Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beached is

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Overcast.  It was a long & lonely afternoon filled with indecision.  We have only 4 days in Rarotonga.  I could be out hiking, snorkeling, or getting out & meeting people.  Instead I hesitated myself into doing nothing.
Sucked it up & bought a camera.  There is no ‘new camera honeymoon period’.  It’s my 5th in a year.  (Lost in Key West, stolen in Sayulita, fell in the ocean in Marquesas, & broken in Bora.)
Uninspired.  I finally pick up my heels & head to find a beach to get in the water & lift my spirits.  I’ve gotta boogie to catch the last light of the day.  Made it as the sun broke through the clouds & turned their underbellies bright pink.  Swimming always makes me feel better.  It’s calming to cool off.  Apparently I’ve dropped my towel somewhere along the road.  Drat.  It’s going to be a soggy 6km walk back.
Disheartened.  Things just aren’t going my way.

I can’t get my head straight & wander with an indecisive stutter.  Some guys are watching from the corner store & call me over to ask if I’m alright.  It was one of those times when you don’t realize how ridiculous you look until someone points it out.  I’m trying to take it on the chin, but my heart’s not in it.

As it turns out Ianis is one of the nicest guys on the island.  Talking with him helped me get my mojo back.  After a short while, we head out to his friend Maria’s birthday party.  Suddenly I am surrounded by friends!  He tells everyone how I was astray, & we all laugh.  Great folks who took me out & showed me a good time.  Great conversations & dancing that lasted through the night!
(There may have even been a couple losing games of pool tossed in there as well.  J)

I had my fingers crossed that we could stay just a couple days longer.  Tonight is an open water swimming race I really want to partake in, tomorrow is the opening night for Ianis’ paintball club with BBQ & there’s a paddling competition all week long.  It’s a great time to be in Rarotonga.

Logistically we are already pushing to be in NZ by Christmas, with 2000+ miles to go.  We will be rushing past Tonga & Niue, with only 4 days in Rarotonga & 20+ more days on the water.  We can’t afford to waste time, in fact we can’t even wait till after the race.  We’ve got to get moving while the weather’s with us.

I cast them off around noon, with both feet firmly planted on shore.  It took me less than an hour to make up my mind.

6548 miles from Panama City to Rarotonga.
138 days & they couldn’t give me a reason to stay.   They just shrugged & said “Do what you want.”
Good thing I wasn’t bluffing.  That’s reason enough to leave.

Cathartic.  Liberated.  Ecstatic even!  Enthralled.  Stoked!
Waste no time.  The dog days are over.

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