Lumley beach is a favourite walking spot, not only of ours, but this morning it seemed the whole of Freetown was there. Well, to be more accurate, most of the male population – I guess the women were the ones in the darkened interior of the church from which we could hear the amplified preaching across the road.
Footballers were out in force, but the tide was high up the beach limiting the room for pitches, so the numerous teams were taking advantage of the new pathway along the road to do some training jogging. The path was heaving! (so busy in fact that I didn’t take any photos at this point!) and it was 99% male, mostly young and slim, but some older men and a few carrying extra kilos. I think they need a campaign ‘girls can play football too!’ For some, the walking and jogging is not sufficient so they also lift weights at the beach side gym. No air-conditioned cooling here.
It is one of the few areas left on the beach side of the road which have not been levelled. The beach side bars are a thing of the past. The vision is for the beach to be a leisure facility and tourist destination, with all business kept on the other side of the road. The gym and the fish market are that remain.
The path is a great improvement and seems to be a factor drawing people to the area. At the far end of the beach there was a large crowd in the sea, which is quite an unusual sight. Not many locals swim for leisure. In the distance we could see the crane looming over the new hotel being built on the promontory. There is real hope that tourists will return.
This beach, so close to the city should certainly be an attraction, as long as it can be kept clean. The improved road and path make it more accessible but also more crowded. The solar powered street lights mean it is one of few areas lit at night, and so is particularly popular on weekends in the evening as a place to hang out. But in the daytime not everyone is here for exercise – this guy was enjoying a more leisurely Sunday than his compatriots.