Life's a beach for lucky Pete

For Pete Shannon the next two months of his life will be, literally, a beach.

For Pete Shannon the next two months of his life will be, literally, a beach.

The 26-year-old graduate has been chosen to travel the world in a mission to find what he considers the best beach.

The all-expenses paid trip will take him to 20 beaches: from chilly Brighton in England through to idyllic islands in the Indian Ocean, Australia’s famous Bondi Beach and Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

Along the way he will be required to take notes to help decide at the end of his solo eight-week journey which beach has it all.

“It’s fantastic, I still can’t believe it,” said Mr Shannon, a graduate in computer science and marketing from Britain's Keele University. “It is only when I get on the plane that it will seem real.”

He beat 1,000 hopefuls who entered a competition run by Internet travel firm Expedia.co.uk to go on the 54,000 mile adventure.

Entrants had to describe what essential elements made the perfect beach in their opinion.

“I said it was important for it to be clean, for there to be plenty of swell for messing about in, to be at the right angle to the sun, a light breeze and not too crowded,” said Mr Shannon, from Chichester.

“I suppose the typical tropical islands are where I’m looking forward to going to the most with their leaning palm-trees, but I can’t wait to do some watersports at others ones as well.”

Mr Shannon is due to depart this Tuesday for the trip which will cost around £5,000 for the flights alone.

He will start in Brighton, then fly to South Africa to visit Camps Bay, Cape Town; followed by Mombasa, Kenya; Flic-en-Flacq, Mauritius; Ile Souris, Mahe Island in the Seychelles; and Cocoa Island in the Maldives.

Elsewhere he will go to Patong Beach, Phuket, and Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui - both Thailand; Bondi Beach, Whitehaven Beach, and 75 Mile Beach – all Australia; 90 Mile Beach, New Zealand; and Eight Months Beach, Fiji.

He then travels to Waikiki Beach, Hawaii; Daytona Beach, Florida; Dickenson Bay, Antigua; Paradise Beach, Bahamas; Cancun, Mexico; Copacabana, Brazil; and finally Myrtos, Kefalonia, Greece.

Dermot Halpin, managing director of Expedia.co.uk, said about the trip: “It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.”

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