A visit to the ocean remains one of the great free restorative practices in the world. The beachside is yet to become an 'admission by fee' affair, at least here in Australia, and ever since I was a wee tot, it's been my favourite weekend away.
What is it about a day at the beach that puts life in perspective? Is it the leveller of realising that the 'body beautiful' comes in many shapes and sizes? Is it that we are all stripped of our designer bags and jewellery (well, mostly anyway...Noosa does boast some fashionable local icons)? Or is it just that Sun, Surf and Sand are a great way to wash away the cares of the week?
We spent a day at Main Beach at Noosa yesterday doing exactly that.
One of the worlds prettiest spots, sporting a great protected beach with a gentle wave, friendly lifeguards and an enviable cafe and shopping strips just steps away. Not that we frequent the cafes and shops, but we do love a wander down Hastings Street, home bottled icy water in hand, window shopping and people watching to our hearts' content.
When we visit Noosa we prefer to rise early and beat the crowds by arriving around 7am. Not only does this afford greater parking opportunities (parking being a nightmare there later in the day), but also allowing a longer window of sunbathing and swimming time before the scorching midday sun sets in.
We usually take an esky (Aussie thermal cooling box) packed with our favourite breakfast and snack items. These would traditionally include rice crackers, sliced cheese from the big block of edam at home, fresh fruit in season, home made goodies like Labna and home marinated olives and fetta, yoghurt and muesli balls, iced tea or juice and big bottles of chilled water. A Latte` on arrival, in the shade of the native conifers is our one 'bought' indulgence.
A walk to the isthmus commonly known as The Groin is the first order of the day, after setting up beach chairs, towels and boogie boards. We set off at a brisk pace to earn our breakfast, making it to the groin and back (visible in the far distance of this photo) in about 20 minutes.
An invigorating dip is next, before diving into our esky to explore the treasures within. We munch away companionably while the Lifeguards complete their setting up and the rumpled Mums and Dads and young couples start arriving.
Terse words are exchanged by the couple next to us who have 4 children under 5 years old in tow and who are trying to marshall the kids while setting up their sun shelter, umbrellas and towels...clearly they're here for the long haul. The kids squeal excitedly at the incoming tide, racing back and forth to their harried parents. The Diva and her friend take our raised eyebrow cue, and go over to offer assistance by amusing the little ones with some sand art in the shape of a turtle. A grateful 'thanks' is mouthed our way.
The younger pair behind us, recline elegantly in designer swimwear, each absorbed in thier iPhone, before the effects of the night before and the warm sun on their limbs renders them somnambulent.
A large group of folk, perhaps a decade older than us arrive. All clad in black bathers of one form or another, they jolly each other into a vigorous swim across the bay, before, like us, delving into an enormous esky of fresh delights, exchanging stories of caravanning and camping.
I produce my book of the moment, 'Not Without My Daughter', whilst The Musician, The Diva and her friend, head off into the surf.
The beachfront is filling now, as the later arrivals jostle each other for a spot.
Time passes, I doze, the rest of the family frolics and by 11am, we've had enough. Too hot, too busy.
So, we assemble our gear, set off back to the car, repack it all, ready for the next excursion.
We're all refreshed, calm, relaxed and showing a bit of colour for our morning in the sunshine.
Back to the accomodation for a nap and a light lunch before curling up to watch a great sci-fi movie.
A lazy afternoon ensues, with a reluctant move toward home by about 6pm.
We arrive home by 8:30, having enjoyed a meal of fish and chips on the way back, and scurry for the diary to see when we can do it all again.
Bliss....what's your favourite getaway?
Here's my own recipe for Tropical Yoghurt Muesli Balls...the perfect portable breakfast for any day of the week. Start the preparation a few hours before bed and roll the balls before retiring for the night. This gives the muesli a chance to absorb the liquid for nice firm little rounds.
1 cup any kind of muesli. I use a Gluten Free one.
1 cup any flavour of yoghurt. I prefer my home made Greek yoghurt.
3 tablespoons pulp type fruit salad or crushed pineapple. We have one here in Australia called Golden Circle. Their fruit salad is crushed pineapple and other fruits with passionfruit pulp included. It's my favourite.
1 cup dessicated coconut.
Mix the muesli, fruit salad and yoghurt together in a small bowl and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the liquid to be absorbed and the muesli to soften.
Roll into balls as large or small as you like, and toss in the dessicated coconut.
Return to the refrigerator for at least an hour to firm.