Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Life on South Padre Island

Anna decided to give a tour of some of her favorite places here on South Padre Island. Today we are showing you where we stay, which is a county park called Isla Blanca. It's on the very southern tip of the island so the gulf is on one side, the Brownsville channel on another and the Laguna Madre on the third. It's surrounded by water! It has a wonderful beach and is also known for fishing.

When we look out our living room window we see the Cristo that stands at the entrance to the Brownsville channel. Brownsville port is to the right and the Gulf of Mexico is a couple hundred yards to the left.

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This is still in the US, but only a few miles from Mexico and the population is 96% Hispanic so Spanish is the preferred language. This is the Christ dedicated to fishermen.

Sometimes we see huge ships coming and going and can look online to see their destination. They travel all over the world. A frequent destination is Panama and also Europe.

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Let's hop on our bike and head up the channel first. The bike path goes all the way around the park and is a couple miles long.

First we pass Dolphin Cove and there really are dolphins there, but it's hard to get a photo of them. We saw a mother and her young one yesterday, swimming ahead of a large ship. There are sea turtles, too, and protecting them is a big part of the work done on this island.

Here we are on the Laguna Madre looking across to the mainland.

This bridge is the only way onto the island and goes to a town called Port Isabelle. That's where we go shopping.

While we stopped a great blue heron flew in. I bet he'd like a fish!

Let's continue on the bike path and head to the beach, my favorite place!

But, wait! We have to stop and take a photo of these cattle egrets.

And the cactus is in bloom.

But, this is where I like to be: the beach!

It's a week day so there is hardly anyone here, although some people will come after school and work.

The snack bar is only open on weekends, too, until summer comes. My favorite is elotes which is roasted corn with chili powder and lime sprinkled on it.

This sign says "Respect your beach. Pick up the trash." That's a big problem here, getting people to throw their trash away properly. Last year the park bought dozens more trash barrels and put them out along the beach, which helps, but it's still disappointing to see how much gets left after a busy weekend. The maintenance staff works hard to pick it all up.

Now it's time to head home and get our swim suits. It's hot out and I can't wait to get in the water. I hope you enjoyed our tour of Isla Blanca!