Amber loves the beach. I love the mountains. On this trip around the world Amber was a great sport in traipsing around mountains like in Patagonia and I feel like made an effort to hit up some beaches. We tried to mix it up so that we could see some amazing parts of the world and both be happy.
Now, I don't hate the beach, but I get restless. And I burn if I am out in the sun for more than 20 minutes. So after getting to the beach, settling down and reading for about 5 minutes, I undoubtedly turn to Amber and say, "How long do you want to stay?" She of course would like to stay on the beach until it is too dark to find your way back home, so we generally have to compromise...
Throughout our trip we spent time on the beach in Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil, Thailand, and Vietnam. But poor Amber felt like she had not found the PERFECT BEACH. Many of the beaches were amazing, but something would be a little off. I started calling Amber "Goldilocks" because she would say, "this beach is nice, but I wish the water was not so shallow." Or the water would be too rough, or the beach was not wide enough, or there would be too much trash, or not enough shade, or even too much shade, or too many boats, or too many merchants, or too many hotels, or not enough facilities, or too rocky. And God forbid if there were JELLYFISH!!!! Like Goldilocks, she needed to find the beach that was "just right".
While in Padangbai we made an effort to explore the beaches on the east coast of Bali. We had heard about a Blue Lagoon which turned out not to be a real beach but just a nice blue patch of water. But, near our hotel we crossed over a big hill to White Sand Beach which had a lot of promise. There were a few food stands which sold cold beer and lunch, but the waves were gigantic. You could not go into the water for fear of being pummelled and sucked out to sea. The water kept encroaching on our blanket and we had to move a couple of times. The atmosphere was nice except that some of the food stand workers got annoyed with us that we didn't buy food from them. It wasn't clear to us that if we sat near one that we had to buy from them. It was the low season and these guys were scrambling to get anything out of the few beach-goers that day, but we can't eat lunch at every eatery - we wouldn't be able to carry our overstuffed bellies back up the huge hill! Goldilocks wanted to keep searching.
We explored another White Sand Beach further north (It was a common name for a beach apparently, and also a misnomer as none of the beaches were really white). We rented a moto and rode down a perilous path to a nice sized beach with food stalls that had beach chairs and umbrellas. Shade for Tom: check, shade and sun for Amber: check, clean sand and water: check, not too crowded: check, access to food and drink at our beck and call: check, toilets nearby: check, water deep enough to swim in: check, waves that are big enough to body surf yet not big enough to kill you: check. I think we may have found a winner!!!
One more island left! In Padangbai we booked our ticket to head to Gili Meno, a tiny island off the coast of Lombok.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: Please leave a comment on what your favorite beaches are and why, maybe we will head there soon (after we make some money first).