Beaching and moaning over a brown strip of Welsh sand
It’s six degrees in the water at Rhossili Bay, Wales, today. The air temperature’s even lower. But the locals who live beside this brown, windswept strip of British sand are basking, not in sunshine, but in the glory of being named one of the world’s top 10 beaches.
Travel website Tripadvisor.com last week released a list of the world’s top 10 beaches. It included one Australian beach, Queensland’s Whitehaven, as well as the Welsh beach just mentioned. A Sicilian beach was Numero Uno.
That got me thinking. Can a Welsh beach really be that good? Short of hopping on a plane, there was only one way to find out: ring Wales.
One thing I’ve learned in sports journalism is you get your best quotes from people when they’ve had a few drinks. So I rang a Welsh pub overlooking Rhossili Bay just before closing time and got the lowdown.
Long story short, the sand is lovely, the pasties are delicious, the rolling hills upon which Dylan Thomas once trod make a stunning backdrop, but the water is bloody freezing all year round.
The next step was to pen a mockingly indignant yarn for news.com.au, which the British press mistook for genuine indignation, which in turn sparked polls in the Old Dart saying Aussie beaches were rubbish, which in turn sparked me to fire back on news.com.au, which in turn has made me sick of the very word beach.
And all this in a week when I also wrote a mock indignant piece about mysteriously beachlike pitch in the cricket in India.
The moral of this story is that there is no moral. This is basically a light Friday piece asking you to describe what makes a great beach, and where your favourite beaches are in Australia. Perhaps you’d like to list a top 5 or something?
Here are mine, in no particular order: Wilsons Prom, VIC. Northern side of Kangaroo Island, SA. Anywhere near Esperance, WA. Freycinet, TAS. A couple of sneaky ones in and around Jervis Bay, NSW. Google Honeymoon Bay if you really must know.
Sorry Queensland, you missed out.
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