Most of the year we have access to plenty of deserted beaches within twenty minutes drive of us, the closest a few minutes across the main road. During school and public holidays there is an influx of visitors and we see more people on the beach. The "worst" time is the Christmas break where our population quadruples with temporary residents and visitors on summer holiday. Apart from crowded beaches, the roads are jammed with sometimes long delays, parking and shopping in town becomes a nightmare and prices increase. The normal lay back nature of the area seems to disappear with a more "frantic" atmosphere prevailing. I guess people from the city want to wring every second of leisure time out of their 3 -4 weeks annual leave. But when this translates into someone behind you continually bumping their cart into your legs in a supermarket check out line going nowhere it does test your patience a little.
We try not to be selfish and are greatly aware that the area needs this annual economic boost to get through the leaner times of the year. So we grit our teeth as we head to our favourite beaches and try to avoid the masses and their beach tents, umbrellas, beach chairs, screaming kids, football, cricket and volley ball games, kite flying, boom boxes, empty bottles and rubbish left as well as unattended dogs that crap everywhere. And why, when you do find a relatively secluded spot at the furthest end of the beach, does a family arrive and park themselves a metre from you? But it's only for a month or so. By mid February they will all be gone leaving all those tourist dollars behind. OK, have had my annual whinge and leave you with a video view of a couple of our beaches, pre Christmas holiday rush, and best wishes for 2009.