It’s a gorgeous sunny day and I’m done with work, so I decided to head down to the beach for a stroll and to lay out with my book. I get off the bus and make my way down to the beach. I notice a tent and one of those wind blocker things erected. There were two men standing in front of them (behind them from where I was) talking. I could only see their shoulders and heads. I thought it made for a good photo so I whip my phone out and poise.
Then one guy turns almost towards me and he notices me. He is now looking intently at me. I lower my hand and decide to wait for a few seconds (I was still very far away, otherwise I would have asked to take a picture). Where he’s standing now, there is a small gap between the tent and the wind blocker and I genuinely think to myself, “Whoa those are some really fresh coloured speedos.”
As I think that, I look slightly to the right and there stood a sign reading, “Boundary for naturist beach”. OOPS. Okay. I’m on a nudist beach. Do I go back? Can I have my walk? I see a couple other people in clothes. I walk on. As I walk, I start to feel super self-conscious because everyone is naked and I’m clothed AND I’m getting stares. I am 100% sure I feel more uncomfortable than anyone of them laying there in their naked glory.
As unease envelopes me, I decide to quicken my pace and get to the end of this piggy* zone. You try power walking through deep, loose pebbles. In sandals! It felt like the quicker I moved, the slower I went with more exertion than it should have even needed. At last, I get to the end of the boundary. I walk further still.
Finally, I sit on the beach, in close proximity to the lifeguards. I note this and ponder my subconscious processes. Then I thought I must share this with the world, so you can laugh at my bollocks day at the beach. As I sit here writing this and I look over to the piggy* zone, I feel envious of their naked freedom. The thought crossed my mind to just walk back over and do it. Just do it! Who cares. Then I think, eff that walk!
Brighton, you are awesome.
*piggy, piggy leeks – Trini speak for penis.
I was only in Santa Monica for the day. When I first arrived, I spent my time walking through the Palisades Park. It provided great views of the beach and of the Santa Monica Pier, which was my next spot to check out.
I took a very leisurely stroll along the pier, stopping for photo opps, people watching, ocean watching and taking in the pleasant melodious surprise of steel pan in the air. That was provided by Trinidad and Tobago national, Desmond Bedlow, one man band and steel drummer. There’s is something about steel pan that undeniably sweetens the vibe of a place. That made me smile. We chatted briefly and then I made my way down to the beach.
I walked along the coast for a bit, dipped my toes in and thought about how happy I was not to have gone there in the hopes of swimming. Still, it was refreshing to have my feet in the chilly splash of the waves, with the sun beaming down on us.
I sat for a while, listening to the waves, playing with the sand between my toes and taking in the scene of the vast pacific. I love the ocean. Then I saw London written in the sand which brought a wave of excitement about heading back there in a couple months. A group of Korean students came by. That brought up happy thoughts of my former students back in Korea. These girls were brimming with excitement. It was so cute.
After that, I headed over to the 3rd Street Promenade for some lunch and then meandered my way along the promenade, browsing in shops as I went along. By around 4pm I decided to close off my time there and I headed on back. It was indeed a day well spent.
No trip home is truly complete for me without a visit to Tobago. I recently went over for a visit and got to spend time there with a couple of old friends and made some new ones too.
[It’s Tobago, so here’s a goat^^]
I finally went to The Shade night club/liming spot as well. We had a ball! The DJ was on point. He played everything from Soca to EDM to Conscious. It was pleasing to the locals and foreigners alike, that filled the place. A fantastic first impression for me.
Other events that occurred were a failed attempt to buy what we heard was the best conch and dumpling on the island. We arrived to find out she only made that dish on a Friday. However, she did go the extra mile that day and the days that followed to get us some, but no luck. A couple of house limes, chilling poolside. A visit to the National Carnival Commission’s Visual Arts Exhibition. A missed ferry to Trinidad. And a tasty breakfast from Rosie’s where I got to satisfy my month long craving for smoked herring.
Sadly, I didn’t go to the beach nearly as much as I thought I would. However, when I did go, it was as spectacular as always. I love the waters of Tobago and after recently dealing with the FREEZING, sharky waters of South Africa, my appreciation for it has increased. Warm, clear, blue green waters. Gentle waves lapping the shore. Soft, cool breeze carrying the salty smell of the ocean that I love so much. Yes, no trip home is truly complete for me without a visit to Tobago.
~~~The Wandering Pier
~~~The Wandering Pier
A few years ago I tried surfing. It was in Bournemouth, England that I went for a lesson. It was fun, but pretty challenging without any waves. Nonetheless I got some basic pointers that could only really be built upon with practice.
Fast forward to South Africa, 2014. After an early departure from Cape Agulhas, my mum and I arrived in Cape Town by 9am. Later that evening, after reuniting with a couple of South African friends Estie and Peter, who I met in Korea, they invited me to go surfing the next morning. For me the only catch was the 7am start. I told them I’d let them know.
After some debate with myself that night, I decided it wasn’t often that the opportunity to start my Sunday with an early morning surf came along. I would go.
It indeed turned out to be such an awesome way to start my day. The sun was shining gloriously, causing the blue waters to dazzle. That alone was enough reason to be there. Attempting to surf was a little tough, but with a great set of instructions from my friend Estie, I was on my way. I didn’t stand up in the end, but I had so much fun trying. The couple of waves that I did catch gave me the rush I needed to keep trying. I could totally see why surfers sit out there on their boards for ages, waiting to catch the perfect wave. It is so worth it.
~~~The Wandering Pier