Accessible Beaches in Aruba

If you have CMT chances are that you may be a little unsteady on your feet or tire easily, making a trip to the beach challenging.  We vacation in Aruba, most years staying at our Divi Timeshare at Druif beach. Since I’ve been diagnosed with CMT, I’ve noticed each year more difficulty entering the sea and finding it almost impossible to get out of the water by myself. With loss of nerve function and muscle, I have found myself beached, unable to exit the surf more than I care to remember. That one last insurmountable step-up in the sand, while the undertow drags me back, traps me every time.

Druif Beach Divi                                                                                                   photo by Melinda Lang

Getting in and out of the waves gracefully is only one of the challenges faced at the beach. When the need arises to use the restroom, I walk the beach on the way there past the volleyball players and the pelicans resting on their posts. However, on the return trip I give in to my fatigue, taking the easier route along the sidewalk back to my beach hut. This year, while struggling to walk in the sand, carefully lifting my leg high enough hoping not to trip over my dropped foot, I needed to take a little rest.  So, I paused pretending to look for sea shells. I found myself worrying about a day when I won’t be able to stroll the beach at all. I wondered how much time I had left before walking into and out of the water becomes impossible.  What we will do with our time share then.

peilcans cruising                                                                                               photo by Melinda Lang

However, the next day while walking on the boardwalk at a nearby hotel along Palm beach, I noticed a sign for an area reserved for the handicapped.  At this point, the boardwalk branched out towards the beach giving way to a wooden patio with palapas, accessible to wheelchairs and with a few beach lounges reserved for the rest of the group, just a few feet from shore.

Divi Phoenix beach
Surprisingly, tropical beaches with wheelchair access and handicap friendly walk ways and even wheelchair friendly catamarans all are available in Aruba. I am so relieved knowing that as my condition worsens, I no longer have to worry about giving up the sun, the sand and the surf altogether.

                    photo Divi Phoenix

The idea for this post came after reading Jori Reijonen’s, Ph.d. “CMT Grief and Healing”  Read more here: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art174843.asp
I’ll research other accessible beaches and provide more info with my next post.

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This entry was posted in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Health CMT, neuromuscular disease, peripheral neuropathy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Accessible Beaches in Aruba

  1. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs
    I stumbleupon every day. It will always be useful to read through articles from other writers and use something from other sites.

    Like

  2. cmtny says:

    Pamela, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and let me know that you find my posts “uplifting.” Sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your CMT and being diagnosed at such a young age.
    I am researching other accessible beaches and hope to add info here soon. It would be great if I could visit the beaches and take photos first. We’ll see!

    Like

  3. Pamela Finney says:

    Thank you for this! I have always regretted not doing some sort of Caribbean vacation before I ended up in a scooter full-time and your article has given me hope that that dream is not gone forever! I appreciate all your posts but this one really made my day! I have been motorized since 1999 so I always feel so uplifted after reading your posts! I was diagnosed when I was 18 months and started with my 1st surgery at 5 so I have had many more years than most with getting used to all the changes in life due to this disease. It’s always an adventure! Take care and thanks again for all your posts!! Sincerely, Pamela Finney

    Like

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