Sunday, July 30, 2006

Africa: Day 20 (Holy Wet Jib Jab, Batman)

I wanted to take a moment to post some of the pictures from Tajura beach that we visited. Most of you already are aware that we are stationed directly off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, but Tripoli provides an exceedingly and ever-increasingly unsafe place for swimmers who wish to return without more contagion than a Hiroshima victim. The beaches of Tripoli are quite beautiful when admired from the viewpoint of our fifth floor veranda, but any up-close inspection will reveal a very unhealthy dose of refuse, flotsam from the sea port, raw sewage drainage pipes, dead sea-life, and a plethora of other nasties anxiously awaiting any victim daring enough to risk its waters. This is mainly due to the fact that the majority of the Tripoli beaches are interior to the man-made sea port walls that circumvent the northern border of the city. Seeking a much less infected area of beach, a place where we could relax and enjoy the water, we took a cab ride to Tajura, located about 20 miles east of Tripoli and directly on the coast of the unblemished sea.

The beach we went to is one of the sites here that is off limit to locals. To my amazement and surprise, the entire trip revealed cars, vans, taxis, and every vehicle imaginable, parked in every available spot on the water for miles and miles in both directions from Tripoli. Being Friday, the whole country was off work for the day and all 1.7 million of them decided to take a day at the beach with their families.

Tajura however is quite different. Still packed into every available spot, people crowd its shores, Seadoo's run rampant up it's beaches, but local Libyans are prevented from entering this beach. This is one of the sites known as a European beach, where visitors from anywhere except Libya are welcome to enjoy the sun without the local populace overrunning them. We were quite pleasanly surprised however to find a multitide of individuals who I am quite sure were local, enjoying the sun with us. It would have seemed quite rude to come to another's country and then ask "Where can I go that you all aren't?"

So, I'll begin my visual diorama here and let you make of the pictures what you will. As a forenote, I am quite aware that my tan has faded, so no whitey jokes please. I'm sure you sun-loving Americans are soaking it up over there, but I have been unable to maintain the quite impressive tan I was starting when I left the states.

Thus begins my story.

Yes, we finally found a place where a bikini is acceptable!

April at the upper deck coffee bar and restaurant.

Hey Bunch! I had to get imported from 5,000 miles away but I finally got my doo rag!

This I do in honor of Bunch!

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