Sunday, September 09, 2007

Le Grotte

Siesta Key Beach in Florida; MacKenzie Beach in Maui; Zanzibar; the Seese Islands in Lake Victoria. I don't take it lightly when I say I swam today in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

Zied knew about it from a relative who lives in the area. As we drove along the winding Corniche -- the Coast Road -- he explained that we were "in the Tunisian frontier near Italy, about 40 kilometers," and he was sorry he didn't know the English for Grotte -- it's grotto, the same, or cave. The development thinned out and the road went into pretty remote looking country.

And then he pulled off the road onto a gravel lot and below all around us was this gorgeous scene. Barren white rock mountains ran down sheer to a sandbox-sand beach which ran into water so blue it looked like Tidy Bowl had been added except that it was absolutely clear too, the cleanest water I've ever been in, including bathtubs. Stone stairs led down from the parking lot to the sand but hardly anyone was there. That was a big part of the attraction.

And the color blue was the other. Actually in the water as opposed to above it it looks Listerine green-blue and it was so salty I came out coated like a Smithfield ham. The clearness of the water was weird. Every blade of seaweed was magnified.

I didn't take pictures. The camera just doesn't catch the blues here. And I'm glad I didn't because it'll last longer in my head than in a computer file I won't look at again for months.

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