It calms our aching feet on a very long hike, it makes us wet and cold on a rainy day. It washes away our tears and tastes so sweet after all day hiking around creeks and waterfalls that contain undrinkable water. I’ve been to all of these situations and I can tell that it was the water that put me through the greatest challenges on my traveling days.
There’s nothing like walking into the mountains for five hours, getting gradually soaked up, figuring that my waterproof winter jacket is not quite waterproof as I thought, getting my backpack heavy with all it contained. That day I found a hut nearby some hot pools, soaked myself in and watched waterfalls falling down the high rocks that surrounded me. The rivers and I was stuck there together with a Kiwi guy who smoked a lot of weed and knew how to make a fire. 🙂 It took three days until the rain stopped (and our food supplies ran out) and we were able to walk out of there. those days were full of thinking about all kinds of disaster scenarios for an inexperienced backpacker I was back then.
How about river crossing? I’ve been there a few times. If the river is the only obstacle lying before you to reach your goal or destination, for sure you want to do anything to be able to continue. But after several times of getting wet and almost carried away by a strong current, I finally has to learn and accept giving up.
… and especially its mighty waves have my respect. Although I do push my luck just a little bit more every time I gain confidence about surviving yet another swim in them. And today was a day like many others. Southern wind was blowing, chasing dark clouds over the blue skies, waving palm leaves like fans in the air, messing my hair into many little knots and pushing sand grains over the surface ob the beach. The sea looked, well, a bit wild but it always does. No one could stop me from having a dip in a water. Just before entering in, I thought: Wow, this is what a wild sea looks like!, yet that didn’t stop me from diving straight in, disappearing in the mouth of one of those huge waves.
They were playful, they swung me up and down, I rolled, I swam under, and then, the shore appeared just a little too far. In one of my past lives I must have drown. I get terrified when I cannot breath for a while, like the time when waves keep coming one of the another and swimming doesn’t bring the salvation shore.
A few days ago, I talked about this feer to the owhen of Vintage hostel where I work, Sander. And he waved my worries away with saying: “Ah, at least you’ll get rescued by the good-looking lifeguards.”
Luckily a surfer named Marc showed up and let me rest, holding his surfboard for a while. And then three lifeguards showed up, at the time I could already reach the sand. Yet, they insisted on saving me, so I was like: OK, take me to the safety. 🙂 Three lifeguards and I wasn’t even drowning … yet. What a great service! 🙂
The ocean is another form of water that I have to learn to understand and respect. I hope we can be friends one day. 🙂