Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to the beach basics

I remember at school we always told this joke. We used to ask someone if they had known that there was a lady of 85 living in Durban and who has never seen the sea. Obviously no-one would believe that and would say "no way" to which we would reply.."yes, she was blind". A bit of an insensitive joke, but we were kids and what better did we know. Anyway, she had a reason for never seeing the sea, but I guess there are people living by the sea who never put their feet on the sand, let alone in the water. I know living by the sea does not mean you have to be on the beach every day...or even like the sea for that matter, but I feel that if you have the priviledge of living by the sea then at least you could go and sit at the beach every now and then and just appreciate the beauty of it. I try to go to the beach every single day, even if I just drive past to see what the waves are doing. Today I actually realized even though I live by the sea, go to the sea every day and named my blog after the sea, that I have forgotten what it's like to do the activities that some people usually associates with beach holidays.

This morning after another lovely Carlucci's breakfast I headed for the beach to go surf. My wife, son and his granny were already there. Yes, after my last cold water surfing experience I decided that today is the day to get back on the proverbial horse and to face the cold water again. Armed with a wetsuit and lots of enthusiasm I had one of my best surf sessions in months. I was really stoked. But you see, this is usually where I end my "beach activities". Today was different. Instead of going home I joined my family where they were lying on the sand and because it was such a  beautiful day I decided to stay for a while. My wife bought a beach tennis set for my son and like real holiday makers we played for nearly an hour. With my wife's limited ball sense beach tennis has never been big in our family, and besides, beach tennis had always been considered to be uncool by surfers. Rather play touch rugby if you really want to run around with a ball on the beach. I also realized today that I never swim in the sea anymore. I mean like doing real "body surfing" swimming, not standing in the water up to the waist and then calling it swimming. In Durban and Mossel Bay I used to body surf for hours, until my body felt like I've had the best chinese massage ever. Ok, I have to admit that the water is bloody cold here and body surfing with no wetsuit is not what I call fun anymore, but I miss that feeling of going down the face of the wave with no board underneath you only to be smashed when the wave breaks on your back. What a feeling! And spending time on the beach, like sun tanning, building sand castles, sitting under an umbrella and eating expensive ice creams from the local ice cream vendor who is selling his ice cream for double the price, is something I hardly do anymore. All these things I have lost along the way.

So next week I am planning a full day on the beach, to do all these things I never do anymore. I want to come home all wasted with sand everywhere. I want to do it the way the holiday makers do it. For the body surfing...well...that will have to wait until I reach a place with warmer water. So a trip later this year to Durban is not excluded.

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