La Playa Sucia

First day at the beach: 10/6/12

After the treacherous day where we spent two hours stuck in the mud we went to the local beach for the first time. I should mention the town we are living in, El Combate, is a seasonal beach town where most visitors are Puerto Ricans on vacation. The “homes” here are a mix of colorful trailer/house creations and large 3 story homes on stilts. The odd thing is everything is gated. EVERYTHING. Even the RV homes are gated. I don’t know if this town is unsafe or it is a way of showing off you can afford to gate your home. Either way it makes the neighborhood less welcoming. Our neighbor and landlord is named Victor. I like Victor and I chat with him in Spanish when I see him, today I told him, “Nuestra guagua no puede mover, necesito empuje, fue en la tierra con agua (no clue how to say mud- I figured he would get the water/land mix) ” yeah that’s how good my Spanish is.

So after we scarfed down lunch (veggie sandys) we headed to the beach. It is about a 6 minute walk to the beach; you walk by all the gated houses, pass a cute golden retriever puppy (not a stray-he has a collar! And lives behind a gate!) and cross the empty parking lot through another few houses that are se vende, and there is the beach. Playa sucia.

Yes the beach in El Combate literally translates to dirty beach. Today there was a family BBQ going on. So it was 3 gringas and about 6 kids and a stray perrito!!!!! Those of you who know me know that I love dogs, all dogs. So when I come to places where there are endless amounts of stray animals I want to take them all in. Interestingly enough this was the first stray I have seen in El Combate and he was a black puppy- looked like a little lab mix (Mom you said you wanted a lab?) The children LOVED this thing they picked him up and carried him into the water so he had to swim back to shore, one little girl carried him around and brought him over to us so we could pet the pooch. Then she started to create a “casita para la perrita” (she told me this, unless it should be por instead of para, then that’s what she said). She spent 20 minutes dragging dead palm fronds across the little beach to build a shelter for the pup. He also got their leftover ribs and hamburger buns, so a happy day for that guy. He would just run down the beach and everyone would pick him up and play with him. In the meantime the family’s personal puppy was tied up with a pink leash and matching collar, whining and trying to be free. I sat there wondering which dog I felt worse for.

After swimming in the warm, clouded turquoise waters, with slimy bottoms (it’s that slippery algae sand that makes you squeal when you put your feet down) Bonnie-May and Leanne left and I hung back to soak in some rays and people watch. While sitting under the palm trees, with coconuts hanging from their branches, drinking my gold 10 oz can of Medalla lite beer (little cans are way cuter, eh?), watching Royal Terns glaze across the ocean and overlooking the Puerto Rican waters, I felt like “this is what its like to be in a Corona commercial”. However, cut to the 6 children running around screaming in the waters, the stray puppy looking like he was going to take a dump on my towel and trying to eat a dead fish, and the slimy sand goop I realized this was not that commercial. It’s better. Playa sucia may only be a couple blocks long but as long as I am concerned that’s my spot.

On another note, I said to the cute little boy, “que paso” and he said “nada”.
El Combate beach

Classic PR drink- gasolina, like a fruity rum sprtizer- pretty sure more sugar than alcohol 

One of my new friends Penelope (well that is what I called her- loved this lady!)

Some of my favorites, a cold (now lukewarm) medalla and a guayaba from Victor

Ah to be tan


  1. Mud in Spanish is barro or lodo (not sure which they would use in PR, but either will probably get the message accross). Also is guagua what they call your truck??!?! Because in Chilean Spanish it guagua means baby, which makes what you said really hilarious.
    I think your beach sounds perfect even if the algae is a bit gross. Probably too much Nitrogen runoff from fertilizer, or perhaps Nitrogen from sewage (lets hope not). Sounds like you are having a good time.
    -Besos Daniela


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