White hot beach sand. My summer icon. Weekend trips to the beach in flip flops and excessive heat. I have spent most of my adult life living in a coastal location with glorious crystal clear ocean and miles and miles of white sandy beaches. The ultimate Western Australia summer icon. An icon which should come with a warning label. Blaring hot sun. Endless days that turn into endless weeks of temperatures in the 35 degree to 45 degree range. And thats Celsius not Fahrenheit. A trip to the beach that is fraught with danger. For the feet that is. Flip flops are a footwear must. Mainly from a practical point of view. Air-conditioning for the feet. Protection from the oven baked sand. Easily removed when you reach the beach. Sometimes you forget. You slip your flip flops off as soon as you reach the sandy footpath from the open air concrete car park. You manage a couple of barefoot steps in the deceptively cool, white, silky looking sand until the scorching pain finally reaches the pain receptors in your brain. You immediately start dancing as if you were the star female cast member of the international Irish dance troupe – River Dance.
Except instead of dancing sideways, you propel yourself forwards along the sandy footpath which leads up over the sand dunes and down to the promise of cool respite in aqua blue ocean water. Overcome with pain, you forget your flip flops are clasped firmly in your hand which could be used as a shield against the furnace like sand. You dance a few more steps more before throwing your flip flops onto the sand in front of you. You jump onto these small rubber lifeboat islands, cursing yourself for having removed them in the first place. The ordeal threatens to repeat again as you leave the beach. Except this time the sand that clings to your feet for dear life is just as menacing as the hot shimmering white sand. Walking in flip flops becomes exfoliation torture of a different kind. Burnt or exfoliated feet is the choice on offer. You choose the exfoliation and begin to trudge over the wide white expanse of beach in search of your car, your feet, flip flops (and most likely bikini bottom) swimming in this white granular substance called beach sand. No dancing required this time around. That will have to wait until you return to the beach the following weekend. Deep down we cherish this hot sand ordeal and wear our Aussie beach ‘survival against all odds’ badge with honour. And thats why white hot beach sand – for this coastal dwelling West Aussie – is my summer icon.
What is your summer icon?
Back Beach – Geraldton, Western Australia.