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 teen..it 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