Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Indian Ocean!

I have been swimming in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel, the Andaman Sea (off Thailand), and now the Indian Ocean. So far the Pacific Ocean around the East Coast of New Zealand is still my favourite. The Caribbean was as flat as a pancake, and the sand sticky somehow, really hard to get off, even in the shower. The Andaman was beautiful, but dirty. The English Channel was passable, but it was my introduction to European beaches, dirty and not exceptionally pleasant, although I have now come to accept that it is basically normal here. Passable, but that is about all. It was also a bit cold as I recall, despite being the middle of summer. I'm sounding pretty fussy right about now, I know that. I was spoiled with lovely beaches only ten minutes from home as a child, where I practically lived in the summer, and I imagine it will be very difficult to surpass it. That won't stop me from evaluating every beach I encounter! The Indian Ocean... Well it's warm, which is nice, but not so warm as to be pointless for cooling off, which was almost true of the Caribbean I felt. Perfect temperature. It's an amazing colour, and there is a coral reef, meaning beautiful tropical fish all around (but again no real waves). I'm in Mauritius, by the way, in case you're wondering which part of that rather large ocean I am evaluating. It also means poisonous ones. So far I've only seen the non-poisonous sea-urchins, however they concerned me enough with their feirce and dangerous looking spikes to read about them, and discovered that I really ought not to go in the water without aqua shoes, in case of sea urchins, star fish, certain fish, some shellfish, and who knows what else! The Indian Ocean thus loses out for being too poisonous, it's not the cleanest (although not terrible, so far as I have seen), and here, it's also very flat, but that's due to the coral reef, which provides the lovely (and poisonous) sea creatures, so it cancels itself out on that front. The Mediterranean around Sardinia was nice, but cold when I was there in June. It was also idyllic off Elba, however the mighty Pacific Ocean gives some power to the breakers crashing on the shores of the East Coast of New Zealand, which the Mediterranean just can't rival.

Thus I proclaim that the beaches of the East Coast of New Zealand still hold as the best beaches in the world. Clean and fresh, the mighty pacific ocean crashing into the shores is as safe as the ocean can be while maintaining all of it's allure.

And why exactly, am I suddenly waxing lyrical about New Zealand beaches? Because this is the first time I've been concerned about stepping into the ocean without shoes on. One shouldn't have to wear shoes in the water! And I still don't. I just don't go near anything that looks like a rock, because it either is a rock, in which case it probably has deadly sea urchins and starfish on it (I know, deadly starfish, I was confused too), or it's a Stone-fish, pretending to be a rock, which is not a better option in any way. Other beaches have not had unpleasant downsides, but nothing terribly dangerous. Apparently being situated between Africa and Australia is a recipe for dangerous aquatic life! Of course the dangers are probably pretty minimal, or it wouldn't be such a popular holiday destination. I probably just wasn't aware of the nasty things in Thailand or the Caribbean!

Mauritius is a nice place, although I haven't seen much of it yet. It seems to have an interesting mix of African and Indian culture, with a dash of French and a pinch of English to spice things up. The food is certainly spicy, but very yummy. Beyond that... well I haven't really been out of the resort. I probably won't get to see any more of it either. I'm loving the wildlife though, the lizards are amazing, so many different types. And the birds are cool too, you'll get some pictures of them for sure, I see them driving from the swimming pool a lot.

Thus ends my first post, but here are some pictures to end with.

Those terribly dangerous fish, eating my leg.
"Are you guys sure about this?"
"Come on, I'll hold your wing big man"

"Yo! What you all waiting for?!"

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