One of the nicest stretches of beach in world. If you go you’re stupid.
Bragging rights regardless of the topic is a harmless and fun ego sport. Today, amongst friends I want to throw down a challenge:
Who has been to the most remote, craziest or dangerous beach in the world?
Remote Caribbean beaches on islands of St. Somewhere are plenty. Let me hear yours. How about a hut placed over a clear lagoon in the South Pacific, do share. I have visions of micro-bikinis, coconuts, rum and lots of un-printable trysts. Have pictures, I would love to see them. Mine is not so glamorous, but hard to top. I submit my entry forthwith.
The beaches situated between Mogadishu and Merca, Somalia. Yes, you heard me Somalia.
So now you probably want a little more information? Who in the hell goes to Somalia let alone for the beach? Life has sent me to many a strange place my friend. Sit back; let me share this one with you.
My parents were with the U.S. Embassy so I grew up all over. Dad always got shafted with shitty places to live and a posting to Somalia in 1976 topped the list. I remember jetting into Somalia in an Air Somalia 707 with so much BO (body odor) in the cabin my eyes had tears in them. Welcome to eastern Africa.
My family lived there for almost a year until my mother got hepatitis. She will tell you today that hepatitis is better than living in Somalia. We did our best to have fun, given how bad the horn of Africa was to live in during the Cold War when the Soviet Union controlled it. The number one source of that fun was camping on the beach.
The beaches south of Mogadishu, essentially out in the desert, are untouched by tourism. As you can see the picture here from space, it’s one big beach. Doesn’t shock you does it? What I’m saying is when you are a rum drinking, bikini loving, island bum the lure of finding such beaches has some allure, does it not? The beauty of the clear water and wide beaches is present everywhere you look.
We had a 4×4 that we loaded up with all the gear and joined other embassy staff for long weekends. A caravan of classic (this was 1976 don’t forget) Toyota land cruisers. You know the ones that the new retro design tries to copy.
We set up a military style eight-man tent full of cots and lots of food and beer. Everyone needed cots because at night thousands of crabs would come out making it impossible to sleep otherwise. The amount of beer consumed and food devoured was legendary, especially in my 9-year-old eyes. The evening sport was to run around drunk with a club and see how many crabs you could smash. Not easy, even when you are sober.
These outings were so much fun they still stand out to me today. The Indian Ocean roared ashore with huge surf and dangerous undertows. The sharks sat just offshore ready to eat the first person caught in the fast retreating current. My parents happily sent me out to body surf and have fun. It was the 70’s a much more relaxed time. We weren’t into bicycles helmets and seatbelts back then.
My favorite trip was when my parents made the perfectly horrible decision to allow me to spend a camping weekend with the U.S. Marines that were stationed at the embassy. I am not sure what they were thinking on that one. We loaded up early Saturday morning. Soon after we left the gate of the embassy compound one of the sergeants turned to me and offered me some Red Man chewing tobacco. It went south from there.
The story took place many years ago but some parts will never fade. I remember racing across the desert in the back of the 4×4 on our way to the campsite. I was standing up (no seatbelts remember) with an M-16 shooting at vultures in the desert, chewing that tobacco which eventually made me sick. Pretty funny stuff, I wish I had the video for YouTube. I’m sure it would go viral!
That night around the campfire I had enough beer to put most adults to shame. I don’t recall feeling ill but hey, I might have. On Sunday my parents decided to show up to check on us. When they rolled into camp everything was squared away and calm. They had no inclination of what occurred and nobody was talking. I held my own and the Marines had my back. Now that is a camping trip and a great beach memory.
So you interested in going? Seriously don’t be stupid. Somalia is a royally screwed up place. The people are great. Just like most places, they want a warm house, a full belly, freedom to worship their god and ability to see their children do better than themselves. But they just don’t know how to govern. I was there a very long time ago, and I went back again in the late 90’s. Stories for another post down the road some day.
There is my entry into the throw down. Any comers? firstname.lastname@example.org. Send them my way. I’ll post them if they are up to par.
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