We stop and he says to me, ‘I see a green light down there.’
I doubt it.
How could a green light be floating in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea?
Its late at night, and we’ve been walking for hours at this point.
He’s got to be seeing things.
We make a few jokes laugh it off and continue, we have a long ways to go still.
Amin has come to Torrox to visit! He hear’s we have the best climate in Europe, so he’s made this place a pit stop on his 7 week tour through Europe. He’s from Montreal and is an example of the lasting friendships you can make while Couch Surfing, as I was surfing with his roommate (she is also a friend I still keep in touch with too!) last summer when I went to Canada in August.
Yesterday was his first day here, and I had heard at school that outside of Nerja there was going to be this big nighttime festival, so I suggested we go.
We missed the bus to the coast. Its 7pm Thats ok…we can walk.
We missed the bus from the coast to Nerja. Thats ok…lets buy some nuts and chocolate…and carry a bottle of wine…we can walk to Nerja.
Its 11pm when we get to the party in Nerja! The joke becomes that when I explained to him in Spanish this would be fun,…I made a mistake with my adjectives and I really meant to say long.
But 4 hours of walking didn’t bring our spirits down, we enjoyed some music danced some silly dance moves, drank some, talked some, ate some and had fun lots some.
I had to work this morning so we couldn’t stay out too late, besides we were both extremely tired and had to walk back to Torrox.
And we walked.
And walked some more.
And kept on walking,…and at this point its somewhere around 2am and we are on a small gravel road off the highway, its almost pitch black as there was no moon in the sky and we were still far from town. The stars are out and the sound of the ocean at our side.
I think he noticed it first, but somehow we both stopped what we were doing and looked down from the cliffs at the waves below. When the waves crashed onto the beach there was a green glow that followed. There were other green glowing patches of water as well. He had seen green in the water!
We were tired, delirious, and had been drinking a few….but we were both sure of what we were seeing. We ran down the steps to the beach to take a closer look.
That was our discovery of bioluminescent bacteria.
I’ve only ever seen in this once before on an island of Puerto Rico and thats how recognized this strange green glowing water. The green glow is from a bacteria that lives in the water and has bioluminescent properties, basically glowing when it touches something…like rocks on the shore.
The bacteria can attract predators like, zooplankton or fish and other creatures that can ingest it ( which can cause them to glow too!) but some of these predators can’t digest it,…so the bacteria passes through them and when it gets pooped out its received its nutrients needed to survive and can continue on living the good bacteria life.
How cool is that?
The science and design behind it is interesting, but the visual presentation is stunning. Its truly magical, as the waves glow as they travel down the shore, or as the rocks shimmer and dazzle as the water recedes back. We just stood in awe and wonder at what we had come across.
We walked along the beach, but the closer we got to Torrox the lights of the town faded the bioluminescence till it seemly disappeared all together.
12km (7.44mi) of walking. An 8 hour journey. 5 hours of sleep that night. Bioluminescent bacteria along the way. I say it was all worth it.
…I should add here that I’m a total nocturnal. Why have a day at the beach, when you could have a night at the beach? Especially if the water glows!! Plus…if the bacteria moves when it touches something, we should be able to cause the bioluminescence by our movements in the water. Plans are currently in formation to have a night time beach swim picnic with Tina : )