65 – Goyambokka beach, Sri Lanka

We visit Goyambokka beach on another traveller’s recommendation, but when we get there we feel like we must be in the wrong place. The beach, though white and sandy and ringing a crystal clear cove, is small and mostly made up of waiter-serviced sun beds. Not quite the idyllic natural paradise we were expecting. But seeing as we’ve made the trip, we try to make the best of it. It’s still pretty spectacular.

The swimming here is meant to be sheltered and therefore safer, but the waves still look pretty big. We’ve yet to see a beach with still water. There are a few people in the water, more on the beach. So in we go.

It’s warm and quite clear, despite the churning. We swim with our eyes on the waves, kicking up to rise over them before they break. But one catches us by surprise from behind.

Suddenly, I’m bowled under, surrounded by seething water, blue darkness. I don’t come up, I don’t know which way is up. The wave is still pushing, pulling, writhing. It’s pull is greater than the strength of my kicks and I don’t know which way I should be aiming any more.

It probably only lasts a moment, but it’s enough to terrify me. I drag myself out, nervously forcing my way through the breakers and back up the beach to collapse. It’s a very scary reminder to never underestimate the immense power of the sea.

I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/swimbonnieswim

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