September 11, 2013
At low tide the beach in front of Matemwe Beach Village becomes a large flat basin of coral tidal pools and sandy areas that stretch more than a half a mile to where the waves break on a distant reef.
Here the local women farm seaweed that they cultivate on ropes tied between vertical sticks.
A welcome path leads through a basin area making it easier to avoid the myriad sea urchins whose spiny outer coverings dot the area like land mines.
Unfortunately the path diminishes and finally disappears before reaching the outer beach of breaking waves.
On our last morning we donned beach boots borrowed from hotel reception to make the pilgrimage out to the breakers. However, after the previous day’s storm low tide wasn’t as low as on previous days and following the path required wading in thigh-deep water, making it that much more difficult to dodge the sea urchins. Nonetheless we managed the hour walk out and back without incident.