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.
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,