Whoa, I really need to proofread these better or drink less rum… I’ll proofread them better. Thank you all for your comments and no, I am not a “baby hater” or “unsympathetic Cretan,” I’m just a guy that wants, nay NEEDS, comfort. Sheesh! We awoke on Friday to rain, rain, rain and I awoke to a cluster of giant red dots all over my body like Raggedy Anne’s smock. I had so many welts, I’ve added a new feature to this travel blog called “Paul’s Welt Watch.” These were Friday’s welts (note this is not to scale):
I instantly remembered why I didn’t like the tropics; for some strange reason, insects love me, like I’m constantly in insect heat. I’m not talking about the kind of love you have for a pet, but rather deep, enduring love that gets engraved on your headstone. Thank goodness we brought the Tiger Balm and if it’s a matter of killing rare tigers so I can get a little balm from their toenails then let me poach, because damn these welts are itchy!
We thought about going to town on Thursday but the repeated rain showers held us at bay; wow, we were two days in and we had not done a damn thing but a few crosswords, cards, and the odd drink. A large jug of the local rum—Cavalier—was a paltry 30 EC or $12 U.S., and mixed with the local ginger beer or fruit juice, who could tell it was goat urine?
Friday was more of the same, besides a quick visit to the pool, we generally hung out at the cabin for more rum/vodka, crosswords and cribbage. For dinner I made a nice “Cook Island Special” which is pasta with Thai curry, mixed veggies, and shrimp; it’s a great meal when supplies are limited. That night the rain came down again, but undaunted I used the mop to clear the gutter above the door and voila, flooding solved! We could rest knowing that the hole in the roof above the bathroom was our only concern; oh, that and the fact our hot water was solar generated which meant showers grew increasingly tepid.
Saturday we awoke with renewed vigor only to be greeted with more grey skies and intermittent downpours. Ugh, okay, time to get M-O-T-I-V-A-T-E-D! We decided, come Hell or high water (not necessarily in that order) we would head towards Rendez-vous Bay, a secluded “perfect” beach about a forty minute hike from our cottage. We grabbed our provisions, which included granola bars, mosquito repellant, water, and an umbrella then set upon our way despite the sullen skies.
We got fifteen minutes into the hike and were enveloped in another downpour.
“Screw it!” I said, “You take the umbrella and the backpack, I’m just going to hike in the rain, I’m soaked already.”
I looked to the heavens and cursed: “If this is what I get for being a baby-hater, do your best!”
We took a left turn and the road became a goat path followed by a grassy clearing, then foot path until it disappeared into a thicket of unholy spiked shrubbery, the kind of which was used for Jesus’ crown of thorns. (I’ve seen the photographs).
“I don’t think this is the right way.” Julia said as I crawled through a gauntlet of wooden spires.
“Damnit!” I cursed, “I don’t remember taking a wrong turn.”
We headed back through tall grass and thick brush to another deviation, which led to a dead end and a front end loader parked precariously on the side of a hill. Something was wrong, we went almost all the way back to the cabin until we found the road and realized we should have continued straight instead of turning left. I instantly knew it too because I had seen it on Google Maps about an hour earlier. Again, my trusty compass wasn’t a huge help, but who uses those things nowadays?
We sloshed along a road that was unfit for livestock let along vehicles until we came upon a giant sign for Rendez-vous Bay luxury condos. We looked around and didn’t see any sign of condos, so we forged on, rounded a corner then saw, through the thicket, a pristine beach with nary a soul in sight. We excitedly walked the last few switchbacks that included several puddles large enough to swallow small dogs and a whole section of road that was now a rushing river until finally arriving at the beach.
At that moment we were overcome with emotion, but not the kind you would imagine; there was a truck parked at the entrance, some battered old rattan furniture, a fire pit, empty beer bottles, and an ominous warning on wooden sign so weather beaten it was illegible. Some whack-job Robinson Caruso was living here and I was in no mood to be his house guest. We had hiked too far to be chopped up and served as shish-kabobs to some local surfers.
“Dude, awesome meat.”
“Yes, it’s Canadian I think, mwahahahaha.”
Okay, my imagination runs a little wild in these secluded places, but after confronting “naked man” many years ago in Kauai, I was prepared for the worst.
We walked onto the beach amid violent surf and not much else. Yes, it was a secluded location, but the beach was uninhabited and Caruso was nowhere to be seen; perhaps he was hiding amongst the bushes with a blowdart aimed at my ass. The beach was covered in weeds, flotsam, sand flies, and the garbage of recent party-goers. We had come all this way only to leave disappointed and soaked down to our skivvies.
This brings up a conundrum for us, because as much as we like to seek out the “wild” places on our holidays, sometimes these wild places really aren’t that nice, in fact they’re shitty. Stick a nice resort, a beach cabana, and maybe a funky restaurant here and I’d come back, but otherwise, forget Rendez-vous Bay unless your goal is to “rendez-vous” with Johnny the weathered survivalist nut job. It’s just not my social scene. (Julia was delicious by the way). Ha, I kid, but that baby would have fit perfectly on the grill. Mmm… it tasted like veal.
That night I cooked some Ahi tuna on the fire pit and got my jollies watching a cicada crawl like a pilgrim towards a light bulb until it flew onto my nose and I spazzed out like a little girl.