The Mister and I are terrible tourists. We love the three B’s: bed, breakfast, and beach. We faithfully and diligently wear a triangular path between the three. It was only after looking back over some travel photos that we realized that we needed to do something different. The only way to distinguish between one vacation to the next, other than the title of the photo folder, was Lola’s changing swimming suit. For that reason, we try to look for at least one or two outings to do with the family so that our memories of the time away aren’t just of how deep of an imprint our tooshies made in the sand. My inability to stop drinking the sweet tea on constant offer made that imprint rather deep.
Early on in the week, already accustomed to the new sleep schedule – early to bed, early to rise – we headed to a nearby port to catch a boat that would take us to a private beach.
“If you are lucky, we’ll see some dolphins,” our boatman told us. It would seem that we were very lucky. Not only did we see dolphins, but we were escorted by them for some time and given quite a show as a send off. If I hadn’t been trying my darndest to get a clear picture without really succeeding, I’m sure that I would have been overcome and hurled myself into the water to swim among my like-kind. They are so funny and FUN! I’m pretty sure that I’m a dolphin stuck in a human body. Let’s see Disney make a movie out of that one.
And the cost for our private beach and dolphin watching excursion? $50. Not each. Just $50 for a 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. boat ride/private beach stay. It’s a good thing that we paid such a reasonable price for the trip because otherwise I would have demanded a refund. Look at this!
I became despondent. My only comfort when confronted with such dire overcrowding was to make sure that not more than 90 seconds went by without stuffing my face with something, including licking the Nutella straight out of the individual packets, and swallowing plenty of sea water when I went swimming.
Twice, a man appeared out of nowhere, walking towards us from down the beach (behind us if you were sitting with me as I was taking the above photo). I watched as he meandered his way along the coastline, headed straight for The Mister. They spoke briefly and the man returned from whence he came. I was watching him for a few moments, then I did my customary spin around in the water, and lost sight of him. He had simply disappeared! Some time later, I spotted him again. Where did he come from?? “There is that tribesman again, The Mister,” I shouted over the waves. He waded his way in at about the same rate as the tribesman made his way down the beach, both meeting up. I saw a tea thermos in his hands and was immediately regretful of my gender. Dang. I could really go for a nice cup of sweet tea. It’s been, what? at least 3 minutes since I’ve consumed something other than sea water. I bobbed up and down in the water, half-heartedly interacting with Lola on her “booger” board, as I kept an eye on The Mister lounging on the beach with the tribesman, drinking tea. Part of me hoped that he would be so kind as to leave the thermos with the solitary glass that he brought along so that the rest of the family could enjoy a drink. But my hopes fell when I saw the tribesman returning with the thermos at his side. Sad for the lack of beverage, I decided to boost my spirits by focusing diligently on the man on his return walk. Where the heck does he go to? I lost sight of him again. Because I blinked. I freaking blinked and the man disappeared again. My sadness over the lack of tea disappeared as well when The Mister told me about the grossest tea ever that he had to pretend to drink. Every time the elderly man averted his eyes to elsewhere, The Mister would dump some of the tea out of the line of sight. They would go on talking, while The Mister continued his “sipping” charade, only to dump more of the tea into the sand behind the old man when he had a chance.
I was still bothered, though. Where did the man and his thermos of goat’s milk tea get off to? The mystery wasn’t solved until our boat reappeared at precisely the pre-arranged-time and we headed back towards the port of origin. I heard the boatmen talking to The Mister about meeting the old man, and that’s when I spotted it: a small hut, made of locally grown materials so it was camouflaged into the landscaped, tucked into the base of the mountain. Sneaky. Turns out he lives there with his wife. The two of them, on this mass expanse of luxurious beach. Alone with their tea, until a boat load of tourists washes up onto shore to do nothing more than muck up their view and “drink” their tea.