Monday, July 28, 2008

splish splash, I took time to relax (port douglas days 3 and 5 of 5)

I read an article in the paper the other day about a study indicating that your average adult will only start to relax mid-afternoon on the third day of her vacation. Perhaps that’s why we found ourselves sleeping to progressively later hours as the week went on. Perhaps that’s also why day 3 found us still keyed up enough to wake just before dawn to go jogging on the beach. On the other hand, the sun rises around 7:30 when you’re practically on the equator. In that context, getting up “just before dawn” isn’t actually saying much.

Regardless, there we were, jogging along the sand while waves crashed beside us and the sun rose into a cobalt sky. It felt like most of the town was out on the beach that morning with us: jogging, walking the dog, participating in the daily “Yoga on the Beach” class, or just starting the morning with a beachside stroll. One guy had collected coconut husks with which he and his dog were playing: he would toss the coconut husks into the surf, and his dog would ecstatically retrieve them.

The beach had a delightful feeling of community. I would have expected all the people to make the beach feel crowded, but it didn't. This is partly because the beach is four miles long and it would probably take most of the residents of the state of Queensland to actually crowd it, but I think it has more to do with people's friendly attitude. Back on the beach another day with my parents, we asked this lady walking by to take a picture of the four of us and ended up chatting with her and her husband for a pleasant half an hour.

We spent days 2 and 5 of our vacation just bumming around the Port Douglas. The beach is a four-minute walk from our flat, and the flat itself comes with access to two swimming pools. Needless to say we were in the water quite a bit. When we weren't in the water, we were on the town. There's nothing like shopping in holiday towns in the off season. On the beach itself, Erika carved an opulent lounge-seat out of sand, complete with a screen of palm fronds that blocked the wind without obscuring the view of the mountains. I helped, though mostly by sitting in the chair. When we didn't eat out, I introduce my parents to Mojitos and we put the barbecue to good use. With that and our books and card games, we definitely relaxed.

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