The twelve kilometre stretch of coastline was the easiest of the lot to walk – even where the few Pas Geometriques villas touched the shoreline the beach was wide enough or the rocks were flat enough to traverse quickly. Apart from picking up the freshwater springs along the beach, and a couple of bad planning decisions to put hotels right next to eroding areas of sand, there was little to record and it turned into a nice day for a long walk and chat to Jeremy. We must have looked strange to the tourists. Italians seems to favour this stretch of coastline in particular and both the women in string bikinis, the men in Speedos, both sexes holding garish drinks garnished with every type of fruit and vegetable, and happily shouting, singing, dancing or basting in sun oil, they would stare at these two English men in their baggy short sleeve shirts and baggier shorts, both grubby from days of walking in the heat, carrying clipboards and what must looked like oversize mobile phones (GPS). What was more our behaviour just did not fit in with the relaxed and informal atmosphere of these places; we would ignore the palm trees, the bars, the swimming pools, we would walk up to bits of low wall and stare at the cracks; we would stoop down at the water’s edge and…. did he really just dab his finger in the sea and lick it? For some reason no-one dared ask us what we were up to, or whether we had legitimate business at the resort.
The locals were even less interested in us; occasionally one would watch us, most greeted us as we walked past but hey ho, just eccentric Englishmen – better not engage as you might end up with more than you bargained for.
As it was a week day when we walked the beach, the many stretches of public beach were all but deserted. Once or twice you may find a dog walker, some locals would have parked their cycles next to a filao tree and were standing knee deep in the lagoon with long fishing rods, but for the most part we would walk along this picturesque coastscape of filao trees and grassy banks, black rocks, white sand, an ever present wind on our backs and the swirl of waves breaking continuously along the reef and beach.