Last Saturday we were all up in Newcastle visiting Susie and Alan. We drove the short distance to Tynemouth Beach where we enjoyed fish and chips at Crusoes, the cafe on the beach. We then walked the length of the beach. Although cloudy it was very mild.
As we looked south we could see the massive stone breakwater at the mouth of the River Tyne. It extends over 800 metres out to sea from the base of the Priory headland. At the seaward end of the north pier is a lighthouse. It is at this lighthouse that Alan proposed to Susie last year. The lighthouse, built by Trinity House, was first lit on the 15th January 1908. The 15th January just happens to be both Susie and Alan's birthday!
In the late 18th century sea-bathing became fashionable in Tynemouth. The beach is known as Tynemouth Longsands. It is one kilometre in length lying between the former Tynemouth outdoor swimming pool and Cullercotes to the north. In 2013 Longsands was voted as one of the best beaches in the UK and 12th best in Europe. It has developed a national reputation as a surf destination and has staged national championships.
Why have I called this blog 'Two Beaches!'?
Walking on Longsands has now become a regular pilgrimage most times we visit Susie in Newcastle. As it was a cloudy day on Saturday the sea looked dark and quite moody.
The colour of the North Sea reminded me of a beach we used to visit many years ago in Macau. During our time in Hong Kong the territory of Macau was Portuguese but it was handed back to China in 1999. The beach is called 'Hac Sa' and is located on Coloane which is one of the outer main islands of Macau. It is a black sand beach. Hac Sa in Cantonese translates as 'Famous Black Sand'. The beach is edged with casuarina trees which make a haunting whistling sound in an onshore wind. The South China Sea always appeared muddy off-shore as Macau is located at the mouth of the Pearl River Estuary.
We usually went to Hac Sa to eat at the famous Macanese restaurant called 'Fernando's'. The food was influenced by Portuguese, African and oriental cuisines including smoked sardines, African chicken, caldo verde and pork dumplings. But my all-time favourite in Macau is the famous Portuguese egg tart. They consist of a flaky pastry shell, with a rich, sweet egg custard filling. The caramelised top plays an integral role in the taste. It is best eaten warm. You can smell them as you approach the traditional bakeries in the backstreets of Macau.
This morning I uploaded a poem about 'Hac Sa' to my 'Poetry' anthology on 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains'.
Thank you for visiting 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains'. I would love to hear from you either through my 'contact' page or just a message on this blog.
If you are in the UK I hope you are enjoying today's spring sunshine!
* below is a photo of the egg tarts!