The Unbeach- by Austin

Our adventure this past week was adventurous, but not necessarily enjoyable. Austin used his nights off to craft this post for us. Enjoy, but not too much or I will be unseated as official family blogger.

Like Elise has already said, the township we’re staying in is quite nice, but it’s not exactly a bustling metropolis.  On top of that, being in a “coastal” area, Elise feels like the sea has been calling to her since the day we got here, and so she naturally wanted to go to a beach.  Now, there is a specific beach that supposedly has reasonably good waves (named after the American contractor that went there often when the refinery was under construction, so I think I believe the rumors), and that was her first pick.  Well, the customer isn’t too keen on letting us venture too far away from the township, and apparently this particular beach was outside of our permissible radius, so we were out of luck with that one.  At this point, panic ensued, and any beach would do, as long as we got to a beach, so someone gave us an idea for another beach that was mildly closer, though, and after getting the customer’s blessing, we ventured out.
Now for some background about beaches: It seems like, in India, there are two types of beaches.  Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I’m going to illustrate using my superb artistic abilities and Paint:
Beach 1:
Beach 2:
Now, I know I grew up in landlocked Colorado, but I thought it was pretty natural that beaches get gradually deeper, as you get further away from the shore, and I had never really heard of the second type until I got here.  I’m assuming the beach we wanted to go to fits into the first category, but, needless to say, we were on our way to the second beach, with the promise that it was going to be much more fun than the beach we originally wanted to go to.
As we got closer to our destination, I started looking for signs of water, but didn’t see any.  I didn’t start to get really worried until our driver made a turn onto the sand, drove to the edge of a small rise, stopped, and told us we had arrived.

Just in case you’re looking at the picture thinking the same thing that I was thinking, I highlighted it for you.  The water is easily two or three miles from where we were at the beginning of the beach.  I guess we had gotten there at precisely low tide or something.  At this point, we had come too far not to try, plus, Landon had just woken up for a nap, and was excited to go for a nice, long walk.  So we ventured out.  The first mile or so was fine; mostly sand, with some small puddles every once in awhile.  There were lots of hermit crabs moving around, and we saw a few birds out there, too.
Once we got about halfway there, things started to get a little stickier, though.  The sand turned into mud, and started to look more like a barren wasteland.  At this point, we started to sink with every step, and at a certain point, Landon got flustered, stopped walking, and started yelling “Tuck! Tuck!” since he still has some trouble with his ‘S’ sounds.  There were also some weird little sandworm things that were probably 8” long, and would dart between holes in the mud, which I’m pretty sure freaked him out, too. (Elise comment- They certainly freaked Austin out!) That meant that I got to carry him for the duration, which would have been fine, except I went almost instantly from sinking into mud up to my ankles to sinking into mud up to mid-shin.  At that point, the water that was still a little over a mile away might as well have been on the moon, because there was no way we were getting there.
Looking out on the mudflats from half way back
Looking towards the “beach” from half way back

Landon looking at the hermit crabs

Muddy family pic- Landon found something over there!
There were two redeeming things about the trip to the unbeach.  The first one came on our way back to the car.  Since we had spent the better part of an hour wading through mud, we were, naturally, quite muddy; not wanting to get Mr. Khan’s car filthy, we stopped at a puddle on the way back to wash off.  By this point, Landon had calmed down, mostly because he could walk, and the giant sea worms had disappeared.  I was a little concerned about how he would do while we were cleaning ourselves off, but the hermit crabs I talked about earlier kept him entertained.  I had turned my back on him, and I heard kind of a shrill shriek, so I whipped my head around to see what was going on, and Landon was looking down with a big grin on his face, watching a swarm of pea-sized hermit crabs running around at his feet.  I have no idea what he thought, but it must have looked like the sand was just flowing around him.  It was definitely the highlight of his day.

The other neat thing we did on the way back was stop by Domino’s pizza in Jamnagar.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, being in India, but I was fairly certain it would be nothing like Domino’s in the US, and sure enough, I was right.  It probably fell somewhere between Little Caesar’s and a less salty Cici’s on the pizza scale, but beggars can’t be choosers.  The menu was divided into two sections: Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian (aka: various flavors of chicken).  Needless to say, we opted for the non-veg.  Don’t get me wrong, the pizza exceeded my expectations, but it wasn’t quite like the stuff we got in Napoli.
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