Yes, we have a new travelling family member! and this since April 4th, when she landed to join us in Kauai, Hawaii. We love our kids so much that we do not want them to have us around 24/7 . So, for the last three months of our travel we have decided to have a new member to break the “square relationship” and built a more creative “pentagon relationship”. And we struck super lucky. Ramona is on one hand a friend-of-the-daughter-of-my-second-cousin-in-law, on the other hand a down to earth, no-nonsense, Reto-Romanic, first of six pearl. Ramona is also Ski Teacher in St-Moritz and a free soul the rest of the year. Manon, Zoé and we are so fond of her and very happy to have found such a good travelling companion. Ramona, Welcome to our FATWorld*.
We land on Kaua’i On March 3rd and drive to Hanalei, our place of residence for the coming 5 weeks. We knew we could get some rain on the “Green Isle” but we did not that we would be getting downpours 18 out of the first 19 days. Least to say that it lowered slightly the fun level. We actually became downright cranky. The two things that gave us joy was a great yoga centre and the opportunity to get better at surfing. At first Isa and I thought we really were too old for that sport. But when the only thing you can actually do outside without getting bothered by the rain is surfing then you start just doing that. And that’s what we did. We were wise enough to take at first lessons with an instructor. The attempts to learn by ourselves in Australia were frustrating enough not to make the same mistake twice.
Hanalei Bay is known as being one of the 10 most beautiful beach in the world. That did not strike home during the first two weeks as we could actually barely see the Bay due to low clouds and yes…you guessed it….rain. This beautiful beach is not only shaped into a perfect circle, it also provides very regular waves of all sizes. You therefore meet local stars as well as professionals next to first timers. Surfing is the life in Hanalei and we soon got the hang of it. The person that left us all in awe though was Manon. Courageous enough to go out with Chris, the Instructor and standing alone on the board after only a few attempts. A few days later, Zoe accepted to be lifted on a long board too, but stayed on her belly while riding gentle waves. After Isa and I had emptied the battery of the Nikon taking pictures of our little loved ones on the board, we also went in turn and could soon celebrate some success.
It is now the 4th week of our stay in Kauai and we now love this beach above all others around the island. When the sunshine, it is the most incredible beach we have ever seen. It will be, yet again, difficult to leave this place for a new destination.
Arrival in Noosa, Queensland, Australia. It strikes me first how much freedom of movement I am getting compared to Bali. In Bali, it is suicidal to cycle, it is nearly impossible to jog on non existant trails, you cannot walk to do your groceries (non existant or damage curb), etc… In Noosa, cycling lanes, first class beaches, perfect road conditions, modern aquatic centres and SPACE to move. In just a few days, I have tried to surf on a long board and on a body board, I have made a short run on the beach (and built sand castles as well as digging big holes), cycled along the coast, got a swim course in a renowned Aquatic Centre and attempted to walk on a slackline.
Noosa is an outdoor and sport paradise. I just feel being at the right place to complete recovery after my knee injury last june. In short, I have never been to a place where climate and infrastructure were both so good to give perfect conditions to practice literally any sport. I enjoy it so much, that I have not thought of spending a day in the National Parks, to see kangaroos or Koalas or do a city trip to Brisbane.
The whole family feels good and relaxed. We have rediscovered how to spend great days at the beach. Beach are just awesome in the area. Just sand and waves. No sea urchin, no plastic bags swimming on the surface, no broken glass…Ok…a few nasty sharks…but that’s it. I never defined myself as being a person that likes to spend days at the beach. But here, I found out that one needs a good list a gadget to enjoy a day at beach. The list starts with a beach shelter providing enough shade and protecting from the wind (and the sound of the wind), a good picnic box, enough fluid, a body board, a long board, a bucket, a shovel. Armed with all this, we do not see time passes and suddenly lifeguards are leaving the beach, telling us that it is 16:30, time to go home for the aperitif.