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.
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Just an hour away from Sydney by train, 45 minutes by car and a constant 18,000 kilometres from fashion is the seaside sprawl of Ettalong Beach.
If you alight from nearby Woy Woy station, on a lucky day you can be welcomed upon arrival by the traditional overheard greeting phrase “give us back me smokes, ya sl_t”.
Then just pop yourself onto Blackwall Road, trot past the drive-through KFC, continue past the picturesque smash repair and bait shops, and you’re just about there.
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Some people get all the luck. Paul Welsh is surfing with his son, gets bitten (sorry, that should read ‘savagely menaced’) by a docile and mostly harmless Wobbegong and out come the cheque books.
Before a stitch is even sewn, he’s been snapped up by a television network and an early morning trip to the beach is now a big earner. Well done mate. If reports on the websites are true, you’ve hit the Shark-pot.
Shame it was only a Wobbegong. Imagine what you’d get for an actual Great White.
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Why was the sommelier kicked out of the nudist colony? He was walking around with a semillon.
This genius gag from South Australia - naturally - may well be the best joke of all time. And it’s offered here not as an unusual non-sequitir but a scene-setter for this piece about nudity.
Or rather, the scourge of nudity. And in particular, the way it is still permitted by law in South Australia, in one of the last remaining vestiges of the counter-culture era when drugs such as LSD helped convince ugly, hairy people that they looked good in the buff.
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