Our lovely home in Camps Bay in Cape Town reminds us of the beauty of being by the beach. Literally one block from the sand, it’s a five-minute stroll to dip our toes into the sea. Bliss.

We may have had bad luck with the weather on our grand tour so far this year – sometimes it feels as if we’ve had a year of rain, and Cape Town has been no exception.

But we’ve been lucky to have stayed in some wonderful locations and in some ways, the holiday rentals that have been the most special have been the homes by the beach.

In Costa Rica, we could literally open our door, walk down our path, and we’d be on the sand. In Rio de Janeiro, we went out our front door, turned the corner, walked two blocks, and we were on Ipanema. In Essaouira, we wandered down a narrow alley, left the medina walls, crossed a square and then a road, and there was the sea. Can you hear me sigh?

The moment the sun comes out in Cape Town – and what a stunning city it is when it does – we get ourselves down to sand, although regardless of the weather, we’ve been making a habit of taking a stroll along the breathtaking coastline or at the very least walking to the promenade for a quick look at the surf at least once a day.

It’s too cold to swim at this time of the year, although there have been a few surfers out, but the Capetonians can’t seem to stay away from the sea.

On cloudy days, they’re down there doing some beachcombing, kicking a ball around, picnicking, or watching the sun set with a bottle of chenin blanc.

But when the sun is shining, the beach is a patchwork of bright coloured towels and healthy looking bodies soaking up some rays, particularly on the weekends when Camps Bay beach is packed to the rafters.

In Costa Rica, I reflected on ‘the art of doing nothing’, “to really absorb the soul of the place” (to quote fellow writer, Lisa Bergren, of The World is Calling) and the beach is perfect for that.

There is something special about being by the beach, and, as clichéd as it will always sound, inhaling the fresh air, tasting the salt on your tongue, feeling the wind whip your cheeks, and squishing your feet in the sand.

It’s restorative. And energising. And it makes us feel like we could do another ten months of our grand tour!

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