Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Encyclopedia of me- Chapter B

As the rest of the world is going through the cooler months of the year. Here in Australia we are seeing the best of Summer , and to me one thing is right in Summer and that is the beach , well here's where my meme continues with Chapter B.

is for the beach

The beach has always had a special place in my heart.When I was born, we lived some few metres away from the beach. My parents still live close by. As a little baby, mum took me on strolls along the beach daily. I grew up in Singapore ( though being an island), the beaches there should I say aren't really up to standard in comparison to the many beaches I've been blessed to visit around the world. However Changi beach in Singapore was where it all began, and I loved it as a little girl and the little girl in me still loves it today. I've always enjoyed playing in the sand and hearing the waves roll onto the shore. Dipping my feet in the therapeutic salt water.Collecting sea shells. Having the beach mat laid out and a good book in hand. Watching the sun set and just smelling the burst of fresh air that surrounds. My parents travelled extensively and luckily enough my siblings and I got to tag along. It's funny how I forget certain things about my trips like the names of hotels and certain landmarks but the memories of the beaches I've visited, stay superbly intact. I must really love the beach and I've awarded them their own Adla Awards! :)

My first few recollections were of a beach in Rawa Island. It's located off the coast of Mersing, Malaysia. Not familiar territory to many, it's one of those unheard of places, hiding in a treasure box meant to be discovered. I remember we had to take this dingy, well not exactly a dingy but some motorized wooden boat to get us there. The setting of the beach at Rawa is truly tropical with swaying coconut palms, sugary white sand and coral beaches. I was four then , the idea of it being a romantic getaway didn't click with me but I would say that it would be one of those tranquil islands for newly weds. I had heaps of fun at Rawa beach, my brother and I had made friends with a lady who had a little pet monkey.Till date, I have this really clear image of her and her monkey as they floated on the water. Those were good days.

Then there was Pattaya beach, on the East Coast of Thailand. I think it was once beautiful and had better days but like the traffic in Thailand, it was over populated. The only incentive of going to the beach there, was that they had a water theme park nearby to compensate for the populated and polluted beach. Little food huts lined the streets behind the beach and I do remember having tasted the best Thai mango salad.. yumm!

Then there were the beaches in the U S of A, you girls from the US have some of the best beaches I must admit. Indiatlantic flora and fauna welcomes the white sandy beaches and vast oceans that seem to spread endlessly. It was a different experience altogether along the coast of Florida. What impacted that trip most were the strips of great shopping by the beach. The best of both had to be enjoyed! I remember these beautiful shops selling sea shells I had never seen before. My collecting nature started pretty young. Shopping in America deserves it's own chapter. One place that had an artificial beach that looked pretty "real" was Sea world Orlando. You get to kill two birds with the one stone, it's a must visit. The theme parks in America are magnificently planned and operated and I hope to visit again one day.

When I had learnt that my family had made plans to move back to the Middle East , the initial picture I had drawn in my mind were sandy deserts and lots of camels. I was truly disappointed when we arrived in Muscat Oman, to learn that the images in my head weren't real. I was not welcomed by the desert nor were there any camels in sight but the best surprise was yet to pop out from it's shell. I had seen patches of blue as we drove along the highways. And I knew right that instant the ocean was at the city's doorstep. The beaches in Oman sparkle with glittering charm. A lot of activity goes on in their waters but yet the beaches seem untouched. Most of the beaches in Oman are surrounded by huge rocks and gorgeous cliffs. It was there that I had spotted a school of wild dolphins. I remember spending every other weekend at the Marina Clubs which was the hub for most people. The Shatii Qurum beach saw me strolling on it every other evening and I had a few ' Baywatch ' experiences when we hopped into the 4wds and drove along the sandy coastlines with friends. That was truly an experience. Everything and anything unimaginable happens only in the Middle East!

Though I didn't see camels on Muscat road. I saw enough camels to last me a lifetime when we took a trip to nearby Karachi in Pakistan. The beach there as I was told was called the Arabian Sea Beach . Am not to sure if this is the actual name for it but if anyone knows better fill me in. Did I say the beach in Pattaya was over populated. Well to put it nicely, I reckoned the beach in Karachi saw more than it could handle. It was a wondrous spectacle of colour. There were camels draped in colourful rugs lazing on the beach waiting patiently for a customer to hop on . There were street vendors whisking up treats. And crowd upon crowd of people just enjoying what seemed to be 'a weekend at the beach' in Pakistan. I think we lost the ocean in all that commotion. The reds and mauves of the sun setting at dusk blended in so well. At the end of that trip I was questioning myself to whether we had visited the beach or the circus. None the less, the experience was priceless.Following that, there were the corniche beaches in Jeddah, the fisherman beaches in Bintan and the African beaches of Egypt.

While adding more beaches to the list, it wasn't a surprise that the hubby and I chose a beach destination for our honeymoon. We went to Bali. In my opinion, the beaches in Bali are somewhat over rated for their tropical setting. I wouldn't say I didn't have fun, it was my honeymoon afterall. I had fun taking in the whirlwind of activities happening at the beach from Kuta to Legian to Jimbaran and back. Garuda kites coloured the skies. Boys/men played beach soccer. The countless hair braiding ladies willing to give you a rasta mama makeover for the mere few dollars. Families enjoying picnics under the shades.Huge waves on the Bali beaches makes it heaven for the surfing enthusiast.It was indeed a lively mixture of sorts.

By the time I got to Australia, I think I had seen beaches in all it's variety, each with their own character. It was becoming more of a challenge to find a beach that had that tad bit of personality. The beaches here in Australia are nestled with serenity. When I say that I speak for most of the beaches with the few exceptions ,Bondi, Surfers Paradise and some of the other touristy spots. My favourite beach here in Australia has to be Peaceful Bay. The name says it all. It is soaked in pure peacefulness. It's located between Walpole and Denmark in the South West and is enclosed by a glittering emerald lagoon with huge elephant rocks. Personally its my swimming sanctuary. My second favourite beach in Australia, like many would have to be Brighton Beach in Victoria. I like that beach because it's uniquely different. I think it's one of those beautiful places to take wonderful portraits of your little ones. The background of artistically painted beach huts remind me of Andy Warhols pop art era. The huts stretch for a few metres along the beach and dare I say I will never forget the parking ticket I was summoned with for having parked illegally there. A pink gelato ice cream van characterizes most famous Aussie beaches so thats something to lookout for. I've just bought myself an Australian Geographic book themed Explore Australia's Coast. It has ignited my passion to explore more beautiful beaches around Australia and I can't wait for that next break.

The reason why I decided to focus on my experiences on the beach for Chapter B of my meme is not a boastful one I assure. It's just that many a time I' hear people say when travelling, why go to the beach, what's at the beach it's the same everywhere, you see sand and a body of water! The beach has taught me more than it being the sand and the sea. If you take the time to look around the beach , you might just experience something out of this world, people around the world no matter the hierarchy are brought together by sand and sea. Some as a livelihood, some for pleasure. The best part of it all is that the beach is FREE for all to enjoy. Let me tell you nothing comes for free anymore these days, you have to even pay to go to the loo in some countries. So the Beach being blessed for its bountiful beauty and the bonding of friendship gets a thumbs up from me anytime anywhere :)

Hope you enjoyed this chapter of my encyclopedia of me Meme. The pictures were snapshots I took of beaches down south of Perth, where the Hubby and I spent our end of year break. I would love to hear from you ,do share stories of your favourite beach time experiences :) Much blogging Love,


Alison Gibbs said...

B..eautiful post Adla.
You have been to so many B..eaches.
Thanks for the tour.
Check my last post and see the B..each at Mt Martha.

Raspberry Roses said...

Hey Adla
I have been reading your blog for ages and really enjoy it. I also grew up In Singapore would you believe. I left in 1976 to go to New Zealand. And I remember Mersing Beach really well. We used to go there often. It was just glorious. You are right it was a gem waiting to be discovered.

Sandi McBride said...

What a beautiful post with beautiful pictures...Myrtle Beach is ours...such a glorious spot on earth for beachlovers...I'll have to e-mail you a picture of the dunes...

Gail McCormack said...

In case you haven't noticed I love the beach too! We've only lived away from the beach once, it just didn't feel right, here we are back near it once again and I feel at home, I don't often go and sit on the beach as I used too, I just like to know it's close by. You have such an interesting life Adla, I'm enjoying your blog so much!

Elly said...

In my youth, we often went with a couple of friends to the beach. We live ca. 15 minutes from it (by car!) but now a days I rarely go there. I don't know why exactly, but who knows, one of these days.......
Btw, lovely pictures!

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Hi Adla!
I just love the beach, so this post was wonderful for me! Thanks for stopping by my blog fir a visit.

The Rose Room said...

Dear Adla, I so enjoyed your B for Beach post. I recognise the beach in your second set of photo's, its a surfing beach if I am correct, you walk down a long flight of steps to it, I have almost the same photo's. I stayed at Margaret River about 11 years ago and we visited all the beaches until we got to Augusta, it was a beautiful holiday. I love the beach, the sound and smell of the sea, sunscreen and hot sticky sand:) I think I love winter beach time more though, storm swept and deserted:) Looking forward to C:) Rachael

Kerryanne English said...

Hi Adla,
Love your 'B' beach post.
You certainly have seen quite a variety of beaches. One day you should also treat yourself to the beaches of northern NSW and inparticular,Port Macquarie. As you know I am a bit bias to that part of the world becasue my family are there but honestly, they have the prettiest and cleanest beaches on the east coast.

Like you, I love life at the beach too.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Adla, What a fantastic post...all about beaches. I love the beach. My favorite is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I always feel like a different person at the beach.

Lori said...

Adla, your life sounds amazing and we are only on the B!!! i can't wait to read more...i very much enjoyed your B eaches post:)

Sandi McBride said...

Looking forward to Chapter C, when can we look for it?

Barbara Jacksier said...

Thank you for cheering me up. It's cold, windy and dark here in Clifton, Virginia today. I enjoyed each and every photo. Now, I guess I'll go make another cup of hot tea!

see you there! said...

We are close to the Bay and go to the beaches there often. I lost count of how many beaches you mentioned being on but it was a LOT! What fun!


Laura said...

Hi Alda, wow beautiful beaches! I recently moved from Vancouver, BC to the prairies in Canada and I'm really missing the ocean! Thanks for visiting my new blog. I just popped in to your Etsy shop, a gal after my own heart, love all your lace.

God bless,

Adla said...

Hi girls, It's wonderful to learn that alot of us share this common interest of the beach. I hope to visit some of the beaches you have all mentioned.Cheers to the beach!

LiLi M. said...

Heyyy Adla, I have been so busy that I didn't even had time to drop by and thank you for your lovely comments. I'll keep your reading recommendations in mind and when I discover something interesting I surely will let you know.
This B-post is so awesome, the colours are so beautiful and of course your pictures too. I lived near the dutch coast for about 20 years. Our sea isn't that blue but brownish-grayish and there are waves, so there is a sound too. You could find me at the beach at all kinds of wheather, I'm a beach babe (well sort of) too! xoxo L.

justabeachkat said...

Hi Alda

I love, love, love the beach. Which is great since we live on one. Our beach is known for it's sugar white sand and beautiful turquoise water. We visited Australia in 2006 and went to both Bondi and Brighton. Your country is absolutely beautiful. How did you end up there? I've sure enjoyed my visit here and will come again. Thanks for visiting me...I hope you'll come're always welcome.


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