediately approached me, telling me he was the owner of some café that looked like a little shed. It was about time for me to turn around though. If I wanted to be back before dark at least.
As I walked back up the hill the couple stopped their car. They could offer me a ride, but unfortunately they were going in the wrong direction. The walk back seemed to be much faster though. Donkey man was gone. A few men were running. The dog barked again at the lighthouse and I gave the man another wave. Towards the town it became busier. When I got back I was right on time for sunset.