The above beach is Oxwich Bay on the Gower Peninsula not far from where I am from in South Wales. It was recently named Britain's Best Beach, according to the BBC . How, exactly, do you rate a beach? Apparently, in one study, they took into account the quality of the sand, the surrounding nature, 'unspoiltness' etc of 1000 beaches (covering more than 28,000 miles of British coastline) and then a 'tourist expert' devised a 'mathematical formula' to calculate the best beach.
Of course if it had been an international survey they would not need any scientific formula because, as you might be aware, foulweather found 'The World's Best Beach' a long time ago. I won't name it but here are some directions:
directions to the beach (orginally from CTA#4)
The trail winds down the old growth forest to the secret beach. The most beautiful beach in the world in fact. Yeah, you can’t fuck with that statement because it is a fact. A solid fact. An unspoiled beach. An unsoiled beach. Tucked away below the cape that juts out to sea for a mile or so. If Leonardo had seen this beach he never would have made that cheezy fucking film about that beach in Thailand. This one is for real. The trail winds and switches back and fore over and over as you slide down through the trees. It is like a game of snakes and ladders but you are happy to be landing on the snake because slithering all the way down you eventually end up in paradise. Real paradise mind you, not some mythical place in the cloudy stories of dead lunatics. A real, here and now, earthy paradise. You start breathing it in as soon as you leave the tarmac of the car park. You smell the old trees and the moss hanging off the drooping branches. Thick moss. Moss you could build a house out of. Ancient moss. Moss that is wiser than you. Patient moss. It is like the jewelry of the trees. As if the trees are getting ready for a special occasion, which they are, of course.
Then, onward you tromp and tromp like the elephant humanoid that you should humbly accept that you are. Like King Kong in New York. Godzilla in Tokyo. That is who you are. Smelling like shit and body odor that leaks out all the chemicals and additives that you have consumed. The trees lift their gaze to the sky, away from you. You filth. They hide the sky from you. But please persevere because there is a clearing about half way down. Walk under the cave of branches, passed the giant slug and angry wasps. Ignore the cheeky chipmunks and hop over the fatal fungi until you reach a space in the trees over looking the Pacific.
Here you sit and rest and if there is someone smoking a cigarette, looking out to sea with the finest of binoculars, sporting a $200 gortex outdoor jacket, you push him off. No wait, you grab his cigarette, you take a drag, inhale deep and enjoy the fucking cancer stick and exhale. Then you look through his binocs once, just to see what he saw and then you smear the lenses with some of the shit that is running down his leg. Then you push him off the cliff. Make sure he lands in the water. You must then watch his body splash and submerge and disappear. Something most wonderfully horrific will then consume it.
Breathe for awhile and look at all the blue. A smooth blue before 11AM when the white horses come out to trot all the way from Alaska to Mexico. Shiny ripples penetrate your eyes like the tiniest of pin pricks. Watch the sleek black shadows swim gracefully and swiftly, sensually, just below the surface, like giant mermaids. You want to be at home in bed drinking coffee- No, you want to be under the water with all the wildlife, figuring out how to breathe forever, submerged. You want to hug the horizon and nearly die when you realize you cannot. You want to examine the fine dirt beneath your feet and rub the bark chips into your nostrils. But you will never get there if you entertain such thoughts.
So turn back onto the path and skip over the fallen logs and the snails that have more time than you. Try to ignore the little creatures in the trees that will surely throw rocks and spears and aim arrows in your direction. Try to ignore them, even though they shine through the foliage in all their purple and green glory. They are of no concern to you at this point. By now you will be sweating profusely. Perspiration will be leaking from under your arms and your brow. This means you are on the right track and nearly there. Turning back at this point would be stupid, worse than if you never had started. By all means stop to have a piss but be sure to carry on. If you do stop to have a piss, be careful not to let the glowing yellow ants of tomorrow get a whiff of your scent. Or they will be climbing up your urine stream and into your bladder before you have even drained yourself. Remember you are committed at this point.
At about this stage, I would recommend breaking into an ecstatic run and before you know it, you are there.
All you have to do now is use the wild nettles to rappel out of the edge of the forest and onto the sand. Here you sit for awhile, nursing the cuts on your hands, amongst the giant logs that have been deposited on the shore. Sit on the log and wonder to yourself, where it has been and how it ended up on The Beach. Wonder whether it fell off a boat into the Columbia River, while it should still be firmly rooted in the mountains that over look The Beach. Get up and walk around. See the white sand stretch for miles to the South. See the Cape immediately to the North, towering over you. See the sea birds circling amongst the shadow of the cape.
Walk towards the giant Whale Bone. Imagine you are Ahab chasing an even deadlier whale, because you are.
Take off your clothes and role your naked self around in the dry sand and down to the receding tide. Climax from these actions and don’t feel guilty about it. Crawl back up the sand to relax in the sun, until it burns your pale white skin into a deathly red, ridden with horrible white blisters that are ready to exude a thick yellow puss.
Roll back down to the water and let the undertow suck you out into the waves that break over the offshore reef.
Now this is a secret so do not tell anyone about it. I don’t want everybody to find The Beach or to try out what I am about to tell you. But out on the reef, deep underwater, the sun’s rays will penetrate the surface, find you and keep you warm. Then... well then... and this is the real secret... you can learn how to breathe underwater. You swim down to the back of the reef before the deep trench that leads to the black abyss. Where the black meets the blue, clench your jaw and grit your teeth very tight and suck, using your tongue not your lips. It takes awhile but soon you will be sucking the oxygen out off the water. Tiny little bubbles will find their way into your lungs and keep the blood gently pumping around your relaxed body.
And so you will wait for the dark shadows of the giant sirens to swim their way North to you, away from the immense offshore monolith. Wait, and they will teach you how to breathe underwater indefinitely.
I will be watching from the halfway point, chewing on the bark and rubbing my crotch.
"Carry me on the wide-hipped sea.
Throw off those old whale bones."
Madam La Mer by the Dog Faced Hermans