A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about sand

Ko Lipe

Island hopping 3: Crystal clear waters and white sand beaches

sunny 40 °C

We finally arrived on Ko Lipe at about 5pm and the music was already blaring for New Year's Eve. We were dropped off on the beach and were surprised at how easily we located our accommodation; it was a little more challenging accessing it. We walked the entire length of the beach, and fortunately the tide was out, leaving nice compressed flat sand to walk on. After about 15 minutes, we came to some seemingly impassable rocks with our accommodation on the next bay the other side of the rocks. We noticed the most rickety walkway over across the rocks and so we clambered up some of the boulders on to the wooden path. All this in the 35 degree blazing sun with our packs on our backs. Our walk around the rocks looked far more precarious than it actually was and 5 minutes later we were at our bungalow.

We have had some pretty interesting rooms over the past six months with us getting ever closer to our hundredth place. Bearing that in mind, we have generally done very well and not had to rough it too much. This bungalow definitely had to grow on you with its walls covered in plastic laminate boards printed with green palm and bamboo trees. The bed was a matress on a raised section of floor with a pink flower bed sheet which would not have looked out of place in a 5 year old girl's bedroom. The curtains were a pink satin like material with frills along the edge and the mosquito net was florescent pink. The bathroom had a matching pink sink, shelf and mirror with a pale blue toilet, which was no more than a foot off of the ground. The toilet was a dipper toilet, meaning it did not flush and required you to pour a bowl of water down after you had used it. Obviously, despite not managing to plumb the toilet in, their was still a bum cleaning hose. The shower was cold. At least we had an uninterrupted view of the sea from our balcony.

That evening, we went out for dinner and although the bars were all playing loud music, none of them seemed particularly inviting for new year. We decided to buy some drinks and ice and use a dry bag as an ice bag and saw in the new year from our balcony. From 11 o'clock onwards, there were constant fireworks from the bay. As we walked along the sea front, we saw people lighting fireworks from their child's outstretched arms!

The following day was spent on the beach. We did the ten minute walk across the island to Sunset beach, which was quieter and less touristy. We saw some children going out and catching fish with a rod to spear them. They managed to get quite a large lilac and green one, some small ones and also a puffer fish. We decided to go snorkeling sooner rather than later in case the children killed all the good fish.

We had to swim quite a way out to see any decent fish but saw plenty of sea urchins, some large blue coloured fish and plenty of black and yellow striped fish. I wish we had had a waterproof camera for this part of the trip as we have seen some pretty cool fish and coral on all our trips. Maybe next time.....

We headed back round to the main beach, Pattaya beach, where we hired a glass canoe for an hour. This was clearly just a novelty as it was very hard to control. The water is so clear here, it was actually a little scary passing over the sea urchins and being able to see them brushing up against the boat. We also saw a couple of blue starfish on some of the rocks.

The following day we had a speedboat booked to Langkawi in Malaysia.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 18:19 Archived in Thailand Tagged beaches islands beer boat beach island sand Comments (1)

Paraty, Brazil

Finally hit the beach in this colonial town.

overcast 25 °C

Our 120 mile bus journey from São Paulo did not take six hours, but seven. To be fair, it was mountain roads and foggy but it still dragged.

After our last accommodation, this next one felt like a five star hotel with its shower cubicle that didn't contain a sink and toilet and best of all, a mattress which not only gave a little when you sat on it but better still was not made of plastic. There was also a lovely garden, which as the only guests there only needed to be shared with 2 friendly cats.

Paraty is a colonial town on the coast of Brazil with a small pier, mainly for tourist boats with the mountain forests as its backdrop.

The following day was forecast to be stormy before lunch and again in the evening so instead of taking a boat trip around the islands, we planned to hire bikes and head to some waterfalls inland and afterwards try the beaches. We tried one bike shop; however he wanted to keep the passports as security in his not so secure bike shop come workshop. Having lost them once, we were not prepared to risk this, particularly as the man was incredibly rude and treating us as if we were stupid for not understanding Portuguese, even though I understood him perfectly, just struggled immensely to respond in coherent Portuguese. We suggested leaving a cash deposit, so he asked for 1000 real (£300). That's the first time we've ever had to leave any kind of deposit!

With bikes out of the question, we decided to do a boat tour around the islands, which was definitely the right choice in the end. The water was lovely, the boat was so relaxing and the beaches were very pretty and inaccessible by land. At one beach, there was some black sand, which Chris decided to throw at me. Within minutes, the pair of us were covered head to toe from a watery black sand fight.

In the evening, we wandered around the cobbled streets looking at the whitewashed colonial buildings with their brightly painted door and window frames.

Tomorrow's bus is 2½ hours to do 30 miles to Agra, the port to catch the boat to Ilha Grande. Excellent fun.....

Posted by Roaming Rolts 04:56 Archived in Brazil Tagged beaches sea water boat beach sand paraty colonial Comments (0)

Huacachina and Nasca Lines

Sunday 11th August - Monday 12th August

sunny 25 °C

Today was supposed to be a relaxing day, chilling by the pool and the lagoon; however it appears Chris and I do not know how to relax. We started off well, having a picnic by the hotel pool, but Chris wanted to walk up the sand dunes, saying people seemed to make good progress in not much time.

And so we set off up the dunes, with every step we took up, we fell half a step back down as the sand did not offer any stability. In the end it took us a good half an hour to hike up this dune, stopping for a drink along the way. By this point, the sun was shining and it was about as hot as the day was going to be. When we finally made it to the top, the view across the lagoon was stunning; however not as good as the tourist photos we had seen of the same view. We spent about half an hour at the top, and watched one man run down to the bottom in under a minute. We set off running down the dunes and it is the most fun I think we´ve ever had for free! You feel like you´re really bouncing and you do actually cover quite a distance with each jump. I would completely recommend to anyone running down your local sand dune! I wish we´d known that it was more fun to run down the dune than to board, particularly Mums as that is covered by the insurance.

As Chris got towards the bottom, he became a little too ambitious in his leaps and let out a little yelp, which alerted the Peruvian family at the bottom to turn around just in time to see him land flat on his face, doing a little roll as well. Afterwards, his face was completely covered in sand.

large_1005819_10..803314272_n.jpg

Chris´ sandy face, not a beard growing!

We headed back to the hotel and went for a swim in the freezing cold pool and laid in the sun for about an hour, before deciding to walk up the sand dune again, just for the fun of running back down. It was just as difficult the second time round walking up, but once again well worth it.

Today, (Monday) we caught the bus to Nasca and headed out to see the Nasca lines. A lot of the tour operators offer flights over the lines for about $100 per person, but apart from them not having a great safety reputation, we had heard that most of the lines are too small to see from the height the plane goes to, and so we headed out to the Mirador viewing platform, which as you´ll see on facebook once I´ve downloaded the pictures is actually just a scaffolding tower in the middle of nowhere.

The lines themselves just looked like someone had driven over a muddy field with a motorbike. I was glad we had at least gone to the viewing platform, but Chris would have happily skipped them.

We caught a public bus to this platform, and planned to do the same going back; however the first bus which went past said it had no seats. The next bus was due in 20 minutes, although a French tourist bus had spare seats and offered us a lift back to Nasca. Does this count as hitchiking?

Tonight, we´re getting the bus to Arequipa at 10pm. It takes about 10 hours to get to Arequipa so here´s to hoping for a good night´s sleep. We got the last couple of seats on the bus, unsuprisingly next to the toilets. Yay..... Must book the next bus a little earlier next time!

Posted by Roaming Rolts 16:54 Archived in Peru Tagged bus sand dunes nasca huacachina nasca_lines Comments (0)

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