Friday, 25 February 2011

Barefoot in the sand.

Still in Thailand but now we are on an island which seems to be mostly beach.  After a few lazy days of food, cocktails and beer, I decided I should really get out and run a little. I got up before dawn (sleeping badly rather than keen) and went out onto the deserted beach.  I decided to forgo my shoes and run on the firm, damp sand left by the receding tide.

Honestly, this was a magical experience and will be one of the memories I really treasure from this trip.  It's right up there with watching the kids when we went to play with the tigers and elephants.

The beach was almost deserted.  A few of the party animals burning the last of their, er, "energy.  People asleep on loungers, towels or just lying on the sand.  And the slowly fading chorus of cicadas from the trees where the beach turned abruptly into woodlands.

I started to run up the beaches and found a great stretch a few hundred meters long between two rocky escarpments.  As I ran back and forth, feeling the sand gently massaging my soles, the horizon gradually grew brighter and pinker until the sun lifted above the horizon.

As the sun arose, so the beach and its inhabitants began to wake also.  The other early morning joggers, always passing with a wave and a smile.  Two elderly westerners greeting the dawn with Tai Chi.  The staff of the bars setting up for the day and the food sellers arriving to stake their claim to the best spots.

A fantastic experience.