Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber.
Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet.
Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little.
I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.
Unlike the quiet and solitary destinations featured so far in this week's review of our favorite beaches, this one's all about the social scene. Positano, Italy, along the Amalfi Coast is a vibrant town facing into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
From certain angles you can spy the far off Isle of Capri.
Positano's restaurant and hotel-lined beach is a sunny stretch at the base of steep cliffs, creating an energetic and spectacular setting. Painters, boat people and throngs of tourists and locals descend upon the water in busy groups, and the activity is constant.
The beach isn't sandy, but instead full of small pebbles which makes it necessary to invest in a pair of flip-flops for your visit - I would have said "thongs", which is what we called them when I was a boy, but that's a completely different things these days. And while you may choose to invest in one while wandering the boutique-lined streets of Positano, it wouldn't protect your feet much.
Dipping my feet into the Mediterranean required I remove my shoes, a mistake while holding the Nikons. I bobbled and very nearly lost the shoe as it flipped into the water and began the long trek to Capri. I retrieved it, doubtless becoming a bit of a spectacle as a tourist retrieving the shoe with cameras jangling, but now have a short story to tell of my brief stay in Positano.
Just a wonderful destination and one which cries for deep exploration as well as an active day on the very busy beach.
Beaches come in all shapes and sizes, from the very tiny (Poipu Beach, which we featured on Monday) to the vast and beautiful Piha Beach in New Zealand (tomorrow's selection).
Australia is no slouch when it comes to sand and surf. And in the Daintree Rainforest, in what is often referred to as the "Effen Q" (FNQ, Far North Queensland), there are several beautiful and quite empty shorelines for the adventurous visitors. Myall Beach, located in the national park menacingly entitled Cape Tribulation, is a remote and yet accessible stretch of sand. Swimming is discouraged.
Then again, they may be a bit busier when the weather is more compliant. The advance system from an incoming typhoon (still many hundreds of miles from shore) lends an ominous touch to the surf and clouds. The rugged rocks add to the ambience as the rainforest threatens to spill into the ocean.
It's an intimidating place; empty and spectacular.
On the West Coast we typically think of beaches as bright, sunny places with lots of sandy places to sun and tan.
Easterners, however, understand the darker and more fascinating nature of beaches during inclement weather. Emerald Isle, along the beautiful coast of North Carolina, is no stranger to inclement weather and even multiple hurricanes over the years.
Fortunately this event was only a fall squall which quickly blew by and allowed us some time on the sand.