Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let's go fly a kite

The beach at Kuala Terengganu - called Batu Burok - is a popular place. We sometimes go for a walk there in the evening, and join the madding throng.

Well, OK, it's not quite Bondi beach ...

In the weeks before the arrival of the monsoon, the wind blowing off the ocean was hot. You expect that with a wind off a desert, but when the wind over the sea is hot, well, it's a bit like ... dragon's breath ... or something. Moist and weird.

Occasionally, despite dire warnings from the locals (but no warning signs ...) and the obvious lack of lifeguards and the like, few mad young people go surfing in the waves on Batu Burok.

But generally, apart from staring at the ocean and taking photos of your loved ones, the only activity here is flying kites.

There are often kites for sale, and some of them are delightful and bird-like ...

Flying a kite Oz-ztyle

And then we went on holiday back in Waikiki, Western Australia - truly one of the windiest places on the face of the earth! Obviously a great place to fly kites ...

I hadn't realised until we were standing nearby and were startled by a loud "psshht!" noise, that these kites are strengthened with air-filled struts.

On a windy Waikiki day there are dozens of kite enthusiasts zooming back and forth on boards hauled by kites in this section of fairly shallow water.

I would say it's not as easy as it looks - but it really doesn't look easy.

Exhilarating, though, ay?

And fun to watch, as long as you keep an eye open for low-flying kites with horizontal ropes that could take your head off ... not that it's ever happened!

Would Malaysian youth like this kind of kite flying? They are generally intimidated by water too deep to stand in, and go swimming or snorkeling with life-vests on. But motor-bikes are popular, so I guess - given the right conditions - this would be popular.

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