Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Are You A Beach Person?

Good morning to you!
Circumstances beyond my control (I was asked out to lunch) brought me to one of our local beaches yesterday. And even though it was your normal, typical September Wetlands beach weather (cold, damp, windy, cloudy, 14 degrees but the wind-chill factor making it feel like 12 degrees) I found myself asking myself why I don't visit the beach more often.

And no, this is NOT our beach...
This is our beach:

©Wibe Koopman Photography

Still. There were quite a lot of people kitesurfing, which I admire enormously. 
Imagine: you drive yourself to this beach (often from Germany), you gear up in a sticky sandy wetsuit, you drag this humungous kite towards the water (just take a look at that distance, won't you?), you get all those lines untangled, then the wind blows them all into a ball again and you start over, then you walk that kite into the water, you forget your board so you have to do it all again, you stand there buffeted by the waves...And when you know your stuff you're away.
As I said: I admire those people.

The ones with the kite dragging a kart - hm, not so much somehow. First, they don't get wet. Second, it's more the gear than the skill, to my un-knowing eyes. Sorry if I've offended anyone now. Not my intention, simply my opinion.

But then again, that 3rd photo is to show you the nature of our Wetlands beaches. Vast, vast, vast stretches of sand. Our tides rush in covering kilometers, no joke. Our waters are grey most of the time, sometimes a kind of blue if we get lucky. And they are always chilly to cold to downright freezing. And they are treacherous, with an undertow causing deaths every summer.

Still. They do have a certain charm.
The wildlife is wonderful. We have lots of seabirds, seals, dolphins (the smaller kind called bruinvissen), sharks (very small ones - and we play this down or otherwise all those German tourists will stay away), and a nasty little fish called a Pieterman, which has a poisoned stickle and buries itself in the sand with just the stickle sticking out (saying we play this one down is an understatement - we do not mention the Pieterman at all!) causing you agony for days. Local lore has taught me that the only relief is to pee over your foot. Quite a feat when you are hopping on one foot howling your head off. The best thing to do is to ask someone else to pee over your poor foot.

One of the good things about our local beaches is the beach restaurants. They have evolved from simple wooden shacks where you could get a bottled beer, a terrible coffee and a plate of fries (sixties/seventies) to proper (but still wooden - this is a rule) restaurants with all the mod cons and great food. Large open fires to warm yourself by (necessary in our climate), a huge range of beers to choose from, good to great food, nice ambience, often live music at the weekends, a laid-back atmosphere.

So, all in all, I told myself I really should go to the beach more often. I live on an island, surrounded by islands, for Frith's sake!

Location, location, location: 1e and/or 2e Slag, Rockanje, on the island of Voorne.
All photos (except #1 and #2) by Renée Grashoff.