Not Blackpool

There’s a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That’s noted for fresh-air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert their son.

They didn’t think much to the ocean
The waves, they was fiddlin’ and small
There was no wrecks… nobody drownded
‘Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.

Daddy had a sermon to write, so today was designated special “mummy and Joni time” (read “remove that kid out of my hair”), and all year we’ve been driving past this road sign to “Playa Grande” and I’ve been thinking a village called “Large Beach” is definitely worth a visit.  So we packed up a picnic and to "Large Beach” Playa Grande we went. 

google map showing playa grande

A green road sign turns you off the main ruta 17, and onto a dusty mud-track too insignificant to feature on a map.  You bump along for some 12 kms or so heading north towards the Mar Chiquita (“little sea”; really an enormous salt lake), until the track comes to an abrupt halt right here;

Beach at playa grande

The “Playa Grande” is just that; one large beach, deserted but for the birdlife, adorned with dead trees like a dinosaur graveyard;

Joni looking at dead tree

If there ever used to be a village here, it is no longer; our car was the only sign of life on the shore-line all day…

Deserted shore line

With no cafe, ice-cream, or tacky souvenir outlets, Blackpool it certainly aint.  In fact it reminded me of the sort of places where my parents used to take us on holiday as kids… We made our own fun in them days.  (And I’ve still never been to Blackpool, how deprived am I?)  

While I congratulated myself on being organised enough to bring a picnic for once, Joni got straight to work extracting the full sensory benefits from the sand, mud and water, where he spent the entire day

Joni jumping on the sand

blissfully happy

Joni in the water

as a hippo

Joni digging

in a

Joni in water hole

mud hole.

Mummy enjoyed some relaxing time musing on the antics of the abundant oyster catchers, lapwings, and cormorants, with the squawking of the parakeets in the palm trees, and the passing groups of flamingos serving as reminders that we really weren’t on the east coast of Scotland;

flying flamingos  flamingos wading

(aside from the fact that the water was probably about ten degrees warmer than the north sea, and it wasn’t blowing a gale). 

I had thought we might string this out a couple of hours, and then maybe head on to one of the other local settlements, where the lights are neon and ice-cream is served.  In the end, we were still playing on the “Playa Grande” as darkness approached; and by the time I was pulling the car off the dirt-track and back onto tarmac, Joni was fast asleep in his car-seat.  The best sort of fun is still of the home-made variety. 

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