Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Temptation Tuesday - The Great Aussie Beach
This Tuesday at the Pink Heart Society our columnist Annie West reveals one of the most tempting things about living in Australia...sun, sand and surf, otherwise known as the Great Aussie Beach.
Not a beach girl? Do you freckle rather than tan? Do you cringe at the thought of being caught in public in your swimmers/bathers/togs/swimsuit? Do you detest the idea of real sand in your sandwiches? Never fear, for here in Oz there’s sure to be a beach to suit you. Honest!
Come and take a look around and see what you think.
I’m not sure how other people think of Australia but I suspect our glorious beaches come to mind. Let me just say that unlike some places I’ve been (carefully mentioning no names) most of ours have actual sand on them. Shock. What, no pebbles? No gravel? No boulders? I know that may come as a surprise to the hardy souls whose idea of walking over a beach includes donning sturdy boots so as not to break an ankle. Call me a wimp, but I prefer sand: soft, slithery, fantastic for moulding into shape, whether it be for sandcastle building or getting comfy for a quick nap.
There’s a beach for every mood and for every activity. For the sociable we have city beaches, guaranteed to attract crowds on any warm summer’s day. The perfect place for watching the world go by. Sunbaking, swimming, socialising, showing off newly acquired muscles/bikinis/tans are the name of the game. This is the place for gregarious souls who love the sun and the comfortable presence of others. Wonderful for people watching.
Which leads us inevitably to surf life savers. Pause here for contemplation please. If you were looking for inspiration for a new romance, you couldn’t do better than visiting a patrolled Aussie surf beach. Surf life savers come in all ages and both sexes but you’re sure to find some fine specimens of athletic Aussie males among their ranks. They spend their time training to save lives. What more could you want from a hero?
If surfing is your thing, this is the place for you. If you’re feeling energetic and ready to battle the elements, come on down. Surfers have been finding fantastic waves here for generations, wearing wet suits and braving the winter chill of the Southern Ocean, or sporting a summer tan and hip hugging board shorts on a northern beach.
Family beach picnics? Sure. Any warm weekend you’ll find families barbequing, fishing, playing beach cricket or just hanging around spending time together.
OK, you’re not into stripping off those outer layers in front of other people? Fine. You don’t actually have to swim to enjoy an Aussie beach. There are beaches devoted to a whole range of other activities – sand boarding, four wheel driving, horse or camel riding, sea kayaking, windsurfing. For the less energetic there’s always whale watching or just sitting and taking in the view.
You can meet some of the other locals. I know a beach where the dolphins come in to ride the waves with the local surfers before they head out to search for food (the dolphins that is). You can also scuba dive or snorkel amongst some of the world’s most amazing underwater reefs, right on the edge of a beach where families are picnicking.
Perhaps you’re a recluse and you don’t want to share your sandy spot. No problems. Do you have any idea how many miles of beach we have (lots) and how many people (not so many)? It’s possible to find deserted beaches, whether you just want to walk alone and gather your thoughts, paint, photograph or even write.
Or maybe you have in mind a tryst for two? Easy. We have beaches where you can take your partner and your picnic and be totally alone. You can even enjoy a luxury romantic interlude, flown in by seaplane to an isolated island and left there for the day with beach chairs, umbrella and a huge hamper of delicacies. Sigh.
And as a writer let me just add that one of the best things about walking on an Aussie beach is the way it stirs the creative juices. A walk on the beach is great if you’re looking for inspiration.
And finally, if none of that appeals, don’t forget that a hammock by the beach is perfect for reading a good book!
So, where is your favourite beach? And what’s your favourite beach activity? Hey – I’m curious – I might be able to use this in a story!
After writing this Annie is seriously thinking of heading to the beach in search of inspiration. Can ogling good looking guys count as research?
If you want to discover another reason Annie loves a good beach, check out her latest Harlequin Presents release FOR THE SHEIKH’S PLEASURE. You guessed it. The action starts on a beach... You can read an excerpt or, better yet, buy it here.