Sand Dollar Beaches in Ecuador

Treasures of the sea. A sand dollar. Some might value fancy cars, luxurious homes, glamorous

clothes and jewelry . But for me it felt like a I just won first prize.

We were riding our bikes today on the longest stretch of beach in Ecuador. 14 km of sandy

beach stretching from General Villimil Playas all the way to VIA DATA going towards Posorja.

This stretch of beach is wildly popular with Ecuadorians who view this area as the weekend

beach and surf getaway from the busy metropolis of Guayaquil. So when it gets hot in the city,

many city residences travel one and a half hours to Playas to cool down. Playas is well known

for its EL PASEO mall located on the beach with a cinema, the abundant amount of seafood

restaurants that stretches for miles, endless amount of sand dollars and the sun. Back in 1982,

UNESCO rated Playas the 2nd best climate in the world. No so much today, but Playas still

has the glitter and charm that Ecuadorians are looking for in a vacation or weekend getaway.

We stand out. Gary and I both wear brightly colored reflective vests, helmets and take bike

riding safety pretty seriously. Even if we are the only ones on the beach for miles. Never know

when a speeding fish truck will fly by. So as we rode our bikes through the soft sand, we can

see thousands of markings from sand dollars that are slightly below the surface of the sand.

I exclaimed to Gary. LOOK!! A sand dollar! It was so perfect, unbroken from the tumultuous

waves. Pure joy awash as I admired natures exquisite details.

As I carefully picked up this delicate shell, I could not help but smile, as the legend of the

sand dollar came to mind.

In the corner is a star and around it an Easter lily. The openings represent the wounds of Jesus.

When broken open, five doves of peace are found. On the reverse side is the design of the

poinsettia, the flower of Christmas.

This reminded me, as we go through life, we value so many different things in different

stages of life. I remember when I was a was the fast sporty car, my twenties, the

career job, my thirties, the nice home. As you see, there are no right or wrongs here, we

all deserve what brings us joy and happiness. So, do you value success? Wealth?

The lifestyles of the rich and famous? Or the simplicity of what treasures you find apart

of ones environment? Now that I am in my forties, it’s the latter.

So, as I preserve and cherish this precious treasure of the sea, the sand dollar, it will

forever remind me that life is about sharing, caring, and helping where you can, and

most importantly the promise of love.

Travel on Dudes!

By Janis Bokar

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